Financial education is now a necessary skill for survival. For young people, their parents likely didn’t face this issue, and they weren’t taught personal finance in school. Where are they supposed to learn how money works, and more importantly, how to make it work for them?

For anyone on the verge of receiving their first paycheck or laying out their financial plan, they need to know what to do, what not to do, and where their money is supposed to go. Jedidiah Collins faced the same dilemma when he was handed his first paycheck as an NFL player. The idea of planning for his long-term financial security was the last thing on his mind.

Published with permission from the author.

In Your Money Vehicle: How to Begin Driving to Financial Freedom!, Jedidiah unwraps the complicated language of money into short, digestible stories that give readers the clarity it took him years to find. He walks through ten questions designed to start readers on their financial journey and offers guidance on how to get started with cash management, taxes, investments, and more as they create their personal plan. I recently caught up with Jedidiah to learn what inspired him to write the book and his favorite idea he shares with readers.

 

 

What happened that made you decide to write the book? What was the exact moment when you realized these ideas needed to get out there?

Shortly after I received my first NFL paycheck from the Cleveland Browns, I began to wonder how I could use that money to secure my future. I’d recently watched the ESPN documentary entitled Broke, which claimed that over 70 percent of professional athletes fall on financial hardships shortly after they retire. If I played checkers with my money, moving one space at a time financially, instead of playing chess, I was going to end up being in the 70 percent of the NFL locker room, not the 30 percent who capture the NFL dream!

So, I wanted to learn to play chess with my money. In chess, each move has its own advantages, and the goal is not just to get to the other side but to strategize a checkmate. To achieve my goal, I would need to learn how to play this new game.

I began my financial journey out of pure fear. Later, I became a Certified Financial Planner because I didn’t want to become the next statistic. I began writing about the lessons I was learning about money when the tenth person came up to me and said, “Teach me money!”

The fact is, there are a lot of people out there (most people, I’d say) who don’t feel secure in their knowledge about money. They’re afraid, just like I was. This book is for them.

Published with permission from the author.

What’s your favorite specific, actionable idea in the book?

My favorite idea is to open a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) account. Since you will be paying taxes on this money today, while you are in a low bracket, the money can grow within the account and then be used later in life without being taxed again! This means compound interest is working harder for you than ever. If your company offers a Roth 401(k), you should capitalize on it and contribute. If not, I’d encourage you to go open a Roth IRA and make a contribution today!

And I just want to remind you that any money you contribute to the Roth IRA account is accessible to you at any time. For example, let’s say you contribute $5,000, and a few years later, the account has grown to $7,000. If you want to use the $5,000 contribution, you can. The earnings, however, must stay in the account for at least five years.

What’s a story of how you’ve applied this lesson in your own life? What has this lesson done for you?

I have taken the lessons from Your Money Vehicle and directly impacted mine and my family’s lives. Not everyone will get the opportunity to play in the NFL, but everyone should begin to use their money. We all are faced with a future that we must begin to take control of, and if we don’t, the gap will only get bigger between us and those who are living the dream.

This book begins with principles and concepts that one must understand before they can really own their financial future, ideas such as goal setting, opportunity cost, compound interest, and cash management. Once you can understand why this book is necessary, then we can empower you to use money as a vehicle and begin our drive to freedom!

To learn more about creating a money vehicle, you can find Your Money Vehicle: How to Begin Driving to Financial Freedom! On Amazon.