I recently had the opportunity to read the book It Is Only Money: and It Grows on Trees! by Cara MacMillan, MBA. I also had the opportunity to ask Cara a few questions. Cara is a thought leader in sustainability and financial management. As an adjunct professor in the School of Business at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Canada, her vision is to empower people to think and act for themselves financially. Cara has the privilege of teaching and learning with courageous individuals who are committed to making a difference for themselves, their world, and future generations. As a thought leader, Cara regularly publishes in the areas of personal finance and investments.
Philosophy behind the Book
The book tells the story of Catherine, the teacher, and the diverse group of students who are in her class to learn about money. The book covers money topics such as passive income streams, investments, and finding one’s passion using MacMillan’s unique storytelling to explore the role of money through many religions and cultures.
What I didn’t Like
There wasn’t much I didn’t like about the book. I just wasn’t initially prepared to have money topics wrapped around a story. Once getting past that little bump the classroom setting discussion and lessons was an enjoyable way to learn about finance.
What I Loved
The fact that you are learning about money topics when reading a story about a teacher and her students. This is unlike any other financial book I’ve read.
Why you should Read “It Is Only Money”
The story keeps your interest, while the classroom stories and discussion will keep you thinking. If you are looking for a break from the normal personal finance book, with “how to” steps I would suggest It Is Only Money.
Interview with Cara MacMillan
When did you first become financially literate?
Cara: Well I grew up in an environment of scarcity so I learned from an early age about managing expenses. The idea that wealth could grow and that in time anyone could become abundant came to me in university. I realized that I was able to start my adult life without student debt because I was very focused on not wasting. But I wasn’t happy either because I had been too disciplined. I wanted to learn balance and that is what this book is about.
What approach would you use to teach children/students about financial literacy?
Cara: I always use a hands on approach. We talk about money but it is a very diverse concept. As a class and family, we practice building stock portfolios and learn how to create wealth without risking any real money. We get comfortable with our decision making process and build confidence. We also discuss purchases. We always encourage each other to ask, “Do I need this or do i want it? If I want it, what are the negative and positive consequences? In other words, is it worth the consequences?”
Who do you think should read your book, It Is Only Money: and It Grows on Trees?
Cara: I wrote this for my students but I have since found that many people are benefiting from the process. That humbles me a great deal. If you are at a point where you are ready to move away from your unconscious money patterns, the book is for you.
Thank you Cara. Best of luck with the book!
What books are on your reading list this summer?