Jason J. Frega is a father, husband, and student of LIFE (Live Intentionally for Excellence). He is an activist for living truthfully and meaningfully and is passionate about creating successful results through hard work and compassion.
"Credit marketing firms have also tried to convince our society that we should give credit cards to kids, the younger the better, so they can learn to use debt. This is another hurtful myth. Most youth simply learn to spend, spend, spend—and leave it to adults to bail them out. This is the opposite of teaching them good financial fitness."
This rings especially true for me as I read it. I did not have much of any financial education growing up outside of one class where they taught us how to balance a checkbook (but did not teach us the importance of it or reasons to do it). This made it really easy for me to think that credit would teach me about finances, and that handling credit would be easy. Besides, I got a free Homer Simpson t-shirt if I simply applied for a credit card on campus. Then I got a free pair of shades if applied for another. Then a free meal for another, and so on…
The point here is the fact that I assumed credit cards and debt were normal, because I wasn’t taught at an early age about any financial principles, became very dangerous to my future. I have paid tens of thousands of dollars in interest on my debt over the last several years and for what? Homer Simpson clothing?
The 31st Principle of Financial Fitness from Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward’s book is extremely important. If a mentor, coach, or teacher in my life had been following the principles, specifically 31, things may have turned out much differently for me (assuming I listened to and followed their advice).
Financial Fitness Principle 31 Teach your children and youth the principles of Financial Fitness. Set the example for them. Mentoring them will help you as well as them.
I especially love the part about mentoring others helping you. The more you dig into a subject the more you understand it; the same is true for teaching a subject. The more you help others understand the principles, the more you will understand them yourself. And it’s a great reminder to continue living the principles for your own success as well as the example you set.
"If a man empties his purse into his head no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."-Benjamin Frankin
In the book The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clayson there’s a cure for a lean purse that states, "Provide in advance for the needs of thy growing age and the protection of thy family." Of course the character in the book is speaking of savings and financial providing, but the same can be said for providing education and mentorship to youth.
Let us not forget the 17th Principle of Financial Fitness. Helping to properly educate youth on finances (or if you are youth reading this educating yourself and finding a financial mentor, one that has a lifestyle like what you want someday) will ensure that our youth can live principle 17 sooner than later!
Financial Fitness Principle 17 Retirement should not be an issue of age but rather a function of having enough passive income to live on for life. Retirement means retiring from things that are not part of your purpose so you can focus your productive work on your life mission.
I remember staying up at night in my early twenties praying to find a job that I was truly passionate about. Sure I was making good money and working at an international accounting firm that most dream about working at but it wasn’t fulfilling. I wasn’t in love with what I was doing with my life.
I’m approaching 30 now and it took me just about that long to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Finally, I feel true joy in what I do and have sincere meaning in the work I do and the clients I serve. The path to my happiness was simple. Developing a passion.
How do you develop a passion? It’s simple. Figure out what you’re truly gifted at and share it with the world. Everyone has something to offer, something they are good at. Dig deep and find out what your gift is. Develop that gift and make it a passion. Then take that passion and make it a job. I guarantee that if you’re passionate enough, you will make the money you need to live a meaningful life.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” -Harriet Truman
Life is a terrible thing to waste on being unhappy. I constantly run into people that are completely dissatisfied with their chosen career path. Work takes up a big part of your life. Don’t underestimate the need for true meaning in your work. If you can find your passion and merge that with your career, true happiness is possible in your professional and personal life.
Spend today thinking about what you want out of your life and go after it. Every day is a new beginning.
It has been such an amazing few months. Back in August, Youthful Savings became a finalist for a women’s entrepreneurship program through Fairfield Inn and Suites. As part of this program, we were given free office space at participating locations. At this time, I was living in Washington, DC but I wasn’t really happy. My dream was to live in New York City. After becoming a finalist, I realized that this company I had created had some real potential so why not take a chance and expand it into New York City.
Fast forward three months later and I have to say it was the best decision I ever made. We’ve been able to hold some awesome events at the space provided by Fairfield. We’ve also created a new website and logo thanks to our new Creative Director, Ted Ullrich. We also hired a new Business Development Director out of Chicago, Howard Stevenson. We’re hoping to really scale the business in the next year.
Recently, I’ve had the pleasure to go on a mini speaking tour discussing Youthful Savings and what we offer. I love all the positive responses and all the ideas to make Youthful Savings better. We definitely have a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do in the future.
Excited for the journey ahead and so grateful for all those that have supported us—especially Fairfield Inn and Suites.
Certified Financial Education Instructor Making Strides in Youth Financial Education
“Managing Director and Founder of Youthful Savings Named Finalist for Marriott International’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Program”
New York, New York: Somya Munjal, Managing Director and founder of Youthful Savings is currently competing for a $5,000 grant through the ELEVATE fueled by Fairfield women’s entrepreneurship program. Munjal is one of 19 finalists in the country.
Munjal is a Certified Public Accountant as well as a Certified Financial Educator through National Financial Educators Council. Her social enterprise creates and delivers innovative youth financial education and entrepreneurship programs throughout the United States. Furthermore, 10 cents of every dollar earned is reinvested in the community through youth college scholarships.
“I am honored to be a finalist for the ELEVATE fueled by Fairfield program. The grant would be instrumental in helping us reach more youth and teach the positive life skills and financial education that can change the world. Many of our clients are not for profits and do not have the budget to hire us. This grant would allow us to subsidize our costs and create the programs that have been proven to empower youth towards a powerful and positive tomorrow” says Munjal.
The competition culminates on October 31, 2013. Each finalist was given free office space at participating Fairfield Inn and Suites locations. This program has become a game changer for women owned businesses across the country.
We at Youthful Savings are huge fans of entrepreneurship. For us, it’s a way of life and we could never go back to anything else. That’s why we help start-ups and encourage the next generation to get started early and build a business in order to pay for college. Yesterday, we held a very special seminar that discussed the building blocks of creating and sustaining a business. We discovered that successful businesses had one thing in common—a secret ingredient.
I’ll give you a hint, the secret ingredient starts with the letter L. Yes, I’m talking about love. It’s that overused, often cliché word that seems to be the forefront of every quote, book and article. I’m here to tell you that love indeed is what you need in a business to succeed. If you’re going to start something on your own, you better be in love with it. The same kind of undying, unconditional love you may have for a pet, person, or even thing. You have to fight for this love. Starting a business is not easy. It might just be the hardest thing ever. You’ll often run into roadblocks, naysayers or financial struggles. When this happens, you have to dig deep into why you started your business and why you were in love with the idea.
Indeed, love does conquer all—in your personal and business life. An undying love for your business will lead you to the success you’ve always dreamed of. So love more, fear less and go manifest your love into something amazing!
It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others .”
I’ve always wanted to change the world. When I looked around me, I saw so much tragedy and pain. I wanted to do something about that—take an active role in the life given to me. I never understood how people can go hungry in a world that is filled with so many resources. Surely, there was a way to share those resources so we all can get a piece of the proverbial pie. Perhaps, that’s why I got into social entrepreneurship. It’s my way of making a positive difference in the world and touching the lives of the humans around me.
Business is one of those loaded words. It encompasses so much. Good and bad. On one hand, it correlates to greed, corruption, immorality, etc. On the other hand, it allows the exchange of goods and a means to create a meaningful connection and relationship with other humans. I like the latter and choose to believe that business can still be an amazing approach to creating a better world.
We at Youthful Savings have a distinct mission. Our mission is to help develop the human spirit one educated, happy youth at a time! We are committed to empowering the next generation with financial education and life skills training so that they can lead the life that they want and create a better world for all. We firmly believe in the power of collaboration. Together, we can find ways to share the world’s resources and be happy, free, and peaceful.
So I encourage all of you to figure out what your mark in the world will be and go after it. Business is like art. It’s an expression of who you are. Create something that defines you and allows others to live just a little better.
MARTHA’S TABLE BRIDGE PROGRAM: MY OWN BUSINESS CHALLENGE
Martha’s Table in partnership with Youthful Savings concludes the “My Own Business Challenge” initiative on Aug.15, 2013 and awards the winner a $250 cash prize.
The Martha’s Table Bridge Program youth created and delivered their own business, then were challenged to save their earnings. The individual/team that saves the most money (demonstrated by a deposit slip or account statement) wins the cash prize from Youthful Savings. The prize is awarded by Youthful Savings founder, Somya Munjal on Aug.15, 2013.
To assist in launching the businesses and thereby the earnings, Martha’s Table hosted a Youth Bazaar on Aug. 7, 2013. Bridge Program youth set up “stations” to sell their merchandise. The event boasted more than$1,000 in earnings. Youth sold items such as used books, baked goods, snacks, smoothies, waters/drinks and other merchandise. Prominent guests during this event included NBA hopeful Jerome Dyson and NBPA and FIBA Certified Player Agent, David Sugarman. Following the bazaar, the youth-prepared meal was served to guests that includes Martha’s Table administrators and teachers, parents and other supporters.
Youthful Savings founder, Somya Munjal and PNC Bank Representative, Craig Jackson observe as the youth sell their items to guests.
SugarTime Inc founder, David Sugarman and NBA hopeful, Jerome Dyson take time to encourage youth owned and operated businesses at the Youth Bazaar
“It was wonderful to see the youth take the feedback that we gave them on Tuesday and apply that to their stations at the bazaar on Wednesday,” said Sugarman. “I really enjoyed watching as they all really worked to sell their baked goods, books…etc. It was outstanding to see such entrepreneurship in action.”
These events are part of a summer long financial literacy and entrepreneurship program created by Youthful Savings and National Financial Educators Council.
MARTHA’S TABLE EDUCATION PROGRAM GETS “SCHOOLED” IN SPORTS FINANCE
WASHINGTON – SugarTime, Inc. in partnership with Youthful Savings deliver creative curriculum incorporating the professional sports industry to children participating in the Martha’s Table Education Program. The sports-centered activities take place Aug. 6 and 8, with additional events Aug. 7.
David Sugarman, NBPA Certified Player Agent and SugarTime, Inc. founder, joins forces with Somya Munjal, Youthful Savings Managing Director to develop a fun and interactive way to educate children about the importance of saving, planning for the future, entrepreneurship and personal development. Sugarman, along with retired NBA All-Star Kenny Anderson and a current NBA player are there to interact with the children, while driving home the core concepts behind Youthful Savings.
“I’m honored to have SugarTime taking part in the Martha’s Table Education Programs as a guest of Youthful Savings,” said Sugarman. “Education about financial literacy, saving, planning…etc. is what I preach to my clients every day. This outlet gives us the opportunity to give back and spread our word even further.”
“We are excited to have a sport component to the curriculum this year,” said Munjal. “I think the children will really enjoy listening to the speakers and stay engaged in the conversation. It also makes the dinner even more of an event knowing that the SugarTime team will be our guests.”
On Aug. 7, SugarTime, along with other community supporters visit Martha’s Table for the Youth Owned Bazaar (6-7 p.m.) and Youth Dinner (7-9 p.m.). The Youth Owned Bazaar and Networking hour, managed by Adam Mastrelli, offers the youth an opportunity to sell products to guests. The Youth Dinner is an opportunity for the youth to make and serve food to members of the community, guests and other Martha’s Table supporters. The menu is planned and supervised by Chef Demetrios Recachinas. The Director of the Martha’s Table Older Youth Program, Tim Jones, says, “We are excited for our kids to see an example of sports and education coming together.”
These events are part of a summer long financial literacy program created by Youthful Savings and National Financial Educators Council. “Collaborative campaigns help to expand the reach and impact of financial literacy programming. We appreciate the efforts of Youthful Savings, Martha’s Table and SugarTime, Inc. to create a win-win for the kids served,” states Vince Shorb of the National Financial Educators Council.
Martha’s Table was a huge hit today. We had Ted Ullrich in as a guest. He’s the founder of Tomorrow Lab—an innovative start up that creates new products! Thank you Ted for inspiring our youth to go after their passion and encourage entrepreneurship at a young age!
Yesterday was a big day. I started teaching Youthful Savings’ 8 week course on financial education at Martha’s Table. Also, I had the wonderful opportunity to listen to Radhanath Swami’s talk about living a meaningful life in an urban environment. He is the author of The Journey Home. A must read in my opinion.
The reason why yesterday was significant was because I felt like I was embarking on a new journey—one where I could see myself more clearly. Teaching those kids and seeing their eyes light up when we talked about their dreams, made me realize how much I enjoy what I do.
If you’re human, you probably feel emotions. Good ones and bad ones. Sometimes we are happy with our lives and other times we can’t stand where our path is leading us. However, what I learned yesterday is that our real life is timeless and we carry our legacy with us everywhere we go. It doesn’t matter where we are, all that matters is to cultivate a life filled with with meaning, compassion, and fulfillment.
So I encourage you all to really think about what you want out of life. Then go do it. Life is short and a world of possibilities awaits you.
Recently, there was this very controversial article written by a billionaire. He basically said that having children is the single most important milestone in a woman’s life that kills their career. I kind of agreed but mostly because I personally don’t want to have children. So this article just justified my decision.
This all sounds very ironic because here I am dedicating my life and business to the next generation. The children of our society is exactly who I target and try to help.
And then I got to thinking. Children do not hinder our success. They actually make us much more successful humans. Maybe they don’t make us successful by our pocketbooks but they do stretch us and make us much better humans—which is what I consider to be the true measure of success.
My life forever changed when I went to Guatemala last summer. I visited a slum in the heart of Guatemala City. I hung out with these amazing mothers who worked incredibly long hours to provide for their families. Many of them were single mothers. Some would get up at the crack of dawn to catch a bus and work in far away neighborhoods. These moms were true heroes.
Then I realized something. Children are these amazing creatures. They are helpless humans that can’t fend for themselves. As a result, us adults are driven to put our needs aside and help these little humans. They are the true inspiration behind all that we do. So now this guy telling women that they can’t be successful suddenly sounds like a tool to me. Here check it out.
All I’m saying is that children are not a nuisance to our lives. Instead, they are beautiful creatures that remind us just how important it is to share love and care in our lives. They inspire us to work harder—not work less.