How welded piggy banks encouraged savings as a kid | Kids Can Budget (And So Can You) EP #4

Hi, my name is Vianna, I’m a CPA, CA and I help parents start teaching their kids about money and savings from a very young age.

I recorded an interview series where I chat with parents about three main money questions that I was curious about:

1. What did they learn about money as a kid

2. What do they wish they had learned

3. What is the biggest money lesson that they are teaching their kids.

This week I chat with Shawna Rodrigues (The Grit Show), I’m so excited to share Shawna’s story with you!

To get started teaching your kids about money and savings today grab my FREE Kid’s Budget Jars Printables:

Check out Shawna’s Freebie (details at the end of the episode!):


[00:00:00] Vianna: Hi everyone. We have Shauna here with us today. Shauna, would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?

[00:00:06] Shawna: Sure. Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited for the work you’re doing and to be here. So my name is Shawn Rodriguez. I am an entrepreneur and a podcaster amongst other things.

My current big project is I’m launching the Authentic Connections Network, which focuses on amplifying women’s voices in podcasting. And I also have my own podcast, the GRIT Show, and a history of being an author and a consultant and working in the nonprofit and public sectors for about 20 years. Before that.

[00:00:36] Vianna: thank you. That’s so interesting is you’ve had a lot of experiences in the creative world and at the very end we’re gonna share, um, a really exciting group that you have for the audience, and it’s very creative as well. Yes. So just diving right in, could you start by telling us your first memory of money as a kid?

Like what your, whether it was, um, when you started earning money or whether it was something that your parents taught you, whatever your first memory

[00:01:09] Shawna: was. Well, the thing that stands out the most is that my dad worked at a mill when I was a kid, and he made us these, um, banks. And our banks were kind of original because they were made outta metal.

They were welded, so you couldn’t get the money out. So they were like cylindrical and they had like a little. A little slit in the top where you put the money in. And so that was the whole goal. So instead of like having like a piggy bank where the little cork in the bottom, you could take the money outta the bottom, like there was no getting the money out.

Oh, wow. . Yeah. So the plan was like, you know, you put it in there, it stayed in there, and then dad would cut off the top when it. Came time to get it out. And I could tell you, me and my siblings spent hours shaking those things upside down. and getting tweezers to pull bills out when you couldn’t get the, the, the coins out.

Yeah. So, so I love it cuz that was like our parents’ intent was to teach us like you put money in it stays in, you don’t don’t just take it out. I love that. We, we kids found a way around that. So don’t tell my mom, my mom’s away with us, but don’t tell my dad all of his hard work. .

[00:02:10] Vianna: Oh wow. That’s such an important lesson.

I love that because that’s something that I always want to encourage parents to do is even at this young age where they’re like, as soon as they start learning about money, ask them to start saving 10% of it. And it’s such an important, uh, mindset to have as an adult too. So I love that your dad did that.

So when did you eventually get to actually open it? Was it for a. So I feel like

[00:02:38] Shawna: we were saving it for vacations or trips or something. Like there was a reason and I don’t remember the reason I most remember us not heating the lesson and

[00:02:47] Vianna: I ways to take the money out

So, um, going back a little bit to when you were maybe first into adulthood.

Is there something that you wish you had known about money before entering the world, on your own? Well, I think that,

[00:03:03] Shawna: I think that I took debt. Too easily am I stride when I was young? Mm-hmm. . And I wonder like how much of that is, I recently on my, on my podcast interviewed somebody who, um, lived in Canada and she was telling us that she’s making a life change, that you have 15 years to pay off student loans.

I’m like, Oh. And she’s like, with no interest. And my, my jaw dropped. I was no interest. What? Yeah. Whereas, you know, definitely there was interest on my student loans and I had, um, scholarships, especially going into my freshman year of college, but they were nonrenewable. I worked really, really hard to get scholarships and then had that wake up call that, Oh yeah.

Like I got $12,000 going to my freshman year, but none of that was renewable. Like I’d had to keep applying my entire freshman year to get them for my sophomore year, and there wasn’t ones eligible for sophomore year, like they were trying to get me to college. Mm-hmm. . And so there’s a lot of student loans that I took out when I was in school, and so it was just like that was expected.

You just, you have to take out money to get anywhere and that’s a lesson. Wish I hadn’t of learned so strongly. And so I still remember the first summer where I started to unlearn that, that I worked um, I worked. I have lots of stories in my work history, but I worked at a peach orchard, um, selling, yes, selling peaches.

A friend of mine, his, um, my, my high school sweetheart, actually his family owned a peach orchard. And so I would work there packing peaches and selling peaches at farmer’s markets. And I actually made decent money, um, selling the peaches at farmer’s markets. But one year when I came home, after I moved to Louisiana, their school year started in like the middle of August.

Mm-hmm. and I left and so it got done like in early May. And so I was like missing the whole peach season and peaches were really late. Oh. And didn’t start until the end of July. So I didn’t have like, my way to make money wasn’t happening. And so I would go into debt on credit cards during the school year and then like earn a bunch of money in the summer.

And that summer I didn’t earn a bunch of money. And the job that I found, um, I’ll be nice, not say the name of the company, but it was a company in southern Oregon where I grew up and it was like conveyor belt putting parts together and it paid pretty decent for doing that type of work. And I was like, Awesome.

Like I’ll do this. And unfortunately I was so good. Our team was so good that like we were laid off after a week and a half because we did the whole summer’s worth of work that fast. Oh. So that was my negative reward for being good at it. Yeah. But that’s the job that I found to offset, not be able to do peaches.

And then we got laid off cuz we were so fast and so good at it. And so yeah, my summer jobs to make money to make up for only being able to work less during the school year. Cause I didn’t have a car with me when I was in college, Louisiana. Like I wasn’t able to make up as I went back to the school year with some level of debt and had to then work two jobs while I was in school and doing debate and doing everything else, like to try and, and get out of debt again.

And so I think like taking debt in stride is something I wish I would not have learned at a young age because I don’t think that was a good

[00:06:01] Vianna: lesson.

Yeah, but I love that, um, despite not knowing that you worked really hard, it sounds like, to continue to pay it off and not waiting for till you graduate.

And that’s really important too, because like you said, with the interest on it, it’s, it racks up really

[00:06:20] Shawna: quickly. Yes. I was also getting a degree in social work, so I knew that , I knew that it wasn’t gonna make the money to pay it off quickly.

[00:06:30] Vianna: Oh, that’s

[00:06:31] Shawna: interesting. Money working. I think I made more money when I worked as a, like supporting a lawyer when I was in college than when I got the real jobs outta college That, you know, So that’s, I knew.

I knew, Yeah. I. Pay it off

[00:06:43] Vianna: quickly, . Well, social work is very important and definitely you don’t go into it for the money. Right, ? Yes, Yes, exactly. Yeah. So that, Oh, that’s interesting. I didn’t know that about you. That you have a degree in social work.

[00:06:55] Shawna: I have a degree and a license, a clinical license as well.

[00:06:58] Vianna: Wow.

Wow. That’s where wonderful. I think that applies to a lot of your current career too, cuz you’re so helpful with everyone. . Yes.

[00:07:09] Shawna: These are, these are inherent traits that I just gravitate towards. The things where I can apply them. So I found new ways to apply them now with my, with my new work, with starting networks and helping women and doing those pieces.


[00:07:20] Vianna: Yeah, totally. I like talking about that with my friends and people I meet too. Like you go to university or um, college to get a certain level of skills, but I don’t feel like you should be tied to that degree specifically because yeah. When you’re trying to decide at 18, 19, how do you know that you’re gonna wanna do that for the rest of your life?

It’s impossible. So you kind of just pick it, but you learn the skills that you need to, and you can apply it to anywhere. Yes. So I love that you have that experience cuz that’s similar to, kind of similar to what I do. Like I did accounting and I, I, I have a creative side that just kind of got put on hold while I finished my degree and all the things.

Yes. And then, so now starting this business, I feel lighter, like so much happier because I get to use both sides.

[00:08:11] Shawna: Yes. Yeah, no, we’ve talked brief like I, so I’ve published a novel and I’ve written like a gazillion grants and never seen a bunch of grants in writing. Like I wrote so much for my work for so many years, and so I actually write creatively instead of constructively.

And you know, for the other reasons, I did it for so many years.

[00:08:28] Vianna: Love that. Love that. So you mentioned, um, in our little pre-interview chat that you had a niece that you also taught money management to. Can you tell us a little bit of ex your experience with that?

[00:08:42] Shawna: Yes, we work, we work with that consist, she’s in her twenties now, but we’ve consistently worked with her on her money management and how to, to work with money when she was actually, um, the summer she was six, turned 16, I think she lived with us in DC for that summer and she actually started her own business.

So that’s probably part of, yeah, I have, I have far too much of an entrepreneurial streak which goes back to selling peaches at a farmer’s market. Yes. In high school and college. Yes. Um, But that was part of like what we taught her and it was like her actually like doing the spreadsheet of tracking and the budgeting, the doing that.

And she saved up the money to buy a computer by the end of the summer from doing that work. Wow. Yeah.

[00:09:23] Vianna: That’s amazing. I love that. And how, so that you said she was in college at this time or?

[00:09:28] Shawna: She took, she, she took some college courses. She’s not in college at the time, so she’s, Yeah, so she’s working right now.

So we still work with her on, on budgeting and she’s still not figured it all out. She’s still working on figuring it all out. But we did work with her some when she was younger and trying to, to get that concept of what you spend and what you save and having a purpose behind your money.

[00:09:47] Vianna: Yeah. It’s so important to have people like you in young adults lives, kids’ lives, to just constantly be there. Just to be a sounding board, but also to give that advice whether they ask for it or, or not . Cause I had that in my life with my, my uncle was kind of my sounding board. Mm-hmm. And he, um, my mom passed away when I was 18, so, um, at that point was when I started. Thank you. It’s, it’s been a long time, but my, um, yeah, at that point was when I started my kind of budgeting journey.

So I’ve been budgeting for decades because of him, basically, like he was my guardian, but also financial guardian. So he played an important role in, um, All, everything that I’ve learned to this day, like obviously I learned a lot throughout my CPA career, but he was one who got me started on being, uh, responsible

[00:10:40] Shawna: That’s awesome. Yeah. So she, when she was gonna go to prom, cuz she’s, um, definitely my sister and her have been, she was a, a single mom and they were challenged with finances and, you know, worked really hard to make things work. And when she wanted to go to prom her senior year, she didn’t really have the funds for it.

So I actually sent an email and she had lots of fairy godmothers that helped send the money to help her go to prom. But she actually made a budget for how much the dress would be and how much the dinner would be, and how much she needed for this and for that and everything else. And she had a budget to have her ask for people when they sent her money for her to be able to go to prom.

And so, oh, and she, which not, not a po very un positive note, she actually lost her home to the fires that happened in, um, 2020. So two years ago she lost her home, her and her baby, and her now fiance lost their home in the fires. And so they, they received lots of funds that were given to them by very generous folks, and she did, she had a budget for everything and what was going to be going for things, and they were able to actually purchase a vehicle as part of that as well as save up to be able to have money to the place that they were able to move into.

And it was, it was very much through doing the, the budgeting of the money and thinking those things through and having their wishlist about what they need and having to write out and think through all of those things that still leaves that big financial dent and they’re still trying to climb out of that and figure that out and where they’re at.

It’s very expensive because of all the homes that were lost through the fire. Cause 2,600 homes were lost in less than 24 hours. Sorry. It’s such a, Oh my. That conversation’s taking No, not we some money. This is all part of the conversation that says she has, she’s had many opportunities to learn to use of those skills.

This is good for me to remember how much she has used those skills that we’ve worked on over the years.

[00:12:21] Vianna: that’s so important that she has those skills thanks to um, you and everyone involved in her life. And I think that’s like a big part of what I wanna encourage to be the sounding board and be the guide so that they are prepared like your niece is, when things like that happen.

[00:12:41] Shawna: Yes, that’s important. That’s still not easy. It’s

[00:12:44] Vianna: hard to figure out. It’s definitely not easy. But it, it, it’s a skill that gives you a little bit of relief because you’re not just kind of flailing like, Okay, what do I do now? Like, you have a plan, A budget is pretty much a plan.

Mm-hmm. , and you can work your way out of it and see the next steps to take, right?

[00:13:04] Shawna: So, yes. Yeah. And when she moved into the, the place she moved into, cuz she stayed with us, they stayed with us for four months after the fires to try and figure things out cuz there was nowhere for them to be in their home, in their hometown.

So they came to Portland and lived with us. But when she did moved into place, she, she wrote her first check. She’d never written a check before. And it’s, Oh, and for a lot of millennials, I think that’s the case. Cause a lot of stuff is done like, Um, like debit cards or, you know, Venmo and whatever else.

And so she wrote her first check and so it was, I have a picture of her with that check after I helped her over the phone explain what all the different parts of the check were, to write out the check so she could write her first check to move into the place that they moved into, so Oh,

[00:13:39] Vianna: wow. Yeah, the checks are kind of similar to cash. It’s kind of going out of style, Out of style, out of sight. Yeah. Yeah. You don’t

[00:13:49] Shawna: get paid with checks anymore, you know what I mean? Mm-hmm. automatically direct deposit, everything directly moves around just so you don’t, you don’t see those things often, but the amounts, Yeah. Totally place.


[00:13:59] Vianna: My, uh, daughter’s daycare recently asked for a, like a, a physical check for a deposit, and I was so shocked by that. I was like, Are you still want me to just email you? Transfer you ? Yeah, we wanna cheque

[00:14:12] Shawna: but yeah. But for parents to even check them with their kids about if they know how to do that. Cuz they haven’t, cuz we don’t use them enough if they even see them.

Right. Yeah. And it was funny cuz when it first came up, I was like, wait, you don’t, you don’t. Well, yeah, I guess you wouldn’t know about checks. Why would you know about checks? Why would you, you have. Yeah. Yes. That’s perfect sense. You have no clue what this is. You don’t pay your bills with checks. I don’t pay my bills with checks anymore, so it makes sense.

You don’t know anything about that.

[00:14:34] Vianna: Yes, . Exactly. And I think that’s like, one of the things I’ve noticed is that a lot of parents have this challenge where, how do you explain how to count money when you don’t have bills and coins at home? Mm-hmm. So that’s, that’s one of the challenges I wanna address in my course that’s

[00:14:52] Shawna: coming up.

That is an amaz that’s an important thing to address. Yeah. I’ve been surprised cuz when I was raised, cuz I’m older and when I was raised to do all those things and count money back and do all of that. And I went to, I was at a, a Dunkin Donuts when I was in New England and I’d ordered something and pay cash and for

it was specific. I think I needed cash back for some reason and paid the cash and the cashier like gave me completely the wrong change and it got confused and they put my um, my bill cause they paid with like a 10 or 20 and they put it in with a five or the wrong, They put it in the wrong place and thought I gave ’em the wrong bill.

And they were so confused and it was so hard for me to be patient. But she’s trying to be like, okay, this generation doesn’t use cash like we did. But it was just appalling to me. Cause I’m like, this is, this is how this works. Like this is how, like when I had my jobs working at Subway when I was in college, like I counted the money back and I, you know, was familiar with all of this and it’s just surprising how much that’s not commonplace.

And people even working in jobs where they work with money, how, like what a deficit they’re at when they start those positions cuz they’re just not used to all of those things. Whereas like, I worked at a concession stand and I, when I was probably barely in high school, maybe even before that. Um, and, you know, and the bills all been a certain way and this is how you count money back and like all these lessons and learning and that, you know, was so important.

And like now it’s like we need to have more play money in our preschools and more doing, you know, playing with money and, and cash registers for, for kids. So it’s not as much a foreign concept cuz everything is just like swipe, swipe all handled behind the scenes and calculators and computers. We never see it and count it, but it’s an important concept to have.

[00:16:32] Vianna: Oh, totally. Cause um, you mentioned the play money. That’s exactly something, one of the methods I recommend because how else will they learn if they don’t have this physically in front of them? Mm-hmm. And the problem with only seeing everyone’s swipe is that. Um, there are studies out there that you spend a lot more when you’re only using your card and when you’re using your credit card, debit card.

And debit card is a little bit better cuz it, the balance goes lower. So then you can kind of have this mental idea Yeah. Of like, oh, that money is going down in your accounts, but for your kids to try and grab that concept of like, this money is not staying in the account. Like mm-hmm. , you need cash to do that.

Mm-hmm. . And so there has to be a workaround that it kind of reminds me of, um, like growing up, our teachers are always like, Well, you need to learn these math skills because you won’t have a calculator in your pocket. Yeah. We all have calculators in our pockets, right? Yeah. But it’s still, But I think the concept is that you still need those math skills.

It’s just a different way


[00:17:44] Shawna: do it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, when I lived in, um, DC I was, I had a fellowship in DC and so money was tight is a good way to put it. Living in DC cuz DC’s very expensive. I lived in one of the, wealthiest zip codes and I was not making the money that was in that wealthy zip code. And so, um, we actually did where we had envelopes for specific things with specific money put in them that we would spend on those things because, Like go back to the cash model because we needed to, cuz it was like it was living paycheck to paycheck a bit and being able to pay for those things.

And that was our monetary solution, was to be able to put money in its buckets and spend it accordingly. Cuz that was a time in life with that needed to be the focus and so, yeah. Yeah, going back to cash is a good thing sometimes,

[00:18:29] Vianna: and I love that you had the skill to do that because so many people, even when they don’t think they have enough money, they don’t use those skills to, um, budget.

That’s a way of budgeting. Mm-hmm. And make sure that they’re, even though they’re living to paycheck to paycheck, that they are knowing exactly where the money is going. And that’s an important skill to have when life circumstances change all the time, like you mentioned with your niece and the fire. So it’s always good to have these skills in your back pocket.

And it goes back to what I was saying, like planning, budgeting, and it goes hand in hand. Yes, exactly.

Well, thank you so much for being here today. I had so much fun chatting with you as always. Um, Yes. And as I mentioned at the beginning, you have a really fun freebie for our guests. Would you like to talk a little bit more about it?

[00:19:18] Shawna: Yes. So as part of the stuff with the, the Grit Show, we care about self care and so we actually have a series of coloring books. The first one is out, it’s called the, um, Vintage Mermaid, A Magnificent Ocean. And so it’s The Color of Grit is that series and for, um, your listeners, and for my listeners, we offer a, like a downloadable coloring pages for them to kind of encourage self-care. And so we would love to be able to, um, to offer that for folks to be able to jump on over in doing that, and I do believe it’s coloring pages dot the grit is where you go to get those.

[00:19:54] Vianna: Perfect. And I’ll be sure to put the link in the descriptions as well.

[00:19:59] Shawna: Thank you so much for having us, Joy. I’m very excited about the work that you’re doing.

[00:20:03] Vianna: Oh, thank you so much. Thank you for being here.

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