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Friday, 26 April 2019 07:41 am

Joanne’s Smartz idea to pay off for kids

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SMART AUTHORS: Lisa Wilkinson (left) and Joanne Welch with their books. Photo: Alice Petrie

GIVING young people the power to manage their financial future is the goal that has driven Joanne Welch’s book series Moneysmartz4kids.

Ms Welch says her own life experiences and single parenting were what inspired her to start writing.

“During a period of time of my life I was fully responsible for two children and I realised I had a huge gap in my knowledge about finance and how to survive financially in life and I didn’t want to stay on the benefit,” she says.

Reflecting on her tough life experiences inspired her to create the books for children growing up to help them to become financially independent as adults.

She believes it is easy for young people to get stuck in a negative pattern around money and one of the big things missing is knowledge.

Moneysmartz4kids is not yet on the market but Welch has high hopes for the success of her books both nationally and internationally.

The series combines the ideas and concepts of nature with the principles of how to live a financially successful life, starting at a young age.

Self awareness, planning, resourcing yourself, and the effects of time are some of the books’ many ideas and messages, Welch says.

“I call them dreaming, planning, keeping and growing, if you can do that to your money through your life you’ll have a habit of creating abundance.”

Her own children understand the concept, particularly 15-year-old Georgia, who helped illustrate the books with her drawings.

Welch says if the books are successful she would love to expand and create other products such as auditory stories, cartoon type movies, teenage stories and software and also adult books.

Getting the books on the market is the next step Welch has to overcome.

Estimating how much she will make in the first year of selling the books is something she finds very hard to visualise at the moment due to lack of resources.

“At the moment all I can see is the hurdles in front of me and I’m just trying to go one step at a time to keep on going.

“I don’t know whether or not in the first year I will make any money at all. I believe the first year is all about networking with people,” she says.

Welch says she would idealistically love to be earning $100,000 in a year, 40% of that, however, would go out to other people.

To make a greater profit for herself she will have to expand the product line to have a more significant turnover.

Co-creator Lisa Wilkinson shared similar financially challenging life experiences.

She helped bring the ideas Welch had to life, spending many hours helping to write the books.

“We did it for a good year solid, just about every weekend, a lot of times after work, right through Christmas. We were doing it in our sleep just about.

“Jo is very motivating, I would be dragging the chain at times, but we got there, the product’s here, it seemed like forever but now that the products are sitting here I think ‘oh cool, wow that’s great’.

“It’s hard work but it was a lot of fun,” she says.

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is a Whitireia journalism student.
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