How This Got Started.

My grandfather’s grandmother was Susan Ransom Forsythe. She led a quiet life, she loved God, and she raised her children right. My great grandfather Ransom was her son. He worked in real estate, though I don’t know how he got through the Great Depression doing that. So Susan had Ransom who had Grandpa (Richard) who had my dad (Clarke).

I never met Susan or Ransom, but I know my dad and my Grandpa exist as the incredible men they are because of the woman Susan was. It’s a legacy, it’s an inheritance. And now, it’s my birthright to live in their shadow.

Grandpa paid for my college. I mean, when I was really little, he started college funds for me and each of my siblings and cousins. I always knew Grandpa and Grandma had money, but I don’t know how I knew. They lived in a modest home that was pretty small compared to the homes in their neighborhood. My first job (at age nine) was mowing Grandpa’s lawn, and yeah, the lawn was huge. Maybe that was a clue. They never over-did Christmas presents, but he always paid us generously for work we did.

But really, I guess the way I knew Grandpa was wealthy was because he was always giving.

That’s the legacy I inherited. Grandpa was a good manager, a gracious employer, and a generous neighbor. He was frugal and shrewd and careful, but man, I’d love to see a list of all the people who have been blessed by that man.

I’ve been born into a generation where advertising is one of the biggest line items for any business, “consumeristic” is a chief descriptor of our culture, and most people graduate college with an average of $30,000 in student debt. How can you be generous when you’re saddled with loans, hard pressed to fit in by spending money, and trying to find an identity amidst a sea of the unrealistic depictions of life we call ads? There has to be a better way.

That’s what this is about: The better way. The way of saving and investing and managing well. Holding resources but not being held by them. Using and giving wisely to resource others who, in turn, use and give wisely.

What you can expect here:

I’ll give it to you straight: part of this is a marketing tool. I want to talk about the organizations who are doing something good and, just as important, are doing it well. These are the guys you should give your money to and follow and tweet about. There are a few organizations I love and believe in and I’ll definitely be telling you more about them. (And tell me here about the organizations you love and why I should get behind them!)

There’s also stuff here about investing, using money well, learning contentment, and practicing generosity. I’m a licensed Investment Advisor Representative, trained by the Dave Ramsey folks as a financial coach, and a geek who loves money stats (though I’ll keep those to a minimum here, for your sake.) If you have questions about how to handle money, submit those here and I would be thrilled to teach you a bit of what I know.

Finally, I want to sing the praises of your everyday Jane and Joe who live generously. I believe that where your money goes is a good indicator of what’s most important to you. If you have an awesome story of receiving, witnessing, or living out generosity, tell me about it and maybe you’ll be featured! Those are stories worth telling.


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