Fixing finances her passion
MOORHEAD - After a couple of years in the working world, Nancy Kvamme wondered where her money was going. Single with no kids, she didn't feel like she had much to show for the salary she earned. That's when she started paying attention to her fi...
MOORHEAD - After a couple of years in the working world, Nancy Kvamme wondered where her money was going.
Single with no kids, she didn't feel like she had much to show for the salary she earned.
That's when she started paying attention to her finances. Now nearly 20 years later, the Fargo woman wants to help others watch their dollars and cents, too.
Kvamme started In the Black Money Coaching about a year ago. She recently rented an office space in the Bella Professional Center in Moorhead, and has started offering money classes for kids and for women. She plans to offer classes for high school and college graduates.
Kvamme has no formal training or certification. She works as an office manager for a real estate appraisal service - the same job she had when her interest in finances started.
She's based most of her presentations on the self-study of financial gurus and authors like David Bach and Dave Ramsey. She's done a few presentations for groups through the library and Lutheran Social Services. She's spoken to Cub Scouts and Mothers of Preschoolers groups. She volunteers for Junior Achievement, a nonprofit that educates students in entrepreneurship, financial literacy and workforce readiness.
Kvamme's financial advice is basic: Have a budget. Distinguish between wants and needs. Understand how taxes, interest and reoccurring expenses affect the real cost of possessions.
The tagline for her blog is "It's not how much you earn that matters, it's how much you spend."
"The main thing is to track your expenses, watch where your money goes," she says. "Know how much you have to spend. We've gotten into such an instant gratification society."
Kvamme says she has learned to shop sales and use coupons and to not buy things just because they're on sale.
Her Kids and Money classes lead participants (it's geared at ages 10 and up) through a series of stations that address issues like saving and spending, tips and taxes, credit cards, credit scores and the importance of an emergency fund.
She's created booklets that offer website and reading suggestions and information on allowances.
"One reason that parents do not teach their children about money is because they are not sure they know how to handle money either. It is one of the things that is not always taught in school. We earn degrees in order to earn a living but are not always taught how to handle the money we earn," she writes in one of her booklets.
Kvamme says she thinks it's important to teach kids about money at a younger age, "getting them in the right habit before they get too old."
Last year, Kvamme spoke to participants in Lutheran Social Services Gambler's Choice, an outpatient treatment program for problem gamblers.
Program director Lisa Vig said financial management is an issue for this population. Vig says she was impressed with the research Kvamme had done and the practical information she gave to the group.
"I think the clients felt very comfortable with her," Vig said. "She was able to put out different options that might be appropriate for different people, not telling them what to do, but laying out options. You have choices."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556