|Bonnie Roberts Erickson|
|Carolyn Bush ‘71
The Financial Game Plan for the Young Adult
First-time college students may feel they’re in a whirlwind when it comes to managing money. They can work on their financial plan for the year prior to admission yet still be blind-sided by expenses and decisions they weren’t
anticipating. A newly released book may help students make better plans. The Financial Game Plan for the Young Adult, by
Carolyn Bush ‘71, a managing member of Topaz Consulting LLC, offers a clearer understanding of what it takes to be on solid footing when it comes to matters of money. The book includes information on personal financial plans, selecting a bank, bill payment, savings accounts, loans, insurance coverage, buying cars or homes, taxes, budget maintenance, net worth statements, identity theft and organization of personal financial records.
Bush, an educational specialist for student activities and summer programs in Henrico County Public Schools, realized the need for more effective ways to teach young people about finances. She says the book “provides valuable information that young adults can apply for a lifetime. We wanted to offer a concise and user-friendly resource for them to use.”
Bush said the consulting team had a vision of what they wanted the book to be and became so excited that they finished it in less than a year. When writing a book, she believes, “you learn as you go. Everyone on the writing team plays off the others’ creativity and their ideas.” She says they had to think the way a high school student would think and then ask themselves, “How do you put it into terms they can use?”
The writers and consultants helped devise slogans and themes that would convey to young people that managing money is not as tough as they think. Bush says chapters provide good summaries and the wording throughout the book will help with short-term and long-term memory when it comes to managing finances.
The cover art was especially important to them. “We wanted to design a cover that appealed specifically to young people. We played off the Œgame plan idea and used bright, up-to-date colors,” Bush says.
The book has already begun to receive nationwide attention. The National Association of Secondary School Principals reviewed the book and featured it on their Web site, and several public and private schools are selling it in bookstores. The book is available to RU freshmen as a reference tool for their first year away from home.
With success comes the inner nudging to keep writing. The next book Topaz Consulting LLC plans to tackle will cover the ever-sensitive issue of newlywed finances.
Bush and her husband, Norman, established an endowed scholarship at RU for students majoring in education. “Once you’ve been given to, you give back,” she said. Their daughter, Jennifer, graduated this past spring, and Bush said, “Because of the outstanding job RU does, Jennifer, who also contributed to the book, was very prepared to go right into the classroom.”