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Well, hey there!

Well, hey there! I’m Karenja (ca-rihn-ya), and I guess this is the post where I’m supposed to tell you a little bit about myself and my business, right? First of all, welcome! I’m glad you chose to stop by and see what’s happening over here. Where should I begin?
Accounting… I know. I know. It’s not the most exciting word or subject in the world, but it has gotten me to this very point in time. Quite a funny story, actually. Let’s go back to the summer of 2001, right before I began my senior year of high school…
I was always a good student in school—honor roll every quarter, A and B-averages in most classes, and never any trouble from me because I was shy. But, by the time 12th grade approached, I couldn’t wait to get my diploma and dip! All I knew is that I wanted to take bird courses so I could fly by with straight A’s to boost my GPA for college.
That summer, my mama and I met with my guidance counselor because I needed one more elective to complete graduation requirements. Yet, it seemed like all the bird courses I considered had already reached capacity. For the record, I always HATED math as it was my worst subject in school, so I tried to avoid any elective remotely close to it. Lo & behold, out of all the possible courses my guidance counselor could find, she was determined to place me in Accounting. I insisted that my goal was to leave with no less than a 3.5 GPA, and any math course would deny that opportunity. My mama, on the other hand, agreed wholeheartedly with the guidance counselor. WHY?! Both adults at the time contended that I would need to know how to manage finances and balance checkbooks in the real world. Typically the mature child out of my parents’ six kids (and the youngest, at that), I whined, “Mama, you don’t love me! You know I’m terrible at math, and if I take that class, I’ll fail.” I wound up in that class anyway…
Needless to say, I graduated with an Accounting degree, and there have been times when I’ve absolutely loved what I’ve done in my career (working for community centers and other non-profits for example), but there have also been times when I seriously wondered if Accounting was really my heart’s desire. (The wondering often happens when I’m studying for the CPA exam. Go figure.) At one point, I even contemplated changing careers and going into education because I’m from a family of teachers, and I love seeing little children learn. I tried subbing, and I realized I don’t care to be in the classroom.
It’s been quite a journey, but I discovered that I find the most joy when I’m either helping small businesses get their books in order, or I’m creating material from which others can learn. Why not combine the two? While I originally intended to have The New Frugal run solely as an accounting and bookkeeping practice, that period when I had contemplated going into education was an eye-opener for me, and K-12 financial literacy became a part of my model.
Think about it: personal finance isn’t consistently taught in grade school. Our children—our future—are being set up for failure! I’m not here to point fingers. Many of us wish we would have had some type of finance or money management course in grade school, and life has taught us through trial and error (and debt). Even so, we still aren’t sure what or how to teach our kids when it comes to this subject matter.
When I reminisce about that summer in the guidance counselor’s office, I’m forever grateful that she and my mama tag-teamed me and made me take Accounting. While it didn’t teach me everything that life would bring along, it taught me enough to have a basic understanding of money management and how to run a business. So many of my peers cannot say the same. Doesn’t it make sense to have kids learn about banking, saving, economics, entrepreneurship, etc. Don’t we want them to avoid many of the financial pitfalls we’ve encountered as adults? Perhaps it’s just the Millennial in me that thinks so, but if we start teaching our children as early as Kindergarten, I believe they will have the necessary blueprint to make better, more sound financial decisions once they’re adults.
I encourage you to stay tuned to my blog. Yes, I’ll have posts about accounting and business from time to time, but the heart of this blog will focus on financial literacy for K-12 students. In the meantime, if you are an entrepreneur or small business owner who needs help with your bookkeeping, or even if you’re a parent who would love to share what you’d like your child to learn when it comes to personal finances, feel free to hit me up at I’d love to hear from you!
Just my two cents that could be worth a dollar…

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