SPARTANBURG, S.C. – When Maureen Buff was at Wofford College, she knew she wanted to do more with economics; she just wasn’t sure what.
Buff, who graduated in 2014 with majors in finance and economics, got her answer when starting her career with Live Oak Bank in Wilmington, N.C. Through her work as an associate relationship manager, Buff was given opportunities to volunteer around the community. One of those involved working with Junior Achievement USA, an organization that provides information to kindergarten through 12th-grade students about entrepreneurship and finance-readiness. It was here that the Lilburn, Ga., native she came up with the idea for a children’s book about finance.
“I went to the bookstore after a day at Junior Achievement and searched the children’s section for a book about money,” Buff says. “I even asked the clerk, and she couldn’t find one in the system either.” Buff decided to write and illustrate one, merging her love and talent for the arts and finance.
“No Money Monday” follows two siblings, Fin and Nance, who need to buy ingredients to make muffins for a bake sale. There’s only one problem: they can’t use money. The rest of the story is about how Fin and Nance use a bartering system to get the ingredients they need.
“’No Money Monday’ is only the beginning to the story of Fin and Nance,” says Buff, who plans to write and illustrate a series featuring the duo while exploring different concepts regarding money. She is working on her second book, which will focus on the concept of lending. “Money is a huge stressor for people. I want to educate chidren about money and finance early to create an awareness that eventually leads to more freedom and less stress as adults.”
Buff credits a lot of her success to her time at Wofford and the lasting support system that she continues to find here even years after graduation.
“When I was writing the book,” says Buff, “I would send it to my former finance and economics professors to look at. Even though I had graduated, they were still there to encourage and support me.”