Hi! I'm Lillian. You probably know me from the internet, where I make a weekly personal finance show called Oh My Dollar!
In 2017, I asked for folks' help to fund an illustrated personal finance book filled with cats. The goal was to create a book that demystified money for people have been left out traditional personal finance books - freelancers with variable income, queer folks, people with disabilities. Money for anyone who doesn't fit the 2.5 kids, white picket fence, 9 to 5 white collar, salaried job mold.
I aimed to make something scary and overwhelming - managing money - and turn it into something adorable and approachable. By employing an army of cute kitties.
The last Kickstarter was a resounding success, with 389 people raising $15,000 to bring the book into reality.
Over the past year, I have shipped the book to every single state and 11 different countries. The book ended up on TV news, led to me giving a TEDx talk called "Just Add Cats", got a write up in Forbes, has a long line of holds at the library, and was made fun of by comedian Ian Karmel on twitter. Most importantly, the book helped thousands of folks feel more confident about their money with the help of some illustrated feline friends.
Thanks to the support of folks on the Kickstarter, not only did we meet every single stretch goal - I was also able to deliver free, in-person financial workshops and give away more than 200 books to low-income young adults thanks to our Pay it Fur-ward backers.
But now, we've run out of books.
Much to the chagrin of our chief box inspector, Dora, we have no more cases of books for her to "assist" with shipping out:
So, now I need your help - again!
The book is back on Kickstarter for the second print - we need your help to make this print run a reality. This friendly, fun purrsonal finance book was designed to help you organize your money with your passions, values, and personal goals in mind. It was created to help you uncover the things that are most important to you and craft a money plan that is meaningful for YOU.
Most important: there are CATS!
A bunch of nice things people have said about the book
"Put simply, this is the book I wish I'd been given when I was younger, and with that said am so very happy that it crossed my path at this point in life regardless." - Amazon Review Halycon
"I didn't know anything about money until I read this book" - Lil BUB, the most amazing cat on the planet
"A lot of personal finance books invite readers to imagine their future selves with a big pile of money. Get Your Money Together asks you to imagine what life might feel like if you felt comfortable about where your current pile of money was going. [..]
I also recommend it to anyone who likes workbooks, self-reflection, David Bowie, stickers, or books you can write in with glitter pen. If you don’t have a stash of glitter pens at hand, ordinary pens will also work — but this book feels special, and I think you’ll want to treat it that way. " - Nicole Dieker for The Billfold
"Queer Inclusive Financial Advice. This is the only book I've ever found about personal finance that speaks directly to my experience as a queer woman. It's so wonderful to have classic financial questions addresses with a big imagination about lots of different ways of living. So lovely!" - Amazon Review
"I'm in my early 50s and feeling behind the eight ball on retirement planning, and I'm already feeling more hopeful. My favorite part is the way the author keeps it light and funny with cute metaphors about cats and David Bowie. I am also a big fan of the assignments given and the way it offers tangible ways to make change in my personal relationship with $. Thank you!" - Amazon Review Bikekitty
"This book has been incredibly helpful in helping my (new) husband and I plan our financial future. Since starting this book (and podcast), my husband and I have really focused on savings and debt repayment. As a result, I feel more financially empowered than I ever have in my life (31 years and counting.)" - Amazon Reviewer Angelique K.
"Purrfect! Absolutely easy to follow. Makes budgeting seem much less of a demon in my head!!" - Amazon Reviewer Alienjenn
"I love the kittens! It is super cute, while also being very thorough in all matters financial. I work in banking and I think this would make an excellent graduation gift any high school or college student." - A 5-Star Amazon Reviewer
EARLY KITTEN CATCHES THE STICKER PERK!
The first 100 backers (at any level) will get a special Kitty Starbudget sticker.
A Year-at-a-Glance Wall Planner
This limited edition, year-at-a-glance, wall planner measures 38" x 28" (98 cm x 68cm) and is printed on high-quality paper. It's purrfect for tracking appointments, paychecks, debt payoff, or making sure you don't mix tax deadlines. The lunar phases are marked on the calendar, as are US quarterly tax deadlines. It purr-fectly fits the clear planner stickers in its little boxes to track paydays and financial victories. The day boxes are about 1.25" x 1" (31mm x 25mm).
Please note this calendar will ship folded (it looks fine on the wall with slight folds, I promise) unless you add on a poster tube for $8 after the campaign.
Your Cat, Illustrated - $100
Our paw-some illustrator Fiona Wu will take your kitty and turn it into an illustrated kitty. You'll get a printed copy of the illustration and the cat will be featured on the planner stickers for all to see. Fun fact: all the cats in the book are based on real cats that had their humans back the last kickstarter! There's even an index of the featured purrsonal finance models in the back of the book.
I got the book in the last kickstarter, why should I back again?
No pressure! I've come back to kickstarter to raise money for the second print run of the book, but if you don't need it, don't worry about it. But if you want to help even though you already have the book, there are perks that are exclusive to this campaign - the clear planner stickers, wall calendar, and a chance to get your cat on a sticker!
Plus, there's an opportunity to buy the book as a gift for that cat-loving friend that's always complaining about being broke. Or purrhaps a recent grad in your life that could use some financial advice from an approachable, friendly, adorable book.
Or, if you're feeling really generous, you can sponsor the Pay It Fur-ward program, which allows me to bring in-person financial workshops and free books to low-income young adults.
The book includes:
- Prefance: How cats can help you from being a broke crustpunk
- Chapter 1: Financial Balance: It’s not really about money
- Chapter 2: Purrfecting the Budget
- The cat tower of financial well-being
- Chapter 3: Debt, The financial litterbox
- Chapter 4: Bury that Treasure - Learn to Love Saving
- Chapter 5: Retir-Purr-Ment Investing in your financial independence
- Chapter 6: Credit: The great American Laser Pointer Chase
- Chapter 7: Building Your Fort - Housing
- Chapter 8. Getting Under the Umbrella: Insurance
- Appendix: Worksheets (In-Depth Budget, Net Worth Form, Hit By a Bus Checklist, Paperclip Budgeting Game)
Oh My Dollar! is on a mission to empower everyone to feel confident about their money, regardless of their income or life circumstances.
Thanks to supporters in our last kickstarter campaign we were able to deliver free, in-person financial literacy education WITH BOOKS to over 200 low-income young adults through local nonprofits. Many of these young folks are experiencing homelessness after their family of origin kicked them out or they aged out of the foster system. Getting approachable, non-judgement financial education (that's actually tailored for their needs -rather than talking about back-end ratios and short-sells) can really transform their lives (along with access to health care, education, safe housing, community, etc).
If you round up your purchase with the Pay It Fur-ward program, for each book you purchase, one will be donated to someone in need, and you'll get a handwritten thank you note from me.
These books cost less to get in folks' hands because I can deliver in person, which cuts down shipping + transaction costs by $9 per book!
(If you work with a group that serves low-income young adults, particularly GLBTQI+ folks, please let me know if you want to work together at no cost to your organization! Previously I have worked with New Avenues for Youth, College Possible, Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center, AmeriCorps, and more.)
I want to get a copy for a friend that always complains about being broke and loves cats, will you do gift shipping?
Yes! You'll have the chance to enter their name and address after the campaign ends. You can also select the BFF package and get two books shipped the same address for less!
Why are you changing the title to A Cat's Guide to Money?
I've never been great at naming things. Get Your Money Together (the original title) apparently it wasn't that memorable and was missing the neatest part of the book - THE CATS!
You know it's a weak book title when your mom, your book agent, and even yourself, on occasion, struggled to remember the title "Get Your Money Together".
This new title puts the purr back in purrsonal finance.
(The cover was changed from salmon to blue because apparently "pink" is for girls, and the book kept getting shelved with "women's interest" despite being for ANYONE. Gender norms are a scam, smh.)
I'm not US-based, will this book help me?
About 20% of our total readers are from outside the United States, and most of the lessons in the book on budgeting, values, and savings apply no matter where you make your home.
However, 3 of the chapters deal with systems that are very US-specific: credit, health insurance, and US retirement accounts. Other than the cats, non-US folks won't get much out of those chapters.
The shipping can be very expensive outside the United States, so an ebook might be the best way to check out if the book is right for you (or a sheet of stickers!)
AKJDLKJFLKJ~! WHEN ARE YOU MAKING A DOG EDITION?
I promise it really is coming next (2020?) There are so many cute puppers in the world, and a whole new world of dog puns to make. I don't mean to leave you dog lovers out!
What format is the ebook in?
It comes in PDF (most computers and e-readers), MOBI (kindle), and EPUB (nook and most PCs) formats. Please note the ebook must be printed out to be filled in, it is not electronically fillable. (Sorry, it was just technically too challenging!)
What's different about this book from the first edition "Get Your Money Together"?
The inside of the book is the same (except for fixing the six typos that haunted my dreams for the past year), but the cover and the title are changed. But it still has gold foil + french fold flaps on the cover that make it adorable!
If you've already gotten the book, it's worth looking at our other perks.
If we meet just the minimum goal of $6,000, that is just enough for me to fund a full print run of the book and ship it. I'll be covering some of the other costs from savings and other Oh My Dollar! income (like our monthly patreon supporters).
Here's the breakdown if we do a print run of 1,250 books (costs vary based on how large the print run is/what perks people select).
Since we hit the $10,000 mark, this enables me to finally print the much-requested pocket budget planner. This is a cute, portable way to track your budget on paper (and use your stickers) if you have a tactile purr-sonality type and spreadsheets don't work for you. (Or you just like nice paper planners).
Fits great in a back jean pocket, in a fanny pack, or in that tiny too-hard-to-open clasp bag you brought because your dress didn't have pockets.
The design is quirky but clean, with a few adorable cats. The total planner size will be 3.5" x 5" (8.89cm x 12.7cm) / 32 Pages. I've already identified a printer to manufacturer these planners with very nice, pettable 100% recycled papers and vegetable-oil based inks in Portland, Oregon.
The planner will be automatically added to all pledge levels from $40 and up (the everything! package, your cat included, and all classroom Spons-purr-ships!) for no additional money.
If you pledged below $40, and want to grab the planner, it will be available for $10 as an add-on after the campaign!
This planner contains:
- 12 pages of Spending Trackers
- 6 x Monthly budgets (undated, start anytime)
- 1 x "Do I really need this?" Emotional Spending Checklist
- 1 x Things I Want list
- 2 x Color in Savings Tracker
- 1 x Debt Tracker
- 1 x Color in Purr-sonal Finance Merit Badges
Hey if you read this far, thanks fur reading!
Risks and challenges
Vacuums, allergies, fleas.
No, but seriously. This is my second kickstarter campaign, and last time we were able to deliver everything within 2 weeks of our predicted timeline. This time it's even easier, as the book already exists, we just need to go back for a reprint!
I've worked with all our suppliers (stickers, books, shipping) before, and expect things to go quickly. The books will be printed at the same overseas supplier as they were last time, and barring any trade wars, all is in order for a quick turnaround.
I'm doing all fulfillment in-house again (with some help from our Chief Box Inspector, Dora) and will include the delightful little things that we did last time: handwritten notes, stamped packages, and extras like stickers.
I'm looking forward to bringing more purr-sonal finance into the world.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)