For families across the nation, the prospect of gaining the upper hand on money matters can be daunting, and the pandemic has only exacerbated financial anxieties. At the height of the Covid-19 crisis, business entrepreneur and ministry leader Charles Todd embraced an opportunity to address common concerns about managing money by sharing lessons from the Bible.
Angela Todd, Charles Todd’s wife and coauthor of the Money Mike & the Gang children’s books, describes the moment that inspired the series—a moment when her husband received a request from a higher power. “Charles was sitting outside on the patio,” Angela Todd says, “when he felt a question arise in his spirit that asked, ‘Would you teach my church about finances?’ He laughed at the thought and said, ‘I’m not qualified,’ and then tried to reason with the Lord, saying, ‘Why me?’ and ‘No way!’”
Charles put the matter out of his mind, but the next day, a church leader approached him to ask if he would consider teaching courses on financial freedom. He and Angela Todd laughed at God’s sense of humor and recognized the immediate opportunity. “So the challenge began,” Angela Todd says. “Charles dove into prayer and helped create a curriculum to teach biblical finances to the body of Christ.”
Part of the reason why Charles Todd didn’t necessarily feel “qualified” to talk about money matters was that he and Angela once lost everything. “We were bankrupt, broke, had no income, no hope, and were way over our heads in bad debt,” Angela Todd says. “We moved into the basement of my parents’ home to survive, which led to divorce.”
But the Todds realized their struggle gave them the authority needed to talk about money challenges. “The revelation was, wow, we have a testimony,” says Angela Todd. “And if we can help people avoid making the same mistakes, well, then, now we really have something!”
Charles Todd didn’t expect to have so much fun creating the curriculum. As he prepared for the courses, he came up with the idea of having lively cartoon characters teach kids and their parents about biblical financial prosperity. With Angela Todd’s input and support, Money Mike, Charles’s alter ego in the form of a money tree; Saving Sam, a full piggy bank; Loan Shark, the bad guy with fangs and a briefcase; and Giving Grace, a sassy gift box with a pink bow, were born.
Chock-full of helpful financial terms, appealing illustrations, simple steps, and scripture, the Money Mike books make it easy for families to learn about managing money. Money Is Easy is the first of four planned books. Next up are Giving Is Easy, starring Giving Grace; Saving Is Easy, starring Saving Sam; and Say No to Debt!, starring the Loan Shark.
The Todds knew their idea was unique. Even the most faithful of families might not think to look to the Bible for financial guidance. “But the Bible has much to say about how to give, save, and invest finances,” Angela Todd says. “Other important topics in the Bible are debt, having the right relationship with money, and how we should be prospering to be a blessing to our children’s children. God’s word is designed to bring life into anything it is applied to.”
The Todds also want to shed light on a topic that is often shied away from. “Many churches like to skip over talking about money altogether, so as not to seem like they are trying to get people’s money,” Angela Todd says. “But this is actually robbing God of blessing his people with true prosperity.”
The Todds hope to help others avoid the devastating cycles of debt and poverty they went through. “Society preaches go to school, get an education, but go into debt doing it, then intern, then work years and years to pay off your debts,” Angela Todd says. “That is a nutty merry-go-round. And millions have been sucked in.”
At the heart of the Money Mike brand is the partnership between Angela and Charles. The pair have worked together in business and ministry for more than 22 years. And while Charles Todd may be the voice of Money Mike, he credits his wife with giving the brand its magic. “I’m the basic nuts and bolts and Angela is the whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherry on the top that makes it so much more enjoyable to get down!” Charles Todd says. “I’m relying on God and Angela.”
More information can be found at moneymikeandthegang.com.