Celebrating Black History Month: Highlighting Tiffany Aliche, The Budgetnista

Feb 05, 2021
Activities, Teaching Strategies

Twice weekly, NGPF is celebrating Black History Month by highlighting Black financial leaders and educators via dedicated posts and student activities on the NGPF blog. 


With this second post, we are highlighting the work of The Budgetnista, Tiffany Aliche -- an award-winning teacher, bestselling author, and blogger + podcaster. You can find her website and learn more about her here, but in this blog post we’re going to feature one of Tiffany’s blog posts that we think will work well in your classes.

Featured Resource and Activity Idea: Blog Post on Money Mindsets

Wouldn’t it be great if we could each take the money knowledge we have now, REWIND, and go impart that wisdom to our younger selves before any mistakes were made or struggles were overcome? That’s what The Budgetnista does in this blog post Letter To My Teenage Self: Money Lessons. Below we provide a discussion prompt or mini-activity idea for each section, and then some overall ideas for how to use Tiffany’s letter. 


Go ahead and chat about money

Tiffany suggests talking openly with friends about money, but blurting out “So, how much do you save from your paychecks?” or “Do you think it’s OK to have credit card debt?” might feel awkward at the school lunch table. 


Brainstorm: What’s a more NATURAL way to start talking about money with your friends? Or, what’s a real-life scenario where it might make sense for you and a friend to discuss money in an authentic way? 


Those free pizzas, chocolate bars, and movie tickets aren’t actually free

Tiffany went to college before the CARD Act of 2009 made it harder for folks under 21 to get credit cards, but she quotes a Sallie Mae report that says the average college student’s credit card debt in 2019 was nearly $1200, so college students are certainly charging purchases. 


Answer: With the knowledge you have now, do you feel like you know enough to responsibly open and use a credit card? If so, when and how would you go about opening the card? If not, what else do you need to know before you’d feel confident? 


Make a habit of editing and rearranging your money priorities

Many of us have heard the advice of categorizing “Needs” vs “Wants,” but Tiffany takes it a bit deeper with “Need it, Love it, Like it, and Want it.” Many of you are fortunate enough to have your “Needs” taken care of by your family right now, though some of you are providing for your own needs as well. 


Daydream: Follow her advice and identify no more than two “Loves.” If you had Oprah money, what would you do or do more of this year? What would you do over the next five years, with your own budget rather than Oprah’s, to prioritize things you love? 


Start an emergency fund and pay into it regularly

For independent adults, the advice is typically to have 3-6 months of expenses set aside in an emergency fund. Given that you might not have a steady income or even regular monthly expenses right now as a student, this advice might not be super useful. 


Estimate: How much money do you think would be smart to have saved before you graduate from high school? Why that amount? And what would you need to set aside monthly between now and graduation to make that feasible? Is your goal even realistic? How could you achieve it? 

To use this resource in your class, you could have everyone pre-read for homework and then choose 1 or more of the prompts above as a whole group activity during class time. OR, you could give your students a choice board with all 4 options and allow them to respond to 1, either in writing or in small group discussion (in-person or in breakout rooms). 


If you want a synthesis question, you could ask students to rank the 4 tips from most to least important or from easiest to hardest to achieve, in their opinions. You could ask them to play devil’s advocate against one of the pieces of advice or challenge them to come up with a fifth tip of their own. 

If you’re looking for more ways to celebrate Black History Month, NGPF is focusing most of our weekly Speaker Series on Black creatives from different social media platforms who emphasize financial literacy in their content. 


And in case you missed it, here’s our first Black History Month blog post featuring a podcast by Bola Sokunbi.

About the Authors

Jessica Endlich

When I started working at Next Gen Personal Finance, it's as though my undergraduate degree in finance, followed by ten years as an educator in an NYC public high school, suddenly all made sense.

Sonia Dalal

Sonia has always been passionate about instruction and improving students' learning experiences. She's come a long way since her days as a first grader, when she would "teach" music and read to her very attentive stuffed animals after school. Since then, she has taught students as a K-12 tutor, worked in several EdTech startups in the Bay Area, and completed her Ed.M in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is passionate about bringing the high quality personal finance content and instruction she wished she'd received in school to the next generation of students and educators. When she isn't crafting lesson guides or working with teachers, Sonia loves to spend her time singing, being outdoors, and adventuring with family and friends!