Jan 26, 2018

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Personal Finance Advocates (and H.S. Students), Neha Narayan and Stanley Jian


Whoever said discussions about personal finance curriculum standards were reserved for adults? Enter into the spotlight two West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North students, Neha Narayan and Stanley Jian, who want to spark a debate about the effectiveness of personal finance courses in New Jersey. Students by day and advocates by night, these two have spearheaded a research initiative, Project Finance, so New Jersey’s education department can understand how personal finance courses are implemented in high schools throughout the state. Give this podcast a listen and be inspired by these two students whose research may change how personal finance is taught in the state! Hat tip to Barbara O'Neill for the introduction!

  • 0:00–1:10 Introduction
  • 1:11–2:42 Strength of diversity in their school community
  • 2:43–4:56 Neha & Stanley: self-taught personal finance gurus
  • 4:57–8:15 The beginning of Project Finance
  • 8:16–10:17 Delving deeper and determining the project’s impact
  • 10:18–11:42 Hitting criterion: why they used the FINRA test for their project
  • 11:43–14:45 When’s the best time to take a personal finance course? Ask the students!
  • 14:46–16:37 Moving into the digital world requires a update in the curriculum
  • 16:38–18:16 Your future self will thank you for saving for retirement in your prime
  • 18:17–18:45 A word from NGPF
  • 18:46–20:15 Students by day, advocates and authors by night
  • 20:16–23:03 The goal is to implement mandatory resources into flexible courses
  • 23:04–26:14 How they plan to answer the naysayers
  • 26:15–29:30 Dealing with debt was an eye opener
  • 29:31–30:06 Best thing bought for under $10
  • 30:07–31:35 Student-to student advice: be mindful about investing
  • 31:36–33:11 Favorite websites to learn about personal finance
  • 33:12–34:11 Conclusion

Additional Resources

Project Finance: Impact of Financial Education in the state of New Jersey (The students’ 6 question financial capability test)


Favorite Book:


  • “Right now… what New Jersey’s core curriculum is is that you learn the common core standards, and there is no standardized testing as of yet… One thing that the department of education… [wants] to emphasize is full flexibility within the curriculum. It’s up to individual districts to get the resources.”
  • “We’d like to find out what the effect of a school’s socioeconomic status is on how well students typically do [on tests]... What we’ve hypothesized is that [the longer it’s been since taking a personal finance course] the students’ scores will drop.”
  • “We’re hoping to contact [New Jersey] legislature… and go to Phil Murphy, the governor, because as a finance guy, he should have a personal interest in this project.”

About the Authors

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and serving populations in underprivileged communities. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts, spearheading various outreach projects, or managing contests and flash surveys, you can find her doing some sort of outdoor activity, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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