About the Author

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.

Author: Tim Ranzetta

QoD: What is the fastest growing scam reported to the FTC? a) Tax scams b) Romance scams c) Gift card scams?

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Feb 18, 2019
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Question of the Day, Financial Scams
Answer: Romance scams I figured now that Valentine's Day was in the rearview mirror, we could show the dark side of romance.  Here's the chart: Questions: Why do you think romance scams are so successful and growing so quickly?  Do you know anyone who has fallen for a romance scam?  What are steps that you can take to prevent falling prey to a romance scam?  Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your...

Interactive Monday: How Soon Can I Retire?

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Feb 18, 2019
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Interactive, Retirement, Investing, Index Funds
We all know how difficult it is to get kids to think about investing for retirement but also know how important it is to convince them to start investing ASAP given their youth and the magical powers of compound interest. So, what's the hook? What young person doesn't dream of retiring early which is kind of ironic given that many of them have these thoughts before they even have their first job. Stay with me. This focus on early retirement, which has gained more prominence recently with the...

QoD: Can you name ONE of the top 3 financial goals for millennials?

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Feb 17, 2019
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Question of the Day, Savings, Behavioral Finance
Answer: Earning a grad/Master's Degree Buying a car Getting married Questions: Do you think that financial goals are important? What are three of your immediate financial goals that you want to achieve in the next five years? Pick ONE of those three goals and spend 5 minutes brainstorming the steps you need to take to accomplish it.  How do you think your financial goals might be different 10 years from now?  Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question...

Video: The Influence of Influencers

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Feb 17, 2019
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Advertising, Video Resource, Budgeting, Behavioral Finance
From Reuters:  Questions: Do you follow influencers on any of the social media platforms?  What makes you decide whether to follow a specific influencer? Have you ever bought anything that an influencer recommended on social media? Explain.  Why do you think that influencers are more effective than traditional advertising?  ------------------- Related content: Question of the Day; A YouTuber with over 1.4 million views a month can expect to earn about _____________ in...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Social Entrepreneur Marcy Reyes of the Financial Literacy Youth Initiative (FLY)

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Feb 15, 2019
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Podcasts, Financial Literacy
Driven to serve others by educating them to become financially capable, Marcy Reyes has found several ways to accomplish this mission. She teaches at Rhode Island College while also leading a non-profit that she founded to support high school students. Oh, all this while holding down a full-time job with a health insurer. She is clearly someone motivated to serve others by teaching them valuable skills about managing their money. In this podcast, you will hear Marcy share her story and the...

FinCap Friday: Ghost Stories

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Feb 14, 2019
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FinCap Fridays
In this FinCap Friday we share recent news about workers quitting their jobs in an unusual way, which many are comparing to "ghosting." Why would anyone choose to just walk out of work one day and not tell anyone that they won't be coming back? Well, the changes in the American jobs market have definitely contributed to this phenomenon but there are certainly many other factors involved. Is it even a big deal to "ghost" your job and move on to the next? Dive into this question while playing this...

QoD: How much does the average adult spend on Valentine's Day?

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Feb 13, 2019
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Budgeting, Behavioral Finance, Current Events
Answer: $162 Questions:  What do you think are the most common items purchased on Valentine's Day? Try and name 5 and estimate their cost.  Are there Valentine's Day purchases that cost a lot more around the big day than they do the rest of the year? What economic principle explains that phenomenon?  Why do you think that fewer people are spending on Valentine's Day compared to a decade ago?  What are some low-cost ways to celebrate Valentine's Day without "breaking the...

Question of the Day: What college major is most common among world leaders?

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Feb 12, 2019
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Question of the Day
Answer: Politics and Economics Hat tip to Brian Page for pointing out this chart.  Questions: What do you think is the ideal educational background for a country's leader?  How do you think a leader's educational and career background affect the way they govern?  What's a good headline for this chart?  Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the numbers (from Visual Capitalist): When it comes to the...

The Psychology of Investing: Avoid Stupid Mistakes, Play STAX

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Feb 12, 2019
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Interactive, Investing, Stocks, Index Funds
Hat tip to Vadas at Abnormal Returns for pointing out this article from Behavioral Investment about why we make stupid investment decisions.  The article lays out nine reasons why normally rational, thoughtful people make what he describes as "sub-optimal" investment decisions. As I read through the list, I realized how our investing game STAX (over 160,000 game plays since November launch) gives students an opportunity to make a lot of stupid decisions which they hopefully will learn from...

Chart of the Week: Do families pay more in federal income taxes or in hospital costs?

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Feb 12, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Insurance
Hat tip to Beth Tallman: Questions What happened between 2010 and 2018 to hospital spending and tax rates?  Does it surprise you that Americans spend more on hospital spending than they did for federal income taxes? Your friends says that he thinks hospital costs have peaked in 2018. Does the graph support his argument?  ----------------- Check out NGPF Insurance Unit Page for ideas on how to bring insurance to life for your students.     Behind the chart from...

QoD: How much did consumers pay in overdraft fees in 2017 (in billions)?

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Feb 11, 2019
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Question of the Day, Checking Accounts, Research
Answer: $34.3 billion Here's how the average fee has grown over the past decade: Questions: In your own words, what does it mean to overdraw your account? Why do you think that banks collect so much in overdraft fees from consumers? Young people are particularly susceptible to these fees. What steps can you take to avoid these pesky fees?  Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the numbers (Wealth...

QoD: What percent of overall grocery purchases are ordered online?

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Feb 10, 2019
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Budgeting, Research, Question of the Day
Answer: 3% Market share of largest online grocers in 2017 (Supermarket News) Amazon - 12.5% Walmart - 11.1% Kroger - 6.4% BlueApron - 5.5% Peapod - 5.3% Questions: Why do you think the number of people purchasing groceries online is so low? What is different about groceries compared to electronics or apparel which have much higher percentage of online sales?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing groceries online? Assume that most services charge a fee of $8-$10 per...

Interactive Monday: Which colleges are best at income mobility?

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Feb 10, 2019
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Paying for College, Research, Interactive
From NY Times The Upshot comes an interactive tool, Economic Diversity and Student Outcomes at America’s Colleges and Universities. As college acceptance letters and financial aid awards roll in over the next few months, this interactive provides information on economic diversity as well as income mobility at thousands of universities across the U.S. This interactive comes from the analysis of tax records and college records for millions of people.  Details on the study: The...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to NASFAA President and CEO Justin Draeger About College Financial Aid

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Feb 08, 2019
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Podcasts, Paying for College
It was fun checking in with Justin Draeger, who leads the largest association supporting college financial aid officers. Justin last appeared on the podcast about three years which meant we had a lot of catching up to do. Listen to Justin describe what has changed as well as what hasn't in that interval. He discusses innovation in higher ed, the push for more transparency in award letters and the current regulatory environment in the highly regulated financial aid field. Enjoy! Details:...

FinCap Friday: Pay Day But No Paycheck

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Feb 07, 2019
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FinCap Fridays, Current Events, Savings
This FinCap Friday explores the effects of the recent federal government shutdown on the 800,000 federal employees who were required to work without pay from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019. Not knowing when your next paycheck will come can cause major financial stress so it's important to understand the strategies that can be used to prepare for times of emergency. Play this week's FinCap Friday to dive into this hot topic! If you're short on time, try this FinCap Friday (No...