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

Question of the Day: How much did consumers pay in interest to credit card companies in 2017?

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Aug 14, 2018
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Credit Cards, Research, Question of the Day, Current Events
Answer: $104 billion Questions: Why do you think that so many Americans carry credit card debt, meaning they don’t pay the full balance on their credit card statements every month? Does credit card debt carry a high or low interest rate? What ideas do you have on how you can avoid getting into credit card debt where you can't pay your balance off every month?  Imagine using your credit card to buy $100 of clothes. If you weren’t able to pay off that purchase for a year and your...

Question of the Day: What is the most popular financial app on the iPhone?

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Aug 13, 2018
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Budgeting, Behavioral Finance, Current Events, Payment Types, Research, Question of the Day
Answer: Cash Here's the leaderboard as of 8/2/18 (from SimilarWeb): Questions:  Do you have financial apps on your phone? If so, which do you use most often? If not, why not?  What are the pros of cons of using your mobile phone to manage your bank account? Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the numbers (from Quartz): As more payments take place electronically and bank branches slowly disappear, your...

Interactive Monday: What makes for a better life?

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Aug 13, 2018
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Interactive, Current Events, Math
I thought this would be an interesting question and interactive to get your personal finance class off to a great start this year. It takes a step back from talking about money and forces students to think about what they value most when it comes to life. It will also allow them to 1) see what countries match up best with their definition of a better life 2) see how their answers compare with others in the U.S. and 3) have them think about the relative strengths and weaknesses of the U.S....

First Question of Day for 2018-19 School Year: Which U.S. company was the first to hit $1 trillion in market capitalization?

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Aug 12, 2018
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Question of the Day, Investing, Stocks, Current Events
Answer: Apple Here's a chart that shows their incredible increase in value over the past 18 years:  Questions:  Which Apple product do you think has had the largest impact on the value of the company? Looking at the graph, if someone had invested $100 in Apple stock in 2000, how much would it be worth in 2018? Based on the graph, was the iPhone an initial success? What company do you think might be the next to $1 trillion? Explain your answer. Click here for the ready-to-go...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks With Andy Davidson About Math's Role In Building Financial Capability

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Aug 10, 2018
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Podcasts, Math
Andy Davidson spent much of his career on Wall Street and saw first-hand what happens when consumers lack basic financial skills.  What he saw inspired him to create a course that teaches personal finance through mathematics. And thus, FiCycle was born! Hear how he describes the rationale behind the three pillars of his curriculum, the importance of scaffolding and what this entrepreneur has learned along the way. Listen closely as Andy espouses the virtues of bringing more math into your...

Looking to use more infographics in your classroom? Here's a few good ones to use (and the brain science behind it)

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Aug 09, 2018
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Credit Reports, Investing, Personal Finance, Savings
Do your students seem very engaged with the infographics that you are using in your lessons?  Here's the brain science behind why they have become so successful as a teaching device. Some of the more interesting factoids from this infographic (of course, it's an infographic about the power of infographics): Information overload is real: Color graphics make us 80% more willing to read: When providing directions, illustrations (or YouTube) videos are a must: ---------------------- We...

Bringing An Outside Speaker To Your Class? Here's How To Make The Day A Success!

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Aug 07, 2018
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Teaching Strategies, Tips for Teachers, Career
First of all: Thank you. If you are reading this then you have brought or plan to bring an outside speaker to your classroom. There are so many benefits to your students that come from bringing outside voices to speak to your students. Let's name just a few: Deep domain expertise Can reiterate points that you have been making with (sometimes it helps to come from someone else) It can provide them with practice on talking to professionals in a given field It can get them interested in a specific...

Infographic: How Does America Use Its Land?

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Aug 05, 2018
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Economics, Research, Interactive
This may fall more into the category of Business or Economics but there is a fascinating interactive that shows how land use drives local economies in the U.S.. The designer creatively used a map to give readers some sense of the percentage of land used for each of these purposes. For example, the amount of land used for cow pasture/range would take up much of the midwest. (Note: This is only one of the 13 different graphics so please go to the link to find other surprising map): ...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To 403(b) Crusader Steve Schullo

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Aug 03, 2018
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Podcasts, Retirement, Investing, Stocks, Index Funds
  Ten years into his retirement, former LAUSD elementary school teacher and author Steve Schullo is still fighting the good fight for teacher retirement plans. This go-getter shares the insights from his teaching career and his passion to fix the current 403(b) mess. As the author of Late Bloomer Millionaire, you will learn how Steve's savings and investing plan helped him achieve a healthy nest egg. Listeners will also learn why he wrote Fighting Powerful Interests and the changes he...

Enjoy this over the weekend...

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Aug 03, 2018
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Behavioral Finance
I would put this in the category of more general interest than personal finance and if you wonder what the internet was thinking in 2015... Fun interactive infographic captures the media stories that were on people's minds based on their popularity on social media over a five year period (2010-15).  Since this is three years old, it's interesting to see how some of the issues raised in these popular articles remain front and center today. This would include concerns about cell phone...

3 Graphs: How Risky are Stocks, Bonds and Cash?

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Aug 02, 2018
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Investing, Stocks, Behavioral Finance, Research, Math, Chart of the Week
Hat tip to the Wealth of Common Sense blog for updating their performance charts which help demonstrate a key concept in investing: risk. Risk is one of those nebulous concepts for teens who have never experienced a severe market correction while holding stocks. These charts help elucidate risk from a mathematical perspective by plotting returns for the three basic asset classes: cash, bonds and stocks. By using the same scale for each, it becomes more apparent which is the riskiest asset. ...

Interactive: How Do Creative People Spend Their Time?

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Aug 01, 2018
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Career, Interactive, Employment, Research
I've been on a bit of an interactive binge recently since I know how popular these are in the classroom. Today, the focus is on life skills that we all could improve upon: time management. This interactive pulls back the curtain to analyze the daily routines of the most creative artists, composers and writers (e.g., Beethoven, Picasso, Maya Angelou). This interactive has an added dimension too as jobs of the future that require creativity will be "safer" from the threat of automation...

When Do You Hope To Achieve These Financial Milestones?

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Jul 31, 2018
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Budgeting, Credit Cards, Current Events, Research
Financial milestones present amazing opportunities to get young people to pay attention. I often get asked by parents about how they can engage their children when it comes to money. Milestones present these opportunities: On trips to the supermarket...let's make a shopping list, compare prices (brand vs. generic) and discuss all the traps that have been set (great video from PBS 2 Cents about this) Opening that first bank account...review the fee schedule for the account, described differences...

Question: What Family Money Lessons Do You Still Hold On To?

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Jul 30, 2018
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Personal Finance, Writing assignment, Behavioral Finance
What money lessons do you recall learning in your household? I  came across this Morningstar article which made me think about one money lesson I inherited that I have not been able to toss aside. First, here's what got the author of the Morningstar piece thinking about this:  That conversation got me thinking about the various bits of "received wisdom" that most of us are carrying around about money. Could some of these "family money lessons"--beliefs we hold true we because we...

Interactive: What is the job opposite to the one that you are most interested in?

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Jul 29, 2018
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Career, Employment, Current Events, Interactive
NY Times interactive allows students to input a job they are interested in and then tells them what job is most opposite to that one.  Here's what happened when I input "Secondary teacher:" Why do I like this interactive?  Fun way to get students thinking about jobs/careers that they might be interested in (and careers they would NOT be interested in) Identifies the specific skills used in a given job so students can see how those skills might match their own skills/interests Gets...