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

Interactive Monday: Which charity would you choose?

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Aug 25, 2019
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Generosity, Interactive
Many personal finance teachers include a lesson/activity about "Giving Back" in their curriculum. This brief quiz would fit well there. Students are asked to choose between two charities based on where they think a $100 donation would have greater impact. Here's an example: After students choose charities for the ten scenarios presented, they can see how their results compare to others who have completed the quiz along these dimensions: Most and least supported characters Effectiveness of...

QoD: Savers in England received information about rival banks with higher interest rates. What percent were prepared to switch banks?

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Aug 25, 2019
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Question of the Day, Savings, Checking Accounts, Behavioral Finance
Answer: 3% Questions: If you could make an extra $100 in extra interest by switching banks would you do it? How about $20 in extra interest?  Would the amount of time required to open a new bank account impact your willingness to switch banks? Explain.  Why do you think so few savers were ready to switch banks despite a potential benefit of $150 in the first year? Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the...

NGPF Podcast: Trisha DeBacco discusses increasing access to financial education in the Webster School District (NY)

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Aug 23, 2019
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Podcasts, Advocacy, Personal Finance
What started as a trickle of students in a few Personal Finance sections at her high school has turned into a deluge. Trisha DeBacco shares her story of how personal finance evolved from an elective to a graduation requirement in her school district. Learn about her board presentation and how she made it a "hands-on" experience as well as her FAVE activities when it comes to student engagement. Enjoy!  Details: 0:00~2:05 Introduction 2:05~2:43 School community in Webster 2:43~5:18...

FinCap Friday: What's in Your Wallet?

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Aug 22, 2019
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FinCap Friday
In 2019, Capital One ranked 10th on the list of largest banks in the United States. Needless to say, they're pretty well known! And now they have a pretty well-known scandal involving cyber security too. It's been reported that the incident impacted millions of people in the U.S. and Canada. But, what exactly happened and who should be concerned? Find out all about it in this week's FinCap Friday: If you're short on time, try our simplified FinCap Friday with No Tech needed. This includes the...

QoD: How much does having a part-time job in high school impact your future earnings?

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Aug 21, 2019
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Question of the Day, Career, Research
Answer: Research shows that, in the long run, those who start working in high school earn up to 10% to 15% more than those who didn’t dip a toe in the job market until after college graduation. Questions: Have you had/plan to have a job while you are in high school? If so, what you have you learned about the world of work in that role?  Why do you think having a job in high school has such a big impact on your future earnings?  Aside from the money, what are other benefits of...

Sorry...but I have to vent

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Aug 21, 2019
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Financial Scams, Checking Accounts
August 21, 2019 Dear Jamie Dimon [Chase CEO], I applaud your leadership role on the Business Roundtable and your recent commitment to creating value for stakeholders other than just your shareholders. Earlier this week, you were quoted as saying that this shift away from a shareholder only focus “will help to set a new standard for corporate leadership.” Given your renewed focus on customers and setting new standards for leadership, I thought I would offer a suggestion on one policy...

QoD: Which country has the most retail store space per capita: Australia, U.S. or Spain?

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Aug 20, 2019
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Question of the Day, Budgeting, Purchase Decisions
Answer: Questions: What do you expect these numbers in the U.S. to be in 10 years? Explain.  Do people shop more in the U.S. because of the large number of retail stores OR are there so many retail stores in the U.S. because people shop more here?  Of your last five purchases, how many were made at a physical store vs. online?  Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the numbers (from Irrelevant Investor): In...

Chart of the Week: Why Investment Fees Matter!

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Aug 20, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Investing, Index Funds
From Vanguard: May want to find a way to cover up the ending balances after 30 years.  Question: Two investors start with $100,000 and earn a 6% return per year for 30 years: One chooses a low-cost mutual fund with a cost of 0.25% (a.k.a. expense ratio) that is applied to their invested assets each year. Note that many index funds have even LOWER expense ratios).  The other chooses a higher-cost mutual fund of 0.63%, which is apparently the weighted average expense ratio for U.S....

Throwback Tuesday QoD: Groceries or Restaurants: Where are Americans spending more money?

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Aug 19, 2019
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Question of the Day, Budgeting, Purchase Decisions
Answer: Restaurants Questions: What do you think accounts for the trend you see in the chart? What percentage of meals do you/your family eat at a restaurant per week? From a cost perspective, how much do you think you can save (on a percentage basis) eating at home vs. going to a restaurant? For example, do you think it costs 10% less to eat at home? 40%? 50%? What might be other advantages to buying groceries compared to dining at restaurants? Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this...

Question of the Day: If you lost a job, would you rather lose it to a robot or a person?

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Aug 18, 2019
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Question of the Day, Career, Current Events
Answer: In a German study, 63% of survey respondents said they would prefer to be replaced by a robot.  Questions: Describe the emotions you would feel after losing a job to another person compared to your feelings after losing that job to a robot.  What types of jobs do you think that robots will begin to replace people? What types of jobs do you think people are uniquely qualified to do compared to robots?  Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day...

NGPF Podcast: Thom Gibson and Mike Franz Discuss Classroom Economies

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Aug 16, 2019
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Podcasts, Economics, Activities
Thom and Mike share a common passion: creating classroom economies to bring economics and personal finance to life for their students. Thom and Mike share their different approaches to bringing this engaging tool into middle and high school classrooms. Enjoy! Details 0:00~2:20 Introduction 2:20~7:31 Thom’s YouTube video class and tips to building engagement 7:31~13:07 Mike’s method of bringing economics to life 13:07~22:39 Tom’s middle school classroom economy 22:39~26:40 How...

Question of the Day: What is the leading cause of stress for Gen-Z consumers (18-21 years old)?

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Aug 14, 2019
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Question of the Day, Behavioral Finance
Answer: Money  Questions: What do you think are the main sources of money stress for 18-21 year olds?  Why do you think 18-21 year olds are more stressed about money than adults?  How do you think learning about money in this course will help reduce your stress?  Have you ever been stressed out about money? Explain.  Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the numbers (from American Psychological...

Question of the Day: How much does a texting while driving ticket increase auto insurance premiums?

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Aug 13, 2019
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Insurance, Question of the Day
Answer: Close to $300 Questions: Why do you think insurance companies raise a driver’s premium after they get a tlcket for texting while driving? What strategies do you use in order to avoid this temptation while driving?  Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the numbers (from Zebra): The average surcharge for using a cellphone or texting while driving has been rising and is now nearly $300, Ms. Connolly said....

Throwback Tuesday Question of the Day: What is the personal savings rate in the United States?

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Aug 12, 2019
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Question of the Day, Savings
Every Tuesday, we will be updating the data for Question of the Day that had been used previously. This Tuesday it's all about savings... Answer: 8.1% (as of June 2019) Questions:  How does the personal savings rate today (about 8%) compare to the rate during other periods of time? (In other words, is the rate lower, higher, or around the same?)  What has been the general trend for personal savings rate in the U.S. from 1960-2019?  What has happened to the personal savings rate...

FIRST Question of the Day for 2019-20: Which would you choose?

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Aug 11, 2019
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Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day
#1: Which would you choose?    2: Which would you choose?  Teacher instructions: Only show 1/2 the class Question #1 and jot down the results (the percentage who chose small, the percentage who chose large) Show the other 1/2 of the class Question #2 and jot down the results (percentage who chose small, percentage who chose medium, percentage who chose large)  Compare the results to see if students who answered Question #2 purchased more of the LARGE buckets...