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 [UPDATED]: Excluding home loans, what are the three largest debts for American consumers?

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Jan 13, 2020
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Student Loans, Question of the Day, Credit Cards, Research
Answer:  Student loan - $1.5 trillion Auto loan - $1.32 trillion Credit Card - $0.85 trillion Questions: Which type of credit has grown the fastest from 2004-2019? Why do you think this is the case?  Using the chart, estimate the growth rate (in trillions of dollars) between 2004-19 for student loans, auto loans and credit cards.  What impact did the Great Recession (2008-09) have on debt levels? Do you think people tend to borrow more or less when a recession occurs? ...

When a student asks....What's a good stock to buy?

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Jan 13, 2020
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Investing
Have them read this quote from Nobel Laureate, Richard Thaler (highly recommend his book, Misbehaving):  “The biggest mistake people make in life is overconfidence…Most active managers [editor's note: professionals that are trying to beat the market] underperform, at least by their fees, or more. So if professionals with their Bloomberg terminals and access to all kinds of information can’t do better than throwing darts, why should individual investors think they...

NGPF Announces Honorable Mention Winners of 3rd Annual PAYBACK Challenge Essay Contest

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Jan 13, 2020
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Personal Finance, Contest Previous, Paying for College
PALO ALTO, California, January 14, 2020 - Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), a non-profit committed to ensuring that ALL students leave high school with the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly complex financial world, is pleased to announce 94 students from across the nation have received an Honorable Mention Award in their third annual PAYBACK Challenge. Over 900 students from all across the United States submitted essays earlier last fall. After playing the award-winning college finance...

Interactive Monday: What's Your Stuff Worth? and Renter's Insurance

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Jan 12, 2020
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Interactive, Insurance
Hat tip to NGPF Fellow Jill Wilson and her students at Glenwood Springs High School in Colorado for sharing this interactive. It helps renters quickly get a sense for the value of what they own and the amount of renter's insurance they may need.  The interactive starts by having students walk through each room in their "apartment." They use a slider bar to indicate how spartan or extravagant their room while the interactive estimates the value of the "stuff" in the room. Here's the intro...

QoD: What percent of Americans got a raise in 2019?

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Jan 12, 2020
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Career, Question of the Day, Research
Answer: About 50% Marketplace audio (1:27):  Questions: According to the audio, the last decade was the first that didn't have a __________________. What was the average pay increase across all workers?  While 1/2 of workers may not have received a pay increase, what are other ways that companies may have helped their employees other than raising their pay? What can you do as a worker to increase the chances that you get a pay increase?  Here's the ready-to-go slides for this...

NGPF Podcasts: Demetria Gallegos of WSJ on 9 Myths About Credit Scores

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Jan 10, 2020
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Credit Scores, Podcasts
Everything you ever wanted to learn about credit scores and more. Discover the myths, the realities and ways that you can improve your credit score in this informative podcast with Demetria Gallegos of the Wall Street Journal. Enjoy!    Details: 0:00~1:28 Introduction 1:28~6:10 Utilizing a Roth IRA 6:10~9:05 Learning about money growing up  9:05~11:47 Financial lessons learned from raising children 11:47~14:14 Myths about credit scores 14:14~15:08 Using a secured credit card...

QoD: You're new to credit and you don't pay your credit card bill for months. It gets sent to a collections agency. How much will your credit score decline?

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Jan 08, 2020
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Credit Scores, Question of the Day, Credit Cards
Answer: 224 points (from 599 to 375) Explanation: Your score sank 224 points. A credit card in collections means your credit score is now in the high-300s.  Questions: Why do you think not paying your credit card bill for months has such a big impact on someone who is new to credit? What do you think are the reasons that people can’t pay their credit card bills? Identify at least 3 reasons. What are strategies you can come up with to make sure that you are always in a...

NGPF Arcade Game, Money Magic, COMING SOON!

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Jan 08, 2020
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Interactive, New Products
"Learn the tricks of budgeting" is the tagline for this new NGPF Arcade Game.  Here's a short teaser video to whet your appetite: Mason and I had a lot of fun piloting Money Magic at a high school in San Mateo, California today. Here's what we heard from students:  What do I need to save to make it to Vegas for the Big Show? 4 Stars and $20,000 in earnings! What A Show! Ouch! Boring Magic Act! These critics are tough.  Why is morale so low?  Ooooo...I want to see that fire...

Question of the Day: Indicate if stock was among the best or worst performing over the past decade: Kraft/Heinz, Netflix, Under Armour, Ulta Beauty.

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Jan 07, 2020
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Investing, Question of the Day, Stocks
With a new decade upon us, let's look back at the 2010s to see which stocks were on the best and worst performing lists.  Answer: Kraft/Heinz: Worst (58% price decline) Netflix: Best (+3787% price increase) Under Armour: Worst (60% price decline) Ulta Beauty: Best (+1206% price increase) Questions: Why do you think that Netflix and Ulta Beauty have done so well as stocks over the past decade?  Why do you think that Kraft Heinz and Under Armour have performed so poorly? What...

QoD: Every 12 months that a car loan is extended costs an owner about __________ in extra finance charges.

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Jan 06, 2020
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Purchase Decisions, Question of the Day, Compound Interest
Answer: $1,000 Questions: Which would you prefer: a 4 year car loan with $400/monthly payment or a 6 year loan with $300/monthly payment? Why?   Why do you think that most car buyers focus on the monthly payment instead of the overall interest cost when they take out an auto loan?  Complete these sentences: The longer the term of an auto loan, the higher/lower (circle one) the interest cost (assuming it's not a 0% APR loan). The longer/shorter (circle one) the term of an auto...

Chart of the Week: Auto Loan Terms

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Jan 06, 2020
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Budgeting, Behavioral Finance, Chart of the Week
This chart ties in well with today's Question of the Day which equates longer auto loan terms with higher interest costs for borrowers.    Questions: Which loan term has grown most dramatically in the last decade? Which loan term has declined the most? Why do you think that seven year loan terms have become so popular?  Do you think that having a long-term car loan is a wise choice? Why or why not? ---------------------- Here's our question of the day about the increased cost...

Interactive Monday: Streaming Services

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Jan 05, 2020
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Interactive, Budgeting, Purchase Decisions, Activities
Hat tip to Kareem for uncovering this CNN interactive to assist those overwhelmed by choice when it comes to streaming services.  The interactive starts with a helpful flow chart showing where fave series like Friends, Parks and Rec and Seinfeld are moving to.  It then lists 8 of the leading streaming services (e.g., HBO Max, Netflix, Apple TV+) with details on what to expect from the service as well as popular movies/shows that will appear. Here's the details on Disney+:  A few...

QoD: What are the top New Year's Resolutions for 2020?

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Jan 05, 2020
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Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day
Questions: Do you think that making New Year's resolutions are a good idea? Explain.  How would you categorize the items that typically show up on a list of popular resolutions?  Do you have any New Year's resolutions? If so, what are they? If not, why not? What are some strategies that you can use to make resolutions stick? Have you had success with these in the past? Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the numbers...

Credit Card QoD: How much does the average household with credit card debt pay in interest cost annually?

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Jan 05, 2020
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Question of the Day, Credit Cards, Research
Holiday shopping can sometimes mean credit card debt, so this question takes a look at the annual interest cost a family pays when they carry a balance on their credit card.  Answer: $1,505 Methodology: Average household credit card debt of $8,707 (WalletHub analysis) multiplied by an average credit card interest rate of 17.30% (creditcards.com) Questions: Why do you think that so many Americans have credit card debt, meaning they don’t pay the full balance on their credit card...

NGPF Podcast: Anisha Reddy, a high schooler on a mission to improve financial capability

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Jan 03, 2020
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Advocacy, Podcasts, Personal Finance
What an inspiring conversation with social entrepreneur, Anisha Reddy! Anisha was featured in a local newspaper for starting a financial education non-profit and on this podcast you will hear about her journey. She will discuss her earliest start-up ventures, why she cares so much about financial education and why every student needs to learn how to manage their money. Student voice is such a powerful force and Anisha eloquently makes the case for Mission: 2030 which envisions a world where all...