May 07, 2022

NGPF Podcast: Dr. Brad Klontz and Shani Tran on using TikTok as a platform for financial education

We have seen the statistics that Gen Z's number one source for financial advice is social media. On this NGPF Podcast, Yanely interviews Dr. Brad Klontz and Shani Tran on how they use TikTok to engage young people on the topic of money. They both agree that while having basic financial knowledge is important, understanding the psychology behind our money decisions is even more critical. They provide useful advice on how educators can develop even stronger connections with students. Enjoy! 


  • 0:00~1:22 Introduction
  • 1:22~4:02 Dr. Brad Klontz’s background in psychology
  • 4:02~7:29 Shani Tran’s background working with at-risk youth
  • 7:29~13:11 Money lessons you wish you had known
  • 13:11~20:00 The poverty mindset
  • 20:00~26:11 Using TikTok as a platform
  • 26:11~26:30 A word from NGPF
  • 26:30~35:36 Raising self-awareness on your own financial behaviors
  • 35:36~42:51 Ideas for the classroom
  • 42:51~47:28 Bringing an authentic version of yourself to the classroom 
  • 47:28~50:01 Demonstrating that students have agency today
  • 50:01~51:26 Conclusion



  • “The biggest tool in the room is you. It is important for adults to recognize the impact we have on younger people’s lives when it comes to that. When I worked at a day treatment facility, they wanted that connection. We thrive on connecting with people as humans” -Shani Tran

  • “Don’t be too hard on yourself if you feel like you are playing a role because you are, the conversations you have with your colleagues is going to be very different from your administrators”-Dr. Brad Klontz


For more on Behavioral Economics, check out NGPF's resource page on this topic


About the Authors

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.

Ren Makino

Ren started interning at NGPF in 2014, and worked part-time through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team to work full-time after graduating from college in 2020. He is also the producer of the NGPF podcast. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world.

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