Nov 03, 2016

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Dr. Julie Heath About The Importance of Early Financial Education


I know that you will enjoy my recent conversation with Dr. Julie Heath, the Director of the Economics Center at the University of Cincinnati. An accomplished educator (Professor of the Year awards abound), researcher and passionate advocate, Julie has been at the vanguard of bringing financial education to elementary school students throughout the U.S. She founded SMART Tennessee in 2006 which has brought financial education to over 75,000 students in the state of Tennessee. We discuss her earliest memories of trips to the local bank (“unlocking the barrel,”), as well as the key skills that young people need to maximize their financial capabilities. Enjoy!


  • 0:00~1:03 – Introduction
  • 1:03~2:07 – Julie’s background
  • 2:07~3:28 – Passion for economic education
  • 3:28~5:53 – Earliest memories of saving trips to the bank
  • 5:53~7:39 – The power of habit
  • 7:39~10:19 – Path to becoming a professor
  • 10:19~12:47 – Favorite financial lessons
  • 12:47~17:11 – Incorporating financial education in her economics course
  • 17:11~18:44 – How to develop a financial education program
  • 18:44~19:04 – A word from our sponsor, Next Gen Personal Finance
  • 19:04~23:00 – Bringing the curriculum to students
  • 23:00~28:20 – Financial skills to build during K-12
  • 28:20~30:03 – Importance of building skills at a young age
  • 30:03~32:43 – Scaling personal finance education on national basis
  • 32:43~33:49 – Description of the SmartPath program
  • 33:49~35:36 – Incorporating financial education in elementary school mathematics
  • 35:36~37:54 – Parting thoughts
  • 37:54~ Conclusion
Notable Quote:
  • “We don’t wait in other disciplines to teach students. We don’t start teaching history or science in the senior year of high school”

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.

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