Sep 28, 2018

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Cindi Witt of Unison Credit Union (WI)


Many credit unions across the country work hard to improve the financial capability of the communities they work in. Today you will hear about a credit union employee making a difference in Wisconsin.  As the Community Relations Coordinator at Unison Credit Union, Cindi Witt has been instrumental in equipping community members with the essential financial skills they need to thrive. She offers some pointers to teachers on what it takes to launch a successful financial capability program, and shares some keen insights on how teachers can partner most effectively with outside speakers. Hear how her early money lessons from the school of hard knocks shaped her passion for financial education. Enjoy!


  • 0:00–1:09 Introduction
  • 1:10–4:26 Early money lessons from the school of hard knocks
  • 4:27–7:33 The “aha moment”: learning how to pay herself first
  • 7:34–9:20 Facilitating a working relationship between teachers & credit unions
  • 9:21–10:03 Tips for teachers on requesting in-class speakers
  • 10:04–16:30 Cindi’s go-to classroom activities
  • 16:31–16:56 A word from NGPF
  • 16:57–18:31 Blind taste test of generic vs. brand names
  • 18:32–24:53 Students explore the car buying process
  • 24:54–28:06 Payback, the game of trade-offs
  • 28:07–31:07 The DNA of credit unions: investing in community members
  • 32:08–31:52 Best thing bought for under $10
  • 31:53–32:47 Biggest money mishap
  • 32:48–33:19 What she wished she knew at 18? 
  • 33:20–34:14 How Cindi stays up-to-date
  • 34:15–34:50 Parting words for teachers
  • 34:51–35:47 Conclusion


Her favorite activities: 

  • Kids’ version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
  • Jeopardy wrap-up party
  • The Price is Right: comparing generic to brand name items
  • Credit & car buying
  • NGPF’s PAYBACK, an interactive college decision-making game

NGPF Resources she uses: BlogQuestion of the Day, Newsletter (sign up at the bottom of any page)

Other resources


  • “[Cindi] Not to say that school isn’t worth it, but we just want [students] to take a look at what affordability really means… [Tim] And the consequences of carrying a lot of student debt after college and that that’s not a temporary situation. That’s one that’s going to take years to turn around.”
  • “In one of presentations we do, we go over the things that are considered when we’re looking at lending money to people for cars or other items, and what things are included in that and what things are not. Like lenders do not look at how much you spend on groceries each month, but that’s still a reality that’s going on. We want students to realize that it’s beyond what you’re approved for

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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