Jul 27, 2018

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Passionate Educator and Advocate, Steve Kautz


I met Steve at the recent Maine JumpStart conference earlier this year. His workshop on how to build a successful personal finance program at your school described the importance of advocacy, passion for the subject with a bit of marketing advice thrown in for good measure. Steve was kind enough to share these insights in this podcast. What becomes clear in our conversation is how Steve has gone above and beyond to provide his students top notch instruction in life and money management. The Maine Jump$tart 2012-2013 Educator of the Year was inspired by his stint in the Peace Corps to teach the next generation of students. He’s done a fantastic job making a lasting impact—he still receives calls from former students looking to acknowledge all that he’s done for them! Hear how this educator made an impact in his classroom, district and state. Enjoy!


  • 0:00–1:07 Introduction
  • 1:08–3:27 How the Peace Corps inspired Steve to pursue teaching personal finance
  • 3:28–11:24 A Rent-A-Center classic
  • 11:25–17:27 Early entrepreneurship lessons
  • 17:28–19:44 So… why teach economics?
  • 19:45–23:31 Steve leaves a lasting impact by promoting his students’ success
  • 23:32–23:54 A word from NGPF
  • 23:55–28:01 Building the course from the lens of a student
  • 28:02–35:18 How to increase access to financial education? Wear out the bulletin board
  • 35:19–39:15 Reaffirming his knowledge & passion for personal finance education
  • 39:16–40:25 Conclusion

Resources mentioned:


  • “I basically did every single little thing I could do, and that the school would let me do, because the topic was popular! Parents were happy that their children were getting this message from someone other than them, and the students liked the real life, applicable nature of the course.”
  • When I taught personal finance, I made it seem like they were there with me making decisions, making mistakes, and learning… and that it was the most important thing in their life.”

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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