May 25, 2018

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Passionate Educator Jeff Snyder of Wayne Valley High School (NJ)


Jeff Snyder, Business Education & Financial Literacy educator extraordinaire at Wayne Valley High School in New Jersey, discovered his passion for teaching after working in corporate America for 30 years. This NGPF ‘17 Fellow inspires students by creating an engaging environment that’s fueled by questions and lively discussions. He found a way to stir up discussions between students and their parents by having them play the NGPF game, Payback, together. Hear how this educator customizes curriculum to fit the needs of his class. His passion for teaching personal finance knows no bounds!


  • 0:00–0:56 Introduction
  • 0:57–2:59 Jeff’s day job in the Wayne, NJ, the “windy city” second only to Chicago
  • 3:00–8:02 From ledger books to chalkboards
  • 8:03–9:54 Grandma’s secret to success: compound interest
  • 9:55–15:46 Jeff’s students learn how to budget & pay themselves first
  • 15:47–16:20 A word from NGPF
  • 16:21–21:20 Teaching students insurance scenarios at their level
  • 21:21–26:28 Talking about paying for college college gets real
  • 26:29–28:54 How NGPF's Summer Institute has impacted Jeff’s teaching career
  • 28:55–29:22 Best thing bought for under $10
  • 29:23–29:48 What he wished he knew when he was 18 years old
  • 29:49–30:22 Any investing regrets?
  • 30:23–32:12 How Jeff stays on top of his personal finance game
  • 32:13–32:49 Conclusion

NGPF Activities mentioned

Resources mentioned:


Notable QUOTES:

  • “I’m thinking on their level… I wanted them to think: ‘This happens in real life. What [am I] going to do about it?’”
  • “ It’s not what you make; it’s what you keep.” 13:29-14:06
  • “[Students] don’t think about insurance as a part of their lives… but I wanted them to start thinking [about it]… some of them are driving already, so at the very least [they] need health insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, and renters insurance.”
  • “If you handle your money well, it will handle you well.”

About the Authors

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and serving populations in underprivileged communities. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts, spearheading various outreach projects, or managing contests and flash surveys, you can find her doing some sort of outdoor activity, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!

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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