Apr 13, 2018

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Philip Olson and Julia Lorenz-Olson, Stars of PBS Two Cents Project

Julia Lorenz-Olson and Philip Olson are two self-described theater kids who gradually got interested in finance (something about being a starving artist). This interest mushroomed into a career switch and ultimately to them starting their own fee-based financial planning firm, The Art of Finance. What caught our attention recently, however, was their weekly show about personal finance for millennials and Gen Z on PBS, Two Cents. This series has rocketed up the charts with their first  video, How Cars Can Make You Poor, hitting one million views in two months!  From behavioral finance (5 Ways People Are Dumb About Money) to relationships (Love and Money) to taxes (How Do Your Tax Dollars Get Spent?), Philip and Julia deliver concepts in a relatable and engaging way that your students will love. Listen to how this husband and wife duo—an NGPF first!—got their start in the “edutainment” industry, and get ready to be inspired!


  • 0:00–1:03 Introduction
  • 1:04–2:14 The Olson’s day job
  • 2:15–10:27 Theater students turned financial experts & early money lessons
  • 10:28–12:15 It’s about how you work with your money
  • 12:16–17:18 Julia & Philip give their Two Cents on their show
  • 17:19–21:37 How a scoop of ice cream exemplifies depreciation
  • 21:38–24:10 The Olson’s favorite episodes to date
  • 24:11–24:40 A word from NGPF
  • 24:41–29:31 Financial experts by day, research journalists by night
  • 29:32–33:47 “Edutainment,” a solution to the financial education drought
  • 33:48–37:08 Reaching a larger demographic than they originally targeted
  • 37:09–40:35 What’s up next for the dynamic duo?
  • 40:36–42:21 Best thing bought for under $10
  • 42:22–43:26 “I am the General of my forces. Every dollar is a soldier…”
  • 43:27–46:43 Biggest money mishap
  • 46:44–50:36 The couple’s favorite go-to resources to stay up to date
  • 50:37–51:21 Conclusion

Resources mentioned:

Favorite episodes:

Go-to resources:


  • “To think that personal finance has so much to do with the emotional side of your brain and not just finance, to me, was kind of a revelation.” –Philip
  • “[Our show is about] making things approachable and digestible… Keeping the topics practical and applicable is really important to us… We really try to pack as many nuggets in [our show] as possible.” –Julia
  • “I would love for our to job to not have to exist, as crazy as that sounds… There’s always going to be a need for someone to help hold your hand, but I would just love it if people felt empowered through education.” –Julia

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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