Aug 17, 2018

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Tireless Advocate and Educator Tiffany Zachmeier


Tiffany Zachmeier has greatly expanded the financial education efforts at Bay Federal Credit Union in Santa Cruz, California. What she and her credit union have accomplished in a little over a decade is nothing short of amazing. Since 2005, their program has reached over 20,000 people in 1,000 workshops delivered at local schools, employers and non-profits in the community. As the BayFed CEO noted: "Tiffany has truly helped make a real difference in the financial lives of those in our community." Tiffany covers a range of topics in our conversation including: how she teaches credit to young people, the difference between teaching students and adults, and why budgeting is not as constricting as consumers may think. Enjoy!


  • 0:00–1:07 Introduction
  • 1:08–3:03 Tiffany of all trades
  • 3:04–6:01 Financial Education at BFCU: not a side hustle by any means
  • 6:02–10:25 The momentum behind the number of workshops
  • 10:26–12:57 How Tiffany got on board with being financially savvy
  • 12:58–15:56 Financial compatibility is just as important as financial capability
  • 15:57–18:19 Her favorite topic to cover? Credit!
  • 18:20–18:46 A word from NGPF
  • 18:47–21:53 Addressing debt
  • 21:54–27:50 What students are interested in learning & best teaching methods
  • 27:51–32:46 Tiffany explains why budgeting is not like a straight jacket
  • 32:47–35:40 The difference between teaching kids vs. adults
  • 35:41–36:18 Best thing bought for under $10
  • 36:19–37:22 Money mishaps
  • 37:23–38:27 Shopping is not therapy & the 24-hour rule
  • 38:28–41:20 How she stays up to date
  • 41:21–43:06 Conclusion

Resources mentioned 


  • “The [BayFed] president’s goal was the provide free financial education services to everybody in Santa Cruz county with no strings attached because she understood that teaching people basic financial principles could help individuals make better decisions about money, and that would lead to potentially helping there be more families that were financially stable, and that snowballs into greater economic stability in the community.”
  • “Instead of thinking of credit as a way to get stuff, you should think of credit cards and loans as tools to build credit.”

About the Authors

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.

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!

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