4 Resources For Financial Educators

financial educationLikely, there are dozens upon dozens of organization and tools designed to help young people access essential knowledge about finances and securing budgetary success.

The problem, however, is identifying these resources, and knowing how you might put them to work.

Read on to find the names of four organizations/tools you can use to equip better young people who someday hope to be financially savvy:

National Endowment For Financial Education: The NEFE is a private nonprofit dedicated to empowering young people and families, helping to secure a legacy of financial success that will carry them into their futures. They do this by conducting research and commissioning consumer surveys. They utilize unique and practical training tools, putting them to use in the workplace and the classwork. Also, the provide adult and youth financial education tools and resources, fostering a better understanding of saving and spending.

MoneyTeach: MoneyTeach is an invaluable tool and curricula resource connection, matching financial educators with the valuable, instructional resources that they need. Visitors to the site can find quality instructional resources; suggested workshops and course guides; and they can engage with the educator community, collaborating with colleagues. The account is free, borrows lesson planning tips and activities from leading peers who ongoingly teach financial planning and financial smarts.

Smart About Money: Smart About Money is an online course that users can complete at their own pace. Educators can hone their skills by creating courses that focus on money basics, family planning, economic emergencies, transportation, spending, saving, investing, retirement, taxes, borrowing, and other topics. SAM is a customizable and free tool, providing timely tips and money management ideas.

Jump$tart Clearinghouse: Jump$tart is a leading financial education resource center, created with the purpose of helping students. They list featured information relating to financial literacy and provide practical money skills for life.

If you know the names of some other websites tasked with helping young people secure financial freedom, please share!

Budget Yourself & Make Smart Money Moves

calculatorWe can shop without leaving our homes. In fact, we can shop without lifting a finger, thanks to the development of high-functioning devices fit with the purchasing capabilities. In a time where purchasing can be as easy as breathing, let’s practice smart budgeting habits.

It has never been a better time to watch your spending and ensure that money being put to the side for future needs. Monitoring your budget and properly managing your wealth can be the difference between you putting the down payment on your new car or you riding the bus from here to Pasadena.

  1. Quick and Easy Dinners – Create one-pot-wonders that can last you for days. Get staple items, such as beans, onions, carrots, and a meat option to create hearty meals that can last for several days. Don’t know where to begin? Make a crockpot chili or the long-standing crowd-favorite, chicken noodle soup.
  2. Keep Cheap The Staples on Hand – Keep frozen items and dry goods on hand to build meals around them. These options are flexible for any meal.
  3. Track your Spending – Review your budget and see where you can scale back. There are a number of applications you can use to track the money that you spend as well as the money that you save.
  4. Hold the Drinks and Hold Your Liquor – Whenever possible, refrain from buying drinks out. A non-alcoholic drink tacks $3-$5 onto your bill, while alcoholic drinks can add a costly $5-$15, and likely more if you’re having wine or you’re dining at a high-end establishment. Several rounds of drinks can double or triple the bill. Instead, save some cash and go to a BYOB.
  5. Unit Pricing– Compare unit pricing on items in the store, so that you aren’t caught off-guard. Also, make sure to keep track of your spending while walking through the grocery store. Pick a budget and stick to it.
  6. Shop Smart – Stores have products that are soon to out-of-date that are discounted. Buy the items and use them right away. There are also companies, such as Imperfect Produce, which sells “ugly” produce at a bulk rate.

See where you can save financially and be conservative. Remember that items, such as utilities and gasoline, will continue to rise. Keep a calendar of upcoming changes and expenses. Non-monthly expenses (i.e. insurance) should be put on a calendar so that the charges don’t catch you off guard.

Things We Wish We Knew About Spending, Saving, and Fund Management in Our 20s

Ajay NagpalFor many young men and women in their 20s, saving a large sum of money feels like an impossibility. Likewise, the idea of planning ahead may also feel like a considerable challenge. However, we all know that financial literacy and financial stability must be sought early and intentionally.

Individuals with financial competence can experience the freedoms and joys of comfort, meaning they can have disposable income and make choices that won’t leave them in peril. It’s important to not only be careful about the way you spend but the way you save. After all, there are many misconceptions about spending, savings, and managing funds.

For anyone who made it out of their 20s, there are likely a dozen things they wish they’d learned a bit sooner, which could have set them up for great success in the future.

  1. Utilizing The Credit Card The Right Way | Unfortunately, younger people tend to use their credit cards for apparel and entertainment purposes, while older people tend to use their credit cards to cover the cost of significant repairs and travel. Using your credit card responsibly is a great way to build our credit score and demonstrate financial responsibility.  
  2. Reporting Rent To The Credit Bureaus | Less than 1 percent of credit files contain rental information, according to NerdWallet. Communicating rental information will boost individual credit scores.
  3. Monitor Your Credit| CreditKarma, CreditSesame, and CreditRepair are just three of several resources used by the public to help them achieve financial freedom. These websites offer tips and free monitoring.
  4. Investing With Very Little| For a long time, it seemed that only wealthy people could invest in stocks and mutual funds. Acorns, Stockpile,  and Stash are three available apps, enabling success at income level. According to Bankrate, just one in three millennials, but that could increase that to the development of more investment tools.
  5. Be Careful About Inquiries | Be careful when applying for credit cards. If you aren’t mindful, you can quickly ruin your credit.  
  6. Store Away Money | Seventy-two percent of Millennials have less than $1,000 saved away, according to GoBankingRates. It’s important to get into the habit of setting apart money with each paycheck.

There a few other things you may consider doing, including being mindful of predatory lending; spending less money when socializing, and watching your debt as it accrues.

If you have any other thoughts about unloading debt and better managing your finances, please share.

Encourage Young People To Find Success Through Savings Goals, Programs

Ajay NagpalSetting up savings goals and enrolling young people in youth literacy programs are just some ways young people can grow up financially aware. Showing children or adolescents how to budget and plan should be compulsory, and it can fundamentally teach young people how to be savvy adults.

Read on to learn what ways young people might curb a desire for instant gratification and avoid impulse buying in the future.

Credit cards:  Without a true understanding of what credit cards are, some young people acquire cards and begin to borrow from lenders early. It’s important that older individuals sit down with young people and discuss the dangers of spending money electronically, especially using a credit card. Credit cards are a great tool but they can give you a helpful boost into drowning debt. The next time our child asks you where money from a credit card comes from, explain that the transaction isn’t magic. Allow your child to ask questions about credit card usage and how to safely borrow using credit cards.

Cash and Coins: Digital spending is on the rise, but children still use physical currency as a tool for counting, learning, and saving. The tangible experience of cash has long been fundamental for education. It’s necessary that young people see that there’s a difference between spending money on something like candy vs. a toy car. The candy is cheaper and offers instant gratification. However, the toy car is more expensive but has ‘wealth’ that maintains for a while.

Grocery List: Allow your child the opportunity to help with the shopping list. If your child gains an early understanding of needs vs. wants, ahead of entering the store, they’ll have a greater sense of responsibility, and see the importance of sticking to an established agenda.

Use Jars, not Piggy Banks:  Jars are so much better for saving because they’re clear; also they can separate money as they collect. Rather than sticking all of one’s money in the same jar, young people can set up three jars for spending, sharing, and savings.  They can give their different money jobs by using different jars. Similarly, they can do the same thing by using different apps.

In addition to the other tips, you may want to incentive savings by encouraging adding to your child’s saving when they save. You can track savings in a public place. If you have any other thoughts about helping young people to save early and often, please share!

7 TED Talks That Will Instantly Improve Your Financial Literacy

7 Ted Talks That Will Instantly Improve Your Financial Literacy | Ajay NagpalWith information now readily available, many readers seek to improve their financial literacy. Below are seven TED talks that can help you go from being lost in the financial world, to crafting a personal finance plan.

1) How I Learned to Read – and Buy Stocks – in Prison

Curtis Carroll delivered this presentation from prison in 2016. The theme of his talk is that financial literacy is a lifestyle more so than a skill. He discusses various strategies focusing on personal finance. Curtis Carroll’s talk is a motivating introduction because if he can do it from prison, surely anyone has hope.

2) Why You Should Know How Much Your Co-Workers Get Paid

This TED Talk was given by David Burkus, who works in the management research industry. In this presentation, he claims that it is best for people in a company to exchange salary details with one another. His research proves that employee happiness increases and company discrimination decrease as a result of this.

3) Saving For Tomorrow, Tomorrow

This talk is given by Shlomo Benartzi, a respected economist. He goes over the importance of saving, and how many Americans continuously put it off. He presents dramatic statistics about the popularity of 401(k) accounts and American saving amounts.

4) The Battle Between Your Present and Future Self

In this TED Talk from Daniel Goldstein, another economist, he opts to use the distinction between our present and future selves as motivation to begin saving. He provides strategies for how we can prevent ourselves from harming our future selves by saving today.

5) Post-Crash, Investing in a Better World

This talk from social commentator Geoff Mulgan is simply focused on how to effectively invest after the most recent economic crash.

6) How to Buy Happiness

Michael Norton is a social science researcher who presents on how donating our money to charitable causes can result in more happiness.

7) The Future of Money

In this TED Talk, Neha Narula, who works at Digital Currency Initiative, presents on the power of using a digital currency system.

The information is surely out there and starting with these seven TED Talks, you can improve your financial literacy in no time.

Youth & Financial Education in 2018: Tips For Integrating Financial Literacy Into The Lives of Students

Youth & Financial Education in 2018_ Tips For Integrating Financial Literacy Into The Lives of Students | Ajay NagpalFinancial literacy is a vital area for students to concentrate on. Many students struggle with planning their finances for the future. However, many teachers feel like they do not have the tools to teach their students appropriately in this area.

One of the most significant issues with the modern school system is that teachers spend too much time worrying about standardized test scores. Instead, the teachers could spend time teaching children essential aspects of financial planning for the future.


Debt is a notable issue in our society today. Many people feel that high levels of debt trapped them. As a result, it is difficult for young people to purchase a new home or invest in a business. With the cost of college increasing rapidly, the average student leaves college with a high level of student loan debt. This is a subject that could easily be taught in school. In fact, there are several financial courses dedicated to this particular subject.


Another essential aspect of having financial success is budgeting. Many individuals struggle to budget appropriately. Budgeting is essentially just staying organized and disciplined with financial planning.

There are a ton of online programs to use to help with the budgeting process. There are some people who have trouble budgeting in the beginning. It usually takes several months to truly have success in this area.


Investing is the best way to build wealth over an extended period. Numerous people do not understand how to invest for the future. Investing is not complicated, but it can seem complicated for people who are never exposed to it. Teaching some investing basics to students is a great way to improve their financial literacy. Over a long period, this can make a huge difference in the lives of students.

Take Time to Teach

Schools need to focus on teaching critical principles to students. Financial literacy is one of the best ways to help students in the future. Many students are graduating from school without any exposure to financial literacy. Financial literacy courses will make the lives of students more comfortable in the future. Personal finance is not a complicated subject, but it can be difficult for students to understand without proper teaching.


Spectacular Financial Literacy Courses Available for FREE

Spectacular-Financial-Literacy-Courses-Available-for-FREE-compressorEducation centered around financial literacy and personal finance is just be a few keystrokes away.

Did you know that you could take FREE online classes, which could offer you a beginner’s and intermediate understanding of finances, whether that’s wealth management, financial, accounting, mutual funds, compound interest, debt, or savings, or wealth management? It seems that the options are endless.

There are countless resources on the web, offering users the valuable information they seek. While searching the vast internet, you sometimes happen upon a course that empowers you through the info shared during the program.  While many of these resources aren’t necessarily on par with fully developed college courses, some classes are very adept at providing keen insight on how to use financial literacy as an effort to foster a lifetime of economic well-being.

There can be a fee for graded work. However, all materials are available at no cost. For full financial literacy, it’s essential to examine behavior economics, competency about daily spending, and an understanding of stock movement. The variety of courses featured online can provide a clear, functional career path that can construct a healthier and more stable financial reality for many.

So you might be asking, ‘Where do you go to find these incredible, free classes, which could change my financial trajectory?” MOOCs.

If you venture over to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) or  Coursera, you’d quickly learn that there are multiple courses that speak to a need for addressing finances. For instance, “Personal & Family Financial Planning,” “Organizational Behavior: How To Manage People,” “English for Media Literacy,” and “Finance for Non-Financial Professions” demonstrate the variety. The courses placed on MOOC are aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web, which means that it’s designed to be utilized by anyone.

Read on to review a quick overview of some of the most acclaimed courses featured on the MOOCs’ website:

Behavioral Finance—Duke University


Understanding how decision-making errors impact your financial choices.

Review: “Generally it’s a fantastic online course, which gives me so much insight into an area I have previously unaware of. Behavioral Finance is meaningful because it takes human behavior factors into account of finance models, especially psychology factor. It offers me new insight into a study of interdisciplinary subjects. Class outlines and videos are well-organized and challenging. However, I think the test questions are sometimes a little bit difficult, and test2 and test3 should have answers and analysis like test1. It will always be better to review the knowledge you learned after making some mistakes and being eager to know the causes. I love the course!”

Financial Accounting: Foundations—University of Illinois, Champaign


Discover accounting basics, which effectively teaches you to manage your finances as you would a business.

“The Course is very practical. I really appreciate the practice quizzes since they allow me time to have a greater understanding of each lectured session. A very good course that I would recommend to anyone who desires to improve or refresh their knowledge of the principles that were explained in all the modules.”

The Art of Negotiation—University of California, Irvine


Learn important negotiation strategy, which could lead to more significant earning and greater wealth.

Review: “Very informative and useful course.“

Financial Literacy—Macquarie University


Gain a fundamental understanding of the basics: managing debt, savings, avoiding investment scams, and more.

Review: “This class is great for a very basic introduction to Financial Literacy. It gives you the framework from which to build a financial plan for your life including learning how to save, how to create a budget, and how to invest. It is not a very in-depth course, which is the only downfall to it, and it only takes probably an hour an a half for each week of work. But Professor Mordaunt is concise and at times entertaining.”

Securing Investment Returns in the Long Run—University of Geneva


Identifying the difference between active and passive investing, and provide insights on ROI.

Review: “This course deals mainly with the topic of evaluating the performance of investments and uses the outcomes to discuss the benefits of active and passive funds. Measures are introduced to evaluate the risk-adjusted returns of investments. In addition, evaluation tools for the performance of active managers are presented. The videos are of great quality. The quizzes could be more challenging.”

If you’re interested in learning more? Please visit Coursera and Open2Study.com.

Second Careers: 5 Meaningful Financial Facts To Consider When Making A Career Move Over 40

SECOND CAREERS- 5 MEANINGFUL FINANCIAL FACTS TO CONSIDER WHEN MAKING A CAREER MOVE OVER 40 - Ajay NagpalDown-sizing is an unfortunate reality in the modern business world, even when you are over 40 years old. How can you regain traction in your financial life?

Here are five significant financial facts to consider when starting a second career after 40 years old.

Starting Second Career

You are no longer a “spring chicken” and starting over can be a challenge. If you adhere to these career tips, you can optimize your chances for success. You need to be realistic, but also energetic. Follow these five significant facts to get your second career, off the ground.

1. Accrued Benefits

While you work, you accrue benefits that could include stock options, a 401(k) plan or pension. You have many options for your 401(k) plan, including cashing it out or rolling it over. Remember, that these include both yours and your employer’s contributions.

If you cash out, you must pay 20% federal withholding taxes plus a 10% early withdrawal fee. The 401(k) rollover allows you to re-balance the investments in the portfolio. This makes sense because your life has changed – you want your assets to reflect your new life.

2. Rethink Mortgage

You set up your housing finance based on your employment expectations. When you are let go, you might want to change your housing loans, consider refinancing or even getting a HELOC.

3. Keeping Skills Relevant

You might have started your job, a decade ago. It pays to update your skills. Use downtime efficiently.

4. Prime Working Years

After graduating from college, you might only qualify for certain entry-level positions. If you figure that your prime working years are from 22 to 65, you are in your mid-life when fired at 40. But, you do have valuable experience that allows you to qualify for certain higher level positions.

5. Experience Pays

Do you know how many college graduates would love to have your experience? Now you can be eligible for a couple of these high-paying jobs: Financial Analyst, Fundraiser or Social Media Manager. You have paid your dues, now cash in with a higher paycheck.

Losing your job over 40 can be a shock, but take advantage of the situation to find a better job. You are mature and experienced. Find a second career that pays you top dollar for your valuable, accumulated experience.

Millennials vs. Baby Boomers: Financial Advice Across Generations

Millennials vs. Baby Boomers Header

Millennials are impulsive and want instant gratification instead of long-term financial gains.

Baby Boomers are behind the times and don’t realize how the financial landscape has changed.

Sometimes it seems like the generational conflict over finances never ends; lectures start with Grandpa at the family dinner table and end with his twenty-something grandson’s angry rebuttals over dessert. Neither party is flexible in their assertion that their financial philosophy is the correct one, and someone else inevitably has to change the subject when a heated intergenerational conversation turns to awkward silence.

The main issue with these conversations is that both parties are advancing incomplete positions. In all likelihood, the grandson’s approach to finances works – for his situation. The same is likely true for the grandfather. The intergenerational argument is an unwinnable one because financial strategies are dependent on a person’s stage of life and their individual financial situation.

Moreover, the current economic landscape must be taken into account when devising tactics for all generations, as strategies that may have served even twenty years prior might now fall flat. The buying power of the dollar has tanked in the last few decades; Business Insider reports that inflation has boosted prices by 784% over the past sixty years. Understandably, this makes it more difficult for younger consumers to buy homes, cars, or even get married.

Financial priorities change according to the economic landscape – and usually, that means shifts occur on a generational basis.

The following outlines a few financial approaches for each generational category.


Generations Y & Z (Millennials)

Teens to late twenties:

Millennials are only just beginning to learn how to manage their finances; they may be working their first jobs or finishing school. More often than not, they have a significant number of loans; in fact, the average debt burden for students graduating in 2016 was $37,172!  As such, Millennials may need to put more of the money they do earn towards paying off debt and day-to-day expenses.

However, members of this generational bracket should also focus on making and sticking to a reasonable budget. They would benefit from setting up a savings account and depositing a set amount of money into it each month. Building credit history is vital during the teens and twenties, so Millennials would further benefit from making monthly payments and establishing a good credit score.


Generation X

Thirties to forties

Members of Generation X typically have jobs, and often young families as well. Their priorities differ from Millennials because, as a contributor to TheWealthAdvisor notes: “Boomers and Gen X are further advanced in their careers and lives, they tend to have fewer concerns about day-to-day living.”

However, these individuals typically have greater investment obligations such as mortgages, college funds for their children, and their own retirement funds. As such, they should allocate their funds reasonably. Saving for a child’s college is wonderful – but not if it leaves the parent without a means to support themselves in retirement! Members of Generation X should be careful to observe their own financial needs by putting money away for retirement and medical and personal emergencies.


Baby Boomers

Fifties to sixties

Baby Boomers tend to save a little more than millennials, but often have more significant financial obligations, such as providing for elderly relatives or helping grown children. Additionally, this group needs to start planning for retirement in earnest by saving and settling on the kind of lifestyle they intend to pursue in their later years. Baby Boomers should also consider enlisting a financial advisor to help balance conflicting financial needs and plans. This strategic work shouldn’t be put off!

There’s no doubt that the generations have varying priorities and require different strategies as a result – so the next time that awkward generation argument picks up, put a stop to it!

Ajay Nagpal, the Chief Operating Officer at investment management firm Millennium. Ajay Nagpal supports social entrepreneurship through his work as a Board member of Echoing Green. Please visit his social entrepreneurship blog to learn more about that! Also, find him on Behance!

Financial Mistakes That Even Experts Make

Financial Mistakes That Even Experts Make

For those just starting out on their own, money can be intimidating. In those first few years, mistakes are just as inevitable as the financial losses that follow a misstep – and as painful as those errors are, they serve as signposts on the road to financial stability.

Even experts who have built their careers around finance have made a few bad calls in their earlier years – and learned from their mistakes.

Here are a few of the errors that they made, along with a few tips for avoiding similar mishaps!  

Trusting Personal Relationships Over Logic

Financially successful individuals don’t cross friendship and business. While agreeing to invest in a close friend’s or even a family member’s business proposal can seem like a fun idea or even just a polite response to being asked, you should decline. More often than not, interpersonal feelings bias you against an objective view of the asker’s business plan, and leaves you poorer in time, money, and friends.

Expert Case Study: When Jacki Zehner, current CEO of Women Moving Millions invested time and energy in getting a friend’s recording studio off the ground, she lost her investment, her friendship, and most significantly – her time.


Failing to Review the Fine Print

Contracts can be slippery, and end up costing you far more money in technicalities and rollover costs than you ever expected to pay when you signed. It can be easy to be lulled into complacency after months of regular payments – and costly! Read the fine print, and don’t forget to shop around for better bargains if you feel that you’re paying too much for the service you receive.

Relatedly, make sure to go over your credit card bills and account statements at least once a month to check for fraud. While reconciling bills and accounts can be a pain during busy months, a quick check will catch any unauthorized transactions and potentially save you thousands of dollars.

Expert Case Study:  Justin Modray, founder of Candid Financial Advice, got caught up in a stressful move to a new house and didn’t notice that he’d been swindled out of three thousand pounds until he checked his statement a few months later. He reached out to his bank and managed to get the stolen funds back – but he made sure to regularly reconcile his accounts after the scare!



Purchases add up. Even a couple of nice dinners and a great deal at that store you love can launch you significantly over budget. Crunch the numbers! Work out how much you need to set aside for bills, savings, and living costs every month, and then decide how much you can afford to spend on fun.

Expert Case Study: Financial author Kate Northrup blew through far more money than she should have when she was in her twenties. She explains her rationale: “I had this idea that I needed to look a certain way and that I needed to look like I had it more together than I did. That, to me, meant spending more money than I actually had because I wanted to look more successful than I actually was.”

As Northrup suggests, real success comes more slowly, and requires patience and financial foresight. Looking well-off only goes so far when you don’t have money left at the end of the month.

Greedy Investments

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Stay away from investments that promise quick returns in short periods of time. Not only do such ventures normally crash, but sometimes they can have shady roots! You stand to lose all that you contribute – if not more – by buying into a greedy scheme. Instead, look into more stable, long-term investments.

Expert Case Study: Alex Davies, co-owner of WealthClub, made the mistake of investing almost £20,000 in a minerals company that went under within a year! The nearly double return he received initially slipped through his hands when the questionable firm fell apart. Don’t invest in deals that promise quick returns – they rarely last!


While it’s tempting to follow an impulse or make a decision based on emotion, biased or split-second choices will inevitably lead you into financial trouble. It’s vital to keep a level head and learn from your mistakes, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or financial expert!

Ajay Nagpal, the Chief Operating Officer at investment management firm Millennium. Ajay Nagpal supports social entrepreneurship through his work as a Board member of Echoing Green. Please visit his social entrepreneurship blog to learn more about that! Also, find him on Behance!