Episode 113: Financial Literacy Basics: You Don’t Have To Be Good at Math With Crystina Cardozo

Financial Literacy Basics With Crystina Cardozo

Where did you learn about money? Did you learn how to manage your finances in school or from your parents? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. Millions of people grew up with little to no basic financial knowledge. Whether you learned financial literacy basics through trial and error, books, YouTube videos, or even podcasts, it can be different for future generations. Money no longer has to be a taboo topic. In this episode, math coach Crystina Cardozo shares why you don’t have to be good at math to manage your finances, ways to develop basic financial education skills, and tips for teaching children about money. So, what is financial literacy, and why is it important?

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Danielle Desir Corbett: While April is National Financial Literacy month here in the United States, I believe it's important to make smart money decisions all year round, so we can travel more, pay off debt and build wealth, ultimately live life on our terms. Today, we're chatting with Christina Cardozo about the importance of financial literacy and how it can help avoid mistakes, prepare for emergencies, plan for the future and achieve our goals. Christina Cardozo is an educator and math specialist who has worked with students from kindergarten all the way up to college age through self education while also making mistakes on her personal finance journey. She was able to equip herself with financial literacy knowledge and then pass that information down to her Children. Christina is on a mission to educate as many families as possible on how to grow and also keep generational wealth.

Welcome to The Thought Card, a podcast about traveling money where planning, saving and creativity leads to hoarding travel, building wealth and paying off debt. We are the financially savvy travelers, What is financial literacy for someone who is not aware of the term and how has it impacted your life in particular?

Crystina Cardozo: Yeah, so to me, financial literacy is to be able to have certain skills like learning about saving and budgeting, investing and really just being aware of your finances, a lot of people might have this idea that they don't want to work forever until 60 or 70, right? But there's no real plan behind it. So I think when you're financially literate, it's like you kind of have this roadmap, that's what I like to think about like you have this roadmap and you know where you're going, you have an idea of like, you know when you'll be able to retire, you know how much money you have invested. You know if you have any debt, you're just aware of this and you have these basic financial skills.

Danielle Desir Corbett: So for folks who maybe will be on the spectrum, I believe it, it could be like a spectrum where it's like at some point you feel like you have arrived and you're like, I'm financially literate, but what does it look like in terms of your personal story when you weren't there yet, when you hadn't arrived yet.

Crystina Cardozo: So, I will say kudos to my mom because she kind of planted that seed early on. So I will never forget I was nine years old the first time I went to a bank to open up a savings account for myself. So my mom took me to the bank at nine. I had been to the bank, right? But this was the first time that I was opening up like a child savings type of account. And so I think at that point I was kind of hooked with saving money. I didn't know anything really about investing money, but I was all about saving money and I was kind of anal in a way because I was like, so I was so picky with like how I saved a certain amount, like I couldn't have an odd amount, I was that bad person that like if I counted up all my coins and we had $19.50 of like, no I need $20. Exactly. And so anyways even as a child, I created some type of journal. So now we have these apps that you know can budget. But at that point I was doing it in a journal and I was coming up with plans to save money. So I knew at an early age that I wanted to save enough money for a car by the time I was 17 years old and so I couldn't wait until I could start working at age 14. So not too soon after that. Yes, I did start at 14 by 16. I had two jobs plus obviously school and other extracurricular activities, but I really enjoyed that process. So I was really good with saving. I was pretty frugal because when I was working it did take a long time to save up money. I mean my first job, I was making $5.05 25 an hour. So it took a while to accumulate that money. So I kind of value that dollar even more. So I knew I wasn't gonna go spend money on a pack of gum because I was thinking even at that age like how long it took me to get that money right. But part of my journey was, yes, I did save, I was frugal. I didn't understand the power of investing and that power of investing didn't come until later on in life. And then once that clicked, that's when I felt like I was more complete and being financially literate.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Yes. You know, there's a lot of similarities with our stories because I remember at a really young age, my grandma was wonderful at saving money. She always had a stash of money on the side. I mean, it's controversial but stash money aside that no one knew about including her husband just in case that stuff happens. And she talked about that openly and my mom also continue beating on that drum where like saving for tomorrow is very, very, very important. I did learn about investing. I would say around 15, 16, when I was in high school, my mom also roped me in and we started talking about investing, but I was I knew the long term play, I didn't know day trading and short term investing and all real estate investing. I didn't know so many things. So it's really interesting that we both have like this early beginnings when it comes to like knowing about money and knowing about the power of savings. So throughout your financial journey, have you had any pitfalls or any instances where things didn't necessarily go as planned because I always typically say like, yes, my mom talked about money at home, it was not taboo, it was very commonplace. However, having that was a great leg up, but I still fell into traps, I still just messed up some places and I do feel like even if you have a really strong background, there's sometimes things that happened that kind of derail you, but these are lessons that could set you up for success in the future. So did you have anything in your, throughout your financial journey that really like sets you back and you have to learn which opened up a new door for financial literacy for you?

Crystina Cardozo: Yeah, absolutely. My profession is an educator. So I started off teaching high school math, college math. Now I work as a math coach, so being in the school system, I've never made a lot of money, right, I've never hit six figures, not really close. And so even though I've been in the profession for a while, right? Like I said, I always understood the value of a dollar, but it got to a point where I was working for a while, I had a second job and at one point that second job was bringing in a good amount of money and I felt like I kinda lost track at one point and so I kind of let lifestyle creep come in and so I felt like I was making a lot of money and then like, I remember at the end of this one year, I was like, wow, my side job made, let's say around $25,000 right? And I'm like, but where did that money go? And so I felt like I was doing better without that job. Like I had a higher savings rate without that job. So sometimes lifestyle creep comes in. I've mentioned that on, you know, even on my instagram page shoot because it's so real and it doesn't matter if you make a lot of money or if you don't, like sometimes you just have a little bit of that taste of like, oh, I'm making more money and then you feel like, oh well I work so hard, I deserve to spend some of it. Right? And again, I feel like I wasn't financially whole at that point, right? Because I didn't really have my path, I didn't have like what's my goal? I knew I didn't want to work until I was 65. But even at that point I didn't have my road map. And so I was just spending without really thinking about the consequences. Had I thought about like what the consequences would be, I could think about, wow, this is gonna set me back this amount of time or I could still have that. But if I am best this money, I could have that eventually, right? Just have delayed gratification a little bit more. So now I'm more disciplined, I've been disciplined and I think that's the key is delayed gratification and I have that as a child? But yeah, at one point I kind of fell into that lifestyle creep.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Yes. And you know, you're speaking to the choir here because that has happened to me, especially after grad school being on your own and you're feeling like I deserve this. And what's a budget question mark and an exclamation mark when you realize, wow, this has really taken a turn for the worst. So thank you for sharing that. So being a math educator, I'd love to hear your take on is financial literacy math. And if there are similarities, if there are differences, let's get into that.

Crystina Cardozo: Absolutely. I will start off by saying, I have a degree in mathematics, I have a Master's of Math education. I've worked with adults with kids from kindergarten to college and I will tell you math anxiety is a real thing. And so I believe math anxiety is so strong in so many people that when they look towards their finances and they, they're looking at these numbers, they literally steer away because they have this anxiety. Things come back up like, oh well I did struggle in school, I couldn't figure out math and there's numbers involved. And so they steer away and they don't even try to understand the basics as this math person. I like to want to put an end to that thing must thinking that you need advanced math or you need even strong math skills to be financially literate, It's just not the case. I mean, especially now there's so many great calculators out there. If you understand how to use the calculator, then you're fine. That's okay. I mean with the budgeting apps, all of the math is being done for you, right? You just have to understand the concept behind it. So of course there's numbers. But you know, my son, he's nine, he's in fourth grade and I can say that he's so close to being financially literate, like he understands more than what I understood in my twenties. And so that just goes to show like he's not at that advanced math level, right? Like he just understands even up until last year where it was just really basic addition subtraction, that's all you really need. It's more of like this mindset shift that you need to have that you can take care of your finances, you don't need this advanced math, you can push that anxiety to the side because it's just not something you have to worry about and you really have to be disciplined. I think that's more than anything. It's your behavior when it comes to being financially literate.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I remember freshman year of college, I was signed up for calculus. Lord knows why, but I was signed up for calculus and that was difficult. I mean this was like really like sit down and math exam and you need to know how to do your things, but I do understand when it comes to our personal finances, that there is a lot of mental drama, a lot of mental drama that comes with it. Fear, fear of missing out. Just uncertainty and anxiety. So I love that you are able to just break it down and say that yes there is numbers involved, but they can be two separate things would you say? Absolutely. Yes. Absolutely. Okay. Great. Alright. So do you have to be good at math to be good at managing your money as a follow up?

Crystina Cardozo: No, you do not have to be good at math. Again, you can learn to use certain calculators, you can learn to use budgeting apps you can really like depend on a lot of technology that we have out there are apps like if you go to a restaurant, I know people that can't figure out 15% or 20% in order to tip the waitress, like there's apps for that on the phone, right? So the same way that you you're not gonna not go out to a restaurant because you can't figure out the tip percentage right? Like you're gonna rely on something else to help you with that, it's kind of like that same mentality, you can still do your finances, you can budget, you can learn how to invest, you know as long as you just have this open mindset that like you can learn anything then you'll be fine without any advanced math skills.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I love that, I love that. So I think my biggest concern and I think resentment from my education, meaning like elementary school, even high school, is that financial literacy learning how to manage your money managing a checkbook, if they still exist these days, that these weren't taught in school, and like I said, I feel like I had the privilege of having a family who really prioritize like saving and understanding how to manage money, but how much more what I have been ahead if I did have a structural curriculum at school. So, do you have any thoughts into why financial literacy isn't taught at school? And do you see any progress being made to change that?

Crystina Cardozo: Yes, so, I actually live in the state of New Jersey and I want to say at least for 10 years, we have had some type of financial literacy class. The thing is in the state of New Jersey, depending on the school district, they may require you to have a basic financial literacy class upon graduation is just like one class, or they might say that an accounting class or a stock's class or an entrepreneurship class counts. Again, that's just one class. There are other states that say, okay, sure, you can take accounting, you can take basic stocks class, but you have to have a personal finance or basic financial literacy one on one course. So, in addition to that course, you can take other things. So depending on the state and not all states even have this requirement, I am seeing more and more states have this basic, you know, you have to have this financial literacy class for requirement. The thing is that what we have to also worry about is like the support that our teachers have with this and that's actually something that's been a goal of mine, something that I've been working on, because I know what it's like in education and I know what it's like to be thrown into maybe a new class, a different course. And so what I started doing is trying to provide like professional development for these teachers who are teaching personal finance, right? And specifically because you kind of have to be able to be open to learning new different things because yeah, the curriculum might be kind of old or a teacher might be thinking back to when they were budgeting and when they had a checkbook, right? But kids nowadays are asking about what about investing in e commerce or real estate or crypto right? So teachers don't really have that curriculum, but they still have to be open to learning these things and making sure that it's relatable for the kids. So yes, there is more of this financial literacy stuff, but I think that we have a long way to go and also a little bit of issue that I have is that I think one class is not enough if you are in a state, that does have it, that's great. But it's just one class for graduation. It's just that one course requirement. So if you think about math, right? Like kids have been learning math since kindergarten, right? And it's just, you're adding your skill As you go on until 12th grade. And I will tell you because I've also been a math tutor that kids still struggle with math, even though they've been doing it their whole life. Right? So personal finances, that thing that is also going to be around for your whole life. So I just think that one class is not enough.

Danielle Desir Corbett: You know, I originally, when I was doing a bit of research for this chat that we're having now, I was like, Oh, I was excited to see that there has been progress being made because you have a tiktok about it and I'll make sure to link it in the show notes. But now that you're mentioning it when you don't have a financial literacy background, it takes you years to get to a certain point where you're like, okay, I feel comfortable, okay. But now, imagine just taking a class like you would in college, like, oh, I just need this class for college credit or I just need this class. Like just to check a box right? There's so much behind and just taking a stock class is very different than budgeting and a budget class is very different than crypto very different than investing in real estate, very different than planning for retirement. So there's just so many assets facets that come with just financial literacy and I love that you point that out and it's something that I hadn't thought about before now. I have a newborn, I have a little one, so I'm a lot more aware of things that I want to see happening in my city county and in the country, so I really appreciate that outlook. So a lot of people grew up never talking about money at home. How can we make, talking about money normal and not a taboo topic with our families, kids, spouses, Children and also like with our friends, do you have any thoughts on that?

Crystina Cardozo: Yeah, so actually the reason why I started my instagram in the first place is because I was hearing my son, he was seven at the time and I was listening to him talk to other family or friends on multiple occasions about stocks and real estate and it just like blew my mind because I'm like seven and he's saying this. And so it really made me think if this seven year old can understand it, then anybody can understand it right? And then I'm starting to think like, well what are we doing? I'm not like lecturing him at home, but I was totally open with money conversations right? And I praise him for asking questions and so if you want to know like something to do with your child, a lot of parents and I've heard of this again as an educator, a lot of parents might complain if their kids talk too much or always asking questions why this, why that right? You'll get to that. But you actually want to praise them for asking questions. They are a sponge and they're learning so much also by watching you, right? But they want to know so much about the world. They're trying to figure things out. And so that's why I praise him and my, even my younger son and I never want them to shy away from asking questions. So with that being said when they're asking questions, I want to make sure that they understand. So we're just always having money conversations and I'm not in embarrassed about it either. Like I will say how much money something costs. I'm also asking him questions as much as I think that like he's financially literate, right? Like that. He's on his way. Sometimes he may ask me this random question like, you know, I think he asked me the other day like what does bi weekly mean? When I was talking about like a pay stub and it just goes to show like these things kids have to be taught, they're not going to assume things, you know, so you don't want to wait until they get their first paycheck for them to figure out. Like what all of these expenses coming out. Like if they think that they're going to be making $60,000 a year and their paychecks are not coming out to be $5,000 a month, right? Like something's not adding up so they need to be aware of this, I believe ahead of time, Right? They need to know about retirement before they're almost 40 years old. They need to have these conversations. So I'm all about like, you know, just googling things with him searching things. We are on a real estate journey. We have a few properties and my kids have been through everything. I mean from meeting with contractors to helping me assemble furniture to shopping to taking a road trip almost for a day and a half to get to a pro property. So like they have been on this journey and I don't shy away from everything and anything. And so you know, my son will ask me questions like why are you buying this and so forth? Right? Like he's just curious. So again, I prayed that and I'm like, keep asking me questions. I'm going to explain to you what things are. You know, the other day I had a conversation, the car about equity, right? Like I didn't understand equity until I was a lot older and he's not. So I feel like by the time he's 18, my goal, a lot of people say a lot of parents say I want my child to be financially independent, right? Especially a lot of parents want their daughters to be financially independent. That was something my mom always said. But it's more than that. We want them to be financially literate, right? It's not just like you can go find a job and make decent money. It's like, do you know what to do with that money afterwards?

Danielle Desir Corbett: I love that. And you know, with a newborn with the baby. I am thinking about the things that my parents did, right? And the things that I feel like there are some gaps that I want to feel, I feel like you were schooling me and just giving me some just subtle like, you know what? Just have conversations rope them into what you're doing, ask questions back to them as well. And it can be a normal part of their upbringing. It doesn't have to be this like embarrassing thing. Or sometimes it feels like just bigger than we think it truly is.

Crystina Cardozo: Since you just mentioned that just reminded me to also talk about your mistakes, right? So if you think about mistakes that we made like lifestyle, that mistake that I made, I'm very open with it with my son, you know, because I want to make sure that he knows these mistakes. So he doesn't do that. And I think a lot of times parents, they don't want to talk about money because they're ashamed of the mistakes they made. But like just that alone is going to change the trajectory of their lives and their kids lives. If the kids know about these mistakes ahead of time, right? Like so many adults have made the mistake of racking up all this credit card debt. Meanwhile if you never talk to your child about credit card debts and credit card companies and what they're doing right nowadays, you can go to a cop campus and the credit card companies are out there. They're trying to lure these college kids and if the kids have no idea and they were just told like, oh, to make the minimum payment, that's what the credit card company told me because I never had a conversation besides that, then that's the problem. So yes, you also want to share any mistakes that you made. I've made plenty of mistakes and so you just want to be open with that as well. I love that.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I love that. Now let's talk about the friends side and family side. So I realized as I'm growing older, I have to have different conversations with my parents and my family as well. Things that I didn't see them doing. I don't think my mom has ever had these difficult conversations with her parents, but I'm having to have like difficult, interesting conversation to set us up for success in terms of generational wealth and legacy building and whales and all of that sort of stuff. So do you have any thoughts in terms of like making money and talking about money? Not a taboo topic when it comes to adult ng and interacting with friends, family and other adults.

Crystina Cardozo: Yeah. So I guess just being open with conversations, you know, I have a few good amount of teacher friends. Right? And so I might say, did you hear about this company? They're charging an outrageous amount of expense fees, Right? And that's really gonna take away from your retirement fund later. And so it's just a matter of like not being shy to talk about it as an educator. I will like openly say, you know, I've been in this field for this amount of years and I'm only making this amount, you know, I'm not embarrassed about it. It frustrates me a little bit, but like we have conversations about that between my friends and I, because I'm just open about it. So like nobody has to feel ashamed like, oh, I don't want to talk about money with Christina because I'll just flat out say like, oh yeah, I have my masters and I make this amount of money, like you don't have to be ashamed of anything. It's kind of like you're building this culture, right? And what do you value? So if this is really important to you, it's, you don't have to be this financial coach for it to be important to you, for you to value it. But if it's important to you and you realize the importance and you want to share that because it is life changing. You know, I shared and invest. I'll never forget. I shared an investment calculator with one of my girlfriends and right away she shared it with her nephew with her uncle who thought that he was going to be able to retire and she's just like, I don't understand why we didn't know this ahead of time. And I'm like, you know, because I care for you, I care for other people. I feel like people need to know these things, you know, so you just want to make sure that you're passing on this knowledge and just being open again because you value it, you value them. So just be open and transparent. Talk about your mistakes.

Danielle Desir Corbett: You know what I think what's really great about living in this time is that there's so many financial educators, whether that be podcasters, TikTokers, Youtubers authors. So there's just so many different ways to consume financial education content. That doesn't have to mean a long class or a long lecture. I still say watch your sources. Okay, watch your sources. But I think now it's just a great opportunity to learn and discover more of what you're into and what you're interested in. So before we wrap up, I'd love to get some tips and ideas in terms of what are some effective ways that you think teaching younger generations about money, imagine your findings that we could actually go home and implement today?

Crystina Cardozo: Yeah, so I would say one, I talked about this, but just to be transparent right to talk about what things cost when you're out shopping. You know, you don't want to just say like, oh I can't, we're not getting this because it's too much money. You know, you can talk about your budget and that's not in your budget for this week or for this month. So really just being transparent and not just don't shy away from money conversations right to I would say, you know, when it comes to raising kids, my personal belief is to give them the chance to make mistakes in your household, but I kind of have to do that by providing them money, right? So some people, this could be a controversial topic in terms of allowance, I do provide allowance. Other people can give their kids jobs. I specifically tie allowance to chores. There's certain chores that have to be done no matter what I'm not paying you for, but then there's other extra chores that do help the family. So those things you'll get paid for and it doesn't have to be a lot of money. The whole idea is that you want to teach your child to one delay gratify, right? So if there's something that your child wants to save up for, let them feel it like that they have to save up to three months for it, right? And you're being transparent because you want to also share with them that maybe you want to save up for something too, but you're not just going to go swipe that credit card because it is easy to swipe a credit card and get whatever you want at whatever time, right? But you want to show that you're also delaying gratification that you're setting aside a certain amount of money every month. So you can be able to get that item that you want. So you're modeling to them, that type of behavior, you're allowing them, you know by paying them to do certain chores to also have that money so they can practice and you know it's totally fine for them to make mistakes. I have my child have, you know three different envelopes. My oldest son has three different envelopes. My younger one just turned five and he has actually told me that he wants to start making money. So because he saw the other one go to the store and sometimes he'll be like no mom, I got this, I'm gonna pay for this. Yeah, so then my younger ones, like I wouldn't be able to do that, I wouldn't be able to like pay for things so I just have a clear jar for him and he's just like stacking his dollars so he can see it accumulate, whereas in my older one, he's been doing this already for a few years so he has separate envelopes and so forth. I don't tell him though, put this amount of money in your give envelope, this amount in your spend envelope, this amount in your safe envelope. But the other day actually he did mention that he has a lot in his safe envelope and then we have the conversation like, well what is that money doing in your same envelope? And he was like, yeah, it's not really doing anything. I shouldn't be investing more. And so he will also take some money out of that to invest. And like you had mentioned about nowadays, you can listen to podcasts and so far, I listened to a lot of podcasts in the car with him and that's actually how he picked up on, like I want to be able to invest in stocks myself. And then we had the conversation, I was like, I'll let you choose socks and we'll open up an account and he's been doing that. And so I have an app on my phone where he can, it's just for his money, the money that he's been investing and he can track that. So I'm all about just like giving him that freedom and if he does make a wrong decision, that's okay because that's going to be a teachable moment for us later on.

Danielle Desir Corbett: And I think you said it, well I think for me as a new mom, I'm like super anxious about everything. And I'm like, I don't want my son to make any mistakes, but you have to kind of like no mistakes or lessons and it's a teachable moment. So I think that's a great reframing for especially a newbie for me and I'm just like a little eggs about just about it. But this was a wonderful conversation. I learned a lot in terms of, you know, when I was actually googling and trying to figure out like what financial literacy is, I feel like I am having a well rounded picture of what it is, but I've never actually talked about it and it's such a big part of The Thought Card Podcast and my brand in general, but I've never put the word like just focused on what is financial literacy means. So it really meant a lot to me to have you on the show to really just like, let's sit down talk about it, let's talk about our kids and how we're helping the next generation as well as talk about math as well. So this was awesome and I'm just loving what you're doing. So Christina, please let folks know how they can connect with you. And you also have a resource for our listeners to check out as well. Right?

Crystina Cardozo: Yes, I do. Thank you so much for having me here. It's a pleasure to just talk with you chat with you. I love what you're doing. And so yes, if you want to connect with me, I'm on instagram. I talk a lot about financial literacy. I'll talk about like what to do with kids. You'll see if you like reels with my son, my nine year olds and I'll talk about a real estate journey as well. I'm on at she runs the numbers and again, I want to talk about like running the numbers, not anything complicated with math. So that's where you can find me. I did create a course, a parent and me course when I knew that I was going to be here, I wanted to provide a discount for any of your listeners who's interested. So if you do want to take that parent and me course, what I did is I set it up so you could actually take it with your child because I'm all about like that parent child relationship, like you're learning together. And so it's basic enough that you can sit down next to your child and you can learn this information and you can do activities with your child. And so anyways, you can find the link for that course on my bio and the discount I have for your listeners is youth. So "YOUTH", if you plug that discount code in, that would be great for your listeners.

Danielle Desir Corbett: Thank you so much. We really appreciate that. So quick question about the course, what age range would you say would be a good time to sit down and take the course with your little ones.

Crystina Cardozo: Yeah. So I actually created the course of my son was eight and I want to make sure that he understood everything and he did. So it really depends on the maturity of your child. I could say maybe a seven year old would be able to take it. Maybe you might feel like a nine or 10 year old, you know, it's totally up to you and your child. But I will say I would think like someone as young as seven years old can understand it.

Danielle Desir Corbett: I love that the bonding experience to like your learning, but you're also bonding together and having those important conversations. So Christina, thank you so much for joining us today. We will have all the resources, all the links in the show notes. So we would love for you to check us over at podcast dot dot card dot com. For more details, Christina. This was amazing. I can't wait to circle back and let you know how I am implementing some of these things with my seven month old. But hey, he's listening. Right? He's listening. He could learn never too young. Right? Never too young. All right, thank you so, so so much.

Crystina Cardozo: Thank you, Danielle.

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What is Financial Literacy?

Financial literacy is the ability to manage your finances and make informed decisions. Financially literate people are aware of their finances, plan for retirement, avoid debt, and invest.

Financial literacy components include financial planning skills like earning, budgeting and saving, paying off debt, investing, and protecting wealth. 

When you’re financially literate, you make informed financial decisions, avoid financial mistakes, prepare for emergencies, plan for the future, and achieve your financial goals. 

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • What is financial literacy?
  • The importance of financial literacy 
  • Is financial literacy math? 
  • Why you don’t have to be good at math to be good at managing your money
  • How schools are adopting financial education programs
  • Challenges teachers face when implementing financial literacy curriculum in classrooms 
  • How can we make talking about money less of a taboo topic
  • Effective ways to teach children about money and manage their finances 
  • Tips for having money conversations with kids 

Watch the episode here:

Memorable Quotes

  • “When you are financially literate, it’s like you have this roadmap, and you know where you’re going.” – Crystina Cardozo
  • “You can still do your finances. You can budget. You can learn how to invest. As long as you have an open mindset that you can learn anything, then you’ll be fine without any advanced math skills.” – Crystina Cardozo
  • “Some states now require you to take a basic financial literacy class, like an accounting class, stocks class, or entrepreneurship class. One class before graduation is not enough.” – Crystina Cardozo
  • “We also have to worry about the support our teachers receive when teaching personal finance in the classroom. I know what it’s like to be thrown into a new class or a different course. The curriculum might be old, or a teacher might be thinking back to when they were budgeting and when they had a checkbook.” – Crystina Cardozo. 

When is financial literacy month?

While April is National Financial Literacy month, learning about money management and making smart money decisions all year round is important.

Do you need strong math skills to be financially literate? 

No, you don’t need strong math skills to be financially literate. Once you understand financial concepts, you can use calculators, apps, and other tools for calculations. Build your financial literacy basics skills by reading books, listening to podcasts, watching YouTube videos, or taking classes.

Read Next: 15 Black Personal Finance Podcasts Improving Financial Literacy

Tips for having money conversations with your kids? 

  • Be open to having conversations where you allow your children to ask questions and vice versa. 
  • Share your mistakes.
  • Don’t be ashamed of the financial mistakes you’ve made in the past. It’s a teachable moment.
  • Tie an allowance to chores.
  • Talk about how much things cost when you’re out shopping.
  • Give your kids a chance to practice and make mistakes in your household.

About Crystina Cardozo 

Crystina Cardozo is an educator and math specialist who has worked with students from kindergarten to college. Through self-education and making mistakes on her personal finance journey, she equipped herself with financial literacy knowledge and then passed that information down to her children. She is on a mission to educate as many families as possible on how to grow and keep generational wealth.

TikTok: @_learnwithnina_

Instagram: @sherunsthenumbers

Resources Mentioned 

Budget Nirvana: A budgeting course by Tiffany Grant which helps you develop confidence and obtain financial bliss by mastering tracking, budgeting, and automation.

Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy

Homeowners, Better Manage Your Money With These Bank Accounts – Episode 104

How To Organize Your Finances and Pursue Multiple Financial Goals – Episode 92

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