FAQs

This FAQ section answers many common questions about the Money 101 program. If you have additional questions, please contact us.

What is Money 101?

What is Money 101’s Curriculum?

When and Where are Money 101 Workshops Offered?

How Much does Money 101 cost?

How Long Does Money 101 Take to Complete?

What inspired Money 101?


What is Money 101?

Money 101 is a comprehensive evening workshop program that’s designed to provide young-adults (and students of all ages) the knowledge and confidence to competently manage all aspects of their financial lives.

A structured and closely supervised learning environment, small classes, and engaging lesson plans will familiarize students with everything from the nuts-and-bolts of budgeting and taxes on up through the basics of investing, the responsible use of credit and how to plan for retirement.

Money 101’s modular educational content will not only teach students the ABCs of personal finance, it will show them how to constructively apply this knowledge to everyday life and the ongoing pursuit of clearly defined personal goals.

What Will Students Learn from Money 101?

Evening workshops address a series of specific and clearly defined learning objectives in four key areas of personal finance: Income, Money Management, Spending & Credit, and Saving & Investing.

To view a complete list of Money 101 learning objectives, browse the “Program Segments” menu on the home page.

When and Where are Money 101 Workshops Offered?

To avoid conflict with daytime schedules, workshops are offered weekday evenings—usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. Workshop times and locations vary, as needed, to accommodate the needs of different student groups. See Upcoming Workshops for our current schedule.

How Much does Money 101 cost?

Money 101 costs roughly $27.00 per hour of in-class instruction. Tuition for all four program segments—i.e., Income, Money Management, Spending & Credit, and Saving & Investing—is $400.

Because Money 101’s educational content is modular, students whose schedules prevent them from taking all four program segments together may enroll in program segments individually for $125 each.

Except for financial calculators (which students are strongly encouraged to purchase and bring to workshops) the price of tuition is all-inclusive and it covers materials and hand-outs that students will use throughout the program.

How Long Does Money 101 Take to Complete?

All told, it takes a total of ten 90 minute workshops spanning a five-week period to finish Money 101 in its entirety and complete all four program segments.

Individual segments can be taken a stand-alone basis and require less time to complete–typically just two-to-three workshops over seven-to-ten days.

What inspired Money 101?

Shortly after graduating college, I stepped out into the real-world and landed in a small heap of debt. Whether it was moving into and furnishing my first apartment, replacing the old clunker that somehow got me through school, or buying clothes for work, the cost of life’s basic necessities quickly added up to a sizeable chunk of change.

Though it’s generally agreed that hard work and scholastic achievement will boost one’s lifetime earning potential, there’s a lot to be said for knowing how to prudently manage the economic power that a paycheck provides. Regrettably, this sort of thing isn’t taught in school and fiscal expertise is seldom acquired at home. For young adults who’re coming of age and diligently preparing for their peak earning years, proficiency with money—the very lifeblood of their labors—will profoundly influence their future prospects; easily as much as whether they get into their school of choice, GPA at graduation, or their level of compensation in the workplace.

Financial choices matter. With hindsight and thoughtful introspection, few adults would argue this point. Reflecting on the first few years of my life as a working professional, I was too distracted by the newfound joys and responsibilities of independence to focus on the mechanics of my financial life. For a while, being able to make ends meet was enough. Acclimating to the rigors of the work-a-day world, I realized that: 1) An income is a temporary solution to a long-term problem, and; 2) It’s impossible to get ahead living paycheck-to-paycheck. These revelations forced me to fundamentally rethink my lifestyle, scrutinize its component costs, and adjust my economic behavior to better align my income and expenses. This slow deliberate process marked the beginning of a journey that continues to this day. By age 30, I’d worked my way up to a net-worth of zero.

As spiraling home foreclosures and mounting household bankruptcies illustrate, financial illiteracy is expensive. The complexity of our information-age economy underscores the importance of providing young people the financial training to avoid costly mistakes and disastrous choices. To be sure, financial literacy is universally relevant to students’ future welfare because—in a capitalistic society where creditors greedily solicit debtors and money can be as easily minted with a signed loan application as it can with a printing press—making smart financial choices has never been more difficult, or important. Establishing and fortifying a personal balance sheet requires patience and the continued application of sound economic judgment to everyday decision. Consequently, young people must: 1) budget effectively and use personal finance software to monitor and control spending; 2) accumulate and productively manage savings; 3) skillfully handle investments; 4) establish and improve their credit scores to minimize future borrowing costs; 5) combat inflation’s wealth compressing effects; 6) balance a checkbook, and; 7) understand State and Federal taxes and why they account for the potentially sizeable disparity between one’s “net” and “gross” pay.

Proficiency in all of these areas is crucial if young people are to overcome the gale-force economic headwinds they face. Student-loan and credit-card debt are alarmingly high; inflation is buoyant; the middle-class is thinning; wages and salaries in many professions are worrisomely stagnant; jobs have been off-shored to lower-cost areas of production; bankruptcy laws have been tightened and personal savings rates are low. With payday lending shops sprouting up like weeds on most street corners, predatory lending is also on the rise. Young adults face severe financial headwinds on the other fronts as well: The future solvency of Social Security and Medicare is hazy, at best, and defined benefit plans have been jettisoned in favor of tax-advantaged, self-funded, and personally managed retirement savings accounts.

Given the enormity of what’s at stake for young peoples’ future quality of life, they can’t afford to stumble haphazardly through the early innings of their financial lives learning costly economic lessons the hard way. Young Adults & Money, which launched my personal finance column with Oakland’s Globe Newspaper, explores this topic in greater detail. Though many parents are understandably eager for their children to become financially responsible and mostly self-reliant adults, a comprehensive understanding of how to manage money and a positive wealth ethic seldom materializes on its own. In today’s hectic and increasingly fast-paced world, many parents lack the time, patience and expertise to give this aspect of their children’s educational development the time and attention it deserves.

The absence of youth financial literacy programming (and my wife’s gentle insistence that I do something about it) inspired an entrepreneurial venture that, over time, has evolved into Money 101. This program’s value proposition is simple: though the time-value of money is impressive, the time-value of a sound and well-rounded financial education that, starting at a young age, is rigorously applied to everyday life is vastly more remarkable.

Which raises a relevant question: over the course of a lifetime, how much is financial literacy worth? Research by Annamaria Lusardi (professor of economics at Dartmouth College) and Olivia Mitchell (professor of insurance and risk-management at the University of Pennsylvania) offers compelling insight. After quizzing people on simple calculations, such as compound interest and percentages, and comparing respondents’ knowledge to their net-worth, Lusardi and Mitchell concluded that a strong positive correlation exists between fiscal acumen and personal wealth. Those who understood the mechanics of compound interest, for instance, had a median net-worth of $309,000 vs. $116,000 for those who missed these questions.

In light of pervasively low youth-financial literacy rates (according to Jumpstart’s nationwide survey of high school seniors, one-in-two is financially illiterate), Money 101 is a necessary educational supplement to a standard-issue academic education. Small workshop sizes, engaging lesson plans and an interactive learning environment will sharpen students’ fiscal awareness and teach them what they need to know about personal finance to thrive. Every aspect of this unique program is designed to achieve one goal: to provide students the fiscal wherewithal to confidently pursue their own interests. I happen to view this as an enormous plus—and I suspect you might agree.

In closing, many of the articles I’ve written for Oakland’s Globe Newspaper (which address everything from the nuts-and-bolts of budgeting and the mechanics of credit scores to the basics of investing and planning for retirement) are posted to this site.