New Teen and Young Adult Panel Talk Financial Literacy, Part 2

We are pleased to share Part 2 of Sammy Rabbit Teen and Young Adult Panel Number 1’s Discussion on Financial Literacy. 

Once a month, Sammy Rabbit will ask a group of teens and young adults from around the world ranging in ages from 13 to 30, to share their thinking on a variety of financial literacy and personal finance topics.

The goal – get teens and young adults thinking, talking and inspiring everyone to advance financial literacy throughout the globe, so we are all more able and capable of having better and brighter futures!


This issue Sammy Rabbit has asked his Teen and Young Adult Financial Literacy Panel to review our Childhood Money Memories interview with award winning author and financial educator Lynne Finch.

Teen and Young Adult Financial Literacy Panel members were asked to share their thoughts on the following two questions:

  1. (1) What was your number one takeaway from the interview? And, why was the take-away important to you?
  2. (2) Why is your takeaway something “teens” and “young adults” should know? How is it relevant and how can they apply it to their lives?  


Here is what the panel had to say.

Aditya Desai – Track Every Expense on Paper

Q1. My top takeaway from the interview is the need to track every expense on paper.

As Lynne advises: write it down!

When kids and young adults write down the value of each transaction, they’re able to accurately quantify updates in their financial accounts. Doing so is especially important with the prevalence of deposits that the average kid will make before reaching college. That was another fascinating calculation Lynne included in the interview that caught my attention.

Q2. Lynne’s guidance to record every transaction as a “number” applies to young adults! Let’s be real — we’ve all spent our allowance or birthday savings on a one-time toy or experience, without thinking about tomorrow. Applying Lynne’s quantification techniques will help teens avoid these. By merely jotting down any expenditure with pen and paper, teens are prone to remember and account for their spending habits!

Learn more about Aditya Desai below!

Valerie Lentine – Give Children Access to Money, Control and Responsibility

Q1. My number one takeaway from this interview is to give children access to “money, control, and responsibility” so they learn to manage money, become financially literate and financially capable.

Gaining money knowledge and skills as kids seems essential if we are to be prepared for the choices and challenges we will face at each stage of life including becoming financially independent. 

Q2. Luckily my parents are supplying me with these crucial conditions as I begin my financial life. But, I am aware there are other kids my age who have not been as fortunate. They have not been allowed to have control or responsibility for managing money. They struggle to balance money made from their jobs and decide how to divide it between their needs and wants. Without the exposure and experience I have been provided, I think I would be in the same position as them.

Learn more about Valerie Lentine below!

Peter K. Asare Nyarko – Don’t Spend What You Don’t Have

Q1. My top takeaway from the interview is Lynne:

“did not spend money she didn’t have.”

Spending money you do not have is a very dangerous behavior for young people, especially if it is a habit. Why? Because it makes it difficult if not impossible to attain financial independence.

Q2. There are serious consequences to spending more than one makes.

One, it compromises a person’s ability to achieve financial freedom and security.

Two, for teens and young adults, it surrenders one of our big advantages related to wealth accumulation, time.

Three, as Lynne shared, it creates nervousness and stress.

To avoid these mistakes, young people should take a steady, disciplined, long term approach to building financial wellness. This can be accomplished by starting automatic saving and investing accounts; tracking spending; setting goals; and making it a priority to spend less than they make.

Learn more about Peter K. Asare Nyarko below!

JP Blasini – Give Kids the Framework and Opportunity to Learn the Psychological and Physical Aspects of Money

Q1. The big takeaway for me was the framework Lynne created that gives kids the opportunity to learn both the psychological and physical aspects of money management.

The psychological part of money management, “The No Cash Allowance” concept, helps kids to understand the value of money by learning how to earn it, how to spend it within their means, and how to make good decisions by practicing how to make choices.

The physical part of money management component is also a great way to teach kids the very basics of personal finance and accounting. I like the examples she provided where kids counted pennies and exchanged coins for dollars.

I think Lynn’s strategies and tactics will help young kids learn the value of money and take responsibility resulting in them making good money decisions.

Q2. Young adults can benefit from a similar framework because it touches base upon many aspects of the real-world. Money is a tool and earning it is a process.

For example, as a young adult you go to work and earn money – but what comes next? Usually, young adults will “blow it up” (i.e. spend it all) the first chance they get. This is a time in life where having fun is often a spending priority.

Having a framework like the one Lynne encourages, would help many teens and young adults to take control of their money, better understand its value, and think long term. Instead of spending 100% of it as they earn it, they might commit to saving and investing a portion of it systematically. If they did, they would be developing the habit of living within their means, have some money for fun, and be better prepared for what comes next. It’d be a fine balance!

Learn more about JP Blasini below!

Deon Mixon: Do What You Need to Do First

Q1. I’d say my number one takeaway from Lynne’s interview is her statement:

kids only learn to manage money by making decisions using their own money and learning from their mistakes.” 

This couldn’t be more true.

It’s from her 3 essential components to successful financial literacy development: money, control, and responsibility.

Like her examples with riding a bike, reading music, or driving a car, this hit me because as a designer, teaching graphic design requires students to actually practice graphic design. I can’t just give them a book to read or have them watch some YouTube videos and call it a day. They have to actually create if they’re going to be creators! So, it’s that hands-on experience that really builds that muscle/mental/creative memory.

Actually doing the money management trains oneself to break any bad erroneous money habits. 

Q2. It’s extremely important for young adults to know they must practice money management and learn from their spending and saving actions because if they don’t do this now (while they’re young), they’ll potentially end up in a lot of bad debt (as there arguably exists good debtlater (when they’re older).

It’s like a financial crisis prevention kind of thing. Not practicing money management (the decision-making) now can lead one astray into horrible spending or blowing money. One can easily become broke or just never be able to pass a threshold to acquire the things they may need first before even thinking about the things they want.

And to this point, I’d say another important principle is to do what you need to do first, before you do what you want to do. And this easily ties into the “spending money you don’t have” notion. There’s so much that can be said. 

Finally, teens and young adults should practice money management because it can help them throughout school, saving for things like a driver’s license, senior dues, a car, things of that nature. When one develops good money management way ahead of time, they’re able to bring that skill into college and kill it.

Also, great money management, I believe, automatically strengthens any other type of management like time management or sleep management. The goal is ultimately to be holistically healthy: financially, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And the root of this health is consistent, honest, robust management. Life management.

Learn more about Deon Mixon below!

Kendall Williams – Start Saving Early

Q1. From the interview my top takeaway would be start saving early so you can build upon your money management skills as one becomes older.

The importance of saving and building on your money skills will help you because you can make mistakes early and learn from them quickly.

I remember my first time saving, I did not take it serious because I was living with my family being taken care of. As soon as I reached high school, I wished I would have started saving when I started cutting grass in 6th grade. Since then, I began to see the benefits of saving and so can other students if they start early.

Q2. As students we can and should learn from others. If we do, we can avoid making the same mistakes I did and the things I had to go through.

Students do not always think ahead. But even with just a little practice, skills can build and add up. Think about students who are athletes. We can all learn from their approach to sports and apply it developing saving and money skills. They practice regularly to build their sport skills. They save and conserve their energy to use it at the appropriate time.

Learn more about Kendall Williams below!

Mohammed Faisal – Learn Financial Literacy Early On and Hands On

Q1. My biggest takeaway was allowing kids and teens to start learning financial literacy early on and hands on. Why? Because doing something physically like managing your allowance leads to remembering such activity. Then applying it later in their life. 

Q2. This takeaway is something young adults should know because practicing positive money habits lead to learning and applying it to your current and future situations.This way they can enter next steps in their life like handing college loans or a mortgage or budgeting your new income from the career you go into out of college. In my opinion if you can’t manage $80 it’s going to be a lot harder to manage $80,000 or thousands of dollars worth of loans.

Learn more about Mohammed Faisal below!

Rebekah Eason – Start Teaching Kids About Money Early

Q1. My number one takeaway from the interview was the recommendation to start teaching kids about money early in their childhood.

Kids are very observant with everything going on around them and while they may not fully comprehend money at a young age they will be aware of the concept as they get older.

Having this awareness will help them better understand more complex money exposures, such as spending, bills, credit cards and student loans when the time comes.

Q2. Young adults should know about money and the concept because they are in the time of their lives where they are setting their financial foundation.

Teenagers are expected to make major life decisions around college, which often includes borrowing large amounts of student loans that will impact their finances for many years. If there is more of an awareness around money and it’s concept they can better understand what they are getting into before they sign for the loans. A prime example of this is that a bachelor’s degree is typically done over 4 years. Each year students take out a loan and they aren’t usually aware that the estimated monthly payment provided in the loan document is for that year only. They need to also take into consideration the monthly payment for all prior and future loans and add these figures together.

Without the awareness, this payment surprises many students after they graduate and it impacts their cash flow for years to come.

Learn more about Rebekah Eason below!


This month’s Teen and Young Adult Financial Literacy Panel includes the following outstanding leaders:

Aditya Desai

Aditya will be a senior this coming fall at Livingston High School in Livingston, New Jersey. Aditya is a social entrepreneur. He is the founder and director of the Economics Education Initiative ( He is also an active member of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). He serves on the National Treasurer’s Council as the Director of Financial Literacy.

Valerie Lentine

Val is an incoming senior at John Burrough’s High School in Burbank, California. She is an honor student; plays on the Tennis team; and a member of the school band. She also participates in many clubs including being the secretary of Teen Court, Unicef, and Habitat for Humanity. Her immediate education goal is to attend UCLA. 

Peter K. Asare Nyarko

Peter is a social entrepreneur, author, founder and Executive Director of Center for Financial Literacy Education Africa ( He is a Financial Literacy Advocate and Educator. Additionally, Peter is the Lead TFAF Ambassador in Ghana and he is championing “The Improving Financial Awareness and Financial Literacy Movement in Ghana and Africa.”

JP Blasini

JP is the founder and visionary of a new Fin Tech startup JP is also the Lead Data Analyst at Healthcare Data Analytics. He is a personal finance and data lover. He spent 3 years working at Vanguard after graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Finance.

Deon Mixon

Deon is graphic designer, author and founder of Design Eye Game which sells Design Eye — the world’s first graphic design education board game. He is from Detroit, Michigan and works there as a brand identity designer for the design studio Gyro. Another noteworthy accomplishment of Deon’s is his newly proposed flag for the city of Detroit, named “Detroit Rise!”

Kendall Williams

Kendall is a resident advisor at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He is also the co-Founder of Stay Fresh Lifestyle. Kendall is also an active volunteer and mentor with ExtraOrdinary Over Ordinary and Atchison Alternative School. 

Mohammed Faisal

Mohammed is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Money Hub (, a social innovation start-up with the mission of teaching financial literacy throughout disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Rebekah Eason Partridge

Rebekah (Becky) is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) at Rooted Planning Group in  Corning, New York. In high school she took every business offered and fell in love with accounting. While attending Alfred State College she was directed to their financial planning program and knew instantly it was a perfect fit. Now, she is able to leverage her love of numbers to help people achieve their dreams and goals.


CONTACT SAMMY to learn more about how to be a Sammy Rabbit Teen and Young Adult Financial Literacy Panel!

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Check out this teen and young adult financial education experience led by students at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. It generated lots of impact and interest, including being mentioned in the Certified Financial Planning (CFP®) Board’s monthly newsletter.

Contact Sammy to do the same in your community!

Giving Gratitude and Thanks

BIG Sammy Rabbit gratitude and thankfulness to the Sammy Rabbit Teen and Young Adult Financial Literacy Panel and following individuals and enterprises for their support in making this strategy a reality!

Derrick Wesley, Teacher, Father, Founder of Imar Learning Solutions and creator of the soon to be released APP: Plan It!

Leslie Girone, Financial Literacy Advocate, Sammy Rabbit Dream Big Ambassador and Founder of Money Smart 101!

Have a Sammyriffic and financially literate day!

Have a Sammyriffic day!

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About the Author

Sam X Renick is a children's Author, Co-Creator of Sammy, Award Winning Financial Educator & Double Bottom Line Entrepreneur!