Vanderbilt Freshman Andy Niser Versus the Mystery Reviewer!

Andy Niser Versus the Mystery Reviewer

These days, it is not always easy to offer an alternate or critical review of another person’s view point, especially young people. Often, many seem to want cheerleaders, not coaches or critiques. Unless of course you are a contestant on the Voice or any Simon Cowell produced program.

That said, I have consistently found people who want to learn, grow and evolve welcome challenges to their thinking.

They seem to want to know what is on target and what, if anything, is off target. They want to strengthen their “thinking” game. For them, it is like Michael Corleone shared in the Godfather, “it is not personal.” It is a process to achieve a better result.

If critical thinking is in jeopardy,
what are the implications with respect to young people
becoming financially literate and capable?

Growing up in the 60s and 70s, prior to certificates and self-esteem, we called this process “critical” thinking. But in the age of “point and click” who has a need or time for that.

Call us “old fashioned,” but we still think, critical thinking, is an excellent idea.

With all of the above in mind, we’re testing a new blog column called the “Mystery Review!”

Teen leader and incoming Vanderbilt freshman, Andy Niser, has graciously agreed to have his Sammy Rabbit blog “mystery reviewed.”

Congratulations Andy on being accepted to Vandy!

Andy’s blog is titled: Gen Z Will Pioneer the Future of Money!

Now, we proudly present the MYSTERY REVIEW … from a 60 something year old!

The Mystery Review

I believe the trend is obvious. I see it in both my daughters and their husbands.

They carry very limited cash, if any!

So the trend of the young folks gravitating to a “no carry cash” mode is in place.

And as one of my Economics professors at UCLA stated – “A trend is a trend, until it isn’t”.

Just an aside – I have witnessed both ends of the spectrum.

My father-in-law is 87 years old. He doesn’t trust banks. He pays everything in cash, even his monthly bills.

And no exaggeration – he has a duffle bag somewhere in his room with a whole lot of cash in it.

Thus, Andy’s statement about carrying “stacks” of bills in your wallet is a bit of an exaggeration.

I think the norm is most folks carry some cash vs “stacks”.

Andy makes a lot of good points:

…Change in the pockets can be a minor hassle.

…Online transactions can be tracked where cash transactions cannot.

…Money can be lost or stolen. If it is, you are screwed. Lose a card or get it stolen and in most cases you cancel and don’t have to worry about having to pay fraudulent charges.

Now, here are a few of my opinions related to points I am not quite in alignment with Andy’s positions.

Andy Niser: Cards allow you to not have to worry about paying your friends back or having them pay you back via transfers (instead of cash).

Mystery Reviewer: This should not be a primary concern. Here is why. This is something I learned a long time ago: you/we are not banks! Lending or borrowing money from friends is a bad idea! Go opposite of Nike. Do not do it!

Andy Niser: If teens have cash on them they are likely to spend more.

Mystery Reviewer. I agree. You could carry only the cash you are able to spend based on your budget.

I think the risk is greater to overspend with debit or credit cards. And if you end up with significant credit card debt and have to make minimum payments, you have a problem. It can be easy to use credit cards and lose track of spending until the bill comes.

And whether it is cash or card a the same principle applies – exercise discipline! Spend to your planned budget and no more!

With cash you don’t have to worry about hackers; with accounts and transactions you do (there is a greater risk)!

Andy Niser: Digital currency and cashless transactions empower teens to be confident about their relationship with money.

Mystery Reviewer: I don’t agree. How, is my question? The same principles apply to the use of digital vs cash currency. Either way you choose how to spend and manage your money.

I have recently been to a couple restaurants that are “cash only” (it shocked me as well). Of course the cash only establishments usually have an ATM which solved the “carry no cash” issue.

I don’t think we ever get to a cashless society, though the government would like it since it would allow them to monitor us even more if we were 100% online transaction based.

Overall, I thought Andy did a great job.

I found the column thought provoking. Andy’s positions were clearly and concisely stated. The topic is pertinent to my situation with my children and grandchildren. And, it is very relevant to the times we live in as well as the future.

Share your thoughts. “Referee it!”

Do you agree with Andy Niser? Do you agree with today’s Mystery Reviewer? Or, do you agree and differ with each?

There are lots of ways to contribute to the conversation and financial literacy education awareness.

Be a Guest Blogger. Be a Mystery Reviewer. Or, perhaps share your personal story in one of Sammy Rabbit’s childhood money memory interviews.

Contact Sammy to learn more.

If you have questions, suggestions or would like learn more about Sammy Rabbit and his mission to teach kids great money habits and other important life skills, contact us!

CLICK to contact Sammy via our website contact form; or 

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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!

Posted in: Features