Ms. Yanely Espinal is Miss Be Helpful.  She grew up in an exceptionally large family, worked hard in school with a full scholarship but still graduated with thousands of credit card debts.  She decided to turn it all around and became obsessed with financial literacy. She is now 100% debt-free and has been helping people to realize financial freedom with her YouTube channel, Miss Be Helpful, and her role as Director of Educational Outreach at Next Gen Personal Finance.

Chris Pratt: We have an awesome guest with us today. She is a former teacher and now the Director of Educational Outreach for Next Gen Personal Finance. She had nearly $20,000 in debt after graduating college. And she’s now 100% debt-free. Her name is Yanely Espinel. Hopefully I got that right.

Yanely Espinal: You got it! Hey, how are you?

Chris Pratt: I’m doing well. Um, how are you ?

Yanely Espinal: I’m good, Can’t complain. I mean, you know, all things considered,

Chris Pratt: Right? Yeah. Yeah. So you have this really awesome YouTube channel called Miss Be Helpful where you share really awesome personal finance advice. You talked to a lot of really amazing people. And, uh, we were talking a little bit before the show about how you had spoken with Dr. Carly Urban who’s, or you work with Dr. Carly Urban. Who’s amazing. And, and you’re the Director of Educational Outreach for Next Gen Personal finance. So you are like, really in deep in personal finance education and I’m sure, you know, really well the value of personal finance. So could you talk a little bit about your background and kind of your journey to where you are now?

Yanely Espinal: Yeah, for sure. So I grew up in Brooklyn, New York in a very big family, but we really didn’t have a lot by way of financial resources. So like my parents came from Dominican Republic to New York City before I was born and then I was born and then I have eight brothers and sisters. So it’s like the two parents plus nine children all in, cramped, up in an apartment in New York City. And one of the things that I noticed early on in my life was like, a lot of my friends would get things that they wanted, if there were sneakers that they wanted, or if there was like a name brand book bag they wanted for school, like they usually get that stuff. And my parents generally couldn’t always get us those things. So I kind of like always had a weird relationship with money, but I didn’t think of it as education.

Like I didn’t think there was something about money that I hadn’t been learning until I got to college. So I was very, very fortunate. I worked really hard in school and I got a full scholarship to college. I left New York city when I was like 17 to go to Brown University. So that was the first time I actually did not live in Brooklyn, uh, you know, for a long time. And that’s where I really realized just how, you know, money plays a huge role in your life. Because a lot of my peers, a lot of my friends and stuff, like they had a totally different background, a lot of wealth in general, even beyond wealth, like thinking about social capital too, like my dad’s best friend owns this company and things like that, that I just, I had just never really been exposed to that before. So that was my, that was my rude awakening into the world of money. And then I kind of figured things out after I got into a bunch of debt, I had to figure out how to get out of it. And that just made me become obsessed with learning. How does money work and how do people use money as a tool to be successful and to actually come out ahead financially rather than just kind of be stuck in a paycheck to paycheck cycle, which was all I really knew up until I was like about 22.

Chris Pratt: Wow. My dad actually had 11 siblings and I think, um, his mother, my grandmother, also raised, partially raised, I think maybe she fostered a few other kids. So he told me that, uh, at one time I think there were 16 kids in my grandmother’s little, one story house, but that’s really awesome. So you then went to Brown University. Congratulations on that by the way.

Yanely Espinal: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, it’s probably the most, I would say the most transformational thing that ever happened in my life was me getting that scholarship because without the scholarship, I don’t think I would have been able to go to such a procedure school just because of the fact that I don’t think I would have been willing to take on so much student loan debt just to go, like I had a limit on how much I was going to take. And in New York we have really great, um, schools within the city university system, CUNY and also SUNY state university of New York. So, you know, I was thinking I can go to school for really, really cheap. I wouldn’t really go to a prestigious expensive school unless they gave me a lot of financial aid. So I got really fortunate, but I, definitely, that’s cool man, the experience of being there, people that are really, really ambitious and intelligent and cultured like the, it just, it changes your life. It really does.

Chris Pratt: Can you tell me a little bit about that scholarship. So like what made you look for the scholarship in the first place? How did you get the scholarship? You talked a little bit about that.

Yanely Espinal: Yeah, for sure. So when I was in high school I actually went to an arts focused high school in New York city. It’s called LaGuardia High School for Arts and Performing Arts. And um, if anybody’s familiar with the musical or the movie “Fame”, it’s the fame school, that’s what it’s known for. And I was a visual arts major. So I’ve focused on half of the day was on visual art classes. So sculpture, illustration, painting. And then the other half of my day after lunch was all focused on academics. So I was taking like, all kinds of AP classes and really pushing myself academically, but only really half of my school day was focused on that. And so, um, I was trying to do a lot extracurricular as well. Cause I knew that I wanted to go far. I wanted to go to college. And so I was thinking, what could I do to impress people and on a college application.

So I started doing internships and through one of my internships at a museum in Manhattan, I met a woman who was the education director. So she was doing all of the public programming at the museum where were interned and she had went to Brown university. So it was the first time I ever heard of it. I was probably about a sophomore or junior in high school. And she said to me, you know, I think the way that you, you are your personality type and the way that you’re very curious and, and expressive, you would thrive at a university like Brown. And I was like, Oh, I don’t know. Like I was just going to go to school in New York. You know, my parents wouldn’t let me stay. Cause, cause my parents are like, they’re very, very traditional Dominican American, like immigrants. And they’re very, um, strict.

So I knew like I didn’t feel good about trying to tell them I was going to leave New York city. Cause I didn’t think they were going to say yes. So that was like my first kind of, I guess limiting belief. And she really talked me out of it. She was like, listen, I’m going to take you to the campus. We’ll go on a Saturday. We’ll do a day trip. Just ask your mom if it’s okay, we’ll take a Greyhound bus. We went from Port Authority to Providence, Rhode Island. She walked me all around campus. She gave me a tour. She showed me all the resources on campus, the different facilities where the students hang out and I was just like, Oh, I’m so pleased

Chris Pratt: Wait, wait a minute, so jumping back to how you met her in the first place. Right. Because I mean, you’ll hear you talk to successful people and they always say, you know, make connections, but like, well how do you make connections? Yeah.

Yanely Espinal: You gotta put yourself out there. It’s true. Yeah.

Chris Pratt: Yeah. So you got an internship at a museum and this is where you met her, right? That’s right.

Yanely Espinal: She was the one who was running the internship program. Yeah.

Chris Pratt: Okay. So she was the Director of the internship program. How did you find that internship?

Yanely Espinal: So at my school, I’m at LaGuardia. They had, um, every department, so our dance, vocal music, they all had a department office and you could go there to like talk to the department Chair to, you know, kind of ask for help resources with your schedule, whatever issues you’re having as a student. And I went there one day because I wanted to do some extracurricular. I just didn’t know what to do. So I was like, Oh, let me go to the art office and see if they could help me find what to do after school with my free time. And that’s where they told me like, Oh, you should check out the bulletin board. There’s tons of posters and flyers for different opportunities to do internships, to do, um, you know, work on the weekends, different things. So that’s when I went over and I started looking at the different opportunities and I really liked this one because it was a design internship program and you had to apply and then you do the application process. You, you know, wait a couple of weeks and you hear back if you were accepted and they would pretty much pay for you to travel to the museum every week. And they would give you a stipend as well. And um, and train you on how to understand basic design principles, which I was really curious about that, at that time I was like, Oh, I really, you know, maybe I could be a designer that would be something I like to learn about. So I just kind of found the application and I submitted it.

Chris Pratt: Yeah, wow! And did you apply to other internships, other programs? Uh, did you have another job already or did you, you know, were you looking for other jobs?

Yanely Espinal: Yeah, so I actually was working, um, before that my freshman year in high school, I was working as an intern at an architecture firm and I got that job actually through a friend of mine who told me that that was her internship before she graduated. So she was a little older than me. She had worked there previously and she was like, I think they’re looking to replace their intern. Who’s gonna graduate, so if you want, I can connect you and I’ll say, Oh, that’d be awesome. So that’s another tip too, is to try to always stay connected with people that are a little bit older than you like not peers in your same grade, but like near peers. So like a couple of years older than you, because they could present you with opportunities that they cause they’ve been where you are now. So like as they move forward, they’re, you know, they can put you in a position that they were previously in. So she gave me that connection and I got an internship there at first, it was not paid. And then it eventually led to a paid internship, but that program ended, I think it was after two or three years. And so that’s when I was looking for something to do after school. And I ended up applying to the museum internship and that was my senior year. I ended up doing that internship for about, um, eight months.

Chris Pratt: There’s an old saying that goes something like you can create your own luck. You can create situations where you’re more likely to be lucky. And so doing internships, connecting with people, just doing stuff. I always say to people just do stuff, whatever you’re interested in, just do stuff and makes you don’t do it in a silo work with other people, connect with other people, talk to other people, you know, you don’t necessarily have to worry about, we get so caught up in our heads about the end result, right? Like I want to be, I don’t know the president of the United States, I wanna be a CEO. I want $10 million in my bank account.

Yanely Espinal: Yeah, exactly.

Chris Pratt: You’re not going to get there by just thinking about that end goal. You’re going to get there by working in and hopefully by doing work that you enjoy.

Yanely Espinal: Yeah.

Chris Pratt: So, okay. So you went to Brown university, you learned a lot there, I’m sure you made a lot more connections and then you graduate and then what happens?

Yanely Espinal: Yeah, so I graduated and I really honestly, when it was my senior year, everybody kept asking me, so what are you going to do when you graduate? What are you going to do after graduation? And I had so much anxiety because I literally didn’t know. I was like, I don’t know what I want to do after graduation. I had been studying art for so long that I just assumed I was going to end up working at a museum. But when I did museum internships, I liked the people that I was working with, but I didn’t like the work I was doing. I didn’t like sitting in an office all day, sitting at a desk, making phone calls all day, asking for grants and trying to get people to give money to the museum, to keep it open. I didn’t like that. It was quiet and it was boring.

I really like, I’m high energy. I talk a lot. I’m very loud. So the museum setting felt like it was restricting my, my personality almost to be there for too long. I like going on, you know, once in a while and it’s nice and calming and you can learn a lot, but I didn’t think I wanted to be there all day, every day for my full time job. And so that was a really hard time for me, cause I was like, well, I’ve been studying this stuff all my life now, what am I going to do if I don’t pursue art and history of art. So, um, there was a program that was recruiting on my campus and they recruit on a lot of college campuses. It’s called Teach for America, Teach for America. Um, basically recruits you when you’re about to graduate college. And when you graduate, they train you so that you can be prepared to actually become a full time classroom teacher right after graduating. So I spent the summer training with Teach for America once I got accepted and I started teaching full time, third and fourth grade elementary school students for about two and a half years right after our graduation. So I did that for all of 2011, 2012 and 2012 to 2013.

Chris Pratt: Okay. Yeah. They, I know they came to our campus at Penn state and they went to recruit quite a few of my friends. I don’t think any of them ended up going and working for them, but I, I know of some people at Penn state who had gone in and worked for them and I haven’t heard any, anything negative about them. So I’m glad that you’re able to share your experience with Teach for America. Cause I know that they’re a really wide spanning resource, like I think across the whole country. Um, yeah,

Yanely Espinal: Yeah. It’s a national organization. And I think the great thing about what they do is, and this is what really sold me on it because there’s a lot of positive and negative aspects to it. You know, some people say when they’re being critical of it, they say, well, it’s not right. That you bring people into a community that needs resources and you put a teacher there for two years and then they leave, you know, in order to really make change in a community, you have to be there and you have to really work there for a long time. And you know, when I think back to being a kid, I remember like my brothers and sisters that are older than me, they had a teacher and then I had that same teacher. And that is, you know, for me, it’s a beautiful thing to have those types of staple educators in a community that teach every generation in your family.

But it’s also important to know that any one teacher can make a difference in your life. Even if they didn’t teach your brother or your sister or your mom or your dad, they can still change your life. And so for me, I thought to myself, okay, there’s a lot of critiques and criticism of the organization. But what I noticed is that they actually pushed teachers into title one schools, which means that the school has mostly students that come from low income families. And those are the types of schools that I went to my whole life being that I grew up low income. I knew like, that’s the type of environment that I went to. I went to these low income, mostly public schools that are title one funded. I knew, like this is great. Cause, I will basically change seats instead of being in a student seat, I’m going to be in the teacher’s seat and I’ll be able to really inspire students with my story and my background because it will be very similar and relatable to them.

Chris Pratt: Yeah. Yanely Espinal: So I sort of approached it that way and I had an amazing experience, but I will say there’s definitely friends that I have that didn’t enjoy it because it’s very intense. It’s an intensive process. You’re essentially like fresh out of college and immediately becoming a full time teacher. And so it’s a lot of work, but I loved it. And I, and I still miss my students. I think back to them every day, I’m always thinking about them and how, how they changed my life. So I love teaching. It’s always going to have a big, a big place in my heart.

Chris Pratt: Okay. So let’s back up a little bit and let’s get into a little bit of the personal, uh, finance part of this. So you said that you opened your first credit card at 18 years old, right.

Yanely Espinal: Yes I did.

Chris Pratt: And it had a $1,500 limit.

Yanely Espinal: Yup.

Chris Pratt: And was that kind of your first introduction to money? Like to real money and in real spending power?

Yanely Espinal: Definitely spending power. Yes. Because before that, the only access to money that I had was through my parents or, a paycheck that I earned at a job, which was going to be like minimum wage.

Chris Pratt: Alright. You had a job. So yeah.

Yanely Espinal: Yeah. Like the most money I had ever probably made was maybe like $250 on a paycheck. And I thought that was so much money for me, you know, at 15 I thought I was rich. I had 200 bucks.

Chris Pratt: It is. Yeah.

Yanely Espinal: Yeah. You know, when you’re a kid, you think that is a ton of a ton of money. And so for me, those were like really big amounts of money. So imagine going from $250 being a lot and now having $1,500 that you can just spend. And so I had nobody to talk to me about self control. I had nobody to talk to me about, you know, responsible spending or understanding what the relationship is that I went into with that bank when I accepted a credit card from them. What would the terms of that relationship? Like the rules?

Chris Pratt: What bank was it?

Yanely Espinal: Yeah, it was Bank of America.

Chris Pratt: Okay.

Yanely Espinal: Yeah. And I didn’t really understand that. So I, you know, I, I needed a credit card because of the fact that I couldn’t afford to pay for all the things that I needed, like textbooks and my laptop, those things cost money that I didn’t have. So I ended up using the credit card to buy my laptop, to buy textbooks. Then after I bought those things, I kept using the credit card for things like Starbucks, Ben and Jerry’s. Clothes and shoes, concert tickets, uh, you know, movie theaters and doing things that I kind of was being excessive. And that’s what got me in trouble with it.

Chris Pratt: Okay. And so you, you started out using the credit card kind of as an addendum to a student loan, but you didn’t have a student loan because you had a full scholarship. Right?

Yanely Espinal: Exactly, exactly. But my scholarship, it covered tuition. It covered my dorm room and it covered my meals. It covered my lunch and breakfast, lunch and dinner. But aside from that, if I needed books or if I had a lab fee for a science class, or if I needed art supplies for my art courses, those things were not covered by the scholarship. So I was ending up, you know, kind of needing money on top of the scholarship, which made me feel really bad because, you know, imagine you get a full scholarship and now you’re like, okay, this is great. I’m so grateful, but how am I going to pay for textbooks and the art supplies that I need? Like, am I going to go back and ask for more money when they gave me a full scholarship? Right. Who am I to ask for more money after I’m lucky to even be here.

Chris Pratt: I’ve already been given so much. Yeah. Right.

Yanely Espinal: And so that’s what made me feel like I felt shame and embarrassment to go ask for more. So instead I just kind of figured it out on my own and my approach to do that was to just get a credit card.

Chris Pratt: Yeah. Okay. So you had nearly $20,000 in debt, right? Yeah.

Yanely Espinal: Yeah, I just kept swiping those credit cards. And I was not keeping track at all. I was not keeping track of the money that I owed and what I was doing instead was I would just look at the bill and go straight to what the minimum balance due was. So then every month I always paid the minimum balance, which was generally going to be between 30 and $50.

Chris Pratt: Uh, what job did you have to pay it?

Yanely Espinal: Oh man, we talk about jobs. I had five jobs. I had five different jobs. So I was an RA, a resident advisor in my dorm. And that paid me every two weeks. I was also, I worked at the, at buds, the dining service at Brown. So Brown university dining services. And I was, um, I worked at the pizzeria on campus. I was the supervisor there. And then I also worked swiping cards at the library. So whenever somebody came into the library on weekends, I would be sitting there reading a book and they would hand me their ID card. I would swipe it in and that way they could get access to the library. So, hooop.. I was a little hustler. I was working, working, working

Chris Pratt: Exactly what I was going to use. You are a little hustler. You are working. There you go.

Yanely Espinal: The sad thing. And the sad thing is at that time, there wasn’t any social media around yet. Besides Facebook there wasn’t, you know, Twitter, Instagram, there was no Snapchat. There was no Tick Tock and YouTube wasn’t as big. And so what I was doing then was really just kind of working hard instead of working smart. And I think now there’s so much content online about how to really maximize the time that you have. And I really, you know, I wish I had learned some of those things earlier because I probably would have devised some sort of, you know, course or something online to like sell. And I, and, and, you know, even you can make passive income while you’re sleeping. If you have an ebook, you sell on Amazon, if you’re good at anything, you know how to do anything, you can sell that service or a product about that service. And I never thought like that until very recently where I started to become a little bit more business savvy and business minded.

Chris Pratt: Yeah. So I heard that you had 15,000 in credit card debt, 5,000 from student loan and you were paying minimum payments on the, on the credit card. So you graduate college with this debt. How did you pay it off? You, you paid it off in a year and a half. How did you, first of all, why did you decide to pay it off and then how did you do it?

Yanely Espinal: After my junior year ended, I really wanted to study abroad and it was just something because I had been taking French since middle school and I really wanted to go to France. I knew that I just probably was not going to have an opportunity to go once I was working full time and stuff. And so I was like, alright, let me just go now. But the internship program or the study abroad program was a $5,000 fee and I didn’t have the money. And the student loans that I took out was just to cover that program. And when I went over there, I met a really awesome group of people like through the study abroad program, I came back and I was just like, okay, you know what? The $5,000 student loan was worth it, but I hadn’t really been keeping track of my credit cards.

And so by the time I actually graduated out of college, I started immediately paying the student loan off because for some reason, you know, everybody makes a big deal of student loans. And so I thought like, okay, I gotta make sure that I pay that off. And so I was paying a little bit more to my student loans and I wasn’t really focusing on my credit cards. I was just kept sending the minimum balance on my credit cards. But what I learned was that the credit cards actually have about five to six times as much interest accruing in fees compared to the student loans. So the smarter thing for me to have done would be to have focused more on paying the credit cards faster and just putting the minimum balance towards my student loans. But I did the opposite because I never had anybody explain, but you know, financial literacy or personal finance to me are about how interest works.

I didn’t even know the interest rate on my loans or, you know, my credit cards. So once I learned that, that scared me to death because I was like, Oh my goodness, these credit cards are accruing at an interest rate of 27%. And my student loan was only about 4%. So I was like, I need to start focusing on these credit cards because they’re growing so fast and I can’t keep up with them if I keep just sending the minimum. So that’s when I kind of realized, okay, I gotta be more aggressive if I’m not trying to be stuck in this credit card debt forever and ever, and ever, because it’s a cycle, you, you may use, you make a payment and then they charge you interest. So then your balance goes down a little bit and then it goes up a lot because of the interest and you pay a little bit, then it goes up more because of the interest fees.

So it’s kind of like this battle, you pay, they charge you more, you pay a little, they charge you more. And I got frustrated. I said, you know what? The faster I can get out of this, the better I can use the money that I have instead of sending it to them every month I could do something else with it. So that’s when I decided to get aggressive. And I started looking up debt strategies, like how to pay off that fast. And I read so many books, like I just became obsessed with reading books about money. I read Susie Orman’s books. I read Women and Money and the Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke. Those were the two Susie Orman books that like were the first books I ever read about money. And then I started reading the Millionaire Next Door. I read Your Money or Your Life. I read the Simple Path to Wealth. I read, um, the Richest Man in Babylon. I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I just like, I just couldn’t stop reading

Chris Pratt: Wow! Of all of these books. Do you have a recommendation? Because most people don’t want to read that much.

Yanely Espinal: It really depends on what you’re looking for. And so if you’re looking to change your mentality about money, I would say the Millionaire Next Door was probably the best book that helped me change my mindset around. What does it mean to have money? What does it mean to be a Millionaire? Because when I was growing up, I thought it meant you have fancy cars. You have a fancy house, you have fancy clothes, a watch, you know, and that’s actually not how most millionaires live, who became a millionaire from one generation to the next.

Chris Pratt: What’s it called again?

Yanely Espinal: The millionaire next door.

Chris Pratt: Do you know who it’s by?

Yanely Espinal: Uh, there’s two authors Thomas, and I’m forgetting the other guy’s name, but it was co authored by two guys who interviewed actual millionaires. And, and that was my favorite part of the book. It was actually the interviews. It was actually hearing these millionaires answer questions about their life and their money choices and learn from their actual decisions that they made. So that was cool.

Chris Pratt: Yeah. The Millionaire Next Door. The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas Stanley and William Danco.

Yanely Espinal: That’s it!

Chris Pratt: Yeah. Okay. So I want, before we run out of time here, I want to talk a little bit about next gen personal finance, because you’ve gone on this amazing journey. You paid off all of your debt know you went to Brown, you had eight siblings and you kind of grew up low income and you’ve come so far. And now you’re the Director of Educational Outreach for Next Gen Personal Finance. Could you talk a little bit about what Next Gen Personal Finance is and what you offer?

Yanely Espinal: Sure. So, um, I’ll start with like how I found them, because it’s an organization. A lot of people say to me, like, how did you find this job? It seems like the perfect job for you. So actually once I finished paying off all of my debt, I wanted to tell my story. I just wanted to, to inspire other people, to know that, Hey, if you’re stuck in a rut with money, if you’re in a position where you feel like you’re just never going to get out of poverty, if you feel like you’re stuck with money, you can do it because if I did it, you can do it. You know? And so I started posting videos on YouTube, under the channel name, Miss Be Helpful. And then the YouTube channel just started to grow like so naturally and pretty quickly for me, I did not expect to have more than like maybe 500 subscribers.

And I thought it would be like my own little community of people to comment on my videos and talk to me. But it quickly grew 10,000; 15; 20,000; 30; 40,000, and I have 50,000 subscribers right now, which is insane. And I have over 3 million total views across my channel, which I seriously can’t even believe it. When I say it myself. I’m like, I can’t believe 3 million people looked at my videos. Like that’s crazy, crazy. But once I started posting those videos, I started getting emails from people, calls from people saying, we want to talk to you. We love your videos. And one of those emails came from NexGen, Personal Finance, or NGPs for short. They reached out and said, Hey, we want to interview you for our podcast. And we want to talk to you about your YouTube channel videos and see if we can put them in our curriculum.

So then I said, well, you have a curriculum that talks about money because I never learned that in school. So if there’s a curriculum out there, how come my school wasn’t using it. So we started talking, we had conversations and I realized just like how amazing this organization is. So it’s a nonprofit organization, been around for about five, six years now. And when it first started, it was just thinking about curriculum. So lesson plans, activities, games, projects, and tests that teachers could use to teach high school students about personal finance and money. And that was really their sole focus. But then they realized that teachers themselves never got a class about personal finance. So how can they teach it if they don’t know it? So we started adding on professional development training about money. So now the teachers come to us, they get trained on the topics that they’re then go teach to their high school students. So anything from checking, saving banking, insurance, taxes, investing, credit, paying for college insurance, any of those money related topics, we’ll teach them the knowledge and the content. And then that way they can use our activities and games and lesson plans to teach it to students in high schools, all across America.

Chris Pratt: And NGPF is a nonprofit, right?

Yanely Espinal: That’s right.

Chris Pratt: This is not, you know, a for profit business. That’s trying to, you know, take advantage of folks or, or anything like that. Not that you know, a for profit businesses, always just trying to take advantage of people. But, um, this is certainly a, a phenomenal organization and an excellent resource that can be trusted.

Yanely Espinal: Right. For me, that was one of the pieces actually, that was sold me on getting the job there. Because at the time I was, I was like, I didn’t know what I wanted to do next. And I was YouTubing a lot. So I was like, maybe I’ll just be a YouTuber, you know, but then when they approached me, I said, wow, this organization offers all of this amazing stuff for free, for free. So even if you go to a school, like the ones that I went to, where there was no budget for something like this, like they didn’t have, they had a limited budget. You’re not going to be able to pay for a curriculum to teach kids about money. And you won’t be able to afford the lesson, package the workbooks, the textbooks. Well, in this case, everything is online based. So there’s no textbooks. You don’t need to order everything’s online and it’s all free. So you don’t have to worry about your school’s budget because everything’s online for free. So there’s no need for money. So it was awesome.

Chris Pratt: Yeah. And NGPF does a lot of advocacy too. I mean, I spoke with Dr. Carly Urban and she talked a lot about how at the state level, they’re trying to add requirements in curriculums and outcomes are much better when there’s a full course in the curriculum,so.

Yanely Espinal: Exactly. Yeah. Because one thing that you notice is like, when you go online, you see a lot of the media headlines will say that 21 States have financial literacy required in school, in high school. But that is actually false. It will. I wouldn’t say false. I should say it’s misleading because of what it is. So what happens is you go to high school, let’s say you take a class about marketing, or you take a class about business as an elective that class might spend the first week or two teaching you about budgeting. That will count as a personal finance class. Even though it’s not covering credit cards, it’s not covering investing. It’s not covering tactics. That two weeks of budgeting will check the box off for that requirement to teach financial literacy. But what we’re saying as an organization is, Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, that is way too lax. We need to raise the bar and we need to say, we need a full semester of nothing but personal finance content, which means you get everything, you get taxes, banking, budgeting, insurance, investing, you get everything. You don’t just learn about budgeting and then move on to business or marketing because that’s business or marketing. That’s not personal finance. So if we’re going to call it financial literacy and personal finance, we need to make sure that that full semester class teaches nothing but personal finance.

Chris Pratt: Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for coming on the show. We’ve been talking to Yanely Espinal. She has a YouTube channel. You can find her, Miss Be Helpful. She also has an Instagram @missbehelpful. And she even has a new podcast. Right?

Yanely Espinal: I do. I just started a podcast a couple months ago called, Mind Your Money with Miss Be Helpful.

Chris Pratt: Awesome.

Yanely Espinal: It’s just conversations, you know, conversations so it’s just like this one, but really focusing on stories that inspire people to get their money right.

Chris Pratt: Awesome. So make sure you guys check out that YouTube channel, Instagram channel, the podcast, the website again, Yanely Espinal. Thank you so much for coming on

Yanely Espinal: Than you, Christopher. This was awesome.


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