• Programs
  • Fairs for Teens
  • Budget Help
  • Train the trainer
  • Books
  • Podcasts and Videos

Money Smart. Money Information, Money Education

Help us help young people

Four kids make a workshop!

Start Money Smart Workshop

Photo by Bobbie Bush

  • How to maintain a checking account?
  • How do credit cards work?
  • What will come out of their paychecks?
  • How to stay organized so bills get paid?

Workshop Pricing

Funding may be available through grants received through Fiscal Sponsorship.

Teenagers & Young Adults
Number of attendees Price per attendee per class
4 - 9 $35
10 - 19 $30
20 - 29 $25
Over 30 $25

Workshops can include classes in succession or over several days.

What's been going on...

Smith Leadership Academy

This Dorchester Charter school is having a series of events focused on financial education in its community. SMS was asked to lead the February 10th event to middle school students and their parents on Becoming Financial Fit. The other dates and topics during the series are...

Workshop Participants
  • Mar 10th - Saving For College
  • Apr 7th - Starting a Business

Success Academy at Haverhill

Haverhill High School has been a great supporter of SMS over the years, having workshops for their VIP program and Young Parents Group. This year SMS will be providing weekly classes to the Success Academy. This program was developed for ninth graders having problems advancing through high school. Jameel will be organizing activities and lessons on personal finance over the next several months.

What's coming up...

Women's Economic Forum

The Boston Women's Fund is sponsoring an event on Saturday, March 14th called "Sharing Our Time, Talent, Treasure and Tradition in a Tight Economy". This half-day conference will take place at Simmons College and will cover topics like "Criteria For Giving" and "Social Change Philanthropy". SMS has been asked to speak on the topic of "Financial Literacy and Charitable Giving". The event is free and open to the public. Click here to register.

Young Black Women's Society

YBWS is hosting a Financial Empowerment Seminar designed to show women how to take control of their financial future. On Saturday, March 21st, this half-day conference will take place at Emmanuel College. Topics will include

  • Expert advice to help you take your career to the next level;
  • Professional resume critique to help you make a successful job change or career transition;
  • Practical tools and guidance to help you manage debt, increase your savings, or invest wisely;
  • Tips on how to turn your talent or passion into lucrative part-time opportunities

For more information click here.

Belmont Day School

Understanding that parents need ideas on how to talk to their kids about money, a local parent, Lee Burns contacted his children's school, Belmont Day, about having a SMS program. After agreement from the headmaster, Jameel will be providing a workshop on March 25th to parents of local students.

For more information on upcoming events where Start Money Smart will speak, check out the website!

Quick Links...


Buy your copy today!

Order on-line now! Only $12.95

Paying Bills is NOT a Money Issue

Discover why paying bills isn't just about having money. This easy-to-read booklet not only provides basic information on different ways to pay bills, it provides useful information on staying organized, managing bills on a low income, and how to create a budget that lets you buy what you want. This book is short, filled with pictures and easy to read. Appropriate for teens and adults.

Economic Crisis

Do you understand all the talk about the economic crisis? Neither did I, until I listened to a very good radio show. This American Life airs an hour long show weekly about various people in America. Listen to their latest show about the banking system. They very clearly explain the economic mess this country has gotten in to.

If you want to have a plain, clear explanation of how the Banking System came into trouble, listen to this show. It's free and the information is invaluable.

This American Life

Bad Bank (click on title and "Full Episode" to listen to show for free)

Aired 2/27/2009

The collapse of the banking system explained, in just 59 minutes. Our crack economics team—the guys who explained the mortgage crisis, Alex Blumberg and NPR's Adam Davidson—are back to help all of us understand the news. For instance, when we talk about an insolvent bank, what does it actually mean, and why are we giving hundreds of billions of dollars to rich bankers who screwed up their own businesses? Also, two guys go to New Jersey to look at a toxic asset.

What are we teaching??

There are two main issues that I noticed when I got into this financial education world, 1) there is already a TON of educational material out there on personal finance, and 2) most people don't read it. It's a shame really, because there is a lot of good information out there. But the truth is, if you're sitting down reading about how to "Pay More Attention to Your Financial Life" you're probably already paying attention to your financial life.

How do we reach all the people that don't want to think about their finances? Those are the people that don't save, go shopping instead of paying a bill, or use money as a way to stroke their ego. How do you get them to open a book on paying bills and budgeting?

Keep it short

Would you read a 200 page text book on how to budget and pay bills? I wouldn't either. When someone hands me a book, I've already determined in my mind if this is something that's going to take me awhile to read or if this is something I can flip through quickly. If it's going to take me awhile, I better want to read it. Most people do not want to read about how to manage their money. You have to make the book short, easy-to-read, and to the point.

Add a lot of pictures

Sounds juvenile, right? But studies have been done showing how visual learning impacts retention. And many people will agree that if someone's not going to read the text portions of a book, they'll flip through and look at the pictures. So I think you should make sure the pictures tell a great story.

Relevant topics

Now this is one significant problem with a lot of the education material out there that teaches personal finance. The topics are horrible! "How the Banking System Works", "What is Discretionary Income", "How to Calculate Your Net Worth". Many people can go their whole lives, managing their personal finances just fine without knowing the answers to these questions. Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't teach these things, but somehow we've missed teaching topics people really need to know, "The Difference Between Saying Debit and Credit", "How to Stay Organized so Bills Get Paid", "Which Credit Card Should I Pay Off First?".

Start Money Smart, Inc. has designed programs that address these exact issues and is prepared to teach them to adults as well as teens. For more topics on what we teach read our blog at StartMoneySmart.blogspot.com.