3 Financial Crusaders Saving Kids from Financial Disaster

I’m friends with a lot of financial nerds. But these three companies take financial nerdiness to the next level.

These entrepreneurs eat, sleep and dream personal finance. And their workdays are dedicated to finding solutions to transform the way my generation (and the next) use money.

From kindergartners to recent grads, each one of these companies have developed their own solution to helping kids learn about money and become wealthy adults.


When it comes to financial education, Ted Gonder gets it.

Financial education isn’t about compound interest and credit scores; it’s about human relationships and transforming boring financial concepts into things that actually matter.

As a college student at the University of Chicago during the recession, Ted and his friends quickly realized that the urban community around his campus needed some serious financial help. They recruited talented, passionate economics majors at college to mentor local urban high school students on practical financial skills. And MoneyThink was born.

With a pop-culture curriculum and a focus on peer mentorship, MoneyThink aims to tackle a tough challenge: make money fun and meaningful for teens. Ted’s team is currently in 16 campuses across the country, reaching thousands of high school students.

Interested in learning more, getting involved or donating to the cause? Check out the MoneyThink website.


Audrey Tan and Min Xuan witnessed what we all did during the recession: an all-time high of bankruptcy filings and soaring personal debt in the U.S.

They took a step back and asked a fundamental question:

What about the kids?

Could the right financial education early on in life have prevented the financial mess that a lot of twentysomethings are in today?

Very few kids in the U.S. are learning about money in schools, and when it comes to talking about money, many parents didn’t know where to begin. Audrey and Min sought to fix that, and created an online platform that’s both educational and addictive (yes, that’s possible).

Best of all? Kids can manage real money.

With PlayMoolah, kids learn healthy money habits in an interactive virtual world. At the same, the platform provides a place for parents to monitor their kid’s activities: players can set real world savings goals, complete chores, manage their allowance and even give to charities.

By thinking like a kid and a game designer, Audrey and Min are reinventing financial education to make it learning about money actually enjoyable.

Looking to harness your kid’s online gaming addicition into something more… lucrative? 🙂 Parents can learn more about PlayMoolah on their website.

Student Loan Hero

Knowing firsthand the intense burden of thousands of dollars in college debt, Andrew Josuweit and Evan Shoemaker have created a website to help their peers manage and eliminate their student loans.

Their goal? To educate and empower college graduates with tools and advice to make smarter financial decisions and eliminate student loan debt faster.

Sign. Me. Up.

Student Loan Hero is an online loan management platform that helps college graduates manage student loan debt, easily and more intelligently. So far, Student Loan Hero has helped eliminate $2,108,394 in student loans. And they’re still growing and adding more loan providers each day.

I’m getting fed up with managing my loans on Mint.com (there’s a whole host of reasons why, but that’s for another post). Student Loan Hero is dedicated just to helping you make sense of your loans and come up with a clear plan.

Don’t know what you owe? Unsure of how to begin tackling your loans? Student Loan Hero might be the answer for you.

I’d like to start a series featuring awesome start-ups or people changing the way young people use money. Have you heard of any outstanding products or companies paving the way? Let me know!

Interested in refinancing your student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
LenderRates (APR)Eligible DegreesMore Info
2.47% - 7.80%Undergrad & GraduateVisit Sofi
2.47% - 6.32%Undergrad & GraduateVisit Earnest
2.47% - 8.72%Undergrad & GraduateVisit Lendkey
2.80% - 7.02%Undergrad & GraduateVisit Laurel Road
2.48% - 6.25%Undergrad & GraduateVisit Commonbond
2.57% - 8.69%1Undergrad & GraduateVisit Citizens