Talk Wealth to Me

#074 Talking Personal Finance with High School Senior Parth Asawa

February 26, 2021 Felipe Arevalo, Chase Peckham, Parth Asawa Season 3 Episode 23
Talk Wealth to Me
#074 Talking Personal Finance with High School Senior Parth Asawa
Show Notes Transcript

This week the guys sit down with Parth Asawa, a senior at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, CA and the Director of the Financial Literacy Introduction Program which is part of the nonprofit, Youth Economics Initiative.

Parth speaks openly about how he realized he didn't know much about money and finances in the "adult" world and shared what he hopes to do to provide this important knowledge to other young people. At a young age, he recognizes that personal finance should be taught in schools before students head off to start their lives after high school. We enjoyed chatting with this young man and think you'll be as impressed by him as we were.


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Speaker 1:

[inaudible] Welcome to Talk Wealth To Me, a safe space podcast, where we chat about anything and everything related to personal finance, the information contained in this podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute as accounting, legal tax or other professional advice.

Chase Peckham:

Welcome to another edition of talk wealth to me. And it's super exciting today, Phil, that we get to sit down with just an incredible young man a high school student who is taken financial literacy by the rains and is making a difference in his community.

Felipe Arevalo:

Absolutely. Uh , mentioned, you know, it was going to be a young guest and then I looked and I was like, Oh wow, he's a really young guest, but he's so well spoken. He's so educated. And he's so passionate about personal finance is something we just don't see , uh , with individuals his age.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah. Parth Asawa is incredible. He's a, he's a high school student in Cupertino, California, and he is absolutely remarkable. I mean, it's hard to believe that this is a teenager that we're talking to. [inaudible]. First time I met you, I was in North Carolina visiting my brother-in-law and we were staying there, you know, being in , uh, in , uh, the pandemic and everything else. And so we could all work from home and it was, I believe the first meeting that you had been in and it was mine as well. Uh, because I was going through the, I was going through a meeting cause I didn't know if I was, you know, wanted to be a part of the group or not. And they were kind of feeling me out. And so there was like an introduction. So you and I both kind of got our feet wet with California jumpstart , uh , that same day.

Parth Asawa:

Yeah for sure.

Chase Peckham:

And , uh, I remember being so in awe of first our maturity , uh , but two because Felipe and I work with so many high school students, college students with our organization in teaching financial literacy and doing workshops and that kind of thing in many different ways now virtually at least for at least the foreseeable future.

Parth Asawa:

Right.

Chase Peckham:

Um , and how a kid like yourself, and I apologize for calling you a kid, cause you're hardly, that.

Parth Asawa:

It's fine.

Chase Peckham:

Gets interested in personal finance. Like you can tell that you are literally , uh, it drives you to spread financial literacy education. Where does that come from?

Parth Asawa:

So, I mean, yeah, I think it's a combination of factors that got me interested in personal finance and start with, I would say the , the first time I probably truly got interested was around my freshman year of high school. You know, I had very little financial literacy education coming into my high school career. Like I moved to California from New Jersey or uh , when I was in middle school and it was definitely a shift, you know , in the education system culture, weather everything's a bit different, we don't get much snow here, which is a bit unfortunate. Uh , but , uh, yeah, I mean, it was a bit of a shift, but I remember like in New Jersey, the only thing that I'd ever learned about personal finance was , uh, in my, in my fourth grade class, it was how to write a check. And so it was a great experience, right? I go around and write checks to , uh, and try to pay for everything. You know, I'd tell him my dad, you know, we need to get this new toy train set. Look, I wrote a check for a million dollars that should cover it. So it was a good ex you know, it was a good getting your feet wet with like financial literacy, I guess, if you can call it that. And in the fifth grade we did like a stock market project, which is definitely more on like the investment side of things, but it got me a little bit more interested in , you know, everything, how the financial world works, what personal finance actually means. Now moving from fifth to ninth grade, I had like almost no experience with financial literacy. Like I didn't learn it in school. I didn't really focus on learning it at home.

Chase Peckham:

I was going to say you weren't. Were you interested in it at that age?

Parth Asawa:

Not at all. It really no.

Chase Peckham:

OK.

Parth Asawa:

From fifth to ninth grade. I wouldn't say I was interested in financial literacy. I think it really came to me in ninth grade. That's when I really started getting interested in to financial literacy. And honestly, I can't point to an exact catalyst , but I remember reading the statistics on personal finance at , uh , at that time, you know? And , uh, I think one thing that was really , uh , going around then was like, I can't honestly point to that . It was some consumer survey around 2015 dating in 2015 and it was saying 43% of American adults are considered financially illiterate. I mean, that was a pretty shocking number, right? That's about you , you can say about half of American adults are considered financially illiterate and that doesn't sound like a good thing. Right? I mean, financial literacy I've kind of seen firsthand was definitely something that's I don't know if calling it important sounds underwhelming. It's kind of fundamental to a lot of your goals when you're going to go into adulthood in terms of the things you want to accomplish, the lifestyle you want to maintain, you know , your mental health. There's so many studies relating personal finance and debt and budgeting to the impacts that can have on your mental health, which is, you know, something that should be of utmost concern to everybody. So it was definitely a bit of a catalyst seeing all of those statistics, I guess, about personal finance. And it made me think back to my own education too. And the education I thought I was going to have throughout high school, because I mean, my high school didn't have any personal finance classes. And I didn't know of any friends in other high schools who had personal finance classes. And obviously there, there are some high schools who do personal finance classes and all credit to them because that is an amazing thing that I think should be happening in almost every single high school.

Chase Peckham:

In California very few.

Parth Asawa:

Right. It's. Okay. Yeah. Yeah, that, that, that reminds me of something actually, because in, Oh , I remember reading back then to the California was one of five States without personal finance and state education standards. And to my understanding that still doesn't exist in our state education standards. And I mean, if you want broad ranging change to happen, especially at the school level, you know, it, it's kind of important to have this work done to our policy and everything. We're , we're actually trying to make change from the top level and move down, or we should just be starting to make change on our own personal levels in school and our communities. Then I guess, as a freshman in high school, I didn't think I was going to be a state legislator in a few years. Uh , that seemed like a bit of a long pathway. So that didn't seem the most appealing to me. But I do remember coming across a , uh , actually California JumpStart's page, they have an advocacy page on how you should get involved in personal finances.

Chase Peckham:

Right.

Parth Asawa:

Uh , I remember like I had that page bookmarked and I'm like, Oh, maybe I'll come back to this. Sometime later in the future, it seems a bit interesting. It's like talk to your local community leaders, educate yourself on personal finance, talk to kids or you know, other people. And I guess that was kind of the whole thing was a Kickstarter for me, like, okay, I feel maybe this is a time for me to at least educate myself in personal finance, right. Everything else to start from there. I can't really do anything about personal finance. I'm not educating myself. So that's the point where I really started to get interested in personal finance, I'd say, and I started reading the things that are on the web about it, talking to my parents about personal finance hearing, you know, just like generally following the trend of what's going on in personal finance around the world. And I really see that to be honest, like following that trend for a few years, it really picked up in 2020, 2021, the efforts that are being made in financial literacy across the U S I, I definitely noticed that picked up with a lot of, especially , uh, like famous personas, you know, celebrities, athletes. They've definitely, I've noticed a lot of initiatives they're sponsoring for financial literacy initiatives in their home towns and communities local, like their , you know, their fan base and everything that's going on around there . I've , that's felt I've been, it's been really good seeing that, that positive change in the personal finance around the world. And , uh, I think I've gone off on a bit of a tangent from the original question, but , uh, I , I, going back to that, yeah, that's probably when I started to educate my self in personal finance and where I really got interested in maybe what can we do in this education and advocacy space for other people, you know, other kids, my age younger who need to learn this personal finance and just who don't have the resources right now. And I think deserve to have these resources and everything .

Chase Peckham:

Yeah, you're absolutely right. And, and just to let you know, I mean, there's 21 States that have what's considered a required coursework. Um , six of those, they are standalone high school courses that are required to be taken. Uh, 15 of the States require that it's integrated into another course . Somehow, whether it be social studies or economics in California, currently, not one of those. Um, and , and there's a variety of reasons and that's a whole different podcast, but you seem to take it to the next level that , and was what made it, that it was not only did you feel like, and I'm assuming that like, I need to know this stuff. Like I would personally like to know this stuff because you feel like it's gonna make your life better as you go forward in your life and your , both your professional and your personal life, what was it that made you want to go further and pushing and creating because you have, I believe created some kind of clubs , uh, or something like that with other students.

Parth Asawa:

Right. Uh, I think that drive just came from the lack of resources that I was seeing for financial literacy that were available. So, you know when I was scouring the web and learning personal finance on my own, a lot of the resources I'm seeing are things like books, personal PowerPoint, presentation, or blogs, but these aren't things where people, you know, directly involved, they're being inter like actually interacting with these personal finance decisions on their own. And I think that's actually something that's really important. And it was kind of a , you know, it was kind of a spark plug for me because financial literacy education, it , it doesn't mean just teaching, like people, students, how to understand the various facets of personal finance, right. That's one thing, but it's also about teaching them too, to have the rationality and the mindset to apply that knowledge and make those financial decisions even under uncertainty and when it's against their own desires. And I think that's one of the most important parts of personal finance that sometimes just isn't emphasized enough and probably isn't emphasized enough to kids at the school level or the , you know , community level, something that I noticed. And so I think that's why I went ahead and tried to make some of my own curriculum at various points where we're putting people into these interactive scenarios where I'm trying to get , I'm trying to have other, other kids, other students, like actually going through the decision-making process, at least once in these workshops, because the idea is if you've gone through the decision-making process now, and you've made the tough call, like what insurance plan do I pick here? What's the , uh , should I go on, Oh, like, should I rent a house? Should I buy a house? What type of loan, you know, those different kinds of decision making processes. The idea is that hopefully at least when you're an adult, you'll, you'll be remembering that you've made these decisions before, even if it's just in a, in a scenario, right. It's not obviously , uh , I'm not having people take out real loans. No. That that would be a whole , that'd be a whole another issue, but it's like if you've gone through these decision-making process before, then you'll have at least maybe one the encouragement to look at the, look at the encouragement to maybe sit down and consider what types of decisions you're making more thoroughly and not necessarily fall just to fall victim, to like your first desire, because that can really often be counter-intuitive I think to perhaps what's the rational decision at the time. And so sitting down and getting that rational mindset too , when it comes to personal finance is something that I think is incredibly important and why I decided to get involved in the education space, myself with working with different organizations, you know, like , uh , I think one of them I've worked with recently is the Youth Economics Initiative with making their financial literacy curriculum and distributing it to various schools and other organizations where I've just held some solo workshops or made some electives and, you know , done a little bit of work on my own. And , uh, and then I got involved in the advocacy space pretty recently, I would say like, you know, like about like two year , okay. Maybe not recently, but like one to two years ago where , uh, I've gotten involved in, you know , teaching personal finance is one thing, but me on my own, you know, I can't, I can change. I can hopefully educate some people, but I'm not going to be able to educate the millions of students across the U.S Across the world. Like that's not going to happen. So what needs to happen is this broader systemic change where we're seeing this come from the top down from all the administrators, policy makers, teachers, where they're all invested in this personal finance education, because that's when we're going to see this change more broadly. And that's why I decided to, you know, get the word out that it's one thing to teach personal finance. It's another to know that personal finance has to be taught at this young age. So I think, yeah, that's what got me there.

Chase Peckham:

The financial literacy is a very broad subject. I mean, there's so many facets to it. Um, where do you begin at your age? Um, at high school age, where , what concepts do you start introducing, do you believe , uh , that these students need to start being aware of? Cause it's not necessarily jumping right in and saying, okay, let's talk about investing. Right?

Parth Asawa:

For sure no. Uh , I th I think , I think that's a , the topic that I'm always starting with when it comes to personal financial education is budgeting, budgeting. You know, it's , it's a bit of a basic topic. We're making our budget for our daily grocery list or the utilities or clothing, you know, we're making a lot of different budgets and it's, it may seem basic. Yet. It's a very important , uh , tool to have, you know, it's a very important something you're able to do and something maybe that isn't emphasized enough. And so I always start with budgeting because budgeting is one of the key things, not just in managing your money on a day-to-day basis, but it's also about stopping impulse purchases, which is kind of the second subtopic to budgeting that I think is really why I like to start with budgeting when it comes to personal finance, because impulse purchases can account for so much lost money when it comes to, you know, like your weekly , uh , how much you're spending weekly, how much you're spending monthly. Like , uh, I , I don't , uh, there's an exact statistic on impulse buying. I think I remember like approximately around 90% of Americans have succumbed to impulse shopping and that Americans make approximately I , uh , I might be overestimating but somewhere, but something around $5,000 in impulse purchases a year or something like per , per household and

Felipe Arevalo:

90% wow.

Parth Asawa:

Right.

Felipe Arevalo:

You make me feel good about sometimes making an impulse buy. Just saying 90% sounds like now I'm just part of the crowd

Parth Asawa:

For sure. I mean, it's a huge number, right? Like when it comes down to things like this, like so many people are succumbing to impulse buys, I don't think it's, you know, from time to time, you have to have these impulse purchases when you know, you're being, Oh, you're buying something for yourself too, right? Like happiness matters. I'm not trying to say that all impulse purchases are bad, though. It's worth noting the fact that you are making an impulse purchase when you make an impulse purchase, because that can account for people who maybe are living on a, like a stricter budget than others. For example, then it can really matter when it comes down to how your, how your impulse purchases work out and how much money you're saving. And that's something that I think kids always can, kids need to be taught from a young age, but it's also a very easy topic for them to understand, because you know, there isn't too much , uh , heavy math involved when it comes to like impulse purchases. It's more about thinking about your mindset when it comes to personal finance. And like, I need to sit down and think, for example, I mean, in 10 days, will I regret buying this item or will I remember buying this item in 10 days? And what about 10 months? It's like asking these questions to yourself where you can help check your emotions and consider like the ever like, kind of like the neglected factor, I guess, a risk and almost every decision you make. Right? Because if it might seem like a small thing, if you make these , uh , if you buy this $5 purchase of like, I don't know , some $5 worth of candy or gum, every time you go to a store, right. But if you're going to the store like once or twice a week, that kind of adds up every, when you over the month and that's going to come out to just like $40 in candy . And when you're going back and looking at your budget and you're like, Oh , I didn't account for these $40 for candy. These were for clothing and utilities. These are for more important things. Right. And so it's kind of when you're presented with those types of scenarios decisions early on, I think it's really important to build that understanding. And it's easy to understand, you know, it's just, it needs to be brought to attention. And that's why I always kind of start from there.

Felipe Arevalo:

I like it. That's. It's interesting. Cause we do presentations in the community and when teachers or organizations leave it up to us and say, what do you want to start with? I want to do all of them when you want to start with, what do you recommend? I start with that . That's where we default to is let's start with budgeting. Sometimes some of the other ones are a lot more exciting and they get a lot more attention. You know, everyone wants to hear about credit scores and investing, and let's talk about, you know , uh , cryptocurrency, you know , you can't go and do all of that.

Parth Asawa:

Right.

Felipe Arevalo:

Before you can figure out just your standard budget.

Parth Asawa:

Exactly.

Felipe Arevalo:

That comes into play with all the other things. If you can't handle your budget, how are you going to go invest in whatever form of investing you decide to go with? Um , so that's what we always default to as well as let's do budgeting and let's go from there.

Chase Peckham:

Well, it is so important, right? Because it is at the very apex of what personal finance is all about. I mean, if we all took care of our own finances, we all understood where our money was going, you know, on a typical basis, obviously there's emergencies, right? There's things that are going to happen that are out of our control. But for the most part, the reason that people are in specific debt is because they're just not aware of what's going out versus what's coming in. And that is what ha that's the basics. Right. That's really as simple as it is. What is the response of your fellow classmates, when you have conversations about this, or do you have conversations with your classmates about this outside of those that are really interested in it? Like you are?

Parth Asawa:

Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, I think when it comes to my , uh, yeah, you know , when I'm talking to like my friends and classmates , uh Hmm . I mean, I definitely say it's a bit more limited in the sense that like, not all of my classmates or friends are interested in this personal finance from such a young age, you know? Uh, it's not something that's first on their minds right now when they're in high school, they're like, you know, I'll learn that in college or my parents will teach me once I go out and be an adult right after college. And so honestly, to answer your question, I'd say the reaction is probably a bit underwhelming in that sense, because it's a , I think it's something that you recognize its importance more with time and experience than something that comes immediately. Like it's easy to understand the topic, but it's harder to understand it's importance, I think at this kind of age right now. So yeah, I'd say the response is kind of like that.

Chase Peckham:

Do you think that it's, for instance, without getting too personal, do you have that relationship with your parents where you can discuss finances that they go through on a daily basis, monthly basis, weekly basis on how they do it and in what goes into their routines, as far as, you know , handling their budgets, do you get to take a look at that and are they opening with that with you to discuss because you're a thousand percent, right? It's, it's understandable for young people who are in high school who don't have all those responsibilities yet their responsibilities are going to school and getting their grades and thinking about college and those kinds of things. And they don't th th the fact that whether they play, they pay for their , the pillow in the bed and everything else that they sleep on is not relevant to them at this point. And until it is, why would I worry about it right now ? That's human nature for the most part. So do you feel that , uh , or do you , do you get that understanding from your parents on how they do it? So you get a better understanding

Parth Asawa:

Yeah. And a hundred percent and like all credit to them. Like , they've been very open to having these conversations it's with me. And that's why I think, you know, I've gotten the chance to kind of understand our own situation. And also maybe, I mean, you know, I'm not taking any financial decisions for my parents right now. Like that's not the point where I'm at and I'm not making any of like the big purchases, you know, it's, it's more like at least having the transparency and that open communication, the willingness to talk about it, which is something yes, I have with my family, which is incredibly valuable. And I think it's, you know, a lot of , uh, I think that's kind of a lot of what doesn't happen, maybe in a lot of places, because, you know, never ending cycle is like, teachers will say, your parents can teach you personal finance, but your parents will say, your teachers can teach you personal finance. And so you kind of have both of those things going, no one's going to.

Felipe Arevalo:

It never get's taught.

Parth Asawa:

It never gets taught. Exactly. Right. So I think that, you know, I have that with my family, but I think that maybe with a lot of, in a lot of other scenarios, it can be something that's a more sensitive topic for sure, because you know, your financial wellbeing is something that's incredibly important to how you're living your whole life. And it can be a sensitive topic. I think, you know, I , I can't speak too broadly to this topic because I'm not an adult yet, but , uh , and I haven't talked with many other kids about their parents and their relationship with finances, but I can say, like, that's what I kind of think about them.

Chase Peckham:

That's exactly the point I'm making is, is the burden that is put on expected of parents. Uh, it , it's not just a foregone conclusion that parents are going to have these conversations one because , uh, depending on your background, depending on history, I mean, it just may not be something that you talk about with your children, right? It's just the parents are the parents. We're not going to open up the books for you, so to speak. Um, it might be that one they're embarrassed. They don't want to show their kids that, that, you know, the situation. So everything is, is so individual , um, on this part, I think it's great. Your parents should be commended. And it , what I was meaning by that is, it's not just, as you mentioned earlier, when you talked about introducing budgeting at a young age, it's understanding the principles, but also the psychology behind it, why you're making those decisions because budgeting really comes down to decision-making. We all make decision making every day. Um , but what's important to me. Why is it important to me? You know, does it make me happy? Is it something that I absolutely need? Uh, those are those all have to be factored in. And it isn't until you're an adult, which is very smart of you. That you're you're right. You're not an adult. You don't have those experiences yet. You don't have the experience of having to decide where you're going to live, how many roommates you're going to live, how much money you want to spend on, on a room, or if you want a queen size bed versus a twin bed. And what are the differences in those costs? Those are things that, as a child, you just are given the bed you're given, right? So these aren't things that you really have to make those decisions until you have to make those decisions.

Parth Asawa:

Exactly.

Chase Peckham:

Right? And so that's why so many of us like myself, Felipe, we all got ourselves in financial trouble because when we were faced with those decisions, we were just like, well, I don't want the super cheap twin bed. I'd rather I be more comfortable in that queen size bed. So I'll say I'd rather spend the $800 on that versus the $250 for the twin . You know what I'm saying? And now all of a sudden, you find you've got your first credit card at a , at a mattress shop and a mattress store, because you're going to pay monthly for that now. Right. Do you see how it starts?

Parth Asawa:

Yeah, I get the cycle.

Chase Peckham:

So that's why I think it's so fundamentally you being aware and having to understand that you're kind of trying to sit and picture what your parents are going through on a daily and weekly and a monthly basis in the decisions that they have to make for them, their family and everything and their future. There's a lot that goes into it.

Parth Asawa:

Yeah, for sure. No, I think everything you just said is a hundred percent accurate . Yeah. I agree with that so much. And like, you know, a lot of kids, maybe they're distrusted like allowances at a young age, you know, the parents are gonna give them a lot. And so then you always hear those stories about, you know, the kid who's saving up a lot of money to buy one big, I don't know, a skateboard game console, whatever, whatever's the big thing those days. But , uh, even, even in the small amounts of money, you know, you can learn some personal finance decision-making experience because the more experience you get with making those decisions, even if they're not full-scale , you know, even if you're not making those large scale decisions, the more experience you have with it , I think really feeds into your whole mindset and psychology when you do become an adult. And when you're dealing with these, you know, larger quantities of money than like a , like a $1 allowance . So that's kind of ,

Felipe Arevalo:

It's funny because the exposure, just the exposure in itself creates so much awareness. I know with like my seven year old, he has a Nintendo Switch and he broke one of the little joy cons because he was doing something I told him not to do. So I said, look, look, buddy, you have money, go get your money. We'll go on Amazon, I'll buy it, but I'm going to need the money. And I made him sit there and he's counting his quarters and he's counting his dollars and he's like, I barely have enough. And I was like , well, that's too bad. Put in a sandwich bag and give it to me. Cause it was a lot of coins. So I took all his money , um, that he had in there. But he is so careful now with this new replacement piece , um, because, and I could have bought it for him, but it was just, you know, there you go, you learn by making that purchase and it hurt him. He was sitting there like shaking his head. He's sitting there , uh, all kinds of upset because all of a sudden he's looking at his piggy bank.

Chase Peckham:

That's a great lesson.

Felipe Arevalo:

He's got no money in it.

Parth Asawa:

Yeah I know I can imagine the pain there. You do get to understand, you know, the consequences of various financial decisions.

Chase Peckham:

So tell us a little bit about the , the work that you're doing , um, creating curriculums. I mean, how are you helping with that? What is your vision for teaching financial literacy to your age group? The college age group? Because we really look, we have a wave what's called our Wave of the Future program and it really kind of goes from 15 to 25 ish. Right. That those introductory groups where there's so much introductory , uh , when it comes to budgeting and credit and those kinds of things, what do you see , uh , the future going? Um, because there is there there's an organization that was through the, I believe it was the credit unions , uh , association that created , uh, a simulation that they do with different.

Parth Asawa:

Oh the Bite of Reality?

Chase Peckham:

Bite of Reality. Correct. And we have done many of those and they're great. And it's the , the looks on people's faces.

Felipe Arevalo:

Their fun to do.

:

Yeah. We , we got to teach decision-making right. So how do we do that?

Parth Asawa:

For one thing, So yeah, the bite of reality program is something, you know, I'm a huge fan of like getting where you're sitting down and walking people through like all walks of life, all these decisions all at one time. I think that's an a , that's a great experience. So I mean, yeah, I've heard about that program too. And it's like, I kind of wanted to do , do one of those, but then COVID kind of hit and I never got a chance, but , uh, I think the, there are a number of ways, you know, moving forward where we want to get this wide variety of decision-making experience , right? Like on one hand you have with zoom, the growing amount of these asynchronous classes, where you're not having an instructor, but you have all the material, you have these prerecorded lectures. And I think that's something that's definitely going to pick up in popularity with personal finance and decision making over the next few years that like , I can see that I don't know who who'll do it. Right. But I can see a number, maybe college institutions, professors there who are going to like sit down and record these personal finance lecture videos for all the students at their universities, like, I don't think a lot of financial literacy classes exist at the university level right now. There are definitely a good number of colleges who have them, you know, as an elective or a resource and a center, but it's not like prioritized. It's not something that's like brought to attention for everyone. Like this is something you should have. This isn't a required course before you graduate. It's not like recommended. And so I think I definitely see a good amount of change coming there from the university level, because a lot of these universities are putting their lectures online. They're putting them on YouTube or Coursera or EdEx, and a lot of that, like online classes going on there. So I can definitely see something there in terms of like the high school level and simulations and stuff. I still feel like we're playing a little bit of catch up there in terms of having the awareness that financial literacy needs to be taught. That's kind of why I wanted to get into the advocacy space a few years ago. Like I think that's the , this awareness is something we need to focus on raising right now. It's been in the news more, which is good. Like the media is picking up on it a bit, but I still think we haven't hit the point yet where we're, where are we going to see these widespread simulations classes or community events on financial literacy in the, in necessarily in the near future? You know, COVID kind of stalled everything there. It definitely put a lot more financial strain on a lot of families across the U.S. You know, there's so many statistics going on about people not having emergency funds and savings just because, you know , the nature of the pandemic. And so I think we're going to , I think at the high school level and the younger level, we're still going to see, we're still gonna need to work more to bring that awareness. But once we do have that awareness, I'm hoping that there's going to be a lot more of these community style events organized by all the, like all the , like the community nonprofits organizations that are working then having these like simulation style Bite of Reality events or having these seminars and lectures or distributing, like, I don't know, holding personal finance seminars, like , or , uh, I don't remember the exact word for it, but I remember like when I was in elementary school, at least we used to have like, maybe like three times, Oh yeah. Assemblies. We used to have assemblies. We had speakers they come in and talk about some , uh, some topic or they would do a play , or they would tell us like something they're an expert in magician. Like I'm hoping that we can start to see more of these like financial literacy style assemblies, maybe in these elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, like maybe they won't be a full class yet you like in California, maybe at these standards, we're going to need a bit more time to work towards that. But I'm definitely hoping that we're going to be able to see sometime that future, that kind of shift where it's more awareness that needs to be taught more of these events, schools are going to work to bring in these financial literacy speakers. And then the more awareness these kids have, these kids are going to take, you know, some of their learning into their own hands. They're gonna study on their own too . And then hopefully there are more kids who want to get involved in spreading this learning to others. They're going to talk about it with their friends a little bit. Like it's not going to be the topic that , uh , it's not gonna be the hot topic in middle school , right. It's not going to replace all of the middle school discourse, but I'm hoping that with this change, we can bring about more awareness and overall in the longterm , I can't put an exact time on it, but we'll see, we'll start to see this definitive change in curriculum and overall, like how aware kids are of it.

Chase Peckham:

Do you feel like that if it's at least introduced to kids in a classroom atmosphere, whether it be by let's say a seminar or a workshop or a guest speaker , uh , that by just, I, but just introducing it by introducing the concepts and talking about the thinking and all that kind of stuff, that, that is going to have a, to kids as they go through life and they get introduced to these different scenarios.

Parth Asawa:

Yeah. You know , for sure. I think, I think that , yes, it's incredibly important to have that exposure, even if it's , uh , you know, I'm not sure how much I think kids are gonna remember like the exact numbers that are being taught or everything. Like, that's not something that they might remember going into their future years. But I think that what these seminars, these workshops in the classes should emphasize is where these kids can find the resources when they're older, when they're making these decisions where they can find the resources to actually make these educated decisions. So, you know, even if they're not remembering, you know , is that APR, should it be 8%, 5%, even if they're not remembering the exact numbers, if they know where to look, then I think that will make an incredibly positive impact on people's personal financial wellbeing and futures.

Chase Peckham:

That's, you I think you're, you're dead. Right. It's just, it's so hard to know, right. Because there's so many that want to introduce, we'll show them the structure of the budget, show them how to fill in. And that that's really, I mean, with the apps, I mean, you guys, at your age, you're more familiar with , uh, softwares and , and apps and all that kind of stuff. You're going to be able to go. I'm just going to look up . But if you're interested in budgeting, your age group is going to go, where is it in the app store? Right?

Felipe Arevalo:

There's an app for that.

Chase Peckham:

We're going to find it, there's an app for that. Right. We can find that. So it's just a matter of wanting of getting them interested enough to knowing that look not, everybody's going to go to college. Everybody's going to do their own path. Right. But everyone is going to be introduced to having to make decisions financially for themselves, eventually making their own money, eventually having to go out on their own and make those personal financial decisions. And if they learn the basic concepts of decision-making financially early, they're going to be that farther ahead. And they're not going to be $30,000 in credit card debt. In their mid twenties. Like I was because you're throwing yourself way behind the eight ball when you do that. So where do you go from here? What is your plan?

Parth Asawa:

You know , uh, I'm really hoping to continue with advocacy work in the near future. Like getting more , uh, just bringing more awareness that financial literacy needs to be taught. Uh I'm you know, I'm not totally sure where my college plans are yet, but I'm hoping to maybe do some work on the college campus too , in terms of bringing wherever I go, financial literacy , uh, awareness there on the campus too. And, you know, I , I'm hoping, I feel like there's so many ways to go forward with financial literacy education. Like you can, you can make apps, you can make blogs, you can make websites, you can host these wonderful podcasts too . You know, there's so many things to do though. Yeah. Uh.

Chase Peckham:

I think I'll , I'll ask one more final question and we'll let you go. Um , but as much as you've learned, how much more secure do you feel going out into when you eventually go out on your own? How much more do you feel like you're going to be ready for, for life as it comes at you?

Parth Asawa:

You know, that's a tough question. Like I know there's so much, I don't know about adulthood in personal finance .

Chase Peckham:

But there's so much more, you do know than the average person right now.

Parth Asawa:

Right. And there's, there's, there's much. I do know, but I think especially what, the reason why I feel kind of secure why I feel like, you know, I think I'm going to be able to handle this when it comes, is because having this exposure right now has taught me where to look, where to have , what type of mindset to have when making these decisions and where to find the resources to make , uh, to like recover, like, okay, what's the exact rate I'm looking for. What's the formula here. What's going to happen. If I do this, I know where to look for those. Now I know what to trust. And because I know that, you know, sometimes my desires might not be the most rational thing that happens. I feel a bit more prepared knowing that going into adulthood, I'm going to be able to find the resources that let me make the most educated decisions I can and manage my risks the best I can. And that's a great feeling to have

Chase Peckham:

Parth. I can't thank you enough for being here today. We really appreciate it.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yes thank you.

Chase Peckham:

Um , it's impressive. The work that you do and all the different organizations that you work with , uh , in many different facets. I know that, you know, it's, it's phenomenal having you on the California jumpstart board , uh, as, as , uh , a student advocate , uh , for what we're doing. So thank you for everything you're doing and the best of luck to you in the future.

Parth Asawa:

Thank you so much for having me, both of you. I really enjoyed the experience and I thought you made it an incredibly welcoming space . So thank you for that. And , you know, have a great day.

Chase Peckham:

You got it.

Felipe Arevalo:

Thank you Parth. Have a good one.

Chase Peckham:

And we'll be in touch. Well Felipe I believe, you know, if , if we can get to, to the kids to be half as involved in financial literacy, as Parth was I think that , uh , our future's looking pretty bright.

Felipe Arevalo:

I think you're absolutely right. A really smart guy, really nice guy. Uh, I hope everyone enjoyed this episode. If you did make sure you like us, follow us, leave us some feedback, wherever it is, listening to your favorite podcasts so that other people can find us and , uh , learn some personal finances as well.

Chase Peckham:

Absolutely.

Felipe Arevalo:

Thank you everyone [inaudible] .