Life-changing money lessons for teens and young adults

The mind-money connection

Building financial confidence when you’re young can make a big difference in your future well-being.

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Brian Ford (0:06):

Hello! It's time for another episode of Money and Mindset with Bright and Brian, a podcast that will not only help you become financially confident, but one that will also equip you with the mental skills you need to develop a growth mindset and ultimately live a happier, more fulfilling life. My name is Brian Ford, I'm the head of Financial Wellness at Truist, and I'm here with my co-host, Bright Dickson, who is our resident expert on positive psychology, purpose, and happiness. Hello, Bright.

Bright Dickson (0:32):

Hey, Brian, how are you?

Brian Ford (0:34):

Doing great.

Bright Dickson (0:35):

So, I'm super excited to be here as usual, but I'm really intrigued and excited about our topic today.

Brian Ford (0:41):

Yeah, for sure. Me too. Tell us, Bright, what are we chatting about today?

Bright Dickson (0:44):

So, we are about to get deep on life-changing money lessons for teens and young adults. So, if you're in that category, you're going to want to hear this one, but it will be equally helpful for parents, grandparents, older siblings, aunts and uncles, anyone with a young person in their life. This is really the kind of thing that I wish I or maybe my parents had listened to when I was still a teen myself, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to learn some things that I can apply to my life today, and we have a really cool guest, Kam Phillips, who's joining us today, and like our last guest, you knew Kam before he decided to come on this podcast. How did you guys meet, out of curiosity?

Brian Ford (1:24):

Yeah, for sure. Kam is a good dude. He is definitely an up-and-comer in this exact space, kind of this intersection between our money and our mental wellness. I met Kam through a friend, and so we grabbed some lunch, and it did not take long to know that Kam is making such a positive difference with teaching young adults about money. Now, Kam is the founder and executive director of TRUE Change Inc. It's a nonprofit that equips teens and young adults with financial literacy skills and emotional wellness tools to prepare them for real-world success.

Bright Dickson (1:57):

That's so awesome. From what I can tell, Kam is going to have a lot of great stuff to say on this topic. So, Brian, you ready to help change a few young lives out there?

Brian Ford (2:07):

Always. Let's do it.

Bright Dickson (2:15):

So, if you're a teen or a young adult or the parent of a teen or a young adult, you're really going to want to pick the brain of a guy like Kam Phillips because he's going to help you find financial confidence and a growth mindset from a young age. Kam, let me go ahead and beat Brian to the punch on welcoming you to the show. Will you say hi to the listeners?

Kam Phillips (2:34):

Hey, it's great to be here, and I'm looking forward to the conversation.

Brian Ford (2:37):

Yes. Welcome, Kam. Well, before we get into these life-changing money lessons, we definitely want our listeners to understand why you're so passionate about this topic and helping youth in particular with their money and mindset.

Bright Dickson (2:49):

That's right, Brian. Now, here on Money and Mindset, we know that financial education and confidence are critical to well-being. And, Kam, I did a little research, maybe a little light internet stalking. You talk on your website about how your own mental health journey is related to your passion for financial education. Would you share with us a little about your journey and how that journey led you to what you do and who you are today?

Kam Phillips (3:14):

For sure. So, I ended up going to college in Atlanta and majoring in economics. So, walking into economics, to be honest, I had no idea what I wanted to do, it just kind of clicked for me. I come from pretty humble beginnings, didn't have much money growing up, but once it came to how money works, how people respond to things, it just made sense to me. So, I ended up graduating and just chasing the bag, wanted to making much money as possible. I went to work for a few finance companies and got to the point to where I was making a pretty significant income, but I was unfulfilled. I was going to work every day, I was making a good amount of money, working with a lot of wealthy people, but everything I felt like I was pursuing just didn't add up. If we're being transparent, I got to a breaking point to where I ended up in a mental hospital.

I know a lot of people struggle with a lot of different mental health issues, and I was one of them. So, coming out of that situation, I just had a new perspective on finances are great, having money is great, but if I don't integrate it with my wellness, all of it's really for nothing. So, eventually ended up walking away from my corporate job and just trying to make a difference in the community, started talking a lot about mental health, started talking about those struggles. And, if I'm being real, I didn't want to touch anything that had to do with finances because, like I said, I worked with a lot of wealthy people, but that didn't necessarily bring me happiness.

As I kept working with more students, kept talking with more people, if you ask somebody what they want their life to look like, if you're creating a vision with a student, most people are going to want to be financially secure, it's just part of our nature. So, I started to integrate my content about mental wellness with, all right, how does it integrate with financial wellness? How does it integrate with career wellness? And have just been doing that ever since.

Bright Dickson (5:05):

Kam, thank you for sharing that and for being so transparent about it. I think it's really important that we talk about stuff like this and the kind of journeys that we all go on. I bet a lot of our listeners can relate to that feeling of on paper, everything's going great, but for me, inside not so much, and there are moments where we've all got to make choices because we know we've got to make a change.

Brian Ford (5:30):

Yeah. No, I appreciate that too, Kam. I love your background. I love your willingness to share your story. I'm just glad, man, that you saw the light and you came back to finances and understanding the importance of that. So I love it. Well, look, Kam, we want to ask from your experience, what do you think is really key when it comes to helping young adults see the importance of becoming financially confident?

Kam Phillips (5:54):

Yeah. No, this is a great question. I feel like a lot of times parents or teachers are just trying to teach things and they're like, "The kids don't get it. They don't get it." One thing that I think is really important is making it relative to them. A lot of times when we're trying to teach young adults or teach teens or teach our children, we're stating things that are important to us in this moment and trying to say, "Hey, this is important in the future," but in reality, a lot of things that are going to be important to a 40-year-old isn't going to resonate with a kid or a teen. So, I think the first thing is really listening to what's important to them, what their values are, and being able to connect the dots with finances in the future. Once they're able to grab onto that concept, then it's not just an ambiguous tool or ambiguous skill or words they don't really understand, but something that they can apply to their everyday life and they see how it relates to them, I think that's when it really sticks to them.

Bright Dickson (6:46):

Yeah, that's so interesting. I think it becoming relevant has been a big part of my financial journey too, and even having realistic models of what this is actually going to look like versus a feast-or-famine experience or a lot of the models that we see on TV where it's just immeasurable wealth that's not the reality for the vast majority of people. But we know that financial literacy in general can change lives, but sometimes it's hard to get people, even adults, to see this. So, the sooner you get it, the more time you have to use that knowledge and to make an impact on your life so it can help you have more options, and then those options help you be able to achieve what you want in life. We talked about this in one of our recent episodes about grit and goal setting, but we know that achieving goals—setting and achieving goals—is critical for well-being because it can give you that sense of fulfillment.

Brian Ford (7:43):

Yeah. No, I totally agree, Bright. I think that's important. I'd love to hear from Kam what he thinks about this and this interplay between goal setting and finances. And, Kam, I'll just say I agree with you when it comes to teaching young adults about money, we can't just start talking out of a textbook. We've got to come down to their level, we got to know what's important to them. So you were certainly speaking my language there, but how do we get these young adults to think a little bit about the future? How do we get them setting goals specifically around their finances? What do you think about this?

Kam Phillips (8:11):

Yeah. I think goals are extremely important, and I work on setting action plans and things like that, but I think one thing that's very important as well is those baby steps and just them enjoying the journey along the way. What I mean by that is there's a lot of different ways to make money, especially with technology, there's so many different ways that students and young adults can peek into their interest and see the financial benefit of it. So, when we're setting goals and the eye is just on the prize, you're trying to reach a high that you never really touch. You'll get the goal and it's always what's next, but in order to form a habit, you have to appreciate doing something every day. So, setting those goals, but also scaling it back to say, "All right, what do those steps look like?” and how they can find fulfillment in each and every step along the way.

Bright Dickson (9:00):

Yeah. I think that's so important, is taking the joy in the process and in the learning, and I think that speaks directly to this idea of growth mindset. I'm sort of thinking about myself when I was younger, although I'm coming to terms now with the idea that I'm not a kid, I'm actually an adult in every way, and there's still lessons that I'm learning and certainly lessons that I wish I learned earlier than I did. But I'm curious for you, Kam, if there's one money lesson you wish that you had learned earlier, what would that be?

Kam Phillips (9:35):

That's a great question. I don't want to get too deep on this, but when I look back and I think about what I wish I would've learned, it's don't let my insecurities drive my money habits, and by insecurities and money habits, a lot of times when it comes to spending and my pursuit of money. So, I've always known how to make money, I've always had an interest in making money, working as early as I can remember, having my jobs when I was 15 and everything like that. I look back at me working and how much money I was making in high school, and I'm just like, "Where did all that go at that time?" And I think about, "Oh, I was buying clothes, I was buying shoes, I was doing everything to impress people in my circle." Even though I was doing that at 15, 16, 17 years old, once I started working, I was able to see that as an adult.

So, not letting my insecurities drive my spending habits, but also what I wanted to do with my life. I felt like I had to rush, I felt like I had to make all these quick decisions to make money really just to impress people. So even when it comes to going to college, what you're majoring in, what your interests are, there's time in having patience to pursue what you feel like is going to be sustainable as opposed to just getting something really quickly to impress your friends or keep up with the Joneses. So, I definitely wish I was more in tune with what was important to me and not looking at everybody else and not comparing myself to everybody else, and didn't let those insecurities drive me.

Brian Ford (10:59):

I love that, Kam. So important. Man, I can't wait for not only the parents of our listeners, but also some of the young adults that do listen to this show, that's so important to know. I love what we talked about so far, I feel like this conversation is headed in a great direction. Up next, we're going to talk about the top money lessons for young adults that can change your life. Stay with us.

Bright Dickson (11:31):

So, before we jump into those top money lessons, we want to talk a little bit about a question we recently got from a listener that's related to this topic. So, friendly reminder, and in case you didn't know, you can email us any questions or topics you'd like us to discuss here on the podcast. The email address is

So, this listener wrote and said, "Our daughter is going to be a senior in high school next year, and we're trying to figure out what to do about college. She wants to go to college, and we're encouraging her to do so, but she's not decided on where to go and she doesn't know what she wants to do for her career yet either, which I think is normal if you're 18. We want to support her, but we don't have any money saved or much money saved, and it's likely we'll all be taking on some student debt loans together in the next year or so. We want to be smart when it comes to these decisions about college and how to pay for it, and we want our daughter to make smart decisions too. What advice do you have for us?" So, Brian, I know you have so many thoughts on this. What's your take?

Brian Ford (12:30):

Yeah, such a great question. College can be a great investment. I'm very pro-education, no doubt, we know there's a return on investment there. So, there's nothing wrong with taking out a reasonable student loan, but there are wrong ways to go about it. So, first, I'd encourage you to research your options. What I mean by options is, are there alternative ways for paying for college that you haven't looked into? There's so many wonderful grants and scholarships; there's even family members. So, look at your options, broaden your thinking on that. But when I say options, I'm not just talking about when it comes to the loan terms, but it's also where you decide to go to college and how much you're paying for the kind of degree you're getting. One thing I will state for sure is going to community college for the first year or two, such a smart option that a lot of people overlook. It can save you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.

If you're not sure what you want to do or what you want to study or where you want to go yet, it's also going to give you time to figure that out, and then you can make a more informed decision about where to go from there. Remember, you can still go to an amazing university after crushing it at a local community college for a year or two. I mean, it's amazing when I talk to young folks, and I get this question all the time when I bring this up and they're like, "So, if I go to a community college for a year or two and I get good grades, then when I go to the university of my choice, my diploma just says that amazing school?" I'm like, "Yes, you'll save thousands of dollars, and you'll still get this amazing degree from the school of your choice."

So, whatever you end up deciding for your college path and career, I definitely encourage people to think about your return on investment, and I fully understand that college is more than just a return on investment. I get that. I've got two daughters in college right now, and there are other considerations, like their social life, like sports, even a particular religion that's important to you. But just for a moment, put on your finance nerd hats and think about college in terms of return on investment. The cost of tuition, it can vary greatly from one place to the next. If you go to an expensive school and take on $150,000 in student loans for a degree in a field that's not going to make much money, you're probably setting yourself up to deal with more debt stress than you should. There's a big difference between having $150,000 in student debt with a teaching degree versus having $150,000 in student debt with a top-notch engineering degree.

Now, I can already see the crazy emails coming in, Bright. First of all, I want to say it's not that we don't need great teachers or that teachers don't deserve to be paid more, but I just encourage people to think about how much debt they're taking on in relation to how much money they expect to make in their field of study. So, if you know may not be making a big salary after college or you're not even sure what you want to do at all, then be very careful about how much debt you're taking on. I also want to state that sometimes working with young people, I find that some people will start college, they'll take on a big loan and then they won't finish. That's heartbreaking because now we have these young folks that have this mountain of debt without the degree to help pay for that.

So, if you have a loved one that's in that situation, encourage them to go back, at least maybe get that associate's degree that will justify a bit higher income to be able to pay that back, but be careful of getting into student debt without finishing the degree. Then, as I mentioned before, also just look into available grants and scholarships. Kam, I am curious on your take with this question. What else would you add?

Kam Phillips (16:13):

Brian, you covered it all. I thought that was great advice. When it comes to community college, it definitely gives you a chance, especially if you don't know what you want to do in the future, to parse that out some, learn about your interests, learn about yourself, learn about what fits you the best, and looking at that community college or local college for a year or even a gap year to be real, just taking that time to work, learn more about yourself, so once you do go to college, you don't change your major three different times, end up being there for six years, whatever that looks like.

So, I think that definitely is an option. Also, I do a lot of work with students in technical high schools and vocational schools, and growing up, for me, that was kind of a stigma, but now when it comes to skilled labor, when it comes to a lot of other industries, there being certifications you can get to start your career and making a pretty good salary starting off. So just looking at those options as well.

Brian Ford (17:04):

Yes, agree.

Kam Phillips (17:05):

You touched on scholarships. Yeah, the amount of scholarships that go unclaimed, and that's something I wish I would've learned, that I can write a few essays and get a few thousand dollars to go to our school, that's definitely something to look into.

Bright Dickson (17:16):

Yeah. I mean, I agree with all of you, and I was very fortunate and that I didn't have to take on student loans. I'm a huge aberration in my generation, but many, many of my friends did many people I know did, and sometimes, not in all cases, but sometimes it seems like the debt they take on might not be worse, not the education, but like the degree and the return in many of the circumstances I'm seeing. I feel like you all just validated that in certain ways. I had some electrical work done just to validate what you're saying about technical schools and vocational programs, Kam, and that was a big check that I wrote to my electrician. So, I feel like maybe I missed the boat on that kind of thing, but I think there's so many ways to do this that don't involve taking on debt that's going to hurt your ability not only for financial confidence, but really for well-being in the long run.

I think that's something that's hard to keep in mind and kind of the hope and the excitement around college and moving on, but I think it's really critically important, and it's a huge life skill to build. So thanks, guys, and listeners, we hope that was helpful and we'd love to hear more of your questions. So whether it's about money or mindset or a little bit of both, let us know what do you want us to talk about in our next episodes. You can let us know by shooting us an email, and again, that email is

Brian Ford (18:55):

Okay, that was a great listener question and that really ties us back well to the topic at hand, but let's get back to it. What are some other life-changing money lessons that can help our young listeners and parents out there? So, Kam, in all your time that you've spent with students, what misconceptions do you see them having about money and financial wellness?

Kam Phillips (19:16):

Yeah. I could go a couple different ways on this, but one thing that comes to mind immediately is that we have this magical ability to compartmentalize our feelings with our finances, to where our finances in this one department, our feelings are in this one department, and my emotions aren't dictating one or the other. But in reality, when we try to be logical about a lot of things, when we try to budget, when we try to make spending decisions, there are underlying tensions there that have to be addressed. So not shying away from that and just making a decision that makes us feel good in the moment, but really, "All right, how are my emotions tying into this?"

Another thing that comes to mind is just don't overcomplicate it. I've talked to a lot of people, and they'll read up or they'll see a post about options trading or Forex trading, or some complicated investment scheme. But the most successful people that I've met have simple plans and they just implement those plans. They have those everyday habits that they formed, and compounding is a real thing. So, they start small and things just continue to grow. So just knowing, "Hey, I don't need to learn everything in a day. I don't need to know about every investment out there, but just starting what's simple and start building from there."

Bright Dickson (20:28):

Yeah, I couldn't agree more, Kam. And I want to touch back on the emotions thing. When you were talking earlier about the insecurities that you had that led to some of your money habits that didn't work out, and I think we all deal with them, no matter what stage of life we're in. When parents and kids are working together around money, sometimes those emotions come up, that tension can come up. I feel like half the battle when it comes to some of these topics is really just a conversation, or more likely conversations themselves, and how you approach it with your family and thinking about how these conversations aren't separate from your relationships, but they're a part of your relationships.

What I've seen is that sometimes money conversations can bring families closer together when they're well done, and that's the ideal state we're going for. But sometimes, and perhaps in many families more often, these kinds of conversations can cause friction, can cause big negative emotion and ultimately drive relationships apart. So, Kam, how can parents and teenagers approach these topics and help young adults understand and implement these money lessons? Like families who do this well, what do they do that other families don't do?

Kam Phillips (21:50):

That's a great question, and I love what you said about there's a lot of emotions that tie to it when you're having those conversations with your family. But I think one huge thing that I've seen with families I've worked with is just the transparency. Depending on your culture and your background, some households are like, "Hey, kids, don't worry about money. Don't ask me about that. If you're not working, you shouldn't know any of this." But once I started hanging around different types of families, one of my co-workers, he would take his family out to eat, and when the check came, he would have his kids guess the amount of the check. So, if I ever asked how much my parents are paying for anything, I would've got scolded, but he's inviting that conversation with his kids just to start the topic on something that's not very high risk and just bring them into everyday conversations, letting them know, "Hey, this is what this is going towards."

Even if it's something that you may be stressing about, obviously as a parent there's a form of protection that you want to have over your kids and their feelings, but kids are also very observant and they can see when their parents are stressing. So, I feel like just opening up, being a little more vulnerable allows the teens and the young adults not to feel shame when they don't know something about money or if they are stressing about it, but to really speak up and ask questions because a lot of people are going through it.

Brian Ford (23:07):

Yeah, well said, Kam, I like that. I like this idea of just bringing up money in everyday topics, making it interesting to talk about just a part of everyday conversation, which is great. I like this idea of transparency. Okay, so this next question is going to be our last big question for you, Kam. We've got a lot of great advice and context here at this point, and I've got some thoughts on this next question I'm about to ask you, but I really want to know your thoughts first. So, if you tried to narrow it down, what do you feel are the top one or two life-changing money lessons young adults need to know?

Kam Phillips (24:23):

I would say what comes to mind is, and I think this goes with any age, but finding mentors and people who you trust to ask those type of questions to. When I mentioned mentors, a lot of people just look at that as solely financial or career, but people who you look at them and you say, "I like what I see and I want to be like them in the future, when it comes to their values, when it comes to just how they carry itself, when it comes to them seeming happy."

As you open up and as you speak with them more, I've learned a lot of money lessons, I've learned a lot of things about contentment, about risk taking, about what's really driving you to where they're able to build pretty solid financial bases, but they're not unhappy at the end of it. So, I think finding mentors, finding the right people around you, knowing that, "Hey, I don't have to figure it out all by myself." As you get older, that's going to look like more professional relationships, whether it's advisors, whether it's accountants, or just finding those people in your circle you can lean on and just being open about it, like we mentioned conversations with parents. But when you have an issue, when you have a problem, when you have a struggle, you're not the only one. A lot of people who are very successful have had very ups and downs with finances through their lives. So, instead of just holding it in, instead of trying to live a lifestyle that may be above your means to fit in, ask questions, find those people who can support you.

Brian Ford (25:06):

Yeah, I like that a lot. Fantastic advice. Another thing that I think can be helpful for young adults and parents in particular is to understand the power of firsts. Kam, this goes back to where we started with this, which is, you can't just start talking to young folks about some textbook answer, like we mentioned. You mentioned understanding what they care about, what do they value. I think this power of firsts, and when I say first, I'm talking about your first job, your first car, your first bank account, even your first experience taking out a loan, whatever they're most interested in right now, these firsts really are fundamental to our development and how we understand money, and every first I think is an opportunity to have a conversation and learn.

So, for example, if you've got a teen who wants to buy their first car, let's use this excitement and motivation to learn about money when it's really applicable, it's about something that they care about. So you can start by helping them understand what a car costs, how to budget for those costs. You can talk about whether they're going to earn and save the money or whether they're going to take out a loan. If they're saving, obviously, my first ... I should say my favorite thing I love to talk about when it comes to saving, Kam, is just saving first and automatic. So, again, when they're motivated to buy something, let's talk about saving and let's make sure they understand the power of doing it first and making it automatic. But also you can talk about paying cash first, getting an auto loan, which then leads into other topics of understanding, like, credit scores and interest rates.

It's really just a huge opportunity to explore multiple money topics together and get closer. I just gave one example of buying a car, but man, when you get that first job and they're looking at a 401(k) or they're looking at benefits, take that opportunity to talk about those things. If you are a young adult and you're experiencing some of these firsts, be smarter than the average 18-year-old, and like Kam said, ask for help, learn a little bit about how to do it right. So I think we just need to look for these windows of opportunity as our young adults move through these stages in life.

Bright Dickson (27:17):

Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I got to tell you guys, the young adult in me, my inner teen is starting to feel a little bit more empowered, and I really hope our listeners are feeling the same. But before we wrap this episode, as always, I want to hear each of your biggest takeaways from everything we discussed today. For me, it's sort of pulling together some stuff that, Kam, you said, and Brian, you said, but I want to hit a little more on emotions here, and I think one of the things to notice for parents, two things. So, number one, as you're entering these conversations with your kids, notice your own emotions and your beliefs around money. If you're feeling shame or guilt, you need to notice that and break it down and plan for that to come up when you're talking about money. If you're feeling excitement, note that too, note all of the things that are emotionally part of this package and plan for them.

Because if you're bringing your shame, your guilt, your money weirdness to the table with your kid, that's going to go directly to them and probably already has, which leads me to my next thing. I think it's really important to investigate and acknowledge where your kids are emotionally around money in the moments that you're having these conversations, in the moments of your firsts. So, that sort of reiterates, Kam, your point about how important this openness and transparency is. If you haven't had that openness heretofore, now is a great time to start. You can always start now, and I think it's really important to just keep the emotions in mind as you go into these kinds of conversations, your own and your kids. Kam, how about you, what are your top takeaways?

Kam Phillips (29:00):

My biggest takeaway is like Brian mentioned, just looking for the windows of opportunity to engage with your kids, with your teens, with the young adults in your life. I think having conversations, being intentional about those conversations and using the excitement that they already have about their firsts, about big purchases that they're looking about, college plans, and using that momentum to have those conversations and having those conversations transparently, having them openly, and that just being another chance to grow closer with your kids or whoever is in your life.

Brian Ford (29:32):

Yeah, I like that, Kam. For me, there were two things that really stuck out, and I was taking notes. The first thing that you said, Kam, that I loved is be careful about our insecurities driving our money habits. I love that line. That's so important. I don't know anyone who doesn't have to learn that lesson, and the sooner we learn that lesson, the better. People do not like us because of the clothes that we wear or the car that we drive, or how cool our technology is. They like us because of who we are. The sooner we learn that, oh my gosh, so much the better. So I love that. Be careful about our insecurities driving our money habits, I thought that was a gold nugget.

The other thing you said was find a mentor, find some trusted folks in your life, and your exact quote on this was fantastic, I wrote it down, you said, "I like what I see, and I want to be like them in the future." That's fantastic. Seek those people out. You probably like them for a reason, and those are the very people that are most likely to help you along your money journey. Find those folks, ask good questions. Fantastic advice. Thanks, Kam, I appreciate that.

Bright Dickson (30:47):

That's it for this episode of Money and Mindset with Bright and Brian. Thanks as always to all of our listeners out there, and thanks also to Kam Phillips for joining us for this episode. Kam, it's so cool to meet people like you who are out there working to get this knowledge out to young people, and some of us olds too. Kam, if any of our listeners want to find more of your stuff, get to know you a little better, where should they look?

Kam Phillips (31:10):

Yeah. Before I drop all the plugs, I just want to thank you all again for having me on. I was a fan of the podcast right when I heard it, and I love what you all are doing. As far as how to reach me, my social media is just, it's kamphillips, Kam with a K on all social media, and then my website is Kameron Phillips, Kameron with a K .com. And if you're interested in learning more about TRUE Change in the nonprofit, that is just

Brian Ford (31:35):

Very good. I love it. Please check it out. We appreciate you, Kam. You are doing incredible and important work. Keep it up. I also want to quickly remind our listeners that you can always drop us an email with your questions or maybe a cool story. We would love to hear from you. That email address is If you enjoyed the show, be sure to subscribe or share it with a friend. We appreciate you spending time with us today. Until next time, thank you.

Speaker 3 (32:18):

This episode of Money and Mindset with Bright and Brian is brought to you by Truist.


Teens and young adults—and their parents—face some big decisions involving money. Whether you’re looking at ways to pay for college or deciding what to do with that first paycheck, your family will have plenty of opportunities for important conversations around saving, spending, and budgeting.

This episode of “Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian” explores how you can make the most of those conversations and start building financial confidence at an early age. Our hosts are joined by Kam Phillips, the founder and executive director of TRUE Change Inc., a nonprofit that prepares teens and young adults for real-world success by teaching financial literacy and emotional wellness skills.

Listen in to hear:

  • Why finding a mentor can help financially and emotionally.
  • How to make informed decisions about taking on debt to pay for college.
  • What “the power of firsts” can teach young people about money.

And be sure to check out our past episode “How to help your kids be good with money,” which has tips for families with younger children.

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We love hearing your questions and stories, whether they’re about your money or your mindset. Email us at to share with us (you can remain anonymous). We may talk about your question or give you a shoutout in an upcoming episode! 

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