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What do grown-ups do with all their money?
Jul 26, 2022
Season 3 | Episode 6

What do grown-ups do with all their money?

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Perhaps an ancient necklace will help us find the answer...

If you add up all the money a grown-up makes in their lifetime, it might sound like a lot! Surely they must have more to show for it. Where are the castles, the ponies, the fancy cars? In this episode, with the help of a magic necklace and a podcast-loving neighbor, we’ll do the numbers on the stuff grown-ups have to pay for every day. It’s not all pizza parties and ice cream sundaes! 

A four-panel coming summarizing this episode
Arnel Alinea

And now … tips for grown-ups listening to “Million Bazillion” with kids

Money Talks

Here are some questions you can ask to find out what your child learned in this episode.

  1. If a grown-up is making $1,000 a week at their job (roughly the median income for full-time American workers at last check), how much money would that person make over a 30-year career? Hint: There are 52 weeks in a year.
  2. What are some of the “essentials” adults have to spend their money on before they can buy the fun stuff?
  3. What’s the 50-30-20 rule? Why do some people find it useful? When is it not useful?
  4. Can we think of a time the grown-ups in your life had to say no or make a money decision you didn’t like? Why do you think they made that decision?

Tip Jar

Throw on “Running Up That Hill” while you talk with your kid about this episode. We’re swapping places!

Today we’re building empathy — teaching kids that yes, it might seem like grown-ups have a lot of money, but they also have a lot of expenses. If you’re comfortable, consider sharing a broad-strokes household budget with your kid. Something like, “We spend about 10% of what we earn on groceries and eating out,” just to put things in perspective. Feel free to use the fingers method Ryan suggested in the episode!

If your kid is good with the numbers piece of this discussion, you could explore the real-life ways American adults spend their money. This article from Investopedia works with percentages the same way we do in the episode, drilling down into categories like toys, restaurants and gifts. To get more advanced, check out this discussion of the average American household budget from Bankrate. The numbers are from 2020 and are likely skewed by the lifestyle changes in that first year of COVID, but what wasn’t, right?

Ask your kid, how do you think our household compares to the averages you see in these articles? The point isn’t to keep up with the Joneses, but to get their wheels turning about the things adults buy.

Gimme 5

We’d love to hear your kids’ money jokes, money poems and best money tips so we can feature them on the podcast! Send them to us using this online form.

And we want to hear what parents think about Million Bazillion! You can help us by filling out a short audience survey: marketplace.org/survey

Million Bazillion: S3 E6 Grownups Spend Money Script/Transcript

Note: Marketplace podcasts are meant to be heard, with emphasis, tone and audio elements a transcript can’t capture. Scripts may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting it.

 

(SFX: OUTDOOR SUBURBAN AMBIENCE, CAR TRUNK SLAMS, CLANKING EQUIPMENT)

 

BRIDGET: (CARRYING STUFF)  Why can’t we do the show at your place anymore?

 

RYAN: (CARRYING STUFF) I told you, my landlord says when we record,  my manly baritone rattles the entire building, cracking windows, disturbing dogs. We need to record at your place.

 

SKYLER: (SINGING) La la la la la…

 

RYAN: Who’s that kid?

 

BRIDGET: (HUSHED) Oh boy, it’s Skyler. She lives next door.

 

 

SKYLER: Hi, Bridget. What are you doing? Who’s your friend?

 

BRIDGET: Hey Skyler. This is my friend, Ryan. Ryan, this is my neighbor, Skyler.

 

RYAN: Hi, Skyler.

 

SKYLER: What’s that stuff you’re carrying?

 

BRIDGET: This is podcast recording stuff. We do a podcast for kids. Gotta go, but nice to see-

 

SKYLER: (FAST) Can I be on your podcast? What’s your podcast about? How long have you had a podcast? How many listeners do you have? Can I be on your podcast?

 

BRIDGET: Uhh, maybe? Someday. We’ll talk to your mom about it.

 

SKYLER: How bout today? How bout right now?

 

BRIDGET: Um, well, it’s not really like a show with “guests.”

 

SKYLER: Well, maybe having guests would make your show more popular. I’ve never heard of your podcast and I know all the kids’ podcasts. I listen to Stories Podcast, Story Pirates, Storynory, Morning Story, My Favorite Story, Glorious Stories with Rory and Dory, and I once got a selfie with Ira Glass at the airport. Is your show even real?

 

RYAN: It’s real. We have an opening theme and everything.

 

SKYLER: Oh yeah, how does it go then?

 

RYAN: It’s really cool, ok? Listen to THIS!

 

–OPENING THEME MUSIC–

 

RYAN: Welcome to Million Bazillion. I’m Ryan.

 

BRIDGET: I’m Bridget. And We Help Dollars Make More Sense.

 

RYAN: See? There’s the opening theme. Ok, bye Skyler, we’ll let you get on with your day.

 

SKYLER:  Then what happens on the show? Podcasts need to be very clear up top about what the subject is. Otherwise, you’ll lose listener engagement. You really should know that.

 

BRIDGET: Well, we answer the questions kids have about money. Like this one:

 

THOMAS: “I’m Thomas from New York City. And I was wondering what do grownups do with all their money? Where does all their money go? If they get paid so much money, why aren’t they millionaires?”

 

BRIDGET: Oh, this is a great question, and one we can definitely answer. Did you know that, over the course of their lifetime, an adult might make over a million dollars? But most adults aren’t millionaires. So where does that money gooooo? Grown-up expenses.

 

SKYLER: Ugh, grownups have soooo much money and waste it all! If I was a grown-up, I would spend all my money on unicorn figurines.

 

BRIDGET: Well, Skyler, It may seem like some grown-ups have a lot of money, but there are a lot of ways that money disappears before grownups  even have a chance to spend it on fun stuff like unicorn figurines.

 

SKYLER: Ugh, I wish I was a grown-up for just one day because. I know I could spend your money better than you!

 

RYAN: Owww! You gonna take that from Skyler? What’s the world coming to?

 

BRIDGET: Well, I wish I was a kid again so I didn’t have to worry about spending money at all.

 

SKYLER: Do you really mean that? If you really mean it, you’ll make a wish on this old necklace I borrowed from my mom’s archeological dig.

 

RYAN: Hey, now. Let’s not bring an ancient necklace into this.

 

BRIDGET: I’m not afraid of some old necklace. I’ll make your wish.

 

(SIMULTANEOUS)

BRIDGET: I wish I was a kid! / SKYLER: I wish I was a grown-up!

 

(SFX: BIG MAGICAL WHOOSH SOUND)

 

BRIDGET/SKYLER: Ahhhhhhhh!

 

SKYLER (AS BRIDGET): What happened??? Wait. Is that you, Skyler?

 

BRIDGET (AS SKYLER): Bridget??? Did- did we….

 

BRIDGET/SKYLER (TOGETHER): Switch bodies? Ahhhhhhhhhh!

 

SKYLER: I feel so young!

 

BRIDGET: I feel so old!

 

SKYLER: Well, you’re not that old.

 

RYAN: I’m still me. In case anyone’s wondering. And we’ll sort this all out when we get back.

 

–Asking Random Kids NOT SO Random Questions–

 

ANNOUNCER: And now it’s time for asking random kids, some NOT SO random questions. Today’s question is: If there are aliens on other planets, do you think they use money?

 

RANDOM KIDS: “No, I think they would probably trade things.” “I think they do use money because honestly, you kinda can’t live without it.” “No because they’re a different animal and animals on earth, don’t use money.” “How would they get the money? Maybe some sort of space rock? And carve it into something. Maybe it’s not circular, maybe it’s a cube or a triangle.” “If there were aliens on other planets, I think they would use money because if there were shops on Mars, how else would they buy stuff from them?”

 

ANNOUNCER: That was Evie in Alabama, Elise in California, Bobby in Maryland, and Daphne and Collette in Wisconsin. This has been asking kids NOT SO random questions.

Part 1:

 

RYAN: Welcome back, some truly kooky stuff just went down. I’m so confused. Bridget, explain.

 

SKYLER: Skyler and I switched bodies, so, me, Bridget, I’m a kid now-

 

BRIDGET: And me, Skyler, I’m an adult… your ears aren’t pierced. Ooh, can I get ‘em pierced?

 

MOM: (FROM A DISTANCE) Skyler, leave the neighbors alone. Time to go to school!

 

BRIDGET:  (HUSHED) You have to go to school for me! I can’t let my mom know I took that magical necklace.

 

SKYLER: But when do we get to switch back?

 

BRIDGET: After we’ve learned whatever lesson we’re supposed to learn. That’s how body switching works! At the end of the day, we’ll wish each other back.

 

SKYLER: (HUSHED) How am I supposed to fit in with other 10 year olds? What do 5th graders even like now? Is Polly Pocket still a thing? Do kids still trade snap bracelets?

 

BRIDGET:  What are snap bracelets? Ew.

 

SKYLER: Ok, Skyler, you host Million Bazillion for me. I’ll go to school for you. It’s the only way to get through this…very  weird Friday!

 

RYAN: Wait a minute, I can’t host with Skyler- even if she is in your body! She’s 10! She doesn’t know about money! And I don’t know about money! Both hosts can’t not know about money!

 

MOM: (FROM A DISTANCE): Skyler, I’m serious! Time for school! You’re gonna be late!

 

SKYLER: (TO MOM) Uh I’ll be right there, Debra- er, I mean Mom! (TO RYAN) Ryan, you’re just gonna have to figure it out. (TO BRIDGET) Skyler, behave yourself and listen to what Ryan says- or not everything he says, but you know what I mean- just- I don’t know! Be smart!

 

BRIDGET: Ok, go, go. You’re gonna make me late for school!

 

(SFX: RUNNING OUTSIDE. DOOR SLAMS.)

 

(MUSICAL INTERLUDE)

 

RYAN: OK Bridget–I mean, Skyler. I mean, Bridget Skyler? Whatever, it’s time to do the podcast! Just follow my lead!

 

BRIDGET: Does Bridget have TikTok? Do YOU have TikTok? Can I have a piece of gum?

 

RYAN: No, no, and no. Skyler, we’re here to tackle this question. How do grown-ups spend their money?

 

(SFX: RUSTLING, MIC TAPPING)

 

BRIDGET: What’s this? Is it fragile? Is it expensive? What happens if I tap it? Like this.

 

RYAN: That’s your microphone. Don’t tap it. It’s loud when you tap it.

 

BRIDGET: And what about this knob? What if I turn it up and down?

 

(SFX: BUTTON PUSHING)

 

RYAN: (VOICE CHANGES VOLUME) That’s the mixer. Don’t break that stuff. It’s my job to break that stuff. We’re supposed to be figuring out what grown-ups spend all their money on.

 

(SFX: KEYBOARD TYPING SOUND)

 

BRIDGET: I know one way we can figure that out. I have Bridget’s bank account information right here. This keeps track of all the money she makes and spends. And, wow, looks like she has a lot of money in here. She has-

 

RYAN: Don’t say the number.

 

BRIDGET: Why?

 

RYAN: We covered that in a different episode. Just don’t say the number.

 

BRIDGET: Anyway- Bridget has enough money for me to buy anything I want, including Rainbow Glitterzilla, the most expensive of all the Sparkle Unicorns! Can we go to the mall? Let’s go to the mall! Please!

 

RYAN: Skyler, ugh, I hate being the grownup here- Bridget is usually the one to say this- but I don’t think that’s a good idea.

 

BRIDGET: Why?

 

RYAN: Because it’s Bridget’s money.

 

BRIDGET: Ryan, I am Bridget today! So let’s buy some unicorns!

 

RYAN: But you’re supposed to be learning a lesson here. Before we know how much money we can spend on fun stuff, we need to know how to pay for the basics. I know it might seem like adults make a lot of money compared to how much of it a kid gets to spend … And, I mean, parents do sort of make a lot of money over the course of their entire lives, but they don’t get to keep it all because it’s expensive to be an adult!

 

(SFX: PHONE NOTIFICATION)

 

BRIDGET: Hmm, it’s a reminder on Bridget’s phone. It says “Pay Rent.” What does that mean?

 

RYAN: Um, rent? Rent is like money you pay just to live in the building you live in. And if you own a house, you might not pay rent, but you might pay a mortgage which is like paying off a loan for a house, or- ugh, we’re already in over my head.

 

BRIDGET: So I guess I’ll pay Bridget’s rent, though it is a lot of money.

 

(SFX: “SAD” DESCENDING ELECTRONIC NOTIFICATION)

 

BRIDGET: So do you pay rent every month?

 

RYAN: Yes. I do. Usually. Paying for housing is like, the most expensive thing in a grown-up’s life. For a lot of people, housing takes up about 30 percent of their money.

 

BRIDGET: What’s “30 percent”?

 

RYAN: You don’t know percents?

 

BRIDGET: No. I’m ten.

 

RYAN: Ok, hold up ten fingers.

 

BRIDGET: Ok?

 

RYAN: Those ten fingers are all the money you have to spend this month. Now put down three fingers.

 

BRIDGET: Ok?

 

RYAN: That’s you paying the rent. Gone. That’s how much the average person pays just to have a roof over their head. And by the time you get through with paying for the rest of the basic stuff you need everyday, trust me, you might be left holding up just one finger- though be careful about which one you hold up.

 

BRIDGET: Ok, there’s still more than enough money here to buy all the unicorns I want-

 

(SFX: MOUSE CLICKING SOUND)

 

(SFX: “SAD” DESCENDING ELECTRONIC NOTIFICATION)

 

BRIDGET: Whoa, wait, the amount of money in Bridget’s bank account just went way down. What just happened?

 

RYAN: Lemme see… oh well, looks like she has a bunch of bills set to automatically pay each month. Stuff like electricity…

 

(SFX: “SAD” DESCENDING ELECTRONIC NOTIFICATION)

 

RYAN  Water…

 

(SFX: “SAD” DESCENDING ELECTRONIC NOTIFICATION)

 

RYAN: And gas. Those are called utilities and they can add up.

 

 

BRIDGET: Gas? Is that like gas for the car?

 

RYAN: No, this is the gas bill for the house. Like you use in a heater or a stove. It’s what keeps your house warm in the winter. Gas for your car is a whole other thing- and that’s really expensive that you need to pay for to get around (TIRED) Speaking of which, I’m starting to run out of gas myself. Wanna get something to eat?

 

BRIDGET: You know where there’s a great food court? The maaaaall.

 

RYAN: (SIGHS) I know you’re trying to trick me into taking you to where they sell unicorn figurines, but that is a good foodcourt. And I am weakened from hunger. So, yeah, let’s go to the mall.

 

BRIDGET: Yessss!

 

(MUSICAL INTERLUDE)

 

(SFX: CLASSROOM SOUND, KIDS TALKING LOUDLY)

 

TEACHER:  OK class, as your teacher, it appears I’ve been tasked with getting you all excited about “financial literacy,” so today we’re going to be talking about income tax. Do any of you know what income tax is- or have even heard the words, “income tax”?

 

[SFX crickets?]

 

TEACHER: Alright, that’s normal. Income tax is-

 

SKYLER: (CLEARS THROAT)

 

TEACHER: Skyler? You never raise your hand in class.

 

SKYLER: Oh. I don’t?

 

TEACHER: No. Do you know what income tax is?

 

SKYLER: Uh, yeah. So … umm … Income tax is money you have to pay the government based on how much money you make. Sometimes it comes right out of a person’s paycheck.

 

TEACHER: OK. yes, go on …

 

SKYLER: And the government uses that money to pay for things it thinks are important – like building new roads, schools and hospitals.

 

STUDENT:  When my dad talks about income taxes, sometimes he gets so mad, a vein pops out on his forehead.

 

SKYLER: That’s probably ‘cause a big chunk of the money people earn at their jobs automatically goes towards income taxes. It’s like money they never get to spend. It’s like if you earned 5 dollars for raking leaves, but when you got paid you only got 4 dollars because the government took one. And adults argue a lot about how the government should spend all that money.

 

TEACHER: Um, wow. That’s a surprisingly good explanation for a 10 year old, Skyler.

 

SKYLER: And if you’re looking for ways to save on your annual income tax, consider contributing to a 401k or Roth IRA. I know some trustworthy financial advisors who could set you up with a plan right for you.

 

TEACHER: Um, ok. Good to know, Skyler. So, moving on-

 

SKYLER: Also, I don’t know what kind of health care plan this school district offers, but if you’re dealing with a high deductible.

 

TEACHER: Really? Interesting. Um, thank you, Skyler. Do you mind sticking around during recess to give me more financial advice?

 

SKYLER: Sure. But first We’ll be right back after this break.

 

TEACHER: Huh?

 

SKYLER: Sorry, force of habit. I mean, time for recess!

 

-interstitial COULD DO NASA LADY or kid jokes HERE-

 

–MIDSHOW-

 

Part 2:

 

(SFX: MALL AMBIENCE)

 

BRIDGET: So which podcasters are you friends with? Do you know Bill Simmons?

 

RYAN: No.

 

BRIDGET: How bout Marc Maron? Ooo, how bout Terry Gross? ?

 

RYAN: No. No. I don’t know Terry Gross! ! I’m not that cool! I know you made me bring you here to the mall to buy unicorn figurines, but at this moment, this pad thai makes the whole trip worth it. So, Skyler, are you at least starting to get an idea of all the unfun things adults have to spend their money on, or am I completely bungling this whole lesson or what?

 

BRIDGET: Yeah, yeah yeah. I get it. Everything costs money. Adults spend their money on stuff like housing, utilities, as you told me when we drove here, cars, gas for those cars, other kinds of transportation if they don’t use cars-

 

RYAN: Mmmhmm. This eggroll reminds me of another major thing adults spend money on, I wish I could remember what it was.

 

BRIDGET: Food?

 

RYAN: Yeah! Food! You can’t live without food and water. And, there’s no such thing as a free lunch -except samples day at the grocery store.

 

BRIDGET: Wow, I guess I never realized grownups have to pay for all this stuff. Or how fast someone can spend their paycheck

 

RYAN: Yeah, and when you’re an adult with kids, there can even MORE bills. Entirely worth it, of course, for the joy of watching Frozen 2, 400 times over the course of a year. But families usually have to ALSO put aside money for childcare, you know, paying someone to supervise the children when the parents are working.

 

BRIDGET: Wait. Not even babysitters are free?

 

RYAN: No way. Maybe in Iceland or something. but in America (HICCUPS) you’re on your own. Pardon me.

 

BRIDGET: But even after all these expenses, grown-ups must have some money left over, right? Like how many fingers do I have left?  To spend on the stuff I WANT to spend on?

 

RYAN: I mean, that really depends on every household and uh–

 

BRIDGET: I just need to know if I can buy this unicorn, okay, Ryan!!

 

RYAN: On Bridget’s budget, just like one finger, okay?? She makes plans for every penny, okay?? Have you ever seen her grocery shopping? She always sticks to the list! Always!

 

BRIDGET: Wow, grownups really figure out how to ruin everything, huh?

 

RYAN: You’re not wrong. But look, in an ideal world, a grownup will have some money left over after paying bills they NEED to pay. If Bridget were here, she’d say some of that money needs to go into retirement and savings. But THEN…well then comes the fun stuff, buying the stuff you WANT to buy. And everyone chooses to spend that extra money in different ways!

 

BRIDGET: Like what?

 

RYAN: You really want to know?

 

 

RYAN: Let’s put your constant question-asking to good use and ask some people in this mal…

 

BRIDGET: Oh you mean like a man on the street montage?

 

(MUSICAL BED OF SOME PERKY “MUZAK”)

 

BRIDGET: Excuse me sir, after you pay your bills, what kind of things do you like to spend your money on?

 

MALL GUY #1: I like to spend my money on traveling the world. I’m going to Fiji next month.

 

BRIDGET: Hello, ma’am, may I ask- is there something you’ve been planning to use your  money for?

 

MALL LADY #1: Why yes, I’m saving to build extra room in my house.

 

BRIDGET: And what about you? What do you do with your money?

 

MALL LADY #2: I spend my extra money on an animal shelter that takes care of stray dogs.

 

MALL LADY #3: I save all my extra money to give to my grandkids one day.

 

BRIDGET: And how about you, sir, where does all your discretionary income go?

 

MALL GUY #4:  I invest in  cryptocurrency.

 

RYAN: Ooof. Sorry… You want a hug?

 

MALL GUY #4: Yeah, I could use a hug.

 

(SFX: HUG PATTING)

 

(STOP MUSIC)

 

(ALT FINAL BEAT OF THIS SECTION:

 

MALL LADY #4: I like to buy my kids’ the unicorn figurines they ask for.

 

BRIDGET: But… wait, don’t you have something you want to buy for yourself?

 

MALL LADY #4: I mean, yes, there are a lot of things I’d like to buy. But often I choose not to buy those things for myself because it’s more important to see my kids be happy.)

 

BRIDGET: Wow, so people spend their extra income on a lot of different things that aren’t unicorn figurines. And yet they still seem happy.

 

RYAN: Yeah. And right now, you’re 10. Of course, it makes sense that unicorn figurines are everything to you. But later on in life, you’ll probably find something else you  like as much as unicorn figurines.

 

BRIDGET: Do you collect unicorn figurines?

 

RYAN: Skyler, please. I’m an adult in his 40s. I collect Star Wars figurines.

 

(MUSICAL INTERSTITIAL)

 

(SFX: SCHOOL BELL)

(SFX: CLASSROOM AMBIENCE)

 

TEACHER: OK, class. Continue your silent reading of page 20 of your Economics 4 Kidz textbooks. (HUSHED) Psss. Skyler. I need to talk to you for a minute.

 

SKYLER: Yeah?

 

TEACHER: I took your advice over lunch and started a 401k and a Roth IRA retirement account.

 

SKYLER: Oh good. Never too early to save for the future.

 

TEACHER: Would you mind helping me with something else?

 

SKYLER: Oh yeah, sure.

 

(SFX: PAPERS RUSTLING)

 

TEACHER:  Can you take a look at this budget I’ve made for myself? Sometimes I just don’t know WHERE my money goes every month and I’ve read that budgets can help with that.

 

SKYLER Hmm.

 

TEACHER: “Hmmm” good or “hmm” bad?

 

SKYLER: This is a good start. But personally, I’m a big fan of the 50-20-30 rule.

 

TEACHER: The what?! .

 

SKYLER: It’s a way to budget money that can be helpful to some people. Basically, you set aside certain percentages of your money for different categories like, one chunk for essentials, one chunk for saving and investing, one chunk for fun stuff.

 

TEACHER: Ok, from here on out, I’ll follow my budget down to the cent, never splurge, and never do anything fun because clearly the only solution is to worry over every penny.

 

SKYLER: Well no, that’s not what I’m saying. The point of all this budgeting is to worry about money less. It IS important to hang onto some of your money for the future, for good stuff like a trip or expensive surprises. But a nice cup of coffee isn’t going to put you in debt. You just gotta make room for it in your spending. Hmmm. I guess this is a lesson I sometimes struggle with.

 

TEACHER: How do you know so much about this stuff? … you should host your own money podcast

 

SKYLER: [LAUGHS] If you only knew.

 

TEACHER: What was that?

 

SKYLER: I mean, we’ve been chatting for 45 minutes … can I get back to the assigned reading?

 

TEACHER: Oh, sure.

 

(MUSICAL INTERLUDE)

JAKE: Hi, I’m Jake from Ringgold, Georgia. And I’ve got a money joke for you. Why is coin afraid of dogs? Because dog bit coin!

RYAN: Well, Skyler, here we are at the unicorn figurine emporium. You have Bridget’s credit cards and ID, and face and voice. And, after paying all her expenses and putting aside her regular contribution to savings, you still have one finger of her income left to spend. So I guess go inside and pick out the unicorns you want.

 

BRIDGET: (BEAT) You know, I’m not sure I want to buy the unicorn figurines anymore.

 

RYAN: What?

 

BRIDGET: Walking through the mall, I noticed a pant suit in the front window of Ann Taylor Loft that my mom’s had her eye on. I know she wants it, but would probably never buy it for herself because of all the other grown-up expenses she has in life. I think I’d like to buy my mom that pantsuit.

 

RYAN: Wow, Skyler, that’s really generous. I see you have learned a lesson from me today.

 

BRIDGET: I mean, it’s not that generous. I’m still using Bridget’s money.

 

RYAN: Oh yeah. I forgot about that part. Still though.

 

-interstitial- (Or NASA LADY HERE?)

 

Conclusion:

 

(SFX: FRONT DOOR OPENS)

 

SKYLER: Hey, it’s me Bridget. I’m home from school.

 

BRIDGET: (EXCITED) Bridget! Bridget! Today was so interesting! Ryan showed me all the different ways grownups spend their money!

 

SKYLER: Wow, that’s great!

 

BRIDGET: How was school?

 

SKYLER: Well, when you go back tomorrow, your teacher is gonna expect you to give financial advice. If you don’t know the answer, feel free to email me. So, what did you learn today?

 

RYAN: I learned that I can learn about money on my own and teach about it all by myself!

 

SKYLER: Ok, nice, Ryan. I was more specifically asking Skyler.

 

RYAN: Oh yes, of course.

 

BRIDGET: I guess I learned that adults spend a lot of their money on stuff they HAVE to buy, not stuff they WANT to buy. Some of these things are obviously important like a place to live and food and a car to drive, and other things are harder for a kid to understand-

 

RYAN: Like taxes.

 

SKYLER: Yeah, like taxes.

 

RYAN: Insurance. We didn’t even talk about insurance! That’s, like, Queen of the Un-fun Bills!

 

BRIDGET:  But the big thing I learned is- however much money a grown-up makes, whatever the number, a lot of it goes to pay for the basics. And even after you’ve paid for all those basics, there are a million ways people spend their money that aren’t just buying things. You can save it for later or give it to someone you care about or use it to make the world a little better. Part of being a grownup is figuring out the right mix of how to spend the money they make, to maximize today’s fun AND to still plan for the future. But right now, I just want to go back to being a kid who doesn’t have to think about this stuff.

 

SKYLER: Wanna switch back?

 

BRIDGET: Yeah, let’s switch back. Here, I got the necklace. On the count of three…

 

BRIDGET: I wish I was a kid again! /  SKYLER: I wish I was a grown-up again!

 

(SFX: WISH-MAKING WHOOSH SOUNDS)

 

SKYLER: Ahhh, I’m back in my own body. Feels good to be a kid again!

 

BRIDGET: And it feels… just fine to be an adult again. Honestly, I sorta miss being able to run as fast as you, Skyler. But look, I got you a special memento of today’s adventure!

 

SKYLER: (GASPS) It’s a unicorn figurine! Rainbow Rachel! I don’t have this one yet. How were you able to buy this? I had all your credit cards.

 

BRIDGET: Hmm, not all my credit cards. I have one hidden away for emergencies. Technically, this wasn’t in my budget, but I learned it’s ok to have fun and splurge every once in a while, too!

 

SKYLER: OK, I better go home and give my mom this pantsuit.

 

BRIDGET: Whoa. That pantsuit is… very smart. Where did you get it?

 

SKYLER: Ann Taylor Loft. It’s on sale right now.

 

BRIDGET: Whoa. Um, Ryan. Can we go to the mall? …. Ryan? Where’s Ryan?

 

SKYLER: Wait, where’s the necklace?

 

RYAN: Hold on, I’m just using it to make one quick wish. (WHISPERS) I wish I had a mint-in-box Jabba the Hut figurine with fully functional tail.

 

SKYLER: Nice try. The magic necklace only works for body switching.

 

RYAN: Awwwwww! Nuts!

 

–THEME MUSIC–

BRIDGET: Thanks for listening to Million Bazillion — we help dollars make more sense. And we’ve got a whole new episode out next week, answering a question about cryptocurrency! Don’t miss it!

RYAN: And if you want to keep getting smarter about money, sign up for the Million Bazillion Academy. It’s four weeks of very important money lessons! Sign up today at Marketplace.org/MBA.

 

BRIDGET: And if you’re in a signing-up-mood…We would LOVE it if you would subscribe to Million Bazillion and then leave us a rating and a review. Those help us out a whole lot!

 

RYAN: Million Bazillion is brought to you by Marketplace and American Public Media.

This episode was written and hosted by me, Ryan Perez, and Bridget Bodnar, who’s the senior producer too.

 

BRIDGET: This episode was also written and produced by Marissa Cabrera. Edited by Jasmine Romero and Sanden Totten

 

RYAN: Everything you heard was sound designed by Chris Julin. And mixed by Bekah Wineman. Our theme music was created by Wonderly.

 

BRIDGET: Our digital producer is Tony Wagner. Donna Tam is the Director of On Demand at Marketplace. Neal Scarbrough is the VP and General Manager

RYAN: We are grateful for the voicing talents of Maracella, Kimberly Adams, Brian Allison, Sabri Ben-Achour, Eliza, Meghan McCarty Carino, Jay Siebold, Juan Carlos Torrado, Bekah Wineman, and Catherine Winter.

BRIDGET: And special thanks to the people who provided the startup funding for Million Bazillion, and who continue to help keep us going: The Ranzetta Family Charitable Fund and Next Gen Personal Finance, supporting Marketplace’s work to make younger audiences smarter about the economy.

RYAN: To all the grown-ups listening right now – we hope that you and the kids in your life are having some good conversations about money thanks to Million Bazillion. Help us keep those conversations going. Donate today at marketplace.org/givemillion. Your support means a whole lot.

The future of this podcast starts with you.

It’s official: kids love “Million Bazillion®!” From fun, creative lessons about trade to silly skits about the foundation of our economy, our team is committed to making kids and their families smarter about all things money.

We know you wish you had this podcast when you were a kid—and now you can make it possible for a child in your life.

Support “Million Bazillion®” in any amount to make financial literacy accessible for the next generation.

The team

Ryan Perez Ryan Perez
Bridget Bodnar Senior Producer
Sanden Totten Editor
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Donna Tam Executive Director of On-Demand
Chris Julin Sound designer
Jasmine Romero Editor
Bekah Wineman Media producer
Marissa Cabrera Producer
Tiffany Bui Intern

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