Take Charge Cats Fall 2019 Newsletter

Your Present Self Impacts Your Future Self


Your present self impacts your future self. Have you heard of this phrase before? We at the Take Charge Cats firmly believe that the things you do today impact your future. That is why we are so passionate about teaching high school students, middle school students, and other community members about personal finance. We travel to various schools and communities in Southern Arizona to give presentations on spending plans, savings, credit, and more! The Take Charge Cats at the University of Arizona is currently comprised of 13 members who are driven to educate others about how to take control of their finances and invest in themselves. Check out the rest of this newsletter to learn more about who we are and some things we want to share with you!

Arizona Financial Face-off!

What is it?
Arizona Financial Face-Off (AFF) is a personal finance competition open to all organizations in the Tucson area who had taken Take Charge Cats personal finance workshops. Students compete for cash prizes on the topics of home buying, savings, spending plans, and credit.

When is it?
April 11, 2019

Check out AFF 2018!


New Curriculum Model

This year, we decided to revamp our presentations to help us reach audience members in a more engaging way. We have had a great support system of team members who have dedicated extra time to this project and helped to create unique and creative ways to capture the attention of audiences.

Some changes that we have made include adding new activities, videos, video discussion, and format modification. We hope that your classes/groups enjoy these changes and we always welcome feedback! 

Below are some of the links to videos and activities that we have added to our toolbox.


New Cats in Training

Please give a warm welcome to our newest Take Charge Cats: Adrianna, Katherine, Wendy, and Yasmine! These passionate Cats joined our team in August and have been hard at work with assisting in workshops and training under the TCC Curriculum. Our weekly meetings, public speaking exercises, and supplemental materials are also preparing them for success in the program. As the semester goes on, these four are well on their way to becoming Lead Cats! Learn more about these Cats and why they joined TCC here

Do you have an interest in personal finance and making a direct impact in the Tucson community? Apply here to be a Take Charge Cat today! 

Fun Financial Facts 

Know Your Financial Personality

Knowing your financial personality helps you and your financial advisor evaluate and make better decisions about how to manage and increase your wealth.

Below are the Nine Financial Personalities according to Russ Alan Prince of Yahoo Finance. Which one are you?

Family stewards: The aim of investing, wealth planning and much of what they think about and do is to take care of their family. They have family obligations that always rank very high on what’s really important to them.

Independents: They are striving for the personal freedom that financial and business success makes possible. They also want to have a solid safety net if it becomes necessary -- or they just want to bail.

Phobics: They don’t like investing, don’t understand it and don’t want to learn. They prefer to delegate investment duties to a financial advisor they trust.

The Anonymous: For them, confidentiality is a dominant -- often the dominant -- concern. They eschew just about anything that involves sharing information outside of a small select group.

Moguls: They are very concerned about parlaying their financial actions into personal power. They like to “keep score” with money and enjoy ascertaining who is winning and who is losing.

VIPs: They are interested in social recognition and prestige. They view their business and financial successes as a way to achieve high status.

Accumulators: Their primary (and sometimes sole) goal in life is to make more money. They want to do everything possible to grow and protect their personal fortunes because the more they have, the better they feel.

Gamblers: They relish the adrenaline rush they get when they’re successful in business and in life. They’re problem solvers and thoroughly enjoy the process of investing and related activities.

Innovators: They want to be at the cutting-edge of business and finance. They tend to focus on very sophisticated wealth management and family support solutions.

Learn more and read the full article


11 Ways College Students Can Save Money

Being college students, we deal with budgeting all the time. Should we go out with friends on a Friday night at No Anchovies or should we opt to stay in and finish that paper due Monday? Should we buy that name brand toilet roll or the generic one? How different are they? Is coffee a want or a need? How can we spend less on entertainment? These are some of the things that we might think about when it comes to allocating our time and budgeting our money. 

Below are 11 ways college students can save money according to Asia Martin of Forbes.

  1. Choose a cheaper meal plan.

  2. Spend less on dining out.

  3. Stop paying for friends’ splurges. 

  4. Cook and snack at home.

  5. Pay interest on your student loans while you’re in school. 

  6. Grab a Federal work-study grant.

  7. Buy basic school supplies off campus.

  8. Strategize to save on books.

  9. Use student discounts.

  10. Finish school (quickly).

  11. Work part-time (or over the summer) in your field.

Below are 11 ways college students can save money according to our Cat, Kei Ann.

  1. Utilize UA Campus Pantry.

  2. Use 10% Tuesday at Fry’s.

  3. Watch movies at the Student Union.

  4. Ask for froyo and nut butter samples at NRich located at the Student Union.

  5. Buy or rent used books and if you need a code, buy the code separately.  

  6. Attend speaker events on campus. They often provide refreshments and free food!

  7. Check out the SunTran or Tu Go Bikes instead of driving to class.

  8. Consider living at home or with roommates.

  9. Shop for clothes at resale stores or thrift stores.

  10. Instead of going out to eat with friends, try a potluck meal and have a picnic!

  11. Join UA Facebook groups. They often sell gently used items such as books and furniture there!

Are you already doing any of these?

Learn more and read the full Forbes article

Why Teach About Personal Finance?

According to Mary Hiers, of, below are the top three reasons why personal finance skills need to be taught to young adults going into or currently in high school (paraphrased from Hiers' article here: ).

Why teach about personal finance? In high school, some students are getting their first job, some are planning for college, and some are simply eager to start saving up. Money is such a relevant part of a young adult’s life and will continue to be for the duration of their life, so we believe that it is important to understand how to take control of finances

Below are the top three reasons why many believe that personal finance skills need to be taught to young adults going into or currently in high school. 

  1. “Money Management Is a Learned Skill”

It takes practice to learn basketball. Famous basketball players were not born able to do the things that they are able to do today. Imagine a baby shooting three pointers and dunking on opponents. Seems silly right? Basketball players need to be taught how to dribble, shoot, run, etc. in order to get into a professional position. Basketball players also cannot learn basketball from parents who either don’t know how to play or don’t fully understand all of the skills required to be a professional player. 

Similarly, students aren’t expected to understand personal finances until they are taught in some way. In order to create financial literacy and increase money management knowledge, it needs to be learned. We want future generations to be able to take control of their money and make educated decisions based on understanding so we teach them.

Students learn the skills to perfect the skills. With enough training and gathered knowledge,  money management can be a breeze!

  1. “The Sooner Education Starts, The Better”

Ever tried to break a habit? It is hard to say the least. That is why it is better to start learning about personal finance early so that good money management decisions become habit. 

It can be difficult at first to understand why creating a spending plan is important or how to use a credit card but learning earlier rather than later helps lead to better financial decisions and creates a habit that is not easily broken. 

If you considered starting financial education at 6 years old, the child will be learning about simple money management skills on a much smaller scale and will make smaller financial mistakes that they can learn from. 

If financial education begins with college students, however, the scale is significantly larger and there is a greater risk for large financial mistakes. 

The takeaway from these examples is that the earlier financial education starts, the better. Habits are difficult to break and hard to form so starting earlier creates a better chance for future financial success, good financial decision making, and a better understanding of money management

  1. “Awareness Of The Bigger Concepts That Most Adults Will Face” 

Not all financial concepts are understood...even by adults! Teaching students about personal finance allows them to understand some big concepts that they may face in the future so that they are able to find solutions with ease. 

When big concepts such as investing or credit cards come up, students who have been taught about personal finance will be able to take a relaxed and informed approach instead of feeling fearful or anxious. 

Consider student loans in college. 

Without the knowledge of minimum payments or interest, it would be quite a shock to realize that your $20,000 loan is now even greater!

Students understanding concepts of interest or minimum payments for loans leads to an increased ability to take control of their finances and feel confident that they have it under control. 

General understanding of bigger concepts leads students to confidently tackle issues that they might face in the future and take control of their finances. 

Teaching personal finance helps create more confident, informed consumers who will be able to accurately make decisions that will help them in the future. 

Your present self impacts your future self!

DIY Gift Ideas

Want to save some money this holiday season? Here are some ideas for do it yourself gifts that your friends and family are sure to love! 


Autumn Leaves Candle

Fall-themed candles are the perfect gift to cozy up someone’s home as the cooler weather starts setting in. It’s simple, all you need to make your own is a mason jar, some natural autumn leaves, and a candle of  your choice! Glue the leaves to the outside of the jar, pop a candle inside, and voila! 

Pocket Hand Warmers

What better way to keep yourself and your loved ones warm with these seasonal and unique pocket hand warmers? What You Need: Cloth (felt, fabric, etc.), a hot glue gun or sewing materials, rice, a funnel.


  1. Decide what shape you want your hand warmer to be

  2. Cut out two pieces of that shape from the cloth 

  3. Line up and hot glue or sew the edges of the cloth together (leave a little opening to put the rice in)

  4. Put the funnel through the hole, fill up your hand warmer ¾ of the way with rice

  5. Sew/ hot glue the hole shut

  6. Pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds and voila, you now have your own hand warmer!

Peppermint Brownie Mix In a Jar

Who doesn’t love brownies, especially with a holiday twist? Gift this peppermint brownie mix to your friends so that you can have a fun, festive activity to do with them along with a delicious treat!

Ingredients: 1 cup sugar, 2/3 cup cocoa powder, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup Andes Peppermint crunch baking chips (or chopped Andes mints), 1 1/4 cup flour (carefully add this layer as some of it will sink into the mints), pinch of salt

Layer all of these ingredients in the jar and add your own decorative touches to it! Access printables for the Peppermint Brownie Mix here!

Paracord Bracelets

These customizable bracelets are good for anyone and any occasion! Not only are they stylish and practical, but they are easy to make too! Find out more about the materials needed and instructions here!

Personalized Mug

Your friends and family are sure to love this mug, especially since you can customize it directly for the person you’re giving it to. Make this gift as festive and decorative as you want! You can also add hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, and candy canes as a finishing touch! You can find some examples at this link.

For more information about Take Charge Cats or to find out how to sign up for workshops, check out this link.



Take Charge Cats

The University of Arizona

Take Charge America Institute

P.O Box 210078

Tucson, AZ 85721-0078