Chatterf optimizing language labels for dialogue.

The terms “generative AI,” “artificial intelligence,” and “ChatGPT” have been flying around in a frenzy for the last several months, with everyone from tech journalists to grandparents claiming the end of the world as we know it. So what’s all the chatter about? Who better to ask about the future of AI than ChatGPT? The following was compiled through a conversation with the chatbot that’s taking the world by storm.

How would you explain AI to a teenager in 100 words or less?

AI is like having a super-smart computer friend. It learns from information and makes smart decisions. It can recognize pictures, understand speech, and even drive cars. The more it learns, the better it gets at solving problems. But just like people, it can make mistakes and show biases. We need to use AI responsibly and make sure it treats everyone fairly. In the future, AI will be a big part of our lives, helping us in many ways. It’s exciting to learn about AI and how it can make the world a better place.

Who created AI?

AI is the result of contributions from many scientists, researchers, and engineers over time. It doesn’t have a single creator. Pioneers like Alan Turing, John McCarthy, and Marvin Minsky made early contributions to the field in the 1950s. Since then, countless researchers from various disciplines have advanced AI. It’s a collaborative effort, and AI continues to evolve with new discoveries and innovations.

Okay, but who built ChatGPT?

ChatGPT was built by a team of researchers and engineers at OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research lab. OpenAI aims to develop and promote friendly AI that benefits humanity. The specific individuals involved in creating ChatGPT are not publicly disclosed, but the team at OpenAI collectively worked on the development and training of the ChatGPT model. They employed techniques such as deep learning, natural language processing, and reinforcement learning to train the model on vast amounts of data to enable it to generate human-like responses in conversations.

How will AI shape the future of someone who is a teenager today?

AI is set to play a significant role in shaping the future of teenagers in several ways:

  1. Education: AI-powered tools and platforms can revolutionize education by personalizing learning experiences, providing adaptive tutoring, and offering customized educational content. Students can have access to tailored resources and receive individualized feedback, making learning more engaging and effective.

  2. Job Market: The job landscape will undergo transformations due to AI. Some jobs may become automated, but new opportunities will arise as well. It is crucial for teenagers to develop skills that complement AI, such as critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence. These skills will be in high demand and can help them thrive in a changing job market.

  3. Healthcare: AI has the potential to revolutionize healthcare, from early disease detection to personalized treatments. As teenagers grow up, AI may contribute to more accurate diagnoses, improved healthcare delivery, and advancements in medical research, leading to better health outcomes.

  4. Transportation: Autonomous vehicles powered by AI are on the horizon. Teenagers will witness the transformation of transportation systems, with self-driving cars becoming more prevalent. This technology can enhance road safety, reduce accidents, and provide greater accessibility to transportation.

  5. Personal Assistants and Smart Devices: AI-powered virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant will continue to evolve. Teenagers will experience a more integrated and intelligent interaction with technology, simplifying daily tasks, accessing information, and controlling smart devices.

  6. Ethical Considerations and Social Impact: As AI advances, teenagers will face ethical dilemmas and social challenges. They will need to consider issues like data privacy, algorithmic biases, and the responsible use of AI. Being knowledgeable about these aspects will enable them to actively shape the ethical and societal impact of AI.

In summary, AI will bring both opportunities and challenges for teenagers. By embracing AI, developing complementary skills, and understanding its implications, teenagers can position themselves to thrive in a future where AI plays an increasingly prominent role in various aspects of life.

Yikes, that was both mind-blowing and longwinded. What’s the #1 thing people should know about AI?

The #1 thing people should know about AI is that it is a tool created by humans and its capabilities and limitations are determined by the data it is trained on and the algorithms used. AI is not infallible, nor does it possess human-like consciousness or emotions. It operates based on patterns and correlations it learns from data. Understanding that AI is a tool that requires careful development, responsible use, and ongoing monitoring is essential. It is crucial to consider ethical implications, address biases, and ensure transparency and accountability in AI systems to harness its potential for the benefit of society.

Noted. Got that, Biz Kid? AI is the future — according to AI.

A person standing on a lifeguard stand with a red umbrella.

If you blinked, you may have missed it. June is here! With it, the start of teenage employment season. One headline described the state of summer employment this way: “Summer jobs are plentiful for those who want to work.” So now, the question is: do you? Before you answer that, today we bring you five things to consider in your quest to trade your extra free time into some extra pocket money.

Beware of Scammers

As online job listings increasingly go online, some scammers are joining their ranks, ensnaring well-meaning teens with too-good-to-be-true offers of summer employment. Their tips: look for misspellings in the job postings, and don’t apply for a job without asking for a second glance from friends and family.  And finally, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Look for Perks Beyond the Paycheck

As a teen, most jobs available to you are likely to fall into a similar range – most likely, close to minimum wage. That doesn’t mean that all minimum wage jobs are alike. Consider the extra perks and benefits of a job when applying. Perhaps it’s a lifeguard position that comes with free pool admission for your family or a restaurant that offers a free meal with every shift. If you’re able to take advantage of the freebies you’re offered, they could add significant value to your weekly paycheck.

Consider your Future Resume

If there’s one perk that can trump all others, it’s the potential value of your experience in the eyes of future employers. Consider a minimum wage job fetching coffee for newspaper reporters. On your resume, an early role in the field of journalism – no matter how small – could show dedication that a job at a mall just can’t match. If you know the industry you hope to someday work in, find a supportive role within it. It could pay off for years to come.

For top wages, look for mismatched supply & demand

This summer, cities are shuttering public beaches, pools, and parks for a simple reason: they simply can’t staff them. The good news? When demand exceeds supply, rates rise. If you’re flexible with your type of employment, look for local news stories about added perks and pay for those willing to fill desperately needed positions with public entities.

Don’t forget the entrepreneurial “opportunity cost”

Just because you can’t find a job posting that pays more than $15 per hour doesn’t mean you have to settle. As you consider summer employment, also consider the alternative: turning that entrepreneurial idea that’s been rolling around in your head into reality. Don’t get us wrong: $15 is a solid wage. But owning your own business is hard to beat.

An electronic device is sitting in a backpack.

If you believe the week’s hype, three syllables stand between us and the end of the world: debt limit. By now, you’ve read the headlines. You’ve heard the spin. You’ve seen the predictions of the end of the world if we do, and the end of the world if we don’t. Up for debate between various branches of the U.S. government is the idea of raising the debt limit. So what is the debt limit, exactly? Like most things that we bicker over, it’s complicated. Here’s the situation in a nutshell:

The debt limit, a.k.a. the debt ceiling, is the maximum amount of money that the U.S. government is allowed to borrow to meet its financial obligations. In simpler terms, it’s how much debt we’re willing to go into to pay back people we owe.

Those who say we should raise the debt limit have the following to say:

1.     It keeps thing calm.

Supporters of raising the debt limit say that it’s a must to avoid defaulting on the U.S. government’s bills. They argue that failing to raise the debt limit could lead to a loss of confidence in U.S. Treasury bonds, higher borrowing costs, and negative impacts on the economy.

2.     We need to pay back what we owe.

Raising the debt limit allows the government to pay for expenses that have already been approved by Congress. It ensures that the government can honor its commitments like Social Security, Medicare, military salaries, and other essential programs.

3.     We need to keep the government running.

Raising the debt limit can help prevent a government shutdown. Without an increase in the debt limit, the government may be unable to fund its operations, leading to disruptions in public services.

4.     We must preserve trust in the good ole’ U.S. of A.

Supporters argue that raising the debt limit is essential to the nation’s credibility. It shows our commitment to meeting our obligations. It reinforces the perception that loaning money to the U.S. in the form of U.S. Treasury bonds is a wise investment.

Arguments against raising the debt limit:

1.     It’s irresponsible to keep diving into deeper debt.

Opponents argue that raising the debt limit allows the government to continue overspending. They say that it is essential to address the underlying issues of spending and prioritize financial responsibility to avoid burdening future generations with reckless amounts of debt.

2.     It makes deficits the norm.

Critics argue that raising the debt limit sends a message that spending more than we take in is an acceptable habit. They believe that imposing a limit on borrowing can force the government to get its spending under control.

3.     It encourages wasteful spending.

Some opponents of raising the debt limit argue that not raising it provides incentives to cut wasteful spending, streamline government programs, and implement long-term budgetary discipline. They see it as a chance to address structural issues within the government’s finances.

Can you see why the argument is so heated? It’s a situation of being darned if you do, darned if you don’t. Now, the question is: what will happen? Will the two sides find a middle ground, or default on our nation’s bills in a matter of days? Only time will tell.

A woman wearing sunglasses on a pink background.

The hottest ticket in (bizarre) fashion got $20,000 more expensive this year. Tickets to the 2023 Met Gala were an eye-popping $50,000 each. And no, forking over five figures doesn’t grant you admission alone. The pricey sum is due only after you make the invite list drafted by the real-life character behind The Devil Wears Prada: Anna Wintour. The price of admission is a not-so-friendly reminder that there’s money to be made in high fashion.

Fashion and fortune have been joined at the hip since the beginning of time. The only question is whether you’re on the spending or earning side of the equation. The average American woman spends an estimated $545 per year on clothing, while the typical man spends $326. Chances are, if you’re like many Americans, some of that budget went straight into the pockets of one iconic man.

The wealthiest fashion designer is the world is rumored to be Ralph Lauren. His $6.8 billion net worth wasn’t just handed to him. He steadily built an empire from the ground up – on Wall Street of all places. It was on that famed street that he began designing neckties for bankers, expanding his portfolio over time to include everything from high-end gowns worn by First Ladies to sneakers worn by urban highschoolers. That range is what sets Ralph Lauren apart (and helped him earn his fortune.)

But you don’t have to be an American icon to earn a living as a fashion designer. We’ve had the privilege of featuring multiple well-dressed entrepreneurs on Biz Kid$ over the years. Here are just a few of our favorites.

Beauty and the Budget

Believe it or not, some people have found out how to make a profit from other people’s shopping habits. Enter: Beauty and the Budget.

Foster Kid Fashionista

This Biz Kid taught us that no challenge life throws one’s way can disqualify a dream.

Dolly’s House of Fashion

Dolly turns dingy denim into dynamic digs. Now say that five times fast.

The inside of a rugby stadium.

Last week, news broke that a bidding war had erupted over a hockey team – the Ottawa Senators, to be precise. The bidders weren’t your typical unknown billionaires, either. In the running are two of the biggest names in media: Snoop Dogg and Ryan Reynolds. The rapper and actor are duking it out over the right to own a business that can have truly profitable returns.

So why would someone hand over millions for a sports team? Like any other investment, a sports team’s owners invest with the hope that the value will increase dramatically over time. Jimmy Kimmel recently joked with George W. Bush over his sale of the Texas Rangers baseball team in the 1990’s (punchline: he sold too soon).

Wish you could have a piece of the fun but don’t have millions to play with? Owning a team is just one way to turn a passion for athletics into profit. Here are a few more.

Going Pro

For most young athletes, going pro is the most obvious path to riches. After all, who wouldn’t want a multi-million-dollar paycheck for playing ball all day long? The bad news a shocking percentage of professional athletes go bankrupt. But with the right financial advice, professional sports can having lasting impact. Just ask one of the Harlem Globetrotters:


If you don’t have the athleticism to go pro, you can still turn play into profit by hosting a fundraiser for a good cause. Take it from the organizers of Give Blood, Play Hockey.

Hidden Careers

If none of those paths to profit sound feasible or fun, consider the lesson delivered by our Hidden Careersepisode. Sometimes, the closest job to the action isn’t one that draws much attention. Securing a job as an athletic trainer or stadium attendant could put you in front of the action without requiring quite as much luck.

A blue and gold crown sits on top of a red cloth.

This weekend, presidents, princes, princesses, and a few lucky commoners will gather in London to watch an event unfold that happens once in a generation: the coronation of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla. The festivities are expected to attract millions to the city, and the planning of the weekend has been in the works for years. Such a grand occasion begs the question: how much does all of this pageantry cost?!

While officially numbers have not been released, experts estimate that the three-day celebration will cost between $50 and $100 million. Talk about a pricey party! The total is a big increase over the cost of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953, which rang in at $1.5 million. Believe it or not, footage of the entire ceremony from 70 years ago is available to the public:

But where, exactly, are those funds coming from? While Royal weddings are paid for by the deep-pocketed royal family, this weekend’s nine figures of fun will be covered by British taxpayers – sort-of. Everyone on this weekend’s payroll will be paid out of an unusual bank account to rule all bank accounts called the “Sovereign Fund.”

That fund is a trust of sorts, one that technically belongs to the British taxpayers, but was set up to collect interest gained from the Royal family’s vast collection of land and assets. As of 2022, the Sovereign Fund held $97 million. Not too shabby for a bank account that’s typically used to pay gardeners, travel agents, and other Royal life expenses. Here’s how Britain’s Sky News explained the funds earlier this year:

So what, exactly, is all of that money going toward? A major chunk of it is being devoted to security, which explains how Charles’s coronation will cost so much more than his mother’s, despite having a guest list of 2,200 dignitaries (comparted to 8,200 for Queen Elizabeth.)

One last fun fact: the party-planning organization in charge of all of this planning, budgeting, and spending? Operation Golden Orb. Talk about a fancy party.

A family is having a meal together at the table.

Let’s face it: between always-on smartphones and never-ending practices, it isn’t easy to gather the family for family dinner on a regular basis. But that challenge hasn’t made it any less important.

According to the University of Florida, “frequent family dinners have a positive impact on children’s values, motivation, personal identity, and self-esteem.” When it comes to financial literacy, the importance of dinner table conversations is no different.

How you talk about money — from budgeting and saving to managing debt and investments — will shape your child’s perspective for decades to come. But if you’re like many parents, it’s one thing to believe that your words have power. It’s another challenge altogether to know what to say. To that end, today we’re equipping you with ten money-related conversation starters for your dinner table. Give it a go. Who knows — talk of turning $100 into $1,000,000 could even make those smartphones disappear.

1.     “How would you describe money and why we need it?” This question can help children understand the value of money — and help you identify any holes in their assumptions.

2.     “What are some things you want to buy with your allowance or savings?” This can help kids think about how to prioritize their spending and saving.

3.     “What are some ways you could earn money this year?” This can prompt children to start thinking about their income beyond allowance or gifts.

4.     “What are some things you can do to save money?” This question can encourage children to start thinking about ways to save money and be more mindful about their spending habits.

5.     “What is the difference between wants and needs?” This prompt can help kids learn about the importance of distinguishing between essential items and non-essential items when it comes to spending money.

6.     “How do you feel when you get something for free?” Asking this can promote understanding of the concept of value and the idea that things have a cost, even if they didn’t have to pay for it.

7.     “What are some ways you can give back with your money?” This question can encourage everyone to think about the importance of giving back and helping others with their money.

8.     “What is the difference between a credit card and a debit card?” This clarifying question can help children start learning about different financial tools and the importance of being responsible with credit. You may be surprised at the lack of understanding of this make-or-break difference.

9.     “What are some financial goals you have for the future?” This future-focused prompt can encourage kids to start thinking about their long-term financial goals and aspirations.

10. “What are some things you can do to be financially responsible?” This question can help children start thinking about the importance of being responsible with money and developing good financial habits.

A man is using a laptop with a graph on it.

The Easter Bunny has completed his work and spring buds are blooming, which means financial literacy month officially began its 2023 celebration. Throughout the month, we’ll be celebrating with exclusive content, special offers, and relevant tips. But first, let’s assess the state of financial literacy in the people we cater to best: teens.

Before we get to the surprisingly good news, let’s address the expected bad: according to Intuit, 75% of teens lack confidence in their own knowledge regarding personal finance. Such a figure shouldn’t surprise us — especially in America.

Last year, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released a study in which 29,000 15-year-olds were surveyed. The teens dotted the globe, but more than a thousand of them were Americans. Let’s just say the Americans didn’t win. Ranking somewhere between 8th and 12th depending on which score you care to believe, the finding was clear: American teens are not financial wizards. Yet.

The good news? 52% of Gen Z desire to improve their financial chops. That’s welcome news for all, and a wish we can help grant.

We’ve been on a mission for more than a decade to inspire and educate teens on the topic of financial literacy. Our content ranges from an Emmy-winning television series and lesson plans mapped to state and national standards, to an interactive course and free online games.

In everything we do, we incorporate the stories of real life entrepreneurs who have gone before. These are real teens who’ve turned their own financial literacy into financial success. Just what are we talking about? Enjoy a few of our favorite clips from the years gone by:

CD Investor

Foster Kid Fashion Designer 

Twice Loved by Maggie B

A group of mobile phones displaying a social media app.

In case your calendar missed the moment, April is officially Financial Literacy Month. Yes, in addition to a month marked by spring cleaning and Easter baskets, this is the month we champion the merits of teaching kids about money.

At Biz Kid$, financial literacy runs through our veins. As an Emmy-winning financial literacy series on public television, we spend every month thinking about how to teach kids about entrepreneurship, saving and investing, financial basics, credit and debt, and more.

But if you’re new to Biz Kid$, you might be thinking about something else: so where do I find all that Biz Kid$ has to offer?

You’ve come to the right place for the answer, Biz Kid.

Without further ado, we present a roundup of our all of our content in one convenient place. Away we go!

Emmy Award-Winning Video Content

No matter what your age, you likely know that video rules. Fun and engaging video, even better. And Emmy Award-winning video? Now that’s what we’re talking about. We’re a public television series that’s been on the air for six seasons. You can find our video content for FREE in the following places:


Search for individual clips or view our collection of curated playlists on topics like “How Teens Can Get a Job” and “Biz Kid$ Basics.”

Our site has clips organized by episode, topic, and even state and national standards.

On Public Television

Biz Kid$ airs on public television stations across the country. To find out when we air in your local market, click here.

Stream on Vimeo

Episodes from Season 6, as well as specially curated bundles of content featuring the “Best of Biz Kid$” are available to stream or download from Vimeo today. Downloads start at just $2.99.

Free Lesson Plans Mapped to State and National Standards

Yes, you read that right. We’ve written dozens of lesson plans that expand upon our video content with engaging, thought-provoking questions and activities. And that’s not all. We’ve also mapped our lesson plans to state and national standards. Just download, teach, and inspire.

Online Games

Sometimes, kids just need to play. Our free games make playtime (secretly) educational. Our Dollar-A-Glass lemonade stand game gives students a dose of summertime entrepreneurship anytime of year. Bring Home the Bacon takes financial literacy to outer space. And Break the Bank teaches the ins and outs of banking.

Young Entrepreneur Resources

We also have tons of resources specifically geared toward young entrepreneurs, like our Business Plan GuideMarketing Guide, and Profit Calculation Worksheet. Once again, they’re all free.

Online Course for Teens

Our online course is a self-guided journey through making, growing, and saving. It includes hilarious sketch comedy, inspiring profiles of real young entrepreneurs, and educational content you can take to the bank.

A group of people playing with legos on a table.

Becoming an entrepreneur is no small feat. But doing so as a kid or teen? That can be downright daunting. One of the biggest hurdles to taking an idea to market is the giant leap required to transform a sketch into a gadget or a grand vision into a service-based business. But there is hope. It’s time to get familiar with three little letters: MVP.

MVP stands for minimum viable product. It’s a version of your product or service with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future development. Here, we’ll discuss what an MVP is, why it’s important, and how to create one.

What is an MVP?

An MVP is a product or service that is created with the minimum set of features required to satisfy early customers and get feedback for future development. The goal of an MVP is to quickly and efficiently test your product among its potential customers, gather feedback, and use that feedback to improve your product or service before investing too much time, energy, or money in something that isn’t quite right.

Why is an MVP important?

While the term is common among deep-pocked “grown up” entrepreneurs, an MVP is especially important for teen entrepreneurs for several reasons:

  1. Cost-effective: An MVP allows you to test your product or service with as little investment as possible. This means you can get your product to market faster and at a lower cost, which is crucial for small businesses.

  2. Feedback-friendly: An MVP allows you to gather feedback from early customers and use that feedback to improve and refine your product. This helps ensure that you’re on the right track creating a product that people will actually want.

  3. Faster time-to-market: Creating an MVP allows you to get your product to market faster, which can give you a competitive advantage over other businesses.

Okay, I’m sold. But how do I create an MVP?

Creating an MVP doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Define your target audience: Before creating your MVP, you need to define your target audience. Who are your most likely initial customers? What problems do they have that your product or service can solve?

  2. Determine the core features: Once you know your target audience, determine the core features of your product or service that will solve their problems. Focus on the most important features that will provide the most value to your early customers.

  3. Build your MVP: Build your MVP with the core features you identified in step 2. Keep it simple and avoid adding unnecessary features. The goal is to get your product to market as quickly as possible so you can gather feedback.

  4. Test your MVP: Test your MVP with your target audience. Gather feedback and use it to improve and refine your product. Iterate until you have a product that meets the needs of your target audience.

What are some examples?

Let’s say you have visions of starting a bakery. An MVP for such a business might be a simple order form with a monthly “drop” date for hand-delivered baked goods. If that takes off, the next level might be a weekly offering baked out of a shared kitchen. Not into baking? An MVP for an app might be a pen-and-paper sketch, followed by an interactive PowerPoint that gives users a practice run at navigating the interface.

Building an MVP is a crucial step in starting a business as a teen entrepreneur. It allows you to test your product or service with minimal investment, gather feedback from early customers, and refine your product over time. By following the steps outlined above, you can create an MVP that will help you launch your business successfully.

A ceramic unicorn sitting on a wooden table.

A couple years ago, the difference between stuffing bills into a ceramic pig and driving them to your local bank would have been…forgettable. The interest awarded to savings account holders at some of the country’s biggest banks was 0.01%. No, not 1%. Not 1/10th of 1%. 1/100th of 1%. What would that mean for you? If you scraped together $100 and put it into a big bank’s savings account last year, then held it there until today, you might be rewarded with…wait for it…one cent. Interest rates like those might make you wonder why the banks bother at all.

But times have changed. As inflation has grown hotter, the Federal Reserve has taken steps to try to cool it down. The main tool at their disposal? Raising the interest rates it charges banks. The ripple effect: banks raise the interest rates they’re willing to pay you for those desposits. A few big financial institutions are now offering 3.5% and 4.0% APY (a.k.a interest) on savings. Rates like that are virtually unheard of in risk-free investing. Sure, you may be able to get an average of 7% over time in the stock market, but there are no guarantees. And you may have been lucky to get 2% in a certificate of deposit (a.k.a. non-musical CD) a couple of years ago, but your money would be stuck for a solid year. Today, 3.5% interest is within reach, as are your hard-earned dollars, should you need them in a pinch.

What happened to America’s savings accounts?

Interestingly, all of this is happening just after most Americans could have benefited from it. During the pandemic, Americans went from saving a small fraction of their income to a whopping 33%. A third!

Just how big of a bump did piggy banks get? A record-breaking one. Double the previous record set in 1975. And weighing in at the all-time high since the beginning of record keeping.

Talk about a savings bonanza! Part of the bump was due to the $1200 stimulus checks sent to millions of bank accounts. Those payments brought a bump to average personal income, which historically would have resulted in a spike in spending. By all appearances, it seems to have done the opposite. Check out this eye-popping chart showing the change in personal income and personal expenditures since 1960:


It turns out that when the future is uncertain, Americans are surprisingly capable of squashing their urges to spend. So what’s the result? It depends on whom you ask.

The Debatable Impact of Saving vs. Spending

Many believe that in the short-term, saving is bad for the economy. Short-term thinkers would much rather see dollars flow into the consumer-driven economy than sit in our bank accounts. They see the trickle-down effects to small businesses, large employers, suppliers, and so on. Their argument? Spend it.

Over the long-term, others say, such savings can prevent further economic distress. If more Americans have emergency savings a.k.a. “Rainy Day Funds,” fewer could fall into default on their mortgages, cars, etc. if times get tougher. Save it for a rainy day, they say.

In the middle of both arguments is yet another position called the “train station.” Even saved funds, they argue, will eventually be spent (“leave the station”), invested into stock or real estate, or given away. Saving, they say, is merely deferring a jolt to the economy. Those who save will likely spend it later – when doing so won’t carry additional risks, such as lacking a safety net.

Teaching Kids to Save

Deferred gratification is one of the major milestones of maturity. As such, saving is a difficult concept for most kids. The more tangible and concrete saving can feel, the more likely a kid is to follow through with it. If your child has their eye on a new $30 video game, for example, but they make $10 per week in their allowance, work with them to create a chart that has a checkbox for $2, $5, and $10 increments. They get to choose how big a box to check each week, and how much progress to make toward their goal. Rather than refusing their indulgence, they get to see the progress they’re making toward it. If only there were a patch for that…


Another way to teach the power of saving? Entertain them. Lucky for you, one of our core “learning pillars” is Saving & Investing. Our trove of video clips and activities make the topic enjoyable to teach and easy to understand. And for just $4.99, you can purchase our new Saving & Investing Bundle, including 7 profiles of real kids who’ve amassed some serious savings.

The logo for silicon valley bank.

It must have been an interesting week to be a banker. It sure was an interesting weekend to be an account holder at one bank in California.

That’s because last Friday, the federal government announced that Silicon Valley Bank had been closed and taken over by the FDIC. Here’s how the news went down on the business channel CNBC:

FDIC is short for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the government agency to which banks pay premiums in exchange for insurance coverage on the money in their accounts. How much, exactly, is the subject of plenty of debate this week. Officially, the amount is $250,000. Before the 2008, that number was $100,000.

Even at 2.5X it’s former level, that $250,000 limit was the cause of some big headaches over the weekend? Why? Even though the national average held in bank accounts is somewhere in the $4000 range, Silicon Valley Bank wasn’t your average bank.

Why was Silicon Valley Bank such a big deal?

SVB (as the cool kids call it) held the funds of many of the country’s most buzzworthy startups. Before the FDIC took over, its website claimed that as many as 50% of the startups backed by venture capitalists (people who write checks to startups in exchange for stock in their company) banked with Silicon Valley Bank. Often, the money those venture capitalists put into their accounts comes in big chunks.

As an example, Roku, the company behind the gizmo that turns your old TV into a streaming one, announced that it had $487 million in a bank account at Silicon Valley Bank. If the FDIC had stuck to its $250,000 max, that would have meant that Roku could have seen $486,750,000 vanish overnight. But the FDIC didn’t stick to its $250,000 limit, an unusual move that got people talking. 

What did the government do?

After considering the major damage that the failure of such an unusual bank as SVB could cause, the government’s bank insuring agency announced an unusual decision: it would make all depositors “whole.” By that, it meant that even Roku’s $487,000,000 would be made available to the company. There would be no punishment after all for keeping hundreds of millions of dollars in an uninsured, unguaranteed account. The announcement caused a big debate, but it also raised questions about what it all means moving forward. Here’s how President Biden explained the decision in a quick early morning address:

What does that say about banks as a whole?

One theory floating around is that the FDIC’s decision to ignore its stated limit is a sign that the stated limit will never be enforced again. Another idea is that major changes will be made to that limit once again, just as they were amidst the 2008 recession. But even before such a decision is made, the week’s events offered lessons we can take action from now.

What does this mean for you, Biz Kid?

If you have an account with less than $250,000 in it at an FDIC-insured bank, you’re good. You’ve always been good, and you’re still good. (Keep in mind that guarantee is one of the ways that old fashioned bank accounts differ from trendy things like crypto accounts. As of now, the crypto industry is totally unregulated, so the failure of a platform like FTX would mean you have nothing at all.)

So what if you happen to have more than $250,000? First, you deserve a Biz Kid pat on the back – and a copy of our episode, What to do with a Windfall.) But second, the easiest answer is to make sure you have multiple accounts. For the record, America’s Credit Unions have their own insurance agency, called the NCUA. Deposits of up to $250,000 per account are as good as gold there, too. So if you’re rolling in dough, consider sprinkling your funds between a few banks or credit unions. Then breathe a sigh of relief at your job well done.