Money & Lending Circles

Systemic racism and stereotypes about lower income individuals denies them access to mainstream financial institutions. Yet they need money to buy a home, start a business and live. A time-honored way to provide loans is with lending circles. A group of people, often with close cultural ties, work together to provide members with the money they need to achieve their goals. For additional resources, visit

Money & Dignity

Too much financial commentary assumes people earning low wages aren't smart with money. Wrong, deeply wrong. Necessity forces many to be savvy money managers. There are also societal, financial and government institutions that have erected barriers to progress. Ultimately, people want the opportunity to help themselves. They want to live with dignity. For additional resources, visit

Money & Tradition

In every conversation we asked, "What did you learn from your parents about money?" Everyone's initial response? Nothing. Yet as our conversation continued, something wonderful happened. Each person started sharing stories about what they learned from their parents actions, not words. We heard about work ethic, religious practices, side hustles and other practices that help shape how they thought about money. We tend to think of traditions as stories that are passed down or understandings shared among family and community members. The reality is that traditions are rooted in actions. This seems to be especially true when it comes to learning about money. Some of these lessons we heard about are hard and some are heartwarming. All of them shaped how they made choices with their finances. For additional resources, visit

Money Needs & Wants

A classic personal finance question: Is that a want or a need? The framing of the question suggests needs are necessities and wants are luxuries. Yet no one we interviewed for the podcast talked about luxuries. They said they wanted opportunities to take care of their families and to do better. Jennifer Garbow is an Ojibwe from the Bois Forte Indian Reservation. She's also a financial educator for the University of Minnesota teaching to tribal communities. We met her in Bemidji, Minnesota, a college town a few hours north of the Twin Cities. We asked her what people don't understand about money? For additional resources, visit

Money & Personal Assets

Personal assets include your talents and the skills of people you trust. Making use of personal assets is a creative way to solve many money problems. For resource links visit

Money and Disability

People with disabilities must navigate a complex system of government benefits and support. Many work, although many more would like to be employed. The disabled also confront limitations created by misperceptions about what people living with disabilities are capable of and have the desire to do. For resource links visit

Money and COVID-19

The pandemic has affected everyone. But some individuals and families have been hit much harder than others, especially minorities and low-wage workers. Everyone we interviewed for the podcast had a story about how the pandemic impacted them. For resource links visit

Money and Entrepreneurship

Many people with low and unstable incomes start a business. Their entrepreneurial drive is rooted in community and the need to put food on the table. Of course, you need money to start a business. Money is a tool--a powerful tool. But money is far from the most important ingredient. Opening a business takes an idea, a passion and, as we find out in this episode, community. Additional Resources: An ecology of knowledge, advice, and support for would-be entrepreneurs exists in Minnesota and elsewhere. The organizations listed here offer a wide range of support and services for anyone looking to start a business. Each one of these links offers a variety of additional links and opportunities for the entrepreneur-to-be to explore. WomenVenture Meda – Metropolitan Economic Development Association SCORE – retired executives counsel small business owners Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD) Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) Southwest Initiative Foundation African Development Center of MN Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Development Centers: SBDCs offer one-stop assistance to individuals and small businesses by providing a wide variety of information and guidance.

Introducing small change: Money Stories from the Neighborhood

small change: Money Stories from the Neighborhood is a podcast and learning platform highlighting smart, practical and collaborative money skills developed by people living with lower and unstable incomes. Hosts Chris Farrell and Twila Dang talk to community members who are redefining wealth and poverty, the value of community and the purpose of money. Money wisdom taught by the true experts – people who have learned from experience. From MPR News.