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Episode 132: Practice makes perfect (in high school)

Taking control of your budget with Mak and G
Episode 132: Practice makes perfect (in high school)


One day it will be time to go off to college, so Mak and G need to take control of their money.


This episode, we look at the different pitfalls college students fall into with money, how to budget properly, and some of the different rites of passage from around the world…


One day, Mak and G will leave home and move to college, so they’ll need practice on how to take control of their money.


We talk about the areas they’re going to have to make a budget for, why it’s important for people to take control of their money BEFORE moving to college, and the common money pitfalls college students fall into.


Taking control of your finances is a rite of passage for us in the West, and it isn’t always easy. But when you compare it to some of the rites of passages around the world you might not think it’s so tough after all…


“It’s time for us to do our own budgets and handle our own cash.” – Mak


“You can spend foolishly, rack up debt at a high-interest rate and have to pay it back later.” – G

Time Stamps:

00:39 – What a Quinceañera and a Bar Mitzvah are and how much they cost.

02:34 – The top gifts people get for their Bar Mitzvah.

02:54 – The potential money problems college students face.

04:02 – The different areas we’ll have to consider when controlling your own budget.

04:46 – Different male rites of passage from around the world.


Connect with Ben Jones:



GRANT: The end of the year is coming up on us quickly.  Then, we’ll have to look at 2022.  You know what that is, right?

MAK: Time to put COVID behind us?

GRANT: Yes, but it’s a big life-changer for us.  We’re moving from 8th grade to high school.  You hear it all the time.  You’re growing up and it’s time to take more responsibility for yourself.

MAK: Well, at some point we have to “fly the coop”, right?  Is it really when we go to college? I think I’d like a little practice flying before I get kicked out because “all at once” sounds scary.

GRANT: This increase in responsibility in high school sounds like my introduction into manhood. 

MAK: And womanhood. It’s a little like a bah mitzvah or a quinceanera.

GRANT: I didn’t think you knew what those are. Ok, give me the low down on a quinceanera.

MAK: It’s a religious and social event that emphasizes the importance of family and society in the life of a young WOMAN. It’s celebrated in Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean, as well as in Latino communities.

GRANT: Nice work.  Why the big interest? It’s a big party, and if we talk money, I found it averages somewhere between $5,000 to $20,000.  About ½ of that is for the reception.

MAK: Sounds like a pretty cool rite of passage to be “escorted into womanhood”, throwing a big party!!  I’m nearing the age of 15, which is why “quince” is in the name. That’s the number 15 in Spanish. I’ve seen some of the dresses, and they’re beautiful and seem like a big part cost too.

GRANT: Not as much as you might think. About $250-$1,000.  But, you get a ton of presents, which is nice.  You also get 15 pinatas at the party and get to dance with boys!!

MAK: Still sounds like fun, even with boys.  Online I found the bah mitzvah costs somewhere between $10 and $40k.  That’s about twice a quinceanera. Maybe twice the presents too!

GRANT: If that’s the case, it might be a good return on investment.  It’s another rite of passage ritual which has a religious basis for a 13-year-old boy in the Jewish faith. I’m the right age, but not the right religion. Guests often gift money in increments of $18 as a symbol of “chai”. In the Jewish tradition, it means “life”, but it’s completely acceptable to round to say $20 or $50 too.

MAK: Don’t forget the bat (hard “t”) mitzvah is for a girl in the faith who is 12.  You know girls… we just mature faster than boys.  Pow!!

GRANT: Ha, ha.  You may be right though.  Even though money is a top gift, educational books, or Jewish ritual items are also up there. I found the gift of cash interesting, though.

MAK: I agree.  Do you know what our “rite of passage” will be from dad?


GRANT: You got that right.  He says it’s time for us to do our own budgets and actually handle our own cash.  He says it’s better to have his support now, than later when he’s far away.

MAK: He has a point. If we make mistakes with money, mom or dad can get us back on track.

GRANT: Ok, I know we’re young and all, we’ve heard stories about college kids getting in a lot of trouble with money. Getting a credit card and then partying at the Chocolate Shop at Purdue.

MAK: It’s a bar. I thought a CHOCOLATE bar would be AWESOME!!! But, it’s a trick! At Purdue, it’s an ALCOHOL bar. Aunt Lori told me. But, I get where you’re going with this. You can spend foolishly, rack up debt at a high-interest rate and have to pay it back later.

GRANT: Yep, and there are other potential problems. Some college students go wild and buy clothes or new sneakers. I found the Adidas Bad Bunny for $900 and the Supreme Nike SB Dunk Low Mean Green for over $2 grand. That a lot of GREEN on the shoe and for the shoe!

MAK: So true. But, if you have the ability to buy, skies the limit. That’s why learning now is key. Dad had a problem eating out in college. He always liked getting “stuffed breadsticks” in college. They were bigger than a Calzone and called a breadstick. College sounds very deceiving!

GRANT: It does.  You’re on your own, making your own decisions. We’ve heard it 100 times:

MAK/GRANT: Don’t expect to call home and get a bank account refill. 

MAK: Here’s the deal. Beginning in January of 2022, we have to budget all of our expenses.

GRANT: Mom and dad will put all the money in our account, and we’ll have to pay our own bills:

MAK: Like a cell phone

GRANT: Clothes

MAK: Video game

GRANT: Entertainment

MAK: Car expenses, when driving

GRANT: School books

MAK: Sports fees

GRANT: Eyeglasses

MAK: Yes, and more.  We have to remember some of our rules too:

GRANT: Spend less than you make 

MAK: Build an emergency fund

GRANT: No Credit Card debt

MAK: Give to Charity

GRANT: I heard him call his banker to get us credit cards yesterday. He’s pretty serious.

MAK: If it helps us for the future, I guess now is as good as any, right.

GRANT: Yep, but Christmas break sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun.  

MAK: If you think this “ritual into manhood” is bad, you should hear some of the others. In Brazil, boys have to stick their hands in a glove with “bullet” ants for 10 minutes while bitten. The poison from the ants is very painful and your arms are paralyzed for days.

GRANT: What?  Seriously? No way would I do that.

MAK: But they do. Another ritual is jumping off a 60-90 foot tower with vines attached to your ankles. The goal is to get really close to the ground where your shoulders touch.

GRANT: That sounds like an accident waiting to happen.

MAK: Yep, and often does. Some rituals are pretty brutal, like the ants, but this one made me laugh.  The Hamar boys of Ethiopia have to run across a herd of cows four times without falling.

GRANT: Ok, I guess that shows their athletic and fit.  But, why is that funny?

MAK: You have to do it naked. YUCK!!!!

GRANT: Ok, I like dads a lot better. I think I’ll stick that.

MAK: I agree. We’ll see you next time for more….

GRANT/MAK: Money with Mak & G.  Bye!!

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