Money. We use it every day. But how much does it really cost? And does everyone pay the same price? $ Breakdown was produced by students in the College Now program at Brooklyn College in collaboration with CUP.

In 2010, the crew set out to investigate the cost of money. From interviewing folks at banks, check cashing places, pawn shops, and credit unions, they learned what’s scary and what’s confusing about money; who’s borrowing it; who’s paying the most for it; and why.

Together the crew created a website with a series of short animations and videos that serve as introductions to some of the differences between mainstream banks and “fringe” banking institutions. The videos debuted in 2011 in a former bank vault on Wall Street. Watch them here.

The videos help make these complex concepts more accessible and make a great financial literacy tutorial. If you’re interested in using the videos in your classroom or organization email us at info (at)

Resources & Links

College Now is a free City University of New York program, designed to prepare NYC’s public high school students for success in college.

Credit Where Credit is Due provides financial counseling programs in response to the growing financial disenfranchisement of Upper Manhattan.

Center for Financial Services Innovation is the nation’s leading authority on financial services for underbanked consumers.

Funding Support

This project was made possible by the CUNY College Now program. With additional support from the Bay and Paul Foundations and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special Thanks

Kristen Chin, Connie Chung, Heather Davis, Nick Horton, Mike Konczal (Rortybomb finance blog), Rob Levy (Center for Financial Services Innovation), Mei Ling Chua, Brendan McBride, Sean McBride, Shon Morris (Credit Where Credit is Due), Ana Otazo, Chris Shelley, Justin Rancourt, Gary Rivlin (author of Broke USA), Chen Tamir, Angela Washko.  


  • CUP
    Teaching Artist
  • Douglas Paulson
  • Teaching Artist Assistant
  • Jess Osserman
  • Project Lead
  • Valeria Mogilevich
  • Project Support
  • Christine Gaspar, 
  • Sam Holleran,
  • Chris Famighetti
    • College Now at Brooklyn College
    • Students
    • Tommi-Ann Davis,
    • Roodlyne Vilsaint,
    • Kimberly Saintelus,
    • Alyssa Lau, Maniza
    • Pritila, Shannae
    • Braham, Cynthia Dunston, Alexa
    • Betancourt,
    • Kayan Hutchinson,
    • Tiona Terry
    • Coordinators
    • Pieranna Pieroni,
    • Jennifer Mayzus,
    • Lee Schere