Author’s Note

by astanhaus

Originally submitted for an Economic Literacy independent research project with Professor Christopher Ragan at McGill University.

Dear Reader:

I created the character Bettie to empower young women to answer the ultimate question: how can I spend, save, and grow my hard-earned money? Bettie shares her fabulous & frugal journey through blog posts, each signed XO, Bettie. Bettie’s story documents the common financial concerns of successful millennial women; personal finance topics are rooted in economic understanding. Bettie compellingly explains all the options–bank accounts to investment accounts–as well as the inevitable bumps along the way at

As a student of economics at McGill University, I have witnessed several of my classmates–despite their economic knowledge–make elementary money mistakes. Other than economically literate parents, there are few resources which provide the ins and outs, without requiring one’s money first. The antithesis of the current market, XO Bettie’s buzzwords are to engage young women and encourage them to become economically & financially literate.

My short-term goal for XO, Bettie–to engage successful millennial women with Bettie’s unique spin on common stories–has been met. Daily, the blog is read by my key demographic. In the long run, XO Bettie’s content would be a fitting addition to financial literacy initiatives that are launching throughout North America, an indispensable column in a major newspaper or magazine, and an engaging way for a financial services firm to explain its services to win over prospective clients.

The following is my senior research project that was inspired by XO, Bettie. In true economist

fashion, I sought to maximize efficiency, have my work recognized for academic credit, and prove through storytelling that I have mastered the material.

With my theoretical economics degree, my post-graduation goal is to be a “conversational”–not academic–economist; this set of stories is my dress rehearsal.

Amanda C. Stanhaus

Economics & North American Studies B.A. ‘13, McGill University

Creator & Chief Conversational Economist, XO Bettie