Money. We use it every day. But how much does really it cost? And does everyone pay the same price for it? The $ Breakdown series serves as an introduction to street-level money management and local lending institutions.

$ Breakdown was produced by students in the College Now program at Brooklyn College in collaboration with CUP teaching artist Douglas Paulson and assistant teaching artist Jess Osserman. In 2010, the crew set out to investigate the cost of money. They staked out banks, check cashing places, pawn shops, and credit unions in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood, and looked into what’s scary and what’s confusing about money; who’s borrowing it; who’s paying the most for it, and why. They interviewed financial literacy advocates, finance innovators, and the pizza guy about the pros and perils of banks and financial institutions outside the mainstream banking system.

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