April R. – Long Beach Polytechnic High School

Growing up, I have always been reminded of the value of money. At the young age of seven, I was a businesswoman in the making! I charged my parents $1 for every dish I had to wash or piece of clothing I had to fold. Once I earned enough money to purchase my own items, I clearly remember the sweet satisfaction of independence and being without the assistance of   my parents (regardless of the fact that it was indeed, still their money). In addition to being a profit seeker at a very young age, it resulted in being quite the spender at a young age. I was ridiculed for the speed of which I was spending and the recklessness of my actions. It was not until l got older that l realized the importance of money.

Being the firstborn to two Cambodian immigrant parents of extremely poor backgrounds, they arrived in America with absolutely nothing and worked their way up to a stable lifestyle.

Their constant emphasis on money and the vast opportunities to earn money in America set the stepping stones and foundations of my needs to creating smart monetary goals. These foundations were broad– but with the specifications I learned through the Think.Tank.Challenge, I can now expand my knowledge and work towards a better financial future that my parents did not get to experience at my age.

Being a high school student, I won’t know what the real world is like until I go out there and live in it. Once I’m in it, the responsibility of being an adult hits fast and there’s no slowing down. I’ve learned that there are many little steps that can be taken that will benefit me in the future. For example, it is never too early to start thinking about my retirement funds, setting long term saving goals, and establishing credit — I’ll thank myself in the future! From these tips, I’ve realized that maintaining a good credit will help me build a stable and reliable status that will come in handy when presented with future purchases like a car or house. Everything I do now is crucial to my near future. Instead of spending money on that shirt I already own in 20 different colors, 1 need to invest and save. Being in high school is a bit easier when you have the constant support of your parents, but once you reach college, it’s a whole different environment. I will learn the practice of independence and reduce the urge of spending carelessly. Everything I do now is crucial to my near future. The Think.Tank.Challenge has opened my eyes to the   realization that being an adult is expensive. It has helped prepare me, guiding me towards a brighter future than I had ever imagined. With their constant reminder of planning ahead and starting as soon as possible, I now know I need to take my finances more seriously and set realistic and attainable goals.

After gaining the knowledge from Think.Tank.Challenge, 1 will follow the tips and advice to work towards a better financial state. College is approaching and it’s only going to get more expensive. These tips will definitely help me succeed in the long run, especially during one of the most expensive times of my life. Starting now, I will reevaluate the way I spend my money and start thinking about my future. As the younger generation, we are the future. We have the ability to change the world in magnificent ways and it all starts with money. Money is the key to survival and it’s what the world revolves around. Yes, it is true that the best things in life are free but some of the really amazing things in life cost money as well!