Christine L. – Carson High School

To simply put it, our generation right now, Generation Z, does not know how to save money. The lot of us, who were born in the mid-1990s to early 2000s, have been fed with a silver spoon. Because of this, we were never properly educated on how to wisely manage our money. Whenever we think of saving our money, we think of the long term benefits that follow.

Fortunately, thanks to workshops such as the Nuvision financial literacy workshop, we are able to learn about tips and ways to save. From prior knowledge and acquired information, some things we can do to save are to: keep all receipts, set a simple budget per week and buy reasonably priced items, exercise self-control, keep a minimum amount in your bank account, bring lunch from home, and sell unwanted items.

To start off, keeping receipts and bookkeeping expenses go a long way. For my economics class, our final project was to keep all our receipts, calculate how much we spend on grocery, leisure and entertainment, school, and other things. At the end, we totaled how much we spent for the month and it was very eye-opening. Since doing that activity, I have learned to think before I buy.

For the second tip, setting a budget per week helps you think about what you want to spend your money on. Someone my age does not need to buy a luxury, brand name item. Young adults these days focus on the material value and put more emphasis on the popular names. What we need to realize, as an upcoming generation, is that brand names do not make the product. There are cheaper alternatives to everything we want to buy. Having said that, if you set a realistic budget, maybe $5-10 a week, you would definitely find a way to stay under it.

Third of all, something that young adults do not do is exercise self-control. Do not become an impulse buyer. Think before you buy. Wait ten seconds. Before purchasing an item, ask yourself, “Do I really need this item? What will I do once I purchase it? Is this durable and will last me a long time?” Ten seconds may not seem long, but it will give you enough time to reflect on your purchase.

Fourth, keeping a minimum amount in your bank account is important because it will help you not exceed your budget. You never know if you will need money for an emergency, so it is best set some aside. You can also raise the minimum per week, or per month, to help you save better. Another way to become debt-free is to bring lunch from home. It is a big money saver. As teenagers and young adults, we like to feast on fast food and splurge at All-You-Can­ Eat restaurants. Bringing lunch from home can help lessen the amount of money we spend at those restaurants, and nothing tastes better than a home-cooked meal. Lastly, a big trend lately is selling our old, unwanted items that are still in good condition. Having a social media account dedicated to your “shop” goes a long way, and it attracts buyers and sellers alike. You can make easy money from selling at-shirt you have not worn yet, or from accessories you do not wear anymore. The possibilities are endless when it comes to posting on your digital shop, and keeping prices reasonable will surely increase your reputation, and more customers would buy.

All in all, becoming debt-free does not happen overnight, nor will it happen on a large scale. As teenagers and young adults, we need to start. Off small – on the micro level. Following these tips will open our eyes to our spending practices and will encourage us to save more. Learning how to save now and how to become debt-free will have a great reward in the future, it will pay off – literally.