Danielle W. – City Honors College Preparatory

Think. Tank. Challenge.

Growing up, most kids do not think about money. Why would they? That’s the parent’s job, right? When I was younger I always thought of money as being like air; it is just there. As I got older, I would hear more adults talking about saving and investing for the future. I never understood what they were talking about, so I thought I would just worry about it as I got older. Now since I am heading to college soon, I have no choice, but to think about my future. I often wonder how I will be able to pay for my college tuition. One thing I do know is, I want to be financially secure in the future. Luckily, I have been able to able to attend a workshop that helped me acquire a better understanding of what I should do now for financial security. As young adults, there are many things we can do now to be financially successful in the future. To begin, we need to start saving our allowance, job payments or inheritance money now and begin with simple things such as limiting the amount of times we eat out and instead, cook at home. Another great way to save money is by opening a savings account that earns interest. By doing so, one can earn money on what is deposited into the bank. Invest in yourself, putting aside money for something we want like a new pair of shoes is rewarding, which will make us want to save. Also invest in things you need, like a house. Buying a house before purchasing a new car is ideal because a house appreciates, while a car depreciates. Meaning the value of the house will increase, while the value of a car will decrease over time.

Saving in high school can be a bit challenging, but if you are determined it can happen. A lot of high schoolers do not have jobs, so we must rely on our parents for money. We can save money this way by setting aside ten percent of what is given to us and finding ways to stretch the remainder. Avoid buying things on impulse can save a lot of money, before purchasing an item ask yourself “Do I really need this”? If the answer is no do not buy it. Spend on what you need, not on what you want, it will pay off in the future.

College can be more difficult to save money due to expenses that come along with a higher education. The good thing about being in college is obtaining student discounts. Many places offer discounts to students, so students should take advantage of these offers and you are more likely to save money. Another great way to stay on budget in college is by using the campus gym instead of buying a gym membership. There are enough things to worry about in college; don’t add extra stress.

These are only a few, short term, simple examples on how to save money, but they are pieces to a bigger picture known as retirement. Retirement was one of the most important topics that stood out to me at the workshop. Planning for retirement can be crucial, due to the fact that it is the money you will use after you stop working. If you have enough money saved up for retirement, then you should be able to live comfortably. Saving up money for retirement is the safest and most secure way to reserve money for future use. Social security is another way to have money for retirement, but as a result of benefit cuts and the amount of people that rely on this form of income there will not be enough money to support you through your entire retirement. Trust yourself, not in the government for your financial security.

The workshop has had a major influence of how I view money, I now realize that money determines how I will spend my life. If I save and spend responsibly I should live a pleasant life, but if I spend frivolously and refuse to save money I will find myself in uncomfortable financial situations in the future. I can start saving money now in high school by doing simple things like selling old items and putting away the money. As I transition to college I can save money by simply walking or using public transportation instead of using a car. Retirement might not be until years from now but it is never too early to begin preparing for it.