Dominique S. – Carson High School

My parents eagerly migrated from the Philippines to the states in the late 1980’s, with hungry eyes determined to achieve the American dream. They navigated their way through humble beginning, making a dollar out of a dime and stretching every cent in their possession. As the years passed by, I watched my family gradually prosper in America and we finally generated an income that was enough to get us through each day. Although I was raised by money smart parents who reinforced their spending and saving habits with each financial decision, I grew up to become the exact opposite of my mother and father. Handling money just wasn’t my cup of tea. Whether it’d be blowing a week’s worth of lunch money in an hour, or emptying my piggy bank every day to make a foolish investment, it was clear that I was subconsciously making poor monetarial choices. However as my final year of high school comes to a closure I now realize that my spending habits need to be reevaluated. It’s time for me to establish stronger saving techniques, especially with the expenses that are ahead of me.

With the lessons given by the Think.Tank.Challenge, I picked up various effective methods that can assist me in properly handling funds. The lesson that provided me with the most guidance was a discussion on effectively managing a banking account. I learned that budget applications on cellular devices can be used to regulate expenses, which is the ideal tool for people who constantly make blind purchases like myself. By keeping track of my expenses, this will ensure that purchases are made with careful thought. These informed decisions will result in more purposeful investments that can be geared toward my education such as textbooks, office supplies, and even tuition fees. In addition to this method, I discovered that bank accounts can also be used to generate a stronger credit score. Upon entering adulthood, building a good credit score is essential when it comes to making loans for large purchases because it validates a borrower’s reliability to the bank. Bank accounts can also be used to prepare an emergency fund. Living on campus away from home, I will no longer feed off the paychecks of my parents. In the case that there is an unexpected financial crisis, an emergency fund would provide a safety cushion to fall back upon. All of these strategies provided me with insightful information, making me realize that the sole purpose of a banking account does not lie within the simple withdrawal and deposit transactions, but with the unseen benefits as mentioned.

In the fall, I hope to enroll in a four year university as a psychology major. Currently, I’m not exactly sure what I wish to become but I hope to somehow play a role in resolving mental illness. I know that several occupations in the medical field will require years of education and residency, and for many people the idea of falling into financial burden stops them from pursuing a health career.   However the Think.Tank.Challenge has exposed me the secrets of effectively saving money and taught me how to navigate through the piling expenses that come with college. Though the costs may seem overwhelming, with careful planning this financial obstacle can be resolved.