Emily P. – Long Beach Polytechnic High School

Save the Game and Save the Money

 It was the 89th minute of the game and the score was one to one. It was the last play of the championship game and I knew that if I jumped high enough I could header the ball into the net. The only bad thing was that my teammate was thinking the same thing and when we both tried to header the ball, we headed each other’s head and the ball rolled out of bounds. Not only was I humiliated, but my head was pounding, blood gushed out of my nose, and my mouth tasted like iron. It wasn’t until a few days later that I found out that I needed surgery. Since I was in high school, underage, and completely dependent on my parents, I wasn’t worried about the surgery nor how much it would cost. Thankfully my parents had saved enough money for an emergency like this or else I’d have a nose as crooked as the wicked witch of the west.

Before high school I didn’t worry about money nor how much I spent. The only idea of   money that I had was that if I saved enough money, I would be able to buy the things that I’d really want. But this kind of thinking didn’t include the days that I went out to eat nor the new clothes that I bought. All of that money came from my parents’ hard work, and I wasn’t fully aware that money is not easily accessible. It wasn’t until my dad lost his job that I was forced to learn about money and the benefits of saving it. It was a stressful time, but it was manageable because my parents had saved enough money to survive until my dad got a new job. I learned a big lesson about saving, but it can be easily forgotten when there’s no food prepared at home and it is easier to go through McDonald’s drive through. The Think. Tank. Challenge re-opened my eyes to the idea that starting to save money when I’m young is more beneficial for myself. For instance, making my own food might be more time consuming, but the money I save will benefit me in the long run.

Currently, I am preparing to go to college, and saving will become a critical aspect of my life. It will prevent me from tremendous debt. Not only will saving keep me out of debt, but in case of an emergency like another broken nose, I won’t have to worry about my whole life changing in a split second. The money will be there to help me out rather than stress me out. The Think. Tank. Challenge has inspired me to think of money as a valuable treasure, rather than just as a piece of paper that I exchange in order to get other things I might not necessarily need.

It’s the 89th minute of my daughter’s soccer game and they are tied. There’s a free kick and she is considered the best goalie in the league, who would do anything to make that save. She goes to rescue the ball from entering the net but in so doing, so she slams her face against the post, bringing back many memories. Luckily for me I’ve applied the lessons taught from the Think. Tank. Challenge and I have saved money for emergencies like this.