From Past Mistakes to Future Opportunities: The Path to Better Money Management and Saving
I recently attended Nuvision’s financial education seminar at Marina High School. Knowing that money is at the root of everything we do and essential in our society to maintain a good standard of living, I wanted to learn more. Historically speaking, it has only been since the early 20th century that we have seen our society become a heavy consumer-based economy due to the development of the American middle class. This was especially fueled by the introduction of credit and consumer loans that allow people to purchase anything they want. Even if they do not have the money at the time. The reason that so many of our generation of millennials are not taught more about money at home is likely that most have not had to provide for themselves to the same level that our parents did, much is given to or arranged for us. Many high schoolers today spend money on things that were neither popular or existed just 10-15 years ago. The need for instant gratification and snapchat and Instagram postings have accelerated the trend of overpriced lattes, chai teas, fast food, bagels and avocado toast if you have read BBC’s story on the “avocado toast index”. Many kids these days don’t have paying jobs and therefore they think no urgent need to start saving. They are however entirely wrong, which the Nuvision Seminar also showed in a content filled way.
Nuvision pointed out that only five states in the U.S. provide an economics class within the curriculum for their students. Implementing finance and economy classes into high schools or offering seminars and lectures such as the one provided by Nuvision Federal is an important part of teaching us how to become responsible with money matters. Some of the most important pointers we were taught were to 1) not wait until a financial emergency has taken place to start putting away money. Without emergency savings you are more likely to accumulate debt. 2) start a savings plan but determine what you are saving for. By having actual goals, you can work your way backwards to what you need to save to get there. It’s a great incentive to see money grow. With that, consistency is key. Saving instead of buying and keeping a buffer in your account is a must for financial capability and stability 3) set a budget and live within your means if you track your spending such as with the Nuvision app– you will know where money goes and can correct your spending if you are on the wrong track. 4) Don’t spend money on your credit card and not pay it back in full. Nuvision made the strong point of showing with the rule of 72, how quickly you can end up doubling either your assets OR your debt when the percentage you make, or pay is high.
I have always been a comparison shopper and try to get the most value out of money spent. When money is hard earned whether it be an allowance or a salary, it is key that you consider your expenses and look at whatever you buy to see whether you really need it or just want it. If you do not buy for instant gratification, often looking for sales or bargain purchases or out of season merchandise will allow you to optimize your money spent when you do have to spend it. And often by waiting, the urge disappears, and you realize you really do not need the thing you wanted to buy.
The Nuvision seminar reminded me to make a plan and to stick to it, to measure and adjust my behavior when needed and to remind myself there are professionals available to us millennials to be on the right track for a better financial future.