Esmeralda T. – Savanna High School

THINK. TANK. CHALLENGE

Although it was rare for me to be told no, I wouldn’t have considered myself to be a spoiled child. Then again, I never really asked for much. Years passed, I grew up and my parents were separated. We were never financially unstable, but little did I know, all the things that my family and I did for fun, was put on my mother’s credit cards. It is most obvious that after two years, the amount of debt accumulates when you continue to charge a credit card. And boy, did that debt accumulate for my mother. While it hurt her to say no to her children, my mother explained that we need to cut back on all the spending. It’s not like we are little kids- we understand our economic situation, but it hurts me to know that my mother is struggling financially.

Since learning about the debt my mother has, I knew right away that I didn’t want to be in the same situation when I become older. However, I didn’t know if there was something I could do now or how to avoid it. That was until the Think.Tank. Challenge that was presented to my school. During the presentation and the Financial Workshop, I was given information that will allow me to make wise, financial decisions now, in high school, and beyond. I was taught many things that I haven’t thought about asking and information that I wasn’t aware of in which I need.

Out of both presentations, one quote that I was presented that I will most definitely carry with me for the rest of my life, was one said by Warren Buffet. Buffet said, “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” The Think.Tank. Challenge is all about saving money rather spending the money that you don’t have. I have come to learn that I can’t become rich when in no point in time have I set aside money to save. I have dreams and goals that I wish to accomplish, and many of those dreams involve a lot of money. So, like one of the tips that NuVision has on their website, I have to set long-term saving goals. This will allow me to not have to worry about the expensive expenses that I will have in my future.

There have been moments when I ask myself, “Why couldn’t I have just been born wealthy?” or “When will I be rich?” After dealing with the fact that I have to work for my necessities and my luxuries, I was prepared to listen to my NuVision School Ambassador, Rose Macias. She informed me that I will become wealthy when I believe that it is more important to save than to spend Rose gave us a tip that she uses: don’t buy anything unless you can afford 10-12 of them. I believe that this is an intelligent rule to follow. Usually, people save up for an extended period of time for a specific product or event; however, right after they make their purchase, they go broke. Nonetheless, that won’t be me because of this challenge. There are three steps to become wealthy: have an INCOME, SAVE that income, and set LONG TERM SAVINGS. Doing the opposite such as: having an INCOME, BORROWING or getting loans from the bank, SPENDING the money rather than paying off what you owe will put you into DEBT. Being in debt doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re poor; however, it does mean that it is too late to start saving considering loans and living expenses to pay off. With this, you won’t be able to afford luxuries or that five dollar coffee that you buy daily. I don’t know about you, but I don’t play on giving up my favorite drink from my favorite place.

All in all, the THINK.TANK. CHALLENGE has allowed me to become more aware of my financial surroundings, if you will. Starting now, I plan on saving more money and spending less of it for an extended period of time. I need and have a plan along with the dreams and goals that go along with this plan. This challenge will help me now that I’m in high school, to prevent me from being poor in college and once I have a career. It will allow me not end up in the same situation that my mother is in. If anything, I will be able to help her pay it off. This is my goal and I plan on achieving it soon.