Jason L. – Oxford Academy

Think Tank Challenge

Being financially independent is a goal that many high school students, like myself, would want to achieve. The ability to pay for our college tuition, buy a house, as well as, have enough money for retirement are some of the significant milestones in people’s financial careers. However, in reality, many struggle even to get food on their plate. Almost seventy percent of Americans do not have over a thousand dollars in the bank. More than half of American households do not even have a single penny in their retirement account savings. Five out of six Americans have admitted to purchasing an item based on impulse. These alarming statistics demonstrate that most Americans are not fully educated on the topic of financial literacy, yet alone, know how to save a buck in the long run. By attending NuVision’s workshops, it enabled me to gain the opportunity to inform myself on the variety of components of financial education which can be implemented to aid my choices with money during high school, college, and beyond.

High school is a time where most students rely on their others for financial support. In my experience, the only monetary value that I have under my name is the three hundred and fifty-six dollars in my savings account that I have not deposited or withdrew in more than five years. This realization helped me to understand that I need to be better at handling my money. I, myself, admit to being one of the five of six Americans who buy on impulse. Thus, by spending the extra ten dollars on something that I do not need every week, I am depriving myself of the chance to save in the long run. I could be depositing the ten dollars into my saving account, where the money will be growing exponentially. By the end of the year, I would have over five hundred dollars saved just by controlling my impulsive purchases. I am also guilty of eating out multiple times in a week. Eating home-cooked meals is an easy way to save a few extra dollars which could be saved towards my college tuition or even retirement! The workshop was an eye-opening experience that helped me to understand the lesson of saving little amounts at a time would grow to become a financial cushion in the long run.

College tuition has increased exponentially over the past couple of years and will continue to become more and more expensive. Therefore, it is mandatory that all students need to be aware of the financial liabilities that come with college. With college comes school expenses and necessary living expenses. For instance, the average price for tuition for a UC school is over $12,000. This is a significant financial liability that needs to be kept in mind as quickly as now. Also, attending college will lead me to buy textbooks and other school materials. An easy and efficient way to save money is to buy used textbooks or rent them through the library or other programs. College comes with being able to live independently; thus, this puts me in a position where I would have to live on campus in the dormitories or live off campus in an apartment. Although living independently is an excellent way to grow personally, this also costs financially. To afford the costs for living necessities, I could find a roommate who would cut the expense in half. By taking small measures like this, I can lessen the intensity of the finances for college. Despite the fact that I may take all these different measures to reduce the price for college, there is still a high chance that I would have to take a student loan. Student loans are dangerous in that people in their fifties may still be paying theirs off to this day. Thus, the workshop taught me that I should be aware of the interest rates and the amount of time that I would be able to pay it off before I take on a student loan. Overall, college is an expensive time in one’s life, so it is essential that I am financially literate now.

To sum it all up, NuVision’s financial workshops influenced me to be cautious in all my decisions that are involved with money during high school, college, and beyond. It is necessary that I start to save now, to have enough financial support in the future. By taking money-saving measures now, I would be able to focus on preventing impulsive purchases, save that money, and grow that money in a high-interest savings account. By following Warren Buffet’s advice to “spend what is left after saving” not “save what is left after spending,” I can maximize the possibility of having a more comfortable future.