Jocelyn LV. – Cabrillo High School

Save Smart, Live Smart

The thought of growing up, gaining a great deal of responsibilities, and paying for college can be scary for a teen and relying on one’s parents for money. Not to mention, the cost of having fun as a young adult can be very costly. Now is it wrong to waste money on ourselves from time to time? Definitely not, what counts is how responsible we are in handling the money. This seems to push young adults to get a job in order to earn their own; however, is working really helpful when we have little to no knowledge on how to save up? Lucky for us, there are helpful tips students can put into practice so they can achieve better money management and make the most out of having a job. These tips will not only help us financially, but will reduce the stress money can cause when we have more bills than actual income.

It is very important to remember that every penny counts. In other words, we must be aware of where our money is going. How can we keep track of eve1y expense in an organized way? Technology is a huge resource we have today, but only if it is used. There’s an app for just about anything for which a financial planner may need. For example, there’s a user-friendly budgeting app called Good Budget Planner. Even if one is not a big fan of technology and struggle with apps, there is a short tutorial video to guide us on how to use it. Budgeting apps are a perfect way to track our cash flow and become conscious of how much money is there for us to spend on fixed expenses and more flexible costs such as going out for a movie.  Budgeting is a crucial part of learning money management. This will help with seeing how much money we can spend and how much we can save. Setting up automatic transfers to a savings account is a great way to incorporate better saving habits into our lifestyle. For a better understanding, imagine a high school student having a job in which they make $100 a week and get paid biweekly. That student has to help support the household, so they set up an automatic transfer of $50 every two weeks when their paycheck is deposited. In a month, that student will have saved $100, and in a year, $1,300. However, depending on one’s own wage, the amount you choose to save is totally up to you. Before you know it, you will find “saving up” as second
nature. As a future college student, I plan to work so these skills will definitely come in handy since I will have various expenses.

Many future college students, including myself, are frightened by the idea of being in debt. However, there are tips to use in order to avoid this endless nightmare. A simple and effective way is to start an emergency fund. Cars break down, a loved one may pass away, or items of value may be stolen. Although we do not experience this often, it can happen when we least expect it. Luckily, creating a separate savings account for these emergency purposes and others that can occur will save us a lot of money in the long run. When we save up as much as we can, instead of taking out a loan in which we will pay more than we originally needed because of interest rates, we will be fully prepared due to our back-up emergency fund. As a result budgeting with apps and automatic transfers when used together are extraordinary ways to be able to pay for necessary expenses and to have funds available in case of emergencies without going into debt. By budgeting to avoid debt we can set a limit on how much we are going to spend and stay within our limit to have a fun night in a financial responsible way.