John – Schurr High School

Vote for John

NuVision Federal Credit Union 2016 Essay Challenge Scholarship Program

At least once a week my parents remind me how much things cost. “Don’t waste those paper towels, it gets expensive, use less!” they say. And also, “You didn’t wash a full load of laundry, what a waste of water and detergent! All that costs money.” My parents scrimp and save so they can pay all the bills that come in the mailbox every day. I fear about what would happen if they couldn’t pay the bills? The essay topic presented is “Explain what young

adults can do to become better savers? What will you do in the next 5 years to secure the future of your retirement?” I have already been worrying about these questions. Thankfully, I learned some tips from the Financial Workshop hosted by NuVision Federal Credit Union. But, I also spent some time really thinking about these questions and forming my own opinion on these important issues.  It seems to me that my fears are based upon the overall issue of financial security.

Bottom line, I don’t want to end up homeless and starving. I want to be financially secure. Based on what I have learned, in order to become financially secure, Imus generate income, develop some sort of career or business, and I also must save for the day when I can no longer work. So, in the next 5 years, I have to develop the habits of saving some of the income I make and developing a career or business path in which Icon grow my income to save even more.

As I was thinking about habits, I thought about my parents words. Why were they so worried about paper towels, detergent, and water? Then, remembered another phrase that they said, “It all adds up.” It was ironic that the same phrase is mentioned regarding both “cost” and “savings”. My parents’ words meant that costs add up. But, when talking about savings, as in a savings account, taken over time, the savings add up. In short, the explanation regarding “what young adults, like me, can do to become better savers” seems to be: “Make the money, reduce your costs, and save what’s left”.

In the “reducing costs” area, Idealized that Idol not want to live like a miser.  It bothers me when someone wants to eat the French fries off my plate instead of buying their own fries. Cheapskates are embarrassing. Still, I realize the more I can lower my costs the more I can save. In thinking about lowering my costs, I noticed a phrase used by the trash company. They say, “Recycle, Reduce, Reuse”. That makes sense. I can recycle aluminum cans and plastic bottles to get money from the recycle center. I can also recycle just like my Dad does. My Dad will take old lumber pieces from the garage and use it for projects. Back in junior high, we used a spare piece of wood to build my California Mission Project rather than buying a kit from a catalog. I can reuse clothing and other items rather than getting new ones. For instance, I use my Dad’s old laptop to do my homework. Finally, I can reduce. I don’t want to be a miser, but I also don’t want to be a pig.  When I eat out with my friends, I still treat myself to a cheeseburger and fries, but I order water instead of a Coke. I can reduce, and still satisfied with a little less.

In my goal to become a better saver, I appreciate the list of “money-saving tips” provided by NuVision Federal Credit Union. Buying or renting used textbooks was a good tip but I would add that, in some classes, the professor mainly bases the class on the professor’s own lectures, using the textbook only as a backup. In those classes, it might be frugal to find a copy of the textbook online in a free digital library. In fact, the digital realm provides a wide variety of money saving opportunities. When I go shopping with my Mom, she has digital coupons that she connects to her cell phone. Many times, grocery items are more than 50% cheaper with digital coupons. Other big digital savers are free music download websites. It is possible to download popular music for free on various free music websites. Another cool example? I found out that my local movie theater has $5 all day movies on Tuesdays. I watched Batman vs. Superman for 5 bucks! My friends paid over ten dollars to see the same movie. Even better, the movie theater had a free popcorn coupon online. My great-grandmother used to say, “One of your best friends in the whole world is a dollar in the bank.”

In order to get money to economize and then save, I first have to make the money. My Dad said his first job was at McDonald’s, my Mom said she worked at a library. I am looking for work. I asked my Mom about selling some of my old toys, games, and sports equipment online. She said she will help me do that. I also make money mowing the lawn for my Dad. And, my Mom lets me recycle our plastic bottles and aluminum cans for cash. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to earning a paycheck.

In the end, I am not a tycoon or a genius or a financial wizard. But, looking at my parents and my grandparents, I know that someday I will still have to manage money and then retire on it. Right now, all I can do is get into some good habits. In the next 5 years, I plan to use the tips I learned through this essay contest, work hard, and save my money. I believe that I am on the road to financial security. Well, at least I am thinking about it.