Jorge C. – Gilbert High School

Preparing for My Financial Future

Growing up I would receive money here and there. I would gain from twenty-five cents to five dollars from doing chores and finishing my homework on time. My mother always told me, “save your money”, however, I never understood the purpose of saving money and instead I would spend my money on candy or something that wasn’t necessary. A few years passed and as I started becoming a teenager I found out that I desired certain things that I would need to save money in order to purchase that item. The major problem that I remember stumbling upon was not knowing how to save as no one really told me what steps I should take to be successful at saving. This has been one of my biggest issues I have always dreamed of using my money on something bigger and better, but every time I end up misusing my money and buying items I clearly don’t need. When the speakers of the “Think Tank Challenge” started stressing the importance of a budget my question of do I successfully save was answered. The speakers also spoke of how important credit score is and how I will need it in just about every major purchase. This got me thinking as I personally have heard many of my family members talk about how difficult it is for them to purchase a house or get a car loan because their credit score is bad.

These small tips made me think and reflect on how I will handle my income in my future and helped me mentally prepare.

I think that one of my major problems I have with money is that I spend it too fast and too foolishly. However, I think that after this advice I received I now have a better understanding of how to manage my money properly. The first step I took was start a budget and to successfully do this I had to cut out things that were unnecessary and take alternatives that were cheaper like for example making my own coffee rather than buying one every day. I tried implementing my new budget with the allowance I get from my parent and I set a goal of saving up enough money to buy a new pair of earphones. I was really amazed by the end of the month I not only had enough to buy my new earphones but I had extra cash. I loved the experience of having a budget because to some degree it took self-control and it also gave me an idea of what I can accomplish with a budget. The biggest reward for me was that at the end of the day I knew that I had extra money pocket and didn’t waste it foolishly.

One of the subjects that the speaker talked about was the importance of a good credit score. This for me was one of those subjects that I had briefly heard about from family members but never had a clear idea of what it was that is until now. I now know that my credit score will determine how much lenders can loan me and what my interest will be. Learning about credit score made me think about my future because I personally have dreams of one day buying a house and a new car and for these items my credit score will determine how much I end up paying. I learned about different ways to establish credit like for example, getting student loans or getting a credit card, however the catch is that I have to stay on top of my payments and not overuse my credit cards. This should set me on the right path to good credit.

My overall thoughts on what I learned during this time period is that these tips will definitely shape my future in some way. I will be one step ahead of the game when it comes to my financial life. The only thing to do for now is to actually enforce what I learned. One of the testimonies that really motivated me was the lenders story it really showed how anything is possible if you pursue your dreams. I really enjoyed the time these speakers to inform us of how to become financially successful. This was definitely a life changing experience and is something that will help me out in my future.