Kalkidan T. – Oxford Academy

NuVision Federal Credit Union: Think Tank Challenge Scholarship Essay

The NuVision presentation taught me that in today’s world, making sound financial decisions is more important than ever. The importance of financial literacy cannot be overstated, and our representative demonstrated this to us in her opening series of questions: “What does it really mean to be financially secure?” and “Who do you know that could benefit from this information?” Considering my answer was “Uh… I don’t know? And probably everybody?” I realized that while I may be ready to take the next step in my education, I might not be so prepared to face the real world.

In the presentation I learned several key things. For example, more and more, the burden of making sound financial decisions is coming to rest on the shoulders of consumers. Many companies have shifted their retirement plans from traditional pension plans to those requiring employees to participate in, pay part of the cost for, and make investment decisions about. 401(k) plans are the best example of this. The government also provides things like Social Security, seen as a major source, if not the major source, of retirement income. Now it serves more like a safety net that will provide enough only for survival, not enjoyment. In addition, we are living longer. This means that we must have accumulated more funds before retirement to cover living expenses over a longer time. Otherwise, we could become a burden for our families. The more I learned, the more my anxiety began to rise, and it only worsened at the idea that there was no fool-proof way to tackle all these issues. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees or easy answers, but luckily, there are things to consider that could help alleviate the worry.

All my life I had learned that education was the ultimate tool in advancement; knowledge is power, and the more you learn, the more you know and therefor can hopefully make the best decisions and live a more fulfilled life. If I were to apply this to the NuVision presentation, I would discern that the most important thing I learned was that there was a lot more to learn– about financial options, about money and money management, about savings in general, really. The presentation opened my eyes to a lot of things that I normally don’t think about. In learning that true financial independence comes from a lot more than putting ten percent away, and includes things like saving more and spending less, living within one’s means, protecting loved ones, reducing and eliminating debt, saving sufficient funds, and building long term savings, I feel

As I look into the future as a college bound individual, I am realizing that it is well within my power to either make or break my develop good financial habits early on. Paying attention to how I’m spending the money I make currently, continuing to save and stay informed are all ways that I can set myself up for future success.