It’s a very exciting next 4 months for many high school seniors all over the US. We are all in that final transition from kids to young adults and heading into greater endeavors, such as college. The only problem is that most seniors, like myself, don’t know how to balance a checkbook. Here’s the reality: many parents don’t know how to handle their income. Only 5 high schools in the United States have finances available for students to take as a class. Some people might argue that economics and government is enough for seniors to learn, but these subjects focus more on the theory behind it rather than the actual practice. I’m a high school senior myself and I am living proof that students do not know how to save for retirement, that is, until I attended a workshop by Nuvision Credit Union. I now know a lot more than the average student. The presenter, Mr. Quevedo, was very thorough when explaining techniques all young adults can use to become better savers and remain debt free and I plan to use all of them in the fast approaching future.
Before attending the workshop, I had some atrocious spending habits, some of which included spending $45 on a shopping excursion that only required 99 cents. What I should’ve done instead, according to Mr. Quevedo, is put away a good amount of that $45 I had, before using the rest on myself. Practicing putting away money in my adolescence will help me develop the discipline required of me in the future to be a better saver. Unfortunately, I have already made it a habit to spend money. About 65% of Baby Boomers cannot retire due to lack of saving. But why is that happening? Anyone can disburse money from their income and put it into a 401k, IRA or invest in stocks and bonds. Employees can even pay into social security or pension plans! This is the result of the poor spending habits and lack of awareness towards the importance of saving, especially since most Americans don’t have $400 in
emergency savings accounts. But the good thing is that we, young adults, can prevent that from happening to ourselves.
Just as Warren Buffett once said, “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” Buffett couldn’t be any more precise. In order to become better at saving, we essentially have to think and spend like the lower class. As the Wealth Formula shows, we need to first have income and save before becoming wealthy. Some of the most affluent people are penny pinchers themselves and that starts with putting away some money from your paycheck or allowance. All it takes is a little self-discipline and a piggy bank, the rest is for you to enjoy. As for staying out of debit, you first need to acquire some credit, since most young adults’ credit scores are not established. This means that if you want to get a credit card, you need to be meticulous about different interest rates. You must be a frugal spender and punctual borrower, meaning that all payments should be on time. Paying off minimum debt fast is the road to a great credit score and lower interest rates which can lead to being able to pay car and home loans with ease.
Becoming better savers isn’t an impossible task. We need to get into the habit of saving, not spending. Young adults must be cautious of their spending and take the initiative by planning ahead… The problem could be easily solved by attending a financial workshop to be enlightened about the truth of spending. After attending this workshop, I’ll definitely rethink my purchases and spend $2 instead of $45. Better yet, I’ll start saving for my retirement.