Nuvision 3rd Annual Essay Challenge
To be a young adult is to begin seeing the world outside of your parent’s shelter and support. As a young adult you are expected to know basic and essential financial tools, like how to balance a checkbook or how to open up a savings accounts, but perhaps the most essential tool that we are expected to know is how to save our money wisely to have enough for future expenses. The grim reality is that not a lot of young adults are educated on the proper ways to save money or the proper ways to spend it. When I think of saving money, I think of not spending any money, which isn’t the entirety of the principle of saving. In order to teach young adults how to become better savers, we must first teach them one of the fundamentals of saving which is time.
Time is literally money, meaning that the sooner you start to save, the more you will have. We need to explain to young adults that by beginning to save even a small amount today, you will already be making more money than someone who starts saving tomorrow, or next week, or even next month because the longer you save, the more money you will have in the future. We need to teach young adults that the moment they choose to save money over spending it, they are taking action to be become wealthy. By teaching young adults the idea behind saving, they will become better savers by thinking about what to do with their first paycheck rather than cashing it in and rushing to get the newest smartphone. To become a better saver is to become someone who thinks about their purchases in the long run and the pros and cons of each purchase. They will realize that by spending on one thing, they will have less to save for the future.
Another thing to teach young adults to become better savers is to teach them that once they put money away for savings, that they shouldn’t touch it until “a rainy day”. As a young adult guilty of frequently moving money from my savings into spending account for non-essential purchases, I can tell you that it is not helpful in the long run. Your savings account should only be growing, not shrinking. If you keep treating your savings like its money you can spend on anything, you’ll eventually run out of savings. There’s no point in saving a small amount every day if you end up spending more than the amount you have saved. We should teach young adults to only spend what they have left after saving.
As we grow older, we realize that the only way to make those big purchases like a house or a car is to build up credit. For a lot of young adults, credit can be a scary thing because no one really teaches us what it is, let alone how to use and when to use it. In order to establish good credit, we should teach young adults that you should not just pay your credit card bill but that you must pay it on time. Borrowing money and paying it back on time sounds like a simple concept, yet many young adults find themselves in debt for the sole reason that they can’t pay back on time and their interest rates skyrocket. The concept of credit is very tempting because when you are buying something you aren’t paying for it in the moment.
In order to remain debt free, young adults must realize that they shouldn’t buy more than they can afford. If they can’t afford to buy it in the moment with the money they have to spend, they most likely won’t be able to pay off the bill when it comes. By teaching them that simple concept of credit and not overspending with a credit card, young adults will learn what it takes to be debt free. By also teaching them the real principle of saving and spending, they will become more conscious consumers and think through their purchases before spending everything they’ve earned.