Lizette H. – Cabrillo High School

Is It Really Worth It?

At times, it can be difficult to save money, especially when there are a variety of items that we cannot resist from purchasing. Many end up wasting their money on useless items, instead of saving and managing their credit. Although there may be various products that catch our attention, we don’t always have to buy them. Let’s say that there is a sale of limited edition clothing that recently came out. Our first intention is to buy it; however, impulsively buying multiple items, think to yourself, do I really need this?

Although having a credit card can be extremely exhilarating, there is always a disadvantage to owning one. According to Attila Morgan, the Community Engagement/PR Manager of NuVision Federal Credit Union, a credit card is like paying someone to use their money. This statement can be surprisingly helpful if one is having trouble saving their money. Everyone wants to have good credit, but they need to learn how to manage it to prevent acquiring debt. This includes myself. I tend to spend my allowance on products I don’t need, but are usually on sale. After this workshop, I was more aware of the disadvantages of constantly purchasing unnecessary items. The Think.Tank.Challenge workshop taught me how to make smart financial choices with my hard earned money, and my goals after high school and beyond.

Every week, my parents give me an allowance that I earn by doing household work. My allowance will most likely be used to purchase unnecessary items such as clothes, backpacks, purses, makeup, and facial products, which are all unnecessary products because I already more than enough have. In the future, I will not let all the work go to waste by purchasing irrelevant items. After I checkout the items, I regret spending my allowance so easily. After the Think. Tank. Challenge workshop, I realized that the money I spent could have gone to another useful, and important item, such as a new printer for school. I don’t usually spend a lot on the items I end up purchasing, but saving that money can add up for something else. For example, if I saved my money sooner, I could have bought a new laptop for school purposes. Although I love shopping and having brand new items to use, it would also be exciting to know that I have a bit of money saved up for the future. Being financially stable sooner can be truly helpful in the future. From this point on, I am going to make smarter choices with money. To start making wiser choices, I’m going to limit the amount of money I can spend every week. The money that I don’t spend, I will save it for college, although it might not be a lot. I plan on only purchasing items that are a necessity. To keep track of how much I am saving, I’ll open a savings account used primarily for college and deposit the money I don’t use. I won’t only create one savings account, but multiple for different matters so I can start saving money for future purposes. The Think.Tank.Challenge not only encouraged me to be smarter about my choices with money, but also to not let any obstacles stop me from reaching my goals.

Additionally, my goal to graduate from a University is my main priority. I learned that many obstacles are going to come my way, but I cannot allow any difficulty to discourage me from accomplishing my educational goals. From a young age, I always knew I wanted to go to college. I believed that going to college meant having an outstanding career, and life would just be easier. Although I did not really know “what I wanted to be when I grew up,” my number one priority was to go to a good school, and hopefully I would figure it out from there. Up to this point, I am unsure of what I want to major in. According to my family, it is normal to feel anxious when deciding what to do for the rest of your life. Not everybody goes with their first route, and it is okay to be confused. Majors that interest me are Liberal Studies (Elementary Education), Nursing, and Psychology. Liberal Studies fascinates me because I enjoy working with children. Nursing caught my attention because a couple of my family members are nurses, and they are extremely helpful when we have medical questions. Psychology also interests me because I personally had therapy for anxiety, and my Psychologist was so open and helpful. I think I would enjoy helping other people with their problems and teaching them different ways to overcome their problems. My goals after high school are to go to a University, and to gain experience by working or volunteering at places based on the major I end up choosing. During the Think.Tank.Challenge workshop, someone quoted our former President Barack Obama. He said, ”The point is, you know how to dream. And you know how to work for your dreams. And, yes, sometimes you may be “super underrated.” But usually it’s the underrated, the underdogs, the dreamers, the idealists, the fighters, the argumentative — those are the folks who do the biggest things…. It doesn’t mean you’re not going to get down sometimes. You will. You’ll know disillusionment. You’ll experience doubt. People will disappoint you by their actions. But that can’t discourage you.” This quote motivated me to keep going because there are many times that I want to give up, but then I think about the consequences of that decision and continue striving for my goals, no matter how difficult the obstacles may be.

Overall, the Think.Tank.Challenge taught me how to improve the financial choices I will make by educating me about the disadvantages of not carefully managing my credit, and it influenced my goals beyond high school and college by encouraging me to never give up. This workshop genuinely impacted my thoughts about my future, and how to prepare for whatever life hits me with.