Merien J. – Lakewood High School

The Young Adult’s Guide to Remaining Debt-Free

As a fourteen year old student just on the verge of peeking into adulthood, simply the idea of planning a future is unsettling-but unfortunately life is jam packed with endless planning and decision- making that shapes the overall outcome of our lives. That being said, it is known that a major part of making a life for yourself involves saving money in any way humanly possible. Now, this can be a challenging process for anyone-especially young adults, who have only experienced life for a brief second, and in the spur of a moment are thrown into the ring of adulthood. Luckily, there are many different methods that involve saving money, which can really help you in the long run, when quick and efficient money-saving techniques are a necessity. These techniques include properly funding your education, managing your bank account, and resisting the everyday urge to spend unnecessarily.

As you know, a quality education is a very important thing, and it’s especially utilized when searching for a financially stable career-but it may come as a surprise to find out that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a decent education. It’s a known fact that college empties the pockets of most who attend, but there are many ways to prevent you from stacking up debt. One useful tool could be going to a community college instead of a (expensive} major university. It’s very common for people to think that going to community college is taking the simple route, but it’s actually very innovative, and sensible to do so. Community college is very affordable and can save you thousands of dollars per year. The regular tuition fees of a major university can add up to tens of thousands of dollars which ultimately results in loads of student debt, while community college only cost a fraction of that According to PewResearch.Org, about four in ten adults under age thirty still face the horrors of student debt, which is not fun to say the least. Going to community college also allows you to learn at your own pace before you transfer to a university. Another possible route could be to apply for scholarships and grants. Maintaining an adequate GPA can afford you the opportunity to apply for scholarships and grants that can help you further your education with little to no money out of pocket. Quite frankly, there are so many other ways to fund your education without spending an arm and a leg, you just have to be resourceful.

In addition to properly funding your education. Another approach to avoiding student debt could be managing your bank account in an orderly fashion, and monitoring your spending habits. One of the most important things about managing your bank account is creating a safety net, meaning you create an emergency fund for those spontaneous rainy days. This allows you to have something to fall back on just in case you ever get in a situation where you are in desperate need of some extra change. The best thing to do is save ten percent of your weekly income into this fund- and just think of it as a bill that must be paid. Secondly, the attempt to not over apply for credit cards is very important. It will result in a surplus of credit card bills to pay which will only add to the likelihood of increasing your debt, and your bank account won’t be too happy. Another option could be to rent a home instead of buying a property. The prices of homes go up annually, and it isn’t worth it if it’s not a responsible decision that could potentially help your bank account It’s better to rent an establishment as a young adult because it leaves you time to save up for a greater home with all of your interests in mind.

Finally, it is wise to pay off all credit transactions immediately. Paying bills on time not only spikes your credit but it also forces you to care about how you spend your money. Which leads me to the subject of properly spending your money, and when to say ‘no’. Saying ‘no’ can be really difficult, especially when you’re used to relying on your parents and family members to buy the things you desire most. However, in the real world you have to crack open your wallet and face the stone cold reality of making wise decisions. That’s why it’s best to not spend your money on items that you don’t really need. In other words, ask yourself “Do I really need this?” or “Is this a waste of money?”, before you buy anything that you are unsure about This could also include being a bargain shopper and spotting those good deals, or even recycling things and turning them into something new, Whatever it may be, it is always important to spend your money wisely as a young adult, because if you overspend, the only thing you’ll pull out of your is a ball of lint.

Young adults tend to live in the moment, thrive on change, and celebrate everyday as if it’s their last that being said, it should come to no surprise that teens tend to overspend on useless junk that they think they need at the time, resulting in the abundance of wasted space and money. However, as you grow older, money gets tighter and tighter, which is why now is the time to save while you can. There are plenty of short cuts that one could make to save money, and they’re not hard to implement into your daily routine-those being properly funding your education, managing your bank account, and resisting the everyday urge to spend recklessly. These methods could improve one’s life completely, and all it takes is commitment, wisdom, and patience. But don’t forget the saying “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”