Mindy D. – Oxford Academy

Financial Literacy Essay

Reaching financial independence to the extent of where I become capable of providing for the rest of my family has always been a life goal of mine. Rather than plunging my parents into debt or pressuring them to work harder than they already do when my sister and I go to college, I plan to get a job, save up and deal with the bulk of the financial burden on my own as I already owe my parents too much to ask them for any more assistance. I dream of purchasing a house for them, of taking them out to eat every weekend, of securing their retirement. All of the reasons which only reinforce the importance of financial literacy, a skill I have yet to acquire.

Despite how many APs high school students like myself cram into schedule or how many times we take the SAT to perfect our already nearly perfect scores, the knowledge that truly matters in life remains inaccessible. We learned about the American economy, but how do we pay our taxes? We learned about the faces on our dollar bills, but how do we know what to spend it on or what save it for? We learned about the historical banking system, but what does credit mean and how does it work? These are questions we ought to have the answer to, and yet we often find ourselves struggling to come to terms with the financial burden that arrives the moment we depart the comfort of our homes and venture a step into the real world. It’s a massive component of independence, but I find it challenging to address this specific part when assuming the adult responsibility as I turn 18. This is mostly because for me at least, money has always been at the tip of my fingers, not that I had much to spend, but it was available when I truly needed it. My parents would hand it to me when I ask or I would find a small, gathered stack after Christmas, making it difficult for us to realize that hard work and long hours are required to obtain that sort of amount. My goal, however, is to change this attitude and become more active in working my way towards achieving financial literacy.

In addition, the importance of financial literacy extends well beyond college; it is a life skill that many adults tend to lack, which results in major consequences such as the inability to purchase a house or failure to meet the criteria to purchase a car. In fact, I know plenty of responsible adults in my life who have poor credit scores simply due to the fact that they are unaware on what a good credit score is and how to maintain it. Although I do not have much expertise nor experience in this area, I know enough to at least recognize the importance of a good credit score and how it affects my life. Evidently, this surface knowledge is not enough, but it does touch on the fact that being educated on finance should start at a young age.