Moises R. – Savanna High School

NuVision Think. Tank. Challenge

Growing up in a poor Hispanic family, money has always been an issue. I don’t say that so I may receive pity, but just to show why money has a huge influence on my life. Money has always been a very difficult subject because there only two sides to it, good or bad. Either there is extra money to spend and I’m able to buy a new video game or food, but then there’s the bad side where money is tight and I have to cut back on many things like video games or food.

There’s never really an in-between and I don’t remember a time where I’ve felt financially secure, so that’s why money is an important part of my life, or at least impactful. I attended the NuVision workshop because it was a great opportunity to finally learn and instead of complaining, do something about my situation. After attending the meeting, I was so inspired that I rushed to the library right after and grabbed two books to start reading to further increase my knowledge on finances and hopefully, be able to start saving and making money, but if wasn’t for the financial workshop and the foundation it laid for me, I would never have gotten started in transforming my life.

First off, the financial workshop taught basic principles and set a foundation for economics, since it is a broad topic with lots of information, but definitely got me jump started. One of the most obvious, but overlooked principles to earning money is to save money. If you spend all your money, then you can’t expect to gain more if it’s all gone and have nothing to work with. Although I don’t spend a lot of money in general, my parents do, but understandably for bills, food, clothes, etc. The only bad thing about this is that there’s no money left over to save, or worse, there’s no money left over and we have a deficit. I’ve tried to help my parents save money before, but they told me that we can’t because my dad doesn’t have a job with a stable paycheck, which is reasonable, but I still believe it can be done. I’ve finally grown a lot more motivated to make changes, so if my parents won’t do it, then I will. I can start by doing odd jobs or asking for a weekly allowance and save it all up, until I have a decent amount so that when I place it into the bank, it can accumulate more money due to interest. But, before placing my hard earned money into a bank account, I will definitely do more research on what type of account would work best and create the most money because I don’t have much knowledge in that area yet.

In addition, deficits are the real money killer in my family. We spend and spend, but never take a moment to save and bury ourselves into a deep financial burden, which can manifest itself in the form of debt. Everyone can agree that debt is horrible because it makes you a slave to the bank and you are forced to give whatever scraps of money left to pay it off. It’s pretty tough to save money when you have none and owe money, but I can help by creating a very broad budget, since my dad’s paycheck is unstable and fluctuates. It is especially vital to start now because I am planning to go on a trip to Europe during spring break with my school, but I need   to make monthly payments of about $250. The budget should save, at minimum, $62 a week in order to add up to $250 a month. I’ll have to analyze our spending and track how much we each spend and on what to propose the necessary cuts needed to save money and hopefully be able to go to Europe.

Last but not least, I’ve learned that time is essential. I’m young right now so if I start   now, even if I start with a small amount of money, over time it will accumulate into something much bigger and continue to grow. For example, if I were to save $5,000 annually, earning 10% interest annually, a person who let that money grow for 38 years will have earned $1.8 million dollars compared to someone who let it wait for 40 years, who will have earned $2 million. The difference is $400k, which is a lot of money. In my case, I think it would be best to save up a couple of hundred bucks, so that way I can actually see the growth. I also was reminded of inflation and that it is so important to keep up with inflation, or I will fall behind economically. The value of the dollar will change and I need to make sure that the money I earn is keeping up with inflation. I can determine this with the rule of 72, where you divide 72 by the interest rate to estimate the amount of years it takes for money to double. Starting now is key and a lot can happen in a few years, so saving and investing in my future now would be the smartest thing to do, especially if I also plan to attend a university.
All in all, the financial workshop has given me that push I needed to get started in saving money and investing it for a bright future. I now feel confident that with the foundation I have in economics and basic principles about saving, I can finally begin something I’ve been wanting to do for so long. Although finances are difficult to understand, thankfully I have the support of NuVision and will definitely call or make an appointment one day, so that I may receive the necessary help to change my life forever. With all these skills, determination, and knowledge, l will be able to finally achieve many of my dreams that I would have never thought were possible, all thanks to one workshop.