Natalie M. – Savanna High School

Think Tank Challenge Essay

At the ages of 13 and 16 I was, along with my mother, and two sisters, living in bedrooms meant for one person to live in. My parents had recently got divorced and due to financial difficulties, our home was seized by the bank. Only after hearing the presentation did I realize the significance of savings in an adult’s life.

The presence of a savings account had saved my mother when she chose to flee the home that was no longer a humble environment to raise her children. I was in awe when what I had absorbed from the think tank presentation applied to real life obstacles that I witnessed before my eyes. My family was homeless when my parents’ house was foreclosed and my mother decided to leave my father. The only place we could afford with my mother’s savings was a small bedroom. Though it was not enough for four people, we spent six months in that room because it was all we could afford at the time. However when an identical situation struck us two years later and we lost our apartment, my mother learned from her previous mistakes and had been keeping money saved up just in case. Though we also had to live in a bedroom in Santa Ana until an apartment accepted our section A housing application, the time we spent living in a room was decreased to only four months the second time around.

My understanding of interesting a bank savings account expanded drastically in regards to learning about the Rule of 72. In response to inflation that affects our economy over time, it is crucial that individuals with bank accounts measure their rate of return, to gauge how much an investment is growing or shrinking. It is simple to calculate rate of return by simply dividing the interest rate by 72 to discover how many  years it will take for the money to double. The rate of return must be greater than three percent in order for it to a positive deal. This strategy can assist my mother when saving for retirement. A proper bank savings account can prove to be extremely beneficial in the long run, especially when planning for retirement.

The part of the presentation that really hit home was when the presenter told the story of Oprah Winfrey. Oprah Winfrey was born into poverty, molested multiple times as a young girl, and gave birth to a baby at the age of 14 that eventually died. Though she had no real positive influences throughout her adolescence yet she still managed to grow up to be a multi-millionaire who owns a hit talk show. Learning about her experiences instantly inspired me to face life head on just as Oprah did despite her troubling past. Having experienced only a fraction of what Oprah faced, I can undoubtedly say that I will succeed if I maintain a positive attitude and not let past events get the best of me.

The Think Tank Presentation was truly inspired me to act boldly but carefully in my transition to adulthood. The hardest part of any challenge is making the first move. I can respectfully say that I can walk into life knowing how to calculate rate of return to have a financially stable life.