Saumyah – Long Beach Polytechnic High School

Vote for Saumyah

To hear my mother say these daunting words, “we can’t afford that right now” while seeing tears stream down her face is something that I will remember for the rest of my life. From the very first time that I heard that until today, I made a sound decision that I wanted to make sure that my finances were always in order. After seeing my mother go through two lay-offs and walk away crying because she could not do something for her children, set me on a journey of wanting to understand the power of money. I began to read excerpts from many books to include: The Real Warren Buffet, Managing Capital, Leading People (2002), Suze Orman’s Women & Money, Owning the Power To Control Your Destiny (2007) and the Bible (Owe no man anything, but to love one another -Romans 13:8).

After doing some research, I found out that the income of women have soared more than 63%, but why are we always in debt? My hypothesis to this matter, is that we binge spend, emotionally spend as well as totally out-of-control spend leaving many with thousands of dollars in credit card debt that can change their future for the worse. From this problem alone, young adults should see that becoming better savers and understanding the difference between good debt (mortgage) and bad debt (credit cards) will provide one with financial freedom.

Determining what we want in our futures should not be that difficult for us but it definitely will take some wisdom and will power. What person of our age doesn’t want the latest of everything to boast to our friends? After watching television shows and seeing parents fight and most often end in divorce over money, tells me a lot about its importance. The reality that I have discovered from going without trivial things is that it’s like what Oprah said, “leave it there and sleep on it, if you still want it in the morning then go get it.” Most often we find that these things really don’t matter and choosing to save is a better option. With this in mind, we should decide to keep more of the money that is received and learn from the mistakes of others.

Learning about 40l(k)’s, stocks and bonds, having a personal financial advisor can definitely open up another level of wealth that we young adults should consider as well as researching how to actually handle money would help us to become better savers. Learning things in Economics, Government as well as Project Echo in the 9th grade opened the door to business and finances and what it may take to go from barely making it to great wealth if one desires it. What we found is that struggling and advancing had three things in common: will power, hard work and self-control. Things like this is exactly what it will take for us young adults to become the savers that will keep us from having to tell our children the harsh reality that we can’t afford something. This of course, does not mean that we should just spend frivolously when we do have it.

Because I have seen my mother go through some very difficult times with her finances, I have already started making provisions to secure my future. To start, I have opened up a savings account in which everything with the exception of 15% goes into this account. I strongly believe in an old saying that I heard a Jewish Rabi mention, “Save some, give some and spend some.” To my delight, I found that an economist by the name of Patricia White actually wrote a brief article on it in which she states the following: spend less than you make, make savings a habit, increase the amount every few months, make savings a family affair and teach your kids, build an emergency fund of at least three months of living expenses, get the most out of your savings to reach your financial goals and put savings in a separate account that is not easily accessible (http ://www.homefamily .net/money-save-some-give-some -spend-someD. What a better way to keep your finances in order. Secondly, going to college and becoming a physician and investing well so that I can use my investments to support my lifestyle while saving my salary. This will allow my money to work for me instead of me working for money.

Finally, just think where we would be without the wealth of Steve Jobs (no more iphone and ipad) and Bill Gates (Xbox One gone forever). What if they were extreme spenders and not savers and givers? We would definitely be at loss for some of the most creative thinkers that have provided us with tools that will be used for generations to come. This is exactly how we young adults should see finances as a tool and opportunity to do greater things and become greater people: with the ability to change not just our lives but potentially the lives of others or would you rather watch our children be in awe as they see tears flow down your face?