Sydney L. – Long Beach Polytechnic High School

NuVision Essay

Most high school kids spend their time worrying about getting the best clothes, going to the best parties, and using the best school supplies. Most kids however, don’t realize how much those things cost. What NuVision’s workshop has taught me is that the small choices I make now can impact my future finances in a big way. They can not only help me save for college but for long term goals as well.

One way the workshop has already influenced me is by getting me to start thinking about how I am spending my money. After going to the workshop I’ve noticed that I tend to impulse buy, especially when I’m with my friends. I am also easily enticed by sales and superfluous spending. One aspect of the workshop that really stood out to me was the quote from Warren Buffet that reads, “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”   My previous financial system was based on only spending twenty dollars a week. My main issue was that I’d convince myself that I was saving money by not spending any more money than the twenty dollars I received, but I wouldn’t set aside any money to save. I’d also never make it an entire week without wasting it all. Instead of spreading it out evenly, I’d end up using it all at once to purchase unnecessary items. Going forward, I will limit my spending and be more responsible with my money. I’ 11 al so set aside money to save. I have my own savings account that I haven’t been using but I am now inspired to put it to good use by adding cash to it   monthly. Furthermore, I’ll use the leftover amount for when I really need it. This lesson can also be applied when buying practical items, too. Since last year, I’ve been keeping a daily journal,   but the notebooks I’ve been purchasing to write in have been costly. The workshop has shown   me how to look for cheaper alternatives. For instance instead of writing in a notebook I can type online and save my entries digitally. This can also apply to purchases made outside of school. Instead of buying personal accommodations, I should take advantage of the benefits that the campus offers. Rather than buy pizza for lunch every day, I can use my lunch code to eat a more inexpensive meal. I can also use these smart savings choices to influence my friend’s and family’s spending. We usually go out to eat a lot during the week so one reasonable goal to make is to limit eating out to only once a week at first. We can also order smaller meals, which is not only healthier but also less expensive. When holidays come around, my friends and I always overspend on gifts. A way to stop this would be to set a price limit or pitch in to buy one big gift. When going out we could carpool to save on gas money as well.

With the challenge in mind, I have new goals that I want to achieve that can help me and my family save money. Perhaps my most important achievement will be learning how to drive. With a car, I can access other places a little farther from home and school in order to find a job that I like and pays sufficiently. This would help my parents save money on gas since they don’t have to drive out of their way when taking my sister and me to school, to practice, and to our friends’ houses. I am also going to start adding money two or more times monthly to my savings account, with a goal of one thousand by the end of the year. The Think.Tank.Challenge has also sparked my interest in investing wisely. I think a good first investment would be buying at least ten stocks in Snap Chat, which a popular app is going public sometime in March. I am thankful for the opportunities this challenge has given me for getting me interested in saving money for my future education, career, and retirement.