Timothy – Long Beach Polytechnic High School

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French Fries and Compound Interest: What I Learned at the NuVision Credit Seminar

Walking into the NuVision credit seminar, I expected to hear some good information, and maybe leave with a little something else stored in my brain. What I didn’t expect, however, is to find myself analyzing and pondering the problem of french fries. Warm, crispy, and golden: the backbone of America so delicately displayed in a paper boat. A few days a week after school I would go to McDonalds, or perhaps In n Out, to buy them. Each time it was a hot, delicious reward for making it through that treacherous day at school.

The financial awareness seminar completely changed my outlook on french fries. No longer were they simply a scrumptious snack-they were a constant drain on my resources! The idea of beginning to save from an early age was not a surprise to me, but never before had I truly considered cutting back on my youthful spending in order to prepare for my future. The way that it was presented simply cut through my layers of excuses in weeks before, and finally made me actually think about my constant spending. Instead of wasting $2 or $3 dollars most days, I could leave it to save up for a car, or, maybe even start a retirement account!

The main financial experience I had before the seminar was through the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program-high school volunteers learn and do taxes for underserved people. Working with people of all different family models, jobs, and lifestyles expanded my worldview to a new level. However, although I gained tons of great experience, it wasn’t until the financial literacy seminar that I began to turn the lens towards myself, and see the ways that I could become a better saver for my future.

So, my plan for the next five years now illuminates my path towards adulthood. First, I plan┬áto start an Individual Retirement Account as soon as I have a consistent job. The power of compound interest can make that money grow to new heights-I knew the idea of compound interest before, but didn’t realize that it truly could be the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” After this, I plan to carefully open some credit cards in college. Building my credit is incredible important, so I won ‘t be foolish and open too many card, but I do need to start soon so I will have good credit when it comes time to buy a large purchase after college. Clearly, I plan on getting a good job out of college, but from there? I will continue putting money in my IRA, and maybe even venture into the world of stocks and bonds. There are so many things to do now, with my future ahead of me, but I am so much more prepared to step forward with confidence in finance due to NuVision’s credit seminar. So although I would love to say that I have completely stopped getting my french fries after school, my wallet (and waistline) thank NuVision for a significant healthy change in my habits.