Tran H. – Schurr High School

After 14 years waiting, the American Dream ultimately came true to my family who have moved a thousand miles from Vietnam to reach this wonderland. Everyone was all yelling with happiness at that moment because we knew it is the beginning of a brand new journey in this land of opportunity. However, “Everything you do always run with obstacle” is a great quote I’ve learned in the Nuvision Federal Credit Union’s Financial Workshop. I have realized that, from now, every single step I am taking is full of obstacles. Language, lifestyle, people, the way things run, all of them can easily make me lose my direction and even my dream. Especially, money is the most serious problem. It is not just about a source to fulfill basic needs, but it also means the transport that affects directly to our future in here, America. The US, they use the money in another way that we have never tried, they have services that seem so weird to a Vietnamese guy. My family will be in a situation with debt if we don’t make a great choice with our capital, as a young adult I do not only need to help them but also help myself. That’s why I decided to attend in the Nuvision Federal Credit. Union’s Financial Workshop immediately when I heard about it, to get the information that helps me become a better saver and also to help my family.

Before this workshop, I always see money in a Vietnamese way that can summarize in “3S” which means
“saving, saving and saving”. There is no credit card in my country, we also cannot buy things through hire­ purchase, and therefore, we pay everything by cash once. I remember how much time my parents need to save money for a new car. At that time, they have missed a lot of business chances and didn’t even go to the
restaurant in order to save enough money.

On the grounds, I used to think if I want to buy something I have to save money for it no matter what happens, and if there are some great chances such as things on sale I will miss them because of hard saving. Finally, I deplete all my fund once. After that, unexpected things can happen and I have to “get along” with debt.
Accordingly, this Vietnamese way of saving money is no more correct in America. By the Financial Workshop, I had a chance to hear a professional talk about money, credit card, how to save money logically and also a lot of Banking tips that are really useful for me and all young adults who want to become better savers with debt­ free.

First and foremost, this is the first time I have learned about the way credit card work and its risk. The credit card is a wonderful thing that can help me buy stuff or start doing something that I want. Credit score, which shows how responsible I am with credit is an important factor that lenders check before approving any loans and mortages. The tip I have learned is I need to build good credit score from now by student loans and credit card in order to buy big stuff like a car or house in the future. However, using credit card is not easy and to build a good score I must stay current on monthly payments and do not overuse my cards.

Another good tip is “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving”. This statement means you have to make sure the amount of money that you’re saving will not change. I remember once I got a lot of lucky money from my relatives in Tet Holiday, I was supposed to save a half on my new phone. However, I could not control myself while I was spending another half for shopping, then I ran out of money and have nothing to save. That’s why young adult should have a clear plan for saving.

The workshop also lets me know about the emergency fund. Because life is just like a box of chocolate and we don’t know what we’re going to get, so we should prepare for the worst situation. The emergency fund is a good choice for preparation, in case something bad happen to you, having a “bunch of money” will help you a lot. I am going to go to work this summer for a job by SYEP, I will get some money and that’s a good time to practice these tips. I will have a Nuvision credit card whenever I turn 18 and be responsible for it. I’ll try to save money on my salary before spending it. The emergency fund will be made for my future and my college time.

As a young adult who is follow my own dream in the new country, money is one of my biggest problem that confused me a lot. However, I am grateful for the Nuvision Federal Credit Union’s Financial Workshop and the Essay Challenge which helps me to learn many things about a financial problem. Especially, it help me know the great tips to become a better saver with debt-free that I can start right now. I can feel my dream is coming, and it’s time to prepare for that by saving money!