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2022 Winning Scholarship Essay

2022 Winning Scholarship Essay

Jessie Petry - Fremont High School
A Financial Foundation

Stress can surely add up as a high school senior when you are just months away from
being pushed out of the nest and into the real world. Choosing how to balance your time making
money, where to spend it, and still being able to have fun in your last moments as a child can
seem overwhelming. There are so many things you still want to do, but so little time. On top of
that, it seems as if the massive weight of student loan debt will come crashing down on life at
any second. Many high school students don’t know where to start or how to build a solid
financial foundation. However, with the right tools and knowledge, today’s youth can thrive in
the world without being overcome by the stress of financial security.

Before setting financial goals, I would advise the youth of America to start learning about
finances instead of just “winging it”. In my Personal Finance class, I have seen the value of
learning how to budget and distribute your money. Learning how to budget correctly helps
reduce mindless spending and makes bigger goals easier to achieve. It is helpful to list your
values and adjust spending habits to what is important. Finding out what is important to you and
learning the basics of how to wisely budget your finances is the most important step for young
adults to take in becoming successful in accomplishing their financial goals.

After learning how to properly budget, spend, and save, you can start setting your financial goals. It is better to have a solid foundation for your goals than to try to accomplish them blindly. One goal that I think is achievable for young adults is saving up enough money to buy a reliable car. It is necessary for life outside of high school and is critical in getting a job. From fast food restaurants to dairy farms, there are many opportunities for teenagers to start earning an income.

Even if activities outside of school are important to them, working two days a week and putting at least 20% of their income into savings is a good start and gets you closer to your goals. If you already have a vehicle, you can start putting a portion of your income into either a savings account for furthering your education or an emergency fund. When you get into the habit of “paying yourself first” and putting your money into savings before spending any of it, you are setting yourself up for success in the future.

The youth of America need to focus on learning how to budget correctly and manage their finances before making any major financial decisions. Once they have the knowledge and tools they need to succeed, they should focus on saving their money and putting it towards goals that will have a longer-lasting impact on their life. To achieve their goals, the youth have to start putting their money into savings first instead of mindlessly spending.