2015 Winner

 Halle Fromson, Redwood Financial Network’s 2015 Scholarship Winner

“What does financial responsibility mean to you?” by Halle Fromson

Halle Fromson w300Financial responsibility is a very important part of my life. In seventh grade, along with my peers, I took career education class, and it really had an effect on me. I understood that life is expensive and decided to start saving right then and there.

I had a little envelope hidden in my room, and every time my birthday or a night of babysitting came around, the envelope would get a little thicker. As I got older I realized two things: this envelope was not a good place to keep my money, and this amount of money will not buy much. So, when I turned sixteen I did what any financially responsible person would do: I got a job. I spent two years working at Yours Truly Restaurant; first as a hostess and, eventually, as a server. Additionally, I got a real bank account and saved all the money I earned. So all the money I’d previously saved and started earning began accumulating interest rather than dust in an old envelope.

From this experience, I learned a lot about financial responsibility. Being responsible with money isn’t just about saving money; it’s about knowing when to spend it. It’s easy for most high school students to spend money on stupid things if the money they spend belongs to their parents. Having my own bank account taught me how to manage and save my own money. I learned the importance of frugality. Although it may be hard to stay home one weekend instead of going out with friends, I know it will pay off in the end. Of course, that doesn’t mean I should never spend money. The key concept to understand is the difference between wanting something and needing something. It’s also a good idea to create a budget to stay within, for any occasion such as buying groceries or holiday presents.

Additionally, financial responsibility is a big part of college. I know that college is expensive, but it is important to get an education, which is why I’ve spent a lot of time applying for scholarships. I’m trying very hard to minimize my future student loans and prevent debt from accumulating. I’ll have more personal money later on, and less worry. Plus, with a college education and eventually a Ph.D in Psychology, I’ll be able to earn a decent living which I hope will one day support a family. I realize this is extremely proactive, but I believe that’s the way life should be. My goal for the future is to be at a point financially where I can give to others. Not everyone is fortunate enough to receive an education and it is hard to earn a living without one. Therefore, I feel it is my job as a citizen to help others in any way that I can.

There are so many factors that go into financial responsibility such as getting an occupation, saving, spending wisely, budgeting, and investing. It is a daunting task for anyone to have control over all of them, but I am determined to tackle this challenge.

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