By Andrew Zipper
One who is responsible takes accountability for his actions, acts independently and maintains control. As I graduate high school and embark on adulthood, I am quickly finding that as my parents warned, many responsibilities loom ahead. One of the most daunting, yet important is financial responsibility. My choices and actions now have long reaching effects on the rest of my life and those around me. I must look ahead to the future and my goals, while tempering this with my ability to meet my obligations.
So many things in our society have a large price tag. For me this begins with my college education. I feel that I must find a program in a school environment that will prepare me for my future endeavors while also not having an excessive price tag. To ensure that I have been financially responsible I have researched many different schools, applied myself in my studies to earn merit scholarships, and have begun applying for outside scholarships. Upon graduation I must repay outstanding loans while also incurring cost of living expenses and beginning to save. While all of this planning can seem overwhelming, I am trying to find ways to put away small amounts to save and avoiding silly expenses. This has to be done through planning and prioritization.
Planning for small expenses in addition to larger ones such as tuition and living expenses is essential. I must also decide what is important to me and learn to avoid impulsive expenses. I know that being young, temptation for gadgets and entertainment will be high, but I must adhere to a budget. I plan to discipline myself keeping in mind the larger picture. One strategy I plan to employ is avoiding opening lines of credit even if lured by discounts. Too often, having this spending power at one’s fingertips can lead to accumulating debt. However, I know that if I work additional hours I can enjoy some small splurges and enjoy varied experiences.
I know that my future career, while personally fulfilling and important for society does not have a large paycheck associated with it. I realize that I must educate myself about investments and savings plans as a young adult. As I watch my parents planning for their retirement and care of their parents, I realize that long range planning is important. I must be sure to be saving and protecting finances in case of emergencies and unexpected expenses.
At my young age, financial responsibility is simple as I must avoid spending beyond my meager means and begin saving whenever I can. As I graduate from college and begin my adult life, financial responsibility will include paying off necessary debt and becoming educated on the various savings and investment plans that will allow me to plan for my future. Exercising financial responsibility while young will allow me to enjoy my adult years for the rest of my life.
The Freedman Financial Associates Inc. Scholarship was created to heighten the awareness of personal financial planning, and fiscal responsibility among graduating high school seniors. Now in its 20th year, the Freedman Financial has collectively awarded more than $19,000 to past winners. Eligibility and selection process can be found here.
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