What does financial responsibility mean to you?
There comes a time in everyone’s life when we have to make the transition from being a child, dependent on our parents for our most basic needs, to independent young adults eager to enter the world filled with many different responsibilities. This transition will come naturally to many; others may travel a different path and encounter many road blocks along the way. Over time, each of us will have to adapt to many new responsibilities as we move through life. Among those, financial responsibility is one of the most important to master. If we are unable to develop an understanding of financial responsibility early on, it will have a lasting and unfortunate effect on our lives.
As a child, it was easy to earn a few dollars by doing simple chores around the house. As I grew older, I found it wasn’t as easy to earn my own money as it once was. Understanding that my mother could not afford to support my social life, it became obvious that the only way I could afford the things I needed and wanted was to find a job. I was lucky enough to find a job at Market Basket, our local grocery store. This started as a weekend job and provided me with the spending money I needed to spend time with my friends. Over time I was able to increase my hours at Market Basket, which helped me to cover cost of car insurance, gas and other expenses which are common for people my age. Learning to stick to a budget has helped me prioritize my spending. This has been one of many valuable experiences I’ve encountered as I move on to adulthood.
With this real-world understanding, I have realized the true value of the dollar. Before I spend money, I ask myself, “Do I ‘need’ this or just ‘want’ this?” I also keep in mind how many hours I have to work in order to pay for something. I strive to live by the motto: “Live within your means: don’t spend money if you don’t have it.” Following such a path will keep me out of debt and credit card trouble. Another important way to be responsible with my financial resources is to save a portion of the money I have earned every week. This will provide me a safety net to rely on in the future. Having a strategy up until retirement will set me on a good track for the upcoming years.
Understanding the difference between wants and needs is essential to financial security. This distinction ensures that purchases made to enhance the quality of life come after those that are a necessity. The most common examples of needs are food, clothing, and shelter; however, in today’s world, earning educational credentials has become equally important. In order to become adept at money management I have developed a mindset which causes me to look past the wants of today so I can afford the needs of tomorrow.
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