By Grace Theriault
What Does Financial Responsibility Mean to You?
The meaning of financial responsibility has changed dramatically from my days of babysitting the kids in the neighborhood for a few bucks to working two jobs the majority of the year. In the beginning, I would just work for extra money that I could spend how I wanted to but now I work for a more important purpose; to be financially stable on my own without the help of my parents.
Growing up, my parents have always been there for me and helped me financially. I’ve been lucky enough to have a great support system that took interest and were concerned with my future. Not only were they focused on my future, but they were focused on helping me get there successfully. After I got my first job, my parents had me set up a checking account to help me keep track of where my money went after my paycheck came in. Recording the money, I spent helped me to realize that I absolutely loved to spend all of my money as soon as it came into my possession. Rather than taking my earnings away from me and keeping them in savings, they made me learn through my own trial and error that blowing through cash as soon as I got it was never going to work out for me.
The first time I can remember really understanding the importance of managing money was when I was in the 8th grade. My parents were in the kitchen paying the bills and I was watching them balance the checkbook in the process and I noticed that after paying them that we have very little money left in their account. Knowing that we were going on a trip to New York, I freaked out and told them we couldn’t go because we didn’t have enough money to afford the trip. After that, they told me how they planned on covering the expenses and it all made sense. They explained to me that they had already had paid for the hotel room and traveling there by bus with the credit card and that they would have enough money to pay off the next credit card bill when it came. They also explained to me that they were going to take money out of savings that they had designated to cover vacations. After that explanation, I realized how important it is to save and plan how I spent my earnings. I must admit, it’s taken me a long time to realize that but I know now that if I want to be financially stable when I’m older I have to practice those habits now.
Recently, I’ve taken into consideration the cost of college and started to think about how I plan on covering the costs efficiently enough to have the least amount of debt possible when I graduate. Going into college I know that I need to save more money than I have in the past and set aside my summer paychecks and the extra money I make in tips to help cover costs of my education. This means that I won’t have as much money as I usually do spend how I want but it will all be worth it in the long run. I feel as though I am responsible and educated enough now to be able to successfully manage my finances on my own.
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