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Isabella Paragona Freedman Financial 2022 Scholarship Winner – Congratulations!

Meet Freedman Financial Scholarship Winner 2022 – Isabella Paragona

What Financial Responsibility Means to Me

by Isabella Paragona

Financial responsibility is something that has been ingrained in me since I was able to comprehend the concept of money.  When I was a young girl and would receive money for my birthday, Christmas, First Communion, etc., my dad would take me to the bank to deposit it into my account.  The First Ipswich Bank had a program where every dollar you deposited; you would earn points towards purchasing a toy at the local toy store. This taught me the benefits of saving my money at a very early age.  It also taught me to make sure that I wasn’t spending money on silly things but, saving for the things I really wanted.  Fast forward to a few months ago – my mom and I took that money out and deposited it into my first checking/savings account.  I had saved thousands of dollars over the years.  Honestly, I had pretty much forgotten it was even there.

That is really the point, isn’t it?  I religiously deposited money, and it grew to thousands of dollars without me having to do a thing.  Now I am depositing my paychecks from my part-time job at a hardware store into that account.  Part goes into my savings account, where I will continue to watch that grow, and part goes into my checking account allowing me to have some spending money. It is my responsibility to keep track of every withdrawal and deposit.  Someday this money will help with a car payment, books for college, a once-in-a-lifetime trip, a down payment on a house, etc. The point is that I have been taught to always save at least a portion of my money for the future.  It is my financial responsibility to myself.

My Nana and Papa put my dad, Aunt, and Uncle through college and let them live at home to save money. Each was able to use it as a down payment on their houses. My grandparents were able to do this on a preschool teacher and firefighter’s salaries by saving every penny, investing wisely, and living well within their means.  This set a great example for my dad regarding his financial responsibility to himself and now his family.

My parents are now my role models in terms of teaching me my financial responsibilities.  I see that they have spent years saving money, investing wisely, not spending beyond their means and as a result, they will be able to retire soon as well as pay both my sister and my college tuitions, so we can start our careers debt-free and carry this forward for ourselves and someday our families.

My family has taught me many valuable lessons, but by teaching me (through example and first-hand) to save money, live within my means, invest wisely in programs like 401ks, etc. I have a strong idea of my financial responsibility for my future. In my mind, having a clear idea of one’s financial responsibilities leads one on a path to financial stability and independence.

Prior winners and their essays found here.

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