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saving money

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Money

    The Importance of Financial Literacy

    importance of financial literacy

    In high school, one of the most useful classes I took was Personal Financial Planning.

    An online, single semester course, PFP was an engaging class that covered a lot of important and relevant material. From learning conceptual information using EVERFI’s financial literacy modules to participating in an online stock market simulation with my classmates, I liked that my teacher used multiple learning tools to help students understand the content.

    I thought my personal finance class was fairly straightforward, and it took a few hours each week to complete the assignments and assessments. The class was well-organized, interesting, and very applicable and useful for my life. Many of my peers who have taken a personal finance class in a traditional classroom setting or online (like me) have also had a positive experience, and they tell me that they definitely felt that the class was worthwhile.

    Personal finance is important and useful

    I feel that in high school, certain courses that students take aren’t as easily applicable to daily life. For example, calculus isn’t something most individuals in the real-world use on a day-to-day basis. However, personal finance is definitely important. Through this class, I learned many useful skills, including how to create a budget, the basics of filing taxes, how to deal with student debt, and even what factors to consider when buying my own vehicle someday. As myself and many other students my age go off to college or other post-secondary opportunities soon, these skills will become more and more useful. I think all high schoolers need to be taught personal finance in some sort of school setting because these are real-life skills that will come in handy in the future. Nowadays, many young people make unwise financial decisions and have to deal with the consequences—sometimes for the rest of their lives. Many times, this happens simply because they didn’t fully understand what they were getting themselves into. Having an understanding (even if it’s just a very simple, basic understanding) of financial concepts and ideas before graduating high school would be so helpful and beneficial for success in the real world.

    Schools are starting to make personal finance a requirement

    Although taking a personal finance class wasn’t a graduation requirement for me personally, my high school very recently made it a requirement for students beginning next year. This isn’t a change just in my high school; in fact, many high schools across the nation are requiring students to take a personal finance classes, and the U.S. Treasury has recently called for mandatory financial literacy courses for college students because of concerns regarding student debt. It’s really no wonder that such high significance has been given to financial education for high school and college students in recent years; currently, U.S. student debt is at a record high of more than $1.5 trillion. There has been a lot of concern that students and families are taking on debt without realizing the long-term impact it could have.

    Thinking about college

    With college tuition and related expenses currently at exceptionally high rates (and only rising year-to-year), it is important for families to really consider their finances and think through the implications of debt before making college and other educational decisions. Having a good understanding of debt and its effects will only make it easier for students to have productive conversations with their families about important topics like this, and it may allow students to view a situation from multiple perspectives and make an educated decision with their family that takes multiple factors, including prestige, finances, resources available, etc, into consideration.

    When making a college decision a few months ago, I had a lot to consider, and I think having a good understanding of personal finance really helped me see my options from multiple perspectives. I was able to think beyond just the next four years and really consider how I wanted my life to look in the long-run.

    Personal finance was a high-impact class that was both simple and interesting. Even if your high school doesn’t require students to take it, I still recommend that you take the class if it is offered to you. If you are not able to take personal finance as a class through your school, I would encourage you to look into online options such as EVERFI and just go through the modules during your free time. These courses are usually very easy to understand and don’t require very much time or effort. I was able to get a better understanding of many important financial concepts and topics, and I definitely think I am better prepared for college and life in general because I took a personal finance class.

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Money

    What is Money?

    girl counting money

    Well, I don’t mean the definition, but more so, what is its purpose? Money is used for many things that vary based on age groups. For adults, the main money flow usually goes towards bills, necessities, or items for children. Children usually use their money for their wants, such as candy or games. Teenagers, specifically girls tend to buy for both of their wants and needs, such as necessities for their period as well as chocolate as an add on. The worth of a dollar has changed through the centuries, as it became more valuable to live on in the developed world, but the worth of a dollar also changes through the age cycle. I will explain how to use money as a teenager and how to use it, more wisely.

    Is money even necessary?

    I would say money is not necessary, but, as a teen, I can say that changes as you get older. As a teen, you start to gather more money from different sources and of course, as an effect, spend more. The ways that you use money as a teen does affect your money habits as an adult, but as a child or even a teenager, I would say it is not as important to some as an adult.

    How can you earn money?

    Some ways to earn money are through

    • Jobs
    • Parents
    • Chores
    • Passive Income

    Some jobs that you can earn money from can be from neighbors, family, or friends, from things such as mowing lawns, helping with animals, babysitting, or even small things such as cooking and cleaning for others. You can earn money from chores or from your parents by doing tasks like cleaning, cooking, helping with pets, watching siblings, or getting an allowance.

    The last way to earn money as a teen is from passive income. You could get passive income from

    • Stocks
    • Blogs
    • Youtube
    • Social Media
    • Small Business Online

    Looking for other ways to earn money? Here are 49 ways to make money as a teen.

    What should I do with my money?

    One major thing that is helpful and that you have most likely heard more than once is to save your money! This can be annoying sometimes because you may never want to save your money but want to spend it responsibly, but saving is a major help for the long run. Saving your money can help by

    • Allowing you money for college
    • Helping your parents with money
    • Allow you to save for something big
    • Allow for better money habits
    • Good thing for emergencies

    You can, of course, spend your money, wisely. A few tips to spend your money, which are short, but sweet:

    • buy what you absolutely need first, and what you want second.
    • When you shop, make sure you don’t already have that same item, even if it’s in a different color.
    • Be sure to buy based off of quality, not quantity. Four toothbrushes are good, but if you use them in one month, it would have been better to have gotten the one toothbrush that would have lasted for three months.
    • One other way is investing your money from banks or from stocks.

    In conclusion, you should be sure to use your money wisely and efficiently. There are many more ways to make money and of course many things you can do with it, but as a teenager, the amount of notice you are taking in on your money should be a lot. One of the most important things that can alter your adult life is money, so as a teenager you should be very aware of what you are doing with yours.

    Looking for more money tips? Girl Spring has you covered!

  • Health

    Buying healthy groceries on a budget

    Eating healthy may seem difficult when you find yourself always going over your weekly budget and it always seems like healthy food cost twice as much as junk food. Healthy eating shouldn’t be hard and you should be able to buy the groceries that you want without spending too much. So how do you ditch the Ramen noodles and buy food that will fuel your body and give you all the nutrients it needs?

    Grocery Cart With Item

    Make a list and set a spending limit:

    It may seem like simple advice but making a list of your favorite healthy foods will keep you focused. You won’t be grabbing anything and everything that you see off the shelves. Every time I make a list I feel like I have no other choice but to stick with it. Another tip, use a calculator. This will give you a range of how much your groceries will cost so that you don’t end up overspending. Trust me, that has happened to me way too many times.

    Avoid Junk Food:

    No matter how bad those chips are calling your name, don’t give in. You will this save money, AND it will keep you from midnight snacking on foods full of salt and fat. Those shiny wrappers are wrapped around processed food that has a long shelf life but will not be beneficial to you, whatsoever. So focus on groceries that are more organic and stray away from foods that have 20 ingredients or more.

    Don’t by ALL your fruit and veggies fresh:

    Frozen and canned fruits and veggies are a lifesaver.  Not only do they last extremely long, but they are so CHEAP! Frozen fruit does not get rotten fast and has a lot more flavor packed into it. Canned veggies are fast, easy, and will save you a lot of money. If you can’t buy all of them fresh then these are alternatives that will still keep you on track to being healthy

    Get some grains:

    Rice is so cheap. It is a perfect side to any meal and can be made in less than ten minutes. If you are trying to eat healthy brown rice will give you the whole grain you need and keep you full long longer.

    Don’t go to the store hungry:

    I’ve found myself buying way more groceries than I needed for the week only because I was hungry, so make sure you aren’t starving when you are perusing the aisles.

    Budgeting is not easy, especially when you could easily buy cheap food that will seemingly agree more with your bank account but, if you actually take a few moments to plan your grocery store trip you can successfully walk away without a dent in your bank account and a full grocery cart.