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Borrowed Advice on Saving Money

By: Mary Hogan

As I sat around, pondering as to what I should write about, I started deliberating what advice I could give to you, dear readers. I promptly recognized that I might not be the most experienced person on this planet. With that in mind, I asked myself how I, as a mere 15 year old, could conceive of giving advice. After that short period of self doubt, I thought about all those who have given me advice, and I realized that although I may not be able to come up with guidance or wisdom, I could most certainly re-use the advice I have been given.

Thus, I decided to write about a topic favored by my father, one of the most influential people in my life, and one who has always been there to sit beside me and explain some of the truths about the world around us. I am going to share some sage advice on money management.

As we are entering teenage hood and adulthood, I am sure you can agree that we are becoming more independent. We become increasingly in control of more things in our lives, what to wear, who to socialize with, and how we spend our time and money. I am sure many of you have started a part-time job, which is a great learning opportunity, and a good source of income. Regardless of whether you are making money or not, one thing is certain: at some point in your life, you will most likely deal with money. So, my sole words of advice are to always save. Set aside some of the money you have worked so hard to earn. This money might be used for post-secondary education, or even farther in the future. However, of course, it is vital to contemplate the future, and to plan accordingly.

Saying something and doing something are two different matters altogether, so why and how should you save your hard earned money? Well, there is the practical reason for saving your money, that is, for a later use, but I would like to draw your attention to a more obscure reason, one that includes habit building. Saving money builds a necessary routine of self-control, which can really be applied in other areas of life as well. This method can also work in reverse, if one practices self-control in one area of life, such as thinking before you speak, the self-control will grow in all areas of said life.

Lastly, limiting your money for spending on trivial things can allow you to focus more on important things in your life. Instead of going shopping with your friends, you could work on character-building, schoolwork, volunteering, the opportunities are endless.

How do you save money? Personally, the approach I use is straightforward and simple. Whatever money I receive (whether that is from work, babysitting, allowance, or sometimes even birthday money) gets split up the moment I return home, part of it going into a “savings” jar, and part into a “spendings” jar. Whatever way you choose to split it up is your decision, nonetheless I would recommend a 70% savings, 20% spendings, and 10% charity ratio. Another solution could be to make spending money less convenient. It is unrealistic to try to save money if you go shopping every other day, but as you hopefully have learned, distancing yourself from temptations can really help. The expression “out of sight, out of mind” is there for a reason.

Therefore, I sincerely hope that my words have inspired you to start (or continue to) save money. It is quite beneficial and can be uncomplicated if you put your mind to it. On a final note, I would like to recommend the book (recommended to me by my father I might add) “The Wealthy Barber” by David Chilton. Though it can be a bit tough to get around all the complicated wording, the author did a great job of simplifying concepts for saving money.

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