2018 RFN Scholarship Winner

“What does financial responsibility mean to you?” by Jenna Kerns

Financial responsibility is a very critical and useful skill that one can obtain to help save and spend money wisely. Financial responsibility consists of two things: financial stability for my current living and planning for my long-term future. An example of financial stability is when I put away some of my earnings from work in my own bank account. I currently work a part-time job at Chick-Fil-A, and I have decided to put away 75% and keep the other 25% of my weekly pay. The 75% that is saved in the bank will be for unexpected expenses and events in the future. The other 25% is used to spend on my daily living expenses. When it comes to spending money, financial responsibility is knowing the difference between a “want” and a “need”. It is knowing when something should be purchased, and if so, purchased wisely. An example of this would be when it comes to buying a car. Thousands of dollars do not have to be spent on an expensive car when a cheaper car could be purchased and perform just as well and efficiently. Financial responsibility is also conserving money by looking into and learning how to do things independently instead of relying on others or hiring companies to get them done.

Ever since I was very young, my parents have encouraged me and ensured that I put little amounts of money away from all my birthdays, holidays and special events like my first communion and confirmation. I also have talked with my parents about what a Roth IRA is and planning for retirement starting at an early age. Starting with my earnings at the age of sixteen, I opened up a Roth IRA and have contributed to it for the past two years. I will continue to invest in my Roth IRA yearly and conscientiously watch what I spend and save.

I am mindful that the costs of attending college and getting an education are extremely expensive. I am currently in process of creating a budget for college after receiving a financial package from Kent State University and calculating the money that I will have to contribute. I will manage this budget in college and use the money responsibly. I plan to maximize my savings by working over the summer. Not only will I work when I am home or on break from college, but I will also find a job at college. I have applied for work study in the hopes that I will get a job to help pay for my education and prevent me from taking out loans that incur interest or debt from accumulating. I am also applying for scholarships that if awarded, will help finance my college education. I am working hard in school to get good grades, being proactive in my community and school, and spending many hours of my time volunteering, to demonstrate qualities and characteristics of a well-rounded young adult that will support the attributes that scholarship committee members are looking for.

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