2023 RFN Scholarship Winner

I’ve been taught from a very young age that financial responsibility is essential to live a successful life. One thing my mother loves to do is talk, and I have many memories of her rambling to me about how to manage money from when I was a young child. Although at the time I had no care in the world for what she was talking about, as I’ve grown older and started managing my own earnings all of the things my mother has told me throughout the years have stuck with me. To me, financial responsibility means understanding how to properly manage your money as it will set you up for a successful future.

 

I’ve worked as a shift leader at my local Dairy Queen for the past 2 years. Since that moment, I have had a very specific budget for each paycheck. Immediately after depositing my paycheck I put 50% to 75% in my savings account. That leaves me with just enough to get by for the next two weeks which includes gas, food, and some spending money in case I go somewhere with friends. Having a job and managing my own money has definitely made me more conscious of everything I purchase and what is actually worth my money. With college quickly approaching I feel very confident in myself, not only because I’ve done so well saving my money but because I’ve developed healthy spending habits and I won’t spend my money on frivolous things throughout college.

 

One thing my mother has preached to me is “always pay yourself first” and since my 18th birthday is in the next few months, I’ve spent some time researching credit cards and the best ways to invest my money. It is very important to start building credit as early as I can so it will be easier when I need to do things such as rent an apartment or take out a loan. In regards to investing my money, I’ve begun researching the stock market and which stocks I should invest in. I’ve looked into setting up a Roth IRA because it is never too early to begin investing money for retirement. I’ve gone so far as to research the best ways to invest my money for my future children to inherit. Although that is not something I would start until I am more financially stable, I plan to invest in a 529 college savings plan for my child and if anything is unused from that, it will roll over into a Roth IRA. It is important to have a plan going into the future because one day I will be making more money than I do currently at my part-time fast food job, so it is important that I understand the best ways to manage that money.

 

Upon graduation, I currently plan to attend The Ohio State University to study Actuarial Science. I plan to work during school, as well as during breaks back at home, and I plan to manage my money similar to how I do now. I am aware of the expenses that college entails, which is why I’ve worked so hard to save up the money I have and applied for every scholarship that I am eligible for. Education has always been my top priority and that is reflected through my stellar academic record, and I intend to maintain the same level of academic excellence throughout my college career. I would like to thank the Redwood Financial Network Judges Panel for taking the time to review my application and for granting me the opportunity to apply.


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