In today's economy unemployment is high, consumers do not have confidence in the banking system, and the government is in economic crisis. People have been borrowing money that they cannot afford to pay back. I notice there are a lot Black, and Hispanic people who live in poor neighborhoods like mine in the Bronx, who are barely making it in life. Many of these people are in debt or they are spending money on their wants, instead of their needs. I notice parents are spending their money on lottery tickets hoping they will win, instead of making better financial choices. Many choices being made in urban areas, such as where I live, are hurting people's chances of experiencing economic success. Kids are making the same poor choices as their parents. They are eating fast food instead of shopping at the supermarket, and buying expensive clothes instead of planning for a rainy day. I feel that even though you may not have the economic means doesn't mean you should waste the little money you have. One should try to make better decisions towards meeting their personal goals. I feel that financial skills are necessary for people in America, so that they will not be taken advantage of, and to avoid the issues, which have lead us to where we are today. Hopefully people can change their lifestyles for the better and so that can help their children and their communities make better decisions.
I am involved in a program called Hope Leadership Academy, which is a part of Children's Aid Society. It is here that I joined an education stipend program called Financial Literacy. At the program we are taught about personal financial issues like budgeting, savings, credit cards, debit cards, compound interest, investment, and stocks. We also are taught how to facilitate trainings so we can lead trainees to develop financial literacy skills. After we have demonstrated we know the information we are able to facilitate trainings for adults and young adults. One of the topics we discuss is savings. We use many different ways to make an impact but one of the ways we facilitate this is to ask those involved write down all the things they spend money on. We do this because people say they don't have money to save, but when we do that it helps them see even little amounts add up. We ask them process questions like, "What can you do with the money?" And, "how can you budget your money?" This leads them to the realization of budgeting and its importance in their lives. Another topic I facilitated was determining the difference between needs and wants. I began by making a list of items. My co-facilitator and I ask the trainees if each item is a need or a want. We make a list of needs and wants and people are always surprised at how short the needs list is in comparison to the wants list.
Financial literacy doesn't only benefit the trainees, but also trainers. This program inspired me to make better financial decisions. Before I joined this program I used to spend my money on fast food and unnecessary things. I am planning on using little money I have to open up bank account, and create a budget so I can make better choices and not feel as if there are no options.
I believe personal finance skills are a must for adults and children. It's important to this and future generations. This will improve our nation: one person at a time. I feel that college will help me gain more knowledge so I can help people understand the importance of the simple decisions in life. I am teaching personal finance so I can help others make better decisions so they can help their communities and themselves.