Teens, Young Adults Talk Money and Financial Literacy, Panel 2

We are pleased to share Sammy Rabbit’s Teen and Young Adult Financial Literacy Discussion Panel 2.

The Discussion Panel provides teens and young adults, from ages 13 to 30, a platform to talk money, personal finance and financial literacy.

We are adding a new wrinkle and role to the strategy. Each discussion will feature one guest who will pose two questions for the Panel to respond to.

Our featured guest for Discussion Panel #2 is Susan Doty!

Susan is the Director of the Center of Economic Education and Financial Literacy at the University of Texas Tyler. She is an award winning economic educator who is passionate about improving economic and financial literacy generationally! Welcome Susan! Thank you!

Here are Susan’s questions for the Panel. 

Q1. When was there a time you chose to save when you really wanted to spend? Describe how you felt after making that choice.

Q2. When was there a time you chose to spend when you really wanted to save? Describe how you felt after making that choice.

HERE IS WHAT THE PANEL SHARED!

Sidhant “Sid” Srivastava

Sid is an incoming junior at Livingston High School in New Jersey. He is the Director of Design Thinking for Economics Education Initiative (EEI) and served in the New Jersey Community Service Committee for the Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL).

Q1. When was there a time you chose to save when you really wanted to spend? 

Sid: When I was in elementary school, I returned from a trip to India with a fair amount of money. I had received the sum from my family over there and remember being unsure of what to do financially. On one hand, I really wanted a new toy (perhaps a large LEGO set) I could play with. However, I decided that it was worth saving the money instead and I could buy myself the items at a later point. Even though I was initially displeased, I came to realize how valuable saving is. To this day, I still have that money in my bank account and am content with my decision.

Q2. When was there a time you chose to spend when you wanted to save? Describe how you felt after making that choice. 

Sid: A few years ago, I was shopping at a Nike outlet and found a pair of Air Jordan sneakers I really liked. Although I hadn’t originally intended on buying shoes that day and knew I could have allocated that money elsewhere, I really liked the shoes and decided to go ahead with the purchase. Throughout the two years that have passed since I bought the sneakers, I have enjoyed wearing them and have kept them in good condition. Combining this with the fact I paid a discounted price and they are comfortable, I’m satisfied with my choice. I would like to point out, however, I have made compulsive clothing and sneaker purchases; considering not all products are worth buying, saving can be a better option. 

Ronnie Green 

Ronnie is the Founder and CEO of PushStash, an AI trading platform that grows small investment accounts exponentially for the working class who have no access to hedge fund-like products. Their aim to create wealth for the working class.

Q1. When was there a time you chose to save when you really wanted to spend? 

Ronnie: I was in college back in the 2013-14 fall/summer year. All my friends were going to South Padre to get toasted and have a good time. I had just got out of a financial rut (being homeless, sleeping in my car). I just got back a fat refund check from grants and scholarships. Instead of going with my friends, knowing I wanted to, I decided to save the money and stay.

After my friends came back from a great time, I noticed one by one, all of them complained about money for weeks after. I felt really good about myself for making a mature decision at such a young age. I didn’t have to deal with the same situation.

Q2. When was there a time you chose to spend when you wanted to save? Describe how you felt after making that choice. 

Ronnie: I had a terrible asthma attack when I was playing football in college. I had to go to the hospital. After coming back from the hospital, I was subscribed a stronger inhaler that was expensive.

My checks from working at Lowes at the time were rolling in and my savings was growing. I decided to get the inhaler instead of dealing with another attack. I didn’t feel right getting away from my savings routine. Once you’re on a roll, you get addicted to saving and stacking your money, which is an excellent problem to have, in my opinion.

Valerie Lentine

Val is an incoming senior at John Burrough’s High School in Burbank, California. She is an honor student; plays on the Tennis team; and a member of the school band. She also participates in many clubs including being the secretary of Teen Court, Unicef, and Habitat for Humanity. Her immediate education goal is to attend UCLA. 

Q1. When was there a time you chose to save when you really wanted to spend? 

Val: When I have the time I enjoy visiting the mall with my friends. These trips make it difficult to decide whether to save money and keep it in the bank or spend it on clothing. It has taken some time, but I have learned  saving money instead of buying something every time I go to the mall is a smarter option for me.

I continue to go to the mall with my friends, but I make sure I am  extremely aware of what I am going to spend my money on. I also remind myself, I really don’t need so much clothes.

As I have continued to grow as a saver, I have noticed saving feels surprisingly rewarding. I love putting my extra money in the bank and watching my savings grow!

Q2. When was there a time you chose to spend when you wanted to save? Describe how you felt after making that choice. 

Val: Once my friends convinced me that I needed to buy a tie dye kit so that I could be included in a craft they were doing that weekend. I remember thinking that this was not something I wanted and that I would rather save my money and spend it on something I would truly enjoy. I did not want to miss out on the fun so I decided to buy it. Although I enjoyed tie dying clothing with my friends I only ever used the kit once.Even though it was not a large purchase I felt after, and still feel that it was not the best use of my money.

Peter K. Asare Nyarko

Peter is a social entrepreneur, author, founder and Executive Director of Center for Financial Literacy Education Africa (cfleafrica.org). He is a Financial Literacy Advocate and Educator. Additionally, Peter is the Lead TFAF Ambassador in Ghana and he is championing “The Improving Financial Awareness and Financial Literacy Movement in Ghana and Africa.

Q1. When was there a time you chose to save when you really wanted to spend? 

Peter: I recall saving towards a goal for a project I wanted to get off the ground. I decided to do “target” savings to reach and get my goal as soon as possible. I chose and targeted to save every amount that came into my pocket. I remember feeling a sense of excitement as I managed to save, in spite of daily pressures to spend my money. I hit my targets. Excitement and confidence built inside of me. I reached my set goal. It was a wonderful feeling.

Q2. When was there a time you chose to spend when you wanted to save  Describe how you felt after making that choice. 

Peter: Errrr, Hmmm… I had a relative who was in a difficult situation. I was the only person who was able to help at that point in time. I decided to spend money to help him pay some medical bills. I felt fulfilled helping him get out of that difficult situation. On the other hand, I missed my saving goal and felt a bit disappointed about that.  

I strongly believe our lives are transformed by our choices; decisions and actions. I have found it helpful to be intentional about my money choices, to prioritize savings and watch my spending habits carefully. I think others will too. 

Cameron Rufus

Cameron is going into his senior year at Bowling Green State University where he is majoring in Finance, Insurance and Risk Management. He was the President, and previously Treasurer, of the university’s Financial Management Society and a member of its Financial Investing Club. Cameron’s mission is to positively impact the lives of all the people he meets, whether that’s through a service or friendship. He is a big advocate for teaching the youth financial literacy and education.

Q1. When was there a time you chose to save when you really wanted to spend? 

Cameron: I was once a sneakerhead and would buy new shoes every time I saw a pair I didn’t have. There was a pair of $200 Nikes I really wanted to buy but I needed to make a decision if I really needed these shoes now or if I should wait until the price came down. At the time, I felt like I was missing out because the shoes later sold out. But after the initial feeling was gone I was relieved I got to save that extra money.

Q2. When was there a time you chose to spend when you wanted to save  Describe how you felt after making that choice. 

Cameron: When I bought my first real car, I had to decide if I wanted another short term car that would last a for a few years or invest in a car that could last for 10 years or more. One costs significantly less than the other in the short term, but provided no benefits other than cost. I put down a down payment similar to the size of payment of the temporary car, which reduced my monthly payments. Although I would have preferred to save, I know I made a good decision because it has helped improve my credit, I will own my car in a few years, and I know I will have this car for years to come. 

Sedinam Ameku

Sedinam is a financial literacy advocate in Accra, Ghana! She is the Founder of Females and Finance Organization. She has a degree in Insurance with Actuarial Science and certificate in the Fundamentals of Financial Services from the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (UK). She is passionate about helping people meet their financial goals and improving their financial well-being.

Q1. When was there a time you chose to save when you really wanted to spend? 

Sedinam: During my mandatory national service, I started facing life and working in a bank. It enabled me to psych my mind to save  even though I had a lot on my list to spend on. Discipline was all I could cling to. I am happy I saved instead of spending.

Q2. When was there a time you chose to spend when you wanted to save  Describe how you felt after making that choice. 

Sedinam: In my university years, I was a spendthrift. I spent money on clothes and things I didn’t need. I really wanted to save, but I was not disciplined enough to do so.  I was not in the habit of saving, a behavior I could grow with.

Andy Niser

Andy is a rising senior at Jones College Prep in Chicago, Illinois. He is a very active leader and community volunteer. He is a high level soccer referee, avid distance runner, and the President of his local BBYO chapter.

He has a passion for learning and is dedicated to achieving success and making a positive impact on the world.

Q1. When was there a time you chose to save when you really wanted to spend? 

Andy: I was in eighth grade on my class trip to Washington, D.C. and we stopped on our final day to buy souvenirs and tourist goods. Most of my friends bought the standard t-shirts and bucket hats. I instead decided to save my money.

At first I felt uncomfortable doing this as I was the only kid that didn’t purchase an item, but once we returned home I knew I had made the right choice. My friends never wore the t-shirts or the bucket hats so those items were just a waste of money. I was proud of myself for knowing if I was going to purchase something that I was actually going to use and also that I, at age 14, understood the value of my hard-earned money.

Q2. When was there a time you chose to spend when you wanted to save  Describe how you felt after making that choice. 

Andy: In January, I decided to spend money to attend an AJR concert in Chicago. It was winter and I wasn’t reffing many soccer games, which is my only source of income, so I was wary about buying the ticket. I preferred to save up and wait for their next concert later in the summer, but my friends ultimately convinced me to go.

I was initially critical of myself for spending as much as I did during a downtime; however, once the concert began I definitely did not regret my decision because it was awesome! It was a much needed reward for myself after finishing final exams and crushing a difficult first semester. I realized it’s okay to spend money, even when wanting to save, to reward myself for the hard work I had accomplished.

Ella Gupta

Ella is an author, founder and CEO of at Initiative for Financial Literacy  Exploration, iFLEX. The mission – democratize personal finance.

Ella is passionate about writing and empowering others through financial literacy and investing. She is currently writing a book, with a working title, “Generation Zinance: An Actionable Guide for Gen Z to Thrive In the New Age of Investing.”

Q1. When was there a time you chose to save when you really wanted to spend? 

Ella: After receiving a $500 birthday check from my grandparents for my 13th birthday, I was faced with two options: I could either invest my lump sum or spend it. At the time, I really wanted an iPad- despite the fact I already had a personal computer issued to me by my school and a phone. I waited for two weeks to determine if I really wanted to make the large purchase and, it turns out, I didn’t. I ended up investing the money, and I am glad that I made that decision.

Q2. When was there a time you chose to spend when you wanted to save  Describe how you felt after making that choice. 

Ella: Last year, I was shopping with my family and came across a hoodie I really liked at Athleta. At the time, I was looking for a light jacket I enjoyed wearing. The grey hoodie was plush and fit me well, so I decided to make the purchase. I have no regrets. The jacket is very versatile. I probably wore it almost every single day last winter at school and to and from the gym and will do the same this year. I think the takeaway from this is to be deliberate in your buying and thoughtful when making a purchase. Rather than just looking at the sticker price, focus on the cost per wear, which is essentially where the value of the item is directly related to how much you use it. So if you have a $20 dress and wear it twice, the cost per wear is $10. If you have a $100 hoodie and wear it 100 times, the cost per wear is $1. Each time you make the decision to spend, ask yourself, ‘Is this an investment?’ If the answer is yes, then proceed with your purchase guilt free.

WAYS TO SUPPORT SAMMY AND HIS MISSION

TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS

One

Teens and young adults talk money and financial literacy with Sammy. Join Sammy’s Teen and Young Adult Financial Literacy Discussion Panel #3!

See Panel 1 discussion. See a list of all the young leaders who have participated in Sammy Rabbit Discussion Panels.

Two

Lead a Sammy Dream Big Financial Literacy Education Experience in your community, just like students from Loras College did in Dubuque, Iowa.

Three

Be a Sammy Teen and College Student Guest Money Blogger just like Rishab Gosalia and others have done and are doing!

Four

Be a Sammy Rabbit Dream Big Social Media Ambassador

PARENTS, COMMUNITY LEADERS, ORGANIZATIONS, SCHOOLS

One

Provide your community and network with co-branded, digital Sammy Dream Big Financial Education resources.

See examples of what other leaders are doing like:

Garrett Planning Network | Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Money Smart 101 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

TonySteuer.com | Alameda, California

Rooted Planning Group | Corning, New York

Tan Wealth Management | Oakland, California

Two

Sponsor a classroom or youth organization in your community with Sammy resources!

Three

Be featured in a Sammy Rabbit social media awareness campaign, interview or spotlight!

Devin Banerjee – LinkedIn Editor Inspired by Parents

Mike Kelly – Childhood Money Memories Leads to Coaching Others

Derrick Wesley – Teacher Turns to Tech to Advance Financial Literacy

Kathleen Lawson, Executive Director Economics Arkansas in the Sammy Spotlight

Saundra Davis, Financial Coach, Speaker, Trainer in the Sammy Spotlight

Contact Sammy today to learn more about his strategic approach to early age, youth and family financial literacy education and how you can have more impact!

CLICK to use our website contact form or email us at: contact@SammyRabbit.com


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About the Author

Sam X Renick is a children's Author, Co-Creator of Sammy Rabbit-SammyRabbit.com, Award Winning Financial Educator & Double Bottom Line Entrepreneur!