Money: Planning, Patience, and Consequence
Lara’s parents give her $20 every week. She has to buy her lunch at school every day — that’s $2. Her parents work in the afternoon, so she has to ride the bus home after school — that’s another $1. If Lara budgets her money right, buys a school lunch every day, and takes the bus home every afternoon, that adds up to $15. It leaves her with an extra $5 every week — not bad!
At this point, Lara has a few options. Think about the different paths she can take:
- Save it: Lara can put that extra $5 away every week. After a few short months, she could be up $100. It gives her a lot of options in the long run, but she doesn’t get to spend anything in the meantime.
- Spend it: She can also spend that $5 every week. Maybe stop on the way home and grab a bite to eat, or see a movie on the weekend. It will be fun for the week, but if she see something extra that she wants — like a sweater or a pair of headphones — she’s out of luck with nothing saved up.
- Overspend: What if Lara doesn’t have anything saved, but decides to use her weekly $20 to buy something anyhow? She’ll be walking home in the afternoon if she doesn’t have bus fare, or even worse, be hungry at school if she didn’t keep enough for lunch!
- Be savvy: Or maybe, she can take that $20, buy some lunchmeat from the grocery store, and get a ride home from a friend. She might end up with an extra $10 or more each week.
So what’s the point of Lara’s story? It’s about patience, planning, and consequence with money. When it comes to saving, and spending, everything you do will have an effect on the you of tomorrow. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad. The choice is up to you. Learn how to manage and budget your money early in life and you’ll do much better as an adult. Learn the lessons now, and they’ll last a lifetime!