by Cat Jebaily, 9th grader
This Summer I had the opportunity to participate in a financial literacy program through the Girl Scouts and Morgan Stanley. It was a ten hour workshop teaching us about saving, spending, investing, and credit. The course description was: Money Moves: Financial LiteracyGirl Scouts is proud to work with Morgan Stanley to provide an interactive experience designed to equip future savers, spenders, donors, and investors with the knowledge and tools needed to scout better understand money. Middle and High School-aged Girl Scouts (I’ve been a Girl Scout since 1st grade) will have the opportunity to learn about topics often overlooked in school, such as spending, saving, investing, and giving back. Major themes for the program include: Budgeting, the Importance of Saving, Investing 101, Introduction to the Markets, the Basics of Credit, and Giving Back.
These are my 5 takeaways:
1) Budgeting – In class we discussed the importance of having a plan to avoid overspending. For a budget, they recommended we spend 50% of our money on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings.
2) Savings – We learned about earning interest money from a bank account and how vital it is to choose the right bank with a financial plan for you and your savings.
3) Investing – When investing, take into account what could affect a stock’s performance: supply and demand, new product releases, leadership changes, current events, etc.
4) Credit – We gained an understanding of the importance of paying your credit card bills in full every month instead of paying the minimum due. If you only pay the minimum every month, you’ll be charged high interest and the purchased item will cost you a lot more than what you originally paid for it. Also, having multiple credit cards can decrease your credit score leading to higher interest loans in the future.
5) Giving – We learned about different ways to give back such as: directly to an individual, directly to an organization, or to an organization helping other organizations.
I highly recommend any student take the time to learn about financial skills. Whether they talk to their parents, take a class, ask their Scout leader or talk to a professional, the knowledge they gain can last a lifetime and help them be financially secure.