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Updated: Jan 9, 2023

I have many different personal experiences when it comes to finances. I had my first job at 12 years old and was getting paid under the table to help my mom out with her daycare. And of course at a young age, all you're thinking about is spending it on food. For me though, I was spending it more on other people. By the time I was 16 and started getting actual paychecks while babysitting on the side, I still continued to just spend. When I was 17, the daycare closed down and I got a job at my local subway. This is when I did online schooling so it was easier to make money. I opened a savings account and started budgeting for the first time. And I loved it! Seeing my savings go up slowly made me feel good. I didn't even know what I was saving for at the time but it made me feel very proud.

My senior year, I took a consumer finance class and I learned so much about the 3 foundations in personal finance. I learned about investing in the stock market and most importantly, I learned how to budget more efficiently to make my life easier. There are two types of people in this world, a saver and a spender. And from what I have learned throughout the years have made me into the person I am now, a saver. Because of this, I have a plan financially for college. I know things don't always work out and maybe I will have to pull out loans in the future, but either way, I am getting the education I want and deserve.

Plus, once I am officially out in the real world, all that I have learned and will learn later on will help me to live a happy and debt free life.

-Ellayna Kirkwood

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