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Vault Taught Me How to Save and Spend Wisely

Today we’re featuring a guest post from student Shannon W who shares how the skills and knowledge she gained from Vault – Understanding Money™  will help her reach her financial goals of owning a house and supporting a family. Congrats to Shannon for being one of our scholarship recipients!

Student: Shannon W
Teacher: Kelly Barger
School: New Market Middle School
State: Maryland
Sponsor: MassMutual Foundation

It’s 5:00 P.M., and two kids come running toward their mother, a boy and a girl. They envelope her in hugs as she brings in the mail. There are bills to pay and catalogs for the kids. The father comes in, noticing the huge stack of bills piled up on the table. “I bet you’re glad we didn’t get that extra-large TV for the kids,” he says. The mother nods, realizing how her choice to save that money was a benefit to her financial stability. They had just bought a new house, one with a big backyard for the kids to play in, with a large, open kitchen for the mother to do her cooking in. The two kids were growing up fast, and the mother knew that this house, along with their new minivan, would be perfect to grow into. It had taken a long time, months maybe, to find the perfect house that fit their budget and their family. The mother was glad that she had paid attention in class all these years and knew how to make successful financial choices.

This is not just a story, this is how I see my future. I dream of having a happy life, being married, and having children. I know that these dreams can come true if I make good social and financial choices in the years to come. Completing the Vault – Understanding Money program in EverFi has been an essential step in my path to achieving my dream of owning a house and supporting a family.

Something that parents need to prioritize when involving money is the concept of wants and needs. In Vault, I learned that it is okay to spend money on things that you want every once in awhile, but it is essential to prioritize what you need to do with your money first. Needs include food, clothing, and shelter. Vault has greatly helped me understand the difference between these two financial factors.

Buying a house is a major step that causes difficulty for most young parents. I have the knowledge to help avoid these difficulties because of Vault. Vault taught me that you need to have good credit in order to get a loan on a house. I know that in order to buy a house, I will have to prove that I am a responsible borrower and can always pay for items on time.

In order to have enough money for a house, I will need to know how to stick to a budget. Vault showed me that a budget needs to list different needed expenses and how much money will be used on each expense. This organizational structure helps prevent overspending and will help me be more responsible with how I use my money. This is important to my future because if I am not careful with my money, I will not have enough money to buy the items that my family will need, such as a house, a car, healthy food, and clothing. Learning how to be financially literate on Vault has prepared me to use my money wisely to support my future.

 

Learn more about the Vault financial education program: https://everfi.com/k12/vault-understanding-money/

Vault Helped Me Learn about Needs vs. Wants

Today we’re featuring a guest post from Chicago student Khloe W who shares how the skills and knowledge she gained from Vault – Understanding Money™  will help her reach her goal of graduating from college and earning her doctorate. Congrats to Khloe for being one of our scholarship recipients!

Khloe W

Student: Khloe W
Teacher: Linsey Rose
School: STEM Magnet Academy
State: Illinois
Sponsor: MassMutual Foundation

Imagine standing on a tall podium, thanking your family for supporting you from undergraduate to doctorate! That is how I want to be. There are many things that this EverFi Vault has taught me that will help me accomplish [my goals]. One big accomplishment that I want to do when I grow up is go to college, and be very successful. College is very important to me because I love getting an education and learning new things. Seeing my brothers and sisters go through college, I know it can be stressful thinking about failing many times. I also know that college costs a lot. EverFi Vault has prepared me to become a successful and responsible college student through the modules.

One important thing that Vault has taught me is about the different institutions that take care of money like brokerage firms, banks and credit unions. This is important to know when I go to college because I will need a bank account, since I will be away from my parents and have my own responsibilities. Also, I will need to know about these different parts because I will need to open up savings accounts for emergencies and pay bills to help my parents with the college funds.

Knowing that college is a lot of money, Vault has also taught me to be responsible and careful with the people I share my financial information with. EverFi says that financial information is very imperative and a key to success to life. If others can get access to it, things can do bad. For example, people can hack into your account and take your name, and spend your money, and that is not good. So, we have to be mindful about the information we share to others about our financial purposes. This is important to me and my dream to go to college because the world is cruel, and people can take advantage, be manipulative, and this can be food for thought as I continue to try to accomplish my dream.

One last thing that is very important and can affect my dream is how I spend and save my money. In college, I’ve heard many stories about the students being “broke”, and having no money to live off of, or not enough to buy necessities. I do not want this to happen to me and the way I can do that is to manage my money correctly. I will make a budget and make sure to document/establish my needs and wants. This is important because some people will focus on what they want to buy to fit in and do not focus on what they need to survive or succeed. Also, I can do this by getting a debit card. EverFi Vault has taught me the difference between the two [debit cards and credit cards] and for this situation a debit card is the best decision. Knowing that I can track my balance, see transactions and transfer/send money, this can help me better manage my money and what I spend rather than using cash.

In conclusion, this is how EverFi is helping me to with accomplish my dream to go to college. Vault is a very fun and interactive game that helped me better understand real problems in the real world.

Announcing the Scholarship Contest Winners!

The Winter Scholarship Contest ended last week with a record number of student submissions. From earning their doctorates to being nautical engineers, your students shared big dreams. We loved hearing about what they’ve learned through Vault and FutureSmart, and how financial education will make a difference in their lives. Each of our five student winners earned a $1000 college savings scholarship to help make their dreams a reality. Their stories will be featured on the EverFi Blog over the coming weeks. Congratulations winners!

Khloe W, STEM Magnet Academy, Illinois

Shannon W, New Market Middle School, Maryland

Grace K, Falls Lake Academy, North Carolina

Diandra P, Giltner High School, Nebraska

Mateja C, Berlin Middle School, Wisconsin

Want to submit more stories? The Spring Scholarship Competition is now open! We will be awarding another five $1,000 college savings scholarships to students in the U.S. who complete Vault, FutureSmart, or EverFi Financial Literacy, and who provide a short reflection by April 28th. This is a great capstone project for students and allows them to reflect on what they’ve learned. Click here to learn more.

Student Blog Contest Winner

Our final student blog post of the 2015-2016 school year comes from middle schooler Eowyn M of Maine. Eowyn writes that the Vault – Understanding Money™ course taught her to make good financial decisions now, in order to help her achieve her dreams in the future. Thank you, Eowyn, for sharing your story with us!

Student: Eowyn M
Teacher: Haley Harwood
School: Westbrook Middle School
State: Maine
Sponsor: MassMutual Foundation

Vault helped me figure out how to achieve my dream. My dream is to own my own animal shelter. I plan to buy a house, and have the animal shelter on the first floor, and my living space on the second floor. I would only take hurt animals and lost animals in my shelter because it’s not fair to take animals out of their habitat. Take lizard for example. That lizard would be better off with his family in the wild. Maybe we wouldn’t feed him right or he wouldn’t be happy and would die of depression, loneliness, or anxiety. All those things we would have to consider in my animal shelter.

Vault helped me realize how I plan to run my business when I grow up. It helped me look at it a different way, and see how running your own business isn’t as easy as it sounds. Vault helped me with knowing good ways to save and spend my money. Like putting aside some cash to save for a business or college in the future. I plan to go to the University of New England for college. Vault also helped me with knowing which decisions are smart, and which decisions weren’t. Vault also helped me out by telling me what things are needs and what are wants. That will really come in handy when I start to think about buying a house for the shelter. I will need to be really responsible with my money. 

Because of Vault, I went home and asked my mom to set up a savings account for my animal shelter and college and we did! Now whenever I receive money, I put it in my savings account to use it to help me with my future in taking care of animals.

Student Blog Contest Winner

Today we’re featuring a guest post from Michigan student Eric C who shares how the Ignition – Digital Literacy and Responsibility™ course taught him to think critically about the image he portrays of himself on the Internet. Congrats to Eric for being one of our student blog contest winners!

Student: Eric C
Teacher: Anthony Wright
School: Sterling Heights Senior High School
State: Michigan
Sponsor: NHL, NHLPA

With the ever increasing significance of technology in our daily lives, what we do online is making a bigger impact on our futures. The EverFi program has taught me about the potential consequences my choices may cause, through the engaging and interactive Ignition program.

For a while now, I’ve known that social media and text messaging can be a cause of controversy, especially when it comes to viral trends. However, I didn’t realize how quickly something as harmless as a picture or video could be spread to a larger audience, many of whom may be critical of the contents. I already knew that I could potentially hurt my chances of getting a job in the future, but I didn’t know the true scope of how far the damage would go.

After completing the Ignition course, I found myself with the challenge of deciding whether to post a risky status update online or not. At the time, it seemed like no harm would come from it, as most teenagers would do. However, I realized that the language and content of the message would be painting a less than ideal image of myself on the Internet. Because future employers and educational establishments will be able to see that, I decided against posting that status. Afterwards, I went back and edited all of my social media profiles, removing any questionable content, leaving behind a clean image of who I am and what I stand for.

Student Blog Contest Winner

Today we’re featuring a guest post from California student Luis G who shares how EverFi – Financial Literacy™ helped him realize the benefits of keeping his money in a savings account rather than under his mattress. Congrats to Luis for being one of our student blog contest winners!

Student: Luis G
Teacher: Thu Nguyen
School: Middle College High School
State: California
Sponsor: Union Bank

My dreams for the future are to go to the University of California, Irvine and earn a business degree and get a career in the business world. The EverFi program has helped prepare me to achieve those goals by helping me save money through a variety of ways. Thanks to EverFi enhancing what I know about savings, I’ve been saving more money through the power of interest. I have a savings account, which at first may seem small, but it adds up later on. EverFi also has given me extra help for the financial aid application process for college. I knew very little, but thanks to EverFi it made it a simple and painless process. Not only that, but I gained a greater understanding of lifetime earnings when it comes to the education that you receive. That with higher degrees you would earn more money over the course of your lifetime. EverFi helped explain what subsidized and unsubsidized loans are which is a big help for me in the near future. Subsidized is the best option of the two because the federal government will help cover the interest I accumulated while I am still in school, unlike unsubsidized loans where I would be held fully responsible for paying all the interest that accumulates on my loan. The final way that EverFi has helped me is by helping me learn on how to invest in the future. It’s better to do something with the money than leave it all alone under my mattress where I gain nothing from it being there.

Student Blog Contest Winner

Today we’re featuring a guest post from Maryland student Jahzara T who shares how Radius – STEM Career Readiness™ helped her realize how math will help her achieve her career goals. Congrats to Jahzara for being one of our student blog contest winners!

Student: Jahzara T
Teacher: David Lai
School: Thomas Johnson Middle School
State: Maryland
Sponsor: American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

In the future, I plan on working in any field related to science (specifically biology) and traveling the world. I also hope to earn a Ph.D. in college and complete missionary work within the environment in other countries. In order to complete these tasks, math will play a huge role. In our everyday lives, math is all around us. The EverFi Radius course helped me understand certain topics in math more and also introduced me to some key concepts that I have never learned before. In this program, I learned how to decrypt or encrypt binary numbers, different systems and networks, and also reviewed other skills, like using formulas involving pi and using the order of operations. Radius incorporates real-life scenarios to help me understand how different formulas or processes can be used in everyday life. Not only did it teach lessons about certain topics, but it also provided a list of careers that I could choose from. Even though examples from the real world were given, the program also found a way to make it fun to complete the activities. I was first assigned as an agent and could make a customized character. I was then given an agent file and a smartphone with applications to unlock as I completed certain modules. EverFi Radius was not only educational, but fun as well.

Student Blog Contest Winner

Today we’re featuring a guest post from Michigan student Emily L who shares how the EverFi – Financial Literacy™ course taught her that it’s important for every person to learn about personal finance, regardless of what career they want to pursue. Congrats to Emily for being one of our student blog contest winners!

Student: Emily L
Teacher: Christy McGee
School: Saline High School
State: Michigan
Sponsor: TCF Bank

Prior to going through the EverFi program I didn’t have a very good understanding of anything financial. Upon completion of this program, I gained a greater understanding of a variety of finance related topics. In essence, EverFi gave me a preview of what else is out there. The unknown is often intimidating, but this program showed me that the world of finance is nothing to fear, but rather something to embrace and even benefit from.

I used to be turned away by the topic of finance. I figured that since I do not want a career at a bank or something along those lines, I did not actually need to pay attention to such a topic. Wrong! We make financial choices all day long that could be detrimental if we aren’t aware of the impact they are making. I learned that financial mistakes can have a lasting impact. If EverFi hadn’t gone into detail about the hazards of using a credit card, it might not stick in my mind as something to be hyper aware of. Even though I still do not love learning about finance, I at least have a better idea of it and I know not to fear it.

Thanks to EverFi, I now put more thought into my purchases. Is it a need or a want? Is there something else I am saving up for? Those are common questions I ask myself more frequently after completing the program. In addition, I now take a couple dollars out of each paycheck I receive and put them in my savings account rather than deposit the whole paycheck into my checking account. I believe this is a smart choice that will benefit me in the future. I think that it is cool that EverFi influenced me to do so.

Announcing the Student Blog Contest Winners!

Thank you to the record number of students who submitted blog contest entries this year! We loved reading all the stories about how EverFi courses have had a positive impact on your lives, and we can’t wait to share them on the blog in the coming weeks. Congratulations winners!

Emily L, Saline High, Michigan

Jahzara T, Thomas Johnson Middle, Maryland

Luis G, Middle College High, California

Eric C, Sterling Heights Senior High, Michigan

Eowyn M, Westbook Middle, Maine