December’s Females and Finances spotlight Robin Mwai, the winner of Summit’s 2016 Project Teen Money! Robin’s hard work and dedication have set her up for a very successful future. Keep reading to learn more about what Robin has learned about her finances and how she plans to keep Owning It at home, at school and abroad!
What does “Owning It” mean to you?
“Owning it” means being accountable for your life, and more specifically your finances. When you realize that financial decisions that you make today will impact you tomorrow it forces you to pause and begin to plan ahead. Before I began my freshman year of college, I decided to “own” my finances by applying to for scholarships and taking advantage of all of the financial aid resources available to me. Now as I look forward to studying abroad next school year and renting my first apartment, I am owning my finances and future by planning ahead and saving a little more money than usual.
Tell us how you got to where you are today.
I know it sounds cliché, but I got to where I am today with hard work and goal setting. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to go to college and study abroad. Once I established these two goals I thought of steps I would need to take chronologically, and resources I would need to utilize in order to reach these goals. When I walked into high school I knew that every class I took would be important to me when it came time to apply for college, and because of this mentality, I took my education seriously.
What would you say are your most important lessons learned about finances?
My most important lesson that I have learned about finances is the importance of planning ahead. Before I really understood this concept I would find myself wanting to go to a concert or do some extra shopping around Christmas time, and I found myself without enough money to do these things. I remember thinking, “If only I had planned ahead and saved extra cash for ‘fun expenses’ then I wouldn’t be stressed at the last minute.”
This idea of planning ahead translates beyond “fun expenses” to things like books for school and last-minute fixes on your computer. You never know when things like these will come up, and it feels great to be able to use my own savings to deal with these expenses as opposed to calling my mom for money. This makes me feel independent!
What’s your favorite current financial education resource?
My favorite financial education resource is the podcast titled Freakonomics Radio. This podcast is my favorite way to get insights on finances because it is convenient, easy to understand and entertaining. I can put the podcast on when I am working out or cleaning my room and not only be entertained by the information, but also learn new ways to look at finances as well as many other aspects of the world.