Buckle down and grow up

More by Jaidyn Hatchett
Jaidyn Hatchett

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Growing up does not necessarily mean getting older; a person must learn how to do basic tasks such as making a budget and taking care of themselves. A student in high school should learn these things early on to make life easier when they get older. However, most teenagers have no clue what to do when it comes to being an adult.

Budgeting, or a plan of operations based on an estimate, comes up as a critical, recurring fact of adult life. Adolescents should prepare for their future early on by estimating how much they will spend for items such as clothing, groceries, rent, loans, gifts and more. Knowing personal financial information will allow teens to have extra spending money to treat themselves, but also have them relax about their financial needs and wants. Most teens, like sophomore Johnny Green III, have the tendency to spend money as soon as possible.

“The first thing I do when I get money is go and spend it on clothes and stuff like that,” Green said.

Knowing how to budget from a young age helps prepare for the future. However, a majority of teens, like sophomore Jordan Clinton, have no idea on how to budget their income.

“I’m always spending my money, and I can’t help it,” Clinton said. “I try to stop, but it’s too hard.”

For teens, refraining from spending money and trying to keep up with latest trends such as fashion, makeup, or shoe trends comes as a difficult task. Teenagers should encourage themselves to save their money, like freshman Kennedy Howard, this way they prepare themselves for financial situations and even allowing them to splurge a bit on themselves.

“I hate to spend my money once I get,” Howard said. “I try to save as much as possible, but sometimes I just want something so bad [that] I have to get it.”

No matter a student’s age in high school, knowing how to budget presents a difficult challenge. Budgeting has four easy steps: tracking spending, making savings contributions automatically, defining spending and priorities and paying with cash. Teachers, like geometry teacher Robert Paredez, encourage high school students to attend classes that teach these beneficial skills, like accounting and economics.

“When I was in 7th grade, there was a budgeting class at my school,” Paredez said. “That’s when I learned how [to budget] and also how to write checks.”

Managing a balanced budget may lead into managing a balanced diet. As a person matures, parents teach them how to cook foods and eventually they experiment with more complicated recipes on their own. Eating healthy and staying fit should come as a priority for everyone, like sophomore Nathalia Rocha who enjoys eating healthy foods but understands that these foods can be difficult to budget for.

“At my age, eating healthy is very hard,” Rocha said. “Especially because healthy foods are a lot more expensive.”

Growing up takes a lot of effort and it does not come easy, but everyone does it. Fighting growing up only makes life harder, so these tasks should be learned as soon as possible. Even though everyone needs to grow up, it does not mean teens should not enjoy the rest of their time at home.

“I know that the time to start being an adult is coming soon,” Rocha said. “I really want to be prepared, but I also just want to enjoy my time as a kid.”