Do you ever wonder how different your life would be at this moment if you had made a few money changes when you were younger? I started working officially at age 15 for my first job at Carowinds. The park had just opened and my high school friends and I were among the first hires. We saved our money for things like clothes, leisure fun and kept some money aside to pay at least one small household bill, usually the phone bill. Working back then was all about earning my own money, mostly to do the things I enjoyed. Saving was not high on the list of priorities but I did manage to tuck a little money away each pay day. Needless to say, I’ve held many jobs since that time and have learned the importance of living frugally and saving for a rainy day. But even now, making the right money decisions is still a work in progress.
In this edition of IMARA Woman Magazine, we’re taking a closer look at how we handle our money, starting with a financial literacy boot camp that is helping college students learn how to manage a budget and save money. (page 10) There are Payday and Auto Title lenders on too many street corners in minority communities. Their interest rates are crippling the finances of families who are already struggling to get by. Sue Berkowitz, director of SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center, is helping borrowers understand rights that protect them from these high-cost lenders. (page 12) And for those of you who are wondering whether investing in Cryptocurrency is a smart move, you might want to learn more about it before you make your move. (page 22).
Understanding how best to manage your money is a challenge for the poor and the rich alike. There are no quick fixes or solutions. I wish I knew at 15 what I know now. Good money management starts with saving money rather than spending it, and it’s not too late to make the change. It just requires being able to appreciate the difference between the things you actually need, versus the things you want, and then governing yourself accordingly. So, spend and save wisely, retirement will be here before you know it!