Retirement For The Broke Teenager
When I tell people I’m planning for retirement, they’re are usually shocked–and sometimes even impressed.
But I am saving. And it’s liberating.
Growing up, I understood the existence of debt. I didn’t know where it came from or how to get rid of it. But I saw the effect it had on people. Watching my parents clear their debts, I learned that money equals freedom. Paying off a debt was always followed by better food, better toys, and more trips.
I wasn’t responsible for managing my money until freshman year of college. By spring semester, I handled it so poorly that I couldn’t even afford a coffee. My financial misadventures taught me that while it’s easy to ignore money, it pays to pay attention. I’ve started tracking my spending. It wasn’t long before my focus shifted from survival to planning ahead. Now, I’m learning about retirement accounts and how to build credit.
This summer I’ve been working two jobs to put some money away. Some of my friends don’t understand. They’d rather enjoy their summer. But I’ve tasted the freedom that comes with having some pocket money, and I’m not giving it up.