Teen workers are saving for the three Cs: Cars, Computers and College. Plus building emergency funds for unexpected expenses.
This is according to the teenagers who took the First Time Worker Pledge in our new class Making the Most of Your First Paycheck. The class uses materials from America Saves.
Extension has partnered with three groups to provide savings classes for teen workers this year. More than thirty teens pledged to save part of their paycheck. For example, one teen is saving $200 a month for 60 months to buy a $12,000 car. Another is saving $500 a month for six months for school costs.
Bicycling nonprofit Phoenix Bikes has a community bike shop in Arlington and its Earn-A-Bike program teaches bike repair to youth. Master Financial Education Volunteer Will Mason led four Phoenix Bikes employees through the savings orientation. Thank you to Phoenix Bikes’ Executive Director Meg Rapelye-Goguen for making the event happen.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington’s Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Branch in the City of Alexandria provides youth programs and mentoring. At the Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Branch, 14 teens pledged to save: 11 young men and three young ladies. Thank you to Dunbar staff Alston Waller and Patrice Hall for recruiting participants. Master Financial Education Volunteers Judith Kom and Katrin Kark gave a well-received presentation.
Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation’s Teen Entrepreneurial Amusement Management (T.E.A.M.) workers manage amusement rentals, including bouncy castles, cotton candy machines and rock climbing walls. Fourteen T.E.A.M. employees pledged to save: nine young men and five young ladies. Thank you to Parks and Rec staff Desi Jerry and Charlie Eby for help setting up the event. Charlie, who worked for the county when he was a teenager, gave a pep talk at the event. Master Financial Education Volunteers Bill Ross and Star Henderson lead the presentation.
Another crop of T.E.A.M. hires will participate in Making the Most of Your First Paycheck later in July. We expect more than 25 teens to pledge to save at this class.
By Master Financial Education Volunteer Lenny Gonzalez
Lenny Gonzalez, Master Financial Education Volunteer
In January 2014 we decided we needed to get our spending under control. After talking to friends and family and researching some of their suggestions, we decided to go on the all cash diet.
What is the all cash diet?
It’s a spending tool that asks you to make the bulk (80 percent) of your purchases with cash instead of a credit card or debit card. It’s a great way to understand where you’re money is going each week or month. All you need to get started is:
- A marker – to write with
- An envelope – to hold your cash
- A piece of paper – in each envelope to keep record of the money you spend
To get started we listed the major items we spend money on each month:
- Metro (bus and rail)
- Pet Supplies
- Petty Cash
After we listed these categories, we labeled six envelopes and added the amount of money we thought we spend on a monthly basis on each category. Then each time we would buy something (grocery store, pet store) from the category we would take the money out, document the date and total dollar figure, make the purchase and return the extra money to envelope.
Here’s an Example:
Groceries – starting balance is $450 (two people avg. $110 a week).
- The first week we take out $110.
- We spend $90 at the store.
- We add the unspent $20 back to the envelope, leaving us with a balance of $360.
If we continue to save $20 dollars each week we can save a total of $80 a month!
As we save money we simply roll the extra money over to the next month building up a surplus that can help in the event we have an emergency.
The all cash diet is the only diet where gaining is a good thing! Give it a try and watch your money grow!
This week is America Saves week.
Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Arlington coordinates the America Saves/ Northern Virginia Saves campaign (www.northernvirginiasaves.org).
Visit www.northernvirginiasaves.org to set your goals and make your pledge to save today!
In celebration of America Saves/Northern Virginia Saves week, VA Cooperative Extension Arlington collaborated with Arlington Community Federal Credit Union and Marymount University to host a series of “Lunch and Learn” professional development sessions.
Informative topics and speakers were:
- Understanding Credit, Susan Shockey, National Program Leader at NIFA/USDA
- The Truth about Retirement Plans & IRA’s, Ed Schweitzer, CFP(R) of Edelman Financial Services
- Goal Oriented Savings, Momodou Bojang, Financial Advisor with ACFCU
Upcoming VCE Arlington Financial Education events:
Credit Report Reviews at DHS
VCE Arlington Financial Educators will offer credit report reviews through April at Alexandria DHS offices (703-746-5700) and Arlington DHS offices (703-228-1300).
Please contact your DHS office for days and times.
Finance Events in the Schools
VCE Arlington Financial Educators continue to host several Reality Store and Kids Marketplace finance simulation events in Arlington schools.
Financial Education Seminars
Check the VCE Arlington website calendar and your local library calendars for upcoming financial seminars presented by VCE Arlington in April and May.
By Joan C. Smith, Master Financial Education Volunteer
As a volunteer financial counselor with the Alexandria/Arlington, we have many opportunities to serve the residents of Arlington County and Alexandria city. I recently had the privilege to speak to a group of residents of an apartment complex in Arlington. We taught on the subject “Pay Yourself First” as part of a Money Management series under the FDIC’s Money Smart program.
We were discussing a section about goal-setting and various ways to save. Aside from many common ways to save: i.e.: payroll deduction, opening a savings account, etc., one participant gave an interesting suggestion that I had never heard of.
Many have heard of and some of us already practice the idea of putting loose change in a container/jar and allowing it to build up and once it builds, one can use coin holders to place coins in and take those to their local banker or use a (free) coin counter machine. This participant had a totally “non traditional” method that worked for her. What this participant did (and continues to do) is she had a goal of saving up for a vacation for her family. She placed several (not one) jars in various places in the apartment. She wanted her kids to be an active part of this savings endeavor.
She started one year out. By the time the year rolled around; between several jars of “loose change,” she had saved about $500 in one year!
Unfortunately, her husband fell ill and the monies saved had to be used towards his medical bills.
I commended her nevertheless because:
1) A goal was set
2) Even though she had to use it for an emergency and forfeit a family vacation, at least she didn’t go into further debt when her spouse fell ill.
3) The fact that she even had the funds for this unfortunate emergency saved her possible hundreds if not thousands in collection bills, late charges, and possible ruined credit.
What about you? Are you saving your “loose” change? Can you clean out an extra peanut butter (or almond butter) jar and use it in addition to the jar you may already have?
If this isn’t thinking outside the box to save, then what is?