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February 2024 1st Financial Bank USA Financial Goals Scholarship Winner: Colin A.

March 12, 2024

February 2024 1FBUSA Scholarship Winner- Colin A. (2)We are excited to announce the February 2024 Financial Goals Scholarship winner is Colin! Congratulations!

"I am honored and very thankful to be selected as a winner of the 1st Financial Bank USA Financial Goals Scholarship. This scholarship reinforces my commitment to developing my financial habits for my academic journey and a successful and balanced life. Thank you, 1st Financial Bank USA, for investing in students like me and empowering us to navigate the complexities of a sound financial life." - Colin A.


In addition to a normal class load, students juggle their extracurricular activities, social life, and personal finances. However, not every student is a natural at managing money successfully. In his essay, Collin shares how he works toward being a better manager of money in college and offers advice for students who are managing their money for the first time. 

"Receiving a text, "Hey, can you pick up my shift?" is a welcome message. Still, balancing three varsity sports, four AP classes, volunteering at the local aquarium, friends and family, and working part-time can sometimes feel overwhelming. Juggling these commitments as a young adult, I try to find a balanced perspective on life and finances. While not every student possesses a natural aptitude for handling money, developing sound financial habits is crucial for my academic and personal success.

Growing up in a middle-class working family taught me the value of enjoying simple moments together rather than excessive spending. Of course, we had an occasional trip to McDonald's or a special meal to celebrate certain occasions. However, family experiences involving quiet nights playing board games or engaging in healthy walks have shaped my understanding of prioritizing needs over wants. My parents instilled in me the importance of saving for meaningful experiences rather than material possessions, fostering a mindset that ensures a stable financial future while enhancing my overall college experience.

Reflecting on my childhood, I realize the significance of the vacations I enjoyed. These memories were shaped by time, not items. I was unaware of my parents' sacrifices throughout the year to save for these experiences. My father picked up extra shifts, and my mom cooked despite exhaustion after work, contributing to our financial goal. This early exposure to saving for experiences has significantly contributed to my financial well-being. As a college student, I cherish moments on the quad with new friends, enjoying the beautiful experiences of my campus, which are already part of my college costs.

Inherited from my parents, my financial strategy prioritizes needs over wants. It can be tempting for today’s youth, or even adults, to succumb to impulse buying, whether fast food or the latest trends like the newest iPhone or video games. However, recognizing the distinction between necessities and luxuries is essential for maintaining a solid financial foundation. By prioritizing needs such as groceries and educational materials, I aim to prevent unnecessary debt and cultivate a sense of responsibility and financial independence.

As I take on additional shifts as a pizza delivery person, I have a clear goal: to contribute towards my academic costs while balancing my needs and personal well-being. Mastering the art of financial management in college is an essential skill that complements academic success and personal development. As a student delivering pizza on the weekends, my emphasis on prioritizing needs over wants and saving for experiences has proven to be a pragmatic and effective strategy. I wholeheartedly recommend this approach to fellow students navigating the complexities of financial independence for the first time. By adopting these financial habits, students can lay the groundwork for a secure future while savoring the joy of creating cherished memories with friends and family.


Established in the year 1910, 1st Financial Bank USA (1FBUSA) provides quality community banking services in South Dakota, credit card and other financial services to college students and college graduates, and construction lending to builders, developers, and investors from coast to coast. 1FBUSA will award a $2,000 scholarship to a new winner each month. View full rules and eligibility at


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