We are excited to announce the March 2023 Financial Goals Scholarship winner is Connor! Congratulations!
"I am honored to receive this scholarship from 1st Financial Bank USA. Winning this scholarship has given me financial support and motivated me to continue to grow my financial literacy and make smart money moves in college and beyond. I admire 1st Financial Bank's commitment to empowering young adults to build better financial futures. As a young adult beginning my college career, this scholarship means the world to me and will help me to achieve my academic and financial goals. Thank you, 1st Financial Bank!" - Connor D.
Bad money habits, like comparing yourself to others financially or spending beyond your means, can be hard to break. However, the money moves you make in college can have a lasting impact on your finances in the future. In his essay, Connor shares the habit of comparing himself to others financially and the steps he took to overcome it.
"As a high school senior preparing for college, I am well aware that the money moves I make during my college years can have a lasting impact on my finances in the future. While I have always been mindful of my spending habits, I can admit that I have a tendency to compare myself to others financially, which has often led me to overspend.
Growing up, I was self-conscience about my family not being as wealthy as other students in my school. I often felt the need to keep up with my peers in terms of the latest gadgets, clothes, and experiences. I felt that if I didn't have the latest iPhone or designer sneakers, I would be perceived as less cool or successful. This led me to spend beyond my means and often left me vulnerable with no savings for emergencies.
When I started to prepare for college, I realized that my bad money habit needed to change. I knew that college would come with its own set of financial responsibilities, and I needed to learn how to budget and prioritize my expenses. To overcome my tendency to overspend, I took a few steps that have helped me to this day.
First, I learned the importance of tracking my spending. I started recording all my expenses, from clothing to coffee runs, and calculated how much money I had left at the end of each month. This helped me to understand where my money was going and identify areas where I could cut back. I then set a budget for myself. I calculated my monthly expenses, including gasoline, dining, entertainment, and cell phone bill, and allocated a certain amount for each expense. This helped me to plan my spending in advance and avoid overspending on non-essentials.
In changing my spending habits, I learned to say no to unnecessary expenses. While going out for dinner with friends every weekend can be tempting, I realized it was not always necessary. Instead, I learned to suggest more affordable alternatives, like a movie night at home or a pick-up game in the park.
Most importantly, I reminded myself that everyone has different financial situations and that comparing myself to others is unfair. Instead of focusing on what others had or did, I started to appreciate what I had and worked towards achieving my own financial goals.
I have come a long way in overcoming my tendency to overspend and compare myself to others financially. By tracking my spending, setting a budget, saying no to unnecessary expenses, and avoiding comparisons, I have built better money habits that will serve me well in college and beyond. While breaking bad money habits can be challenging, it is possible with a little effort and discipline. These lessons will help me navigate college and continue to inspire me to further grow my financial literacy.”
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 1fbusascholarship.com.