A High-schooler’s Mentality toward Money and Retirement

In some ways, my sister has been abnormal for her age in her quest for money. When she was 5 years old, she discovered how to extort money out of her own family by setting up a lemonade stand in the middle of the living room and not letting anyone pass until they by her lemonade. When she was 8, she refused to let us wrap our own gifts, insisting that she would do it for us for a fee and they would be much better looking. They were not. When she was 12, she decided that she wanted to go to business school and she’s never wavered from that path. When she was 16, she discovered the joys of working part-time. Now, that she’s in her senior year of high school, she’s looking towards college.

I admit, my sister tries to save her money each time she gets a paycheck. She tries to buy clothes on sale. She even knows what the stock market is (sort of).

However, when it comes down to it, she’s like a typical girl her age.

-Even when she doesn’t need that jacket that everyone had, when she spys it on sale, she suddenly desires it like no other (even when she didn’t care for it a week ago).
-She doesn’t look at her bank statements and only saves it because Mom makes her.
-She has absolutely no concept of retirement because she simply cannot imagine herself older than 25. So, she gives me blank looks when I suggest a retirement account for a portion of her paycheck.
-She doesn’t understand that frozen yogurt everyday (admittedly delicious frozen yogurt) is the exact same as paying for a larger pricier item in the long run.
-When I talk about anything financial that don’t involve dollar signs, her eyes glaze over.
-Everything she buys has to be a brand name, even if the generic is the exact same product.
-She’s picking a college based on whether it has a business major and its proximity to the beach without any thought towards financial aid or grants.

But, when you get down to the nitty gritty, she has a good foundation to build on and a decent financial education from various members of the family. So, I won’t worry about her for now and I hope her business major will give her the push to taking on her finances in a smart, responsible way. Also helps that I’m there to nag at her right now.


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