Securing your financial future

Investing in education is a good way to guarantee success


Jeffery Dreyer, staff writer

As a high school student, the opportunity to get a college degree or vocational certification is your best bet to secure a stable financial situation. The best investment you can make is to improve your earning potential in the future. Here at Ben Davis, we have a unique opportunity with having Area 31 Career Center joined to our building.

Budget, reduce expenses, set realistic goals

Before you even get started, you’ve gotta know where your money is going. How much income are you getting? How much are you working for that income? Where can expenses be practically minimized?

Numerous online tools (like and Personal Capital) can help with tracking expenses and effective budgeting. General advice is to save at least 20% of your income and spend the rest on necessities or discretionary spending (fun stuff). 

It’s not very attractive, but reducing how much you spend unnecessarily adds up quickly. Fast food, for example, can get expensive quickly if you eat out a lot. Especially with new stores popping up around Avon, such as Crumbl Cookie, are appealing and popular, but very expensive. (One cookie costs on average five dollars, whereas Meijer or Costco would sell a box of 12 for four dollars) By all means, if you have the income to support a five-dollar cookie habit, go crazy, I bet they’re pretty solid cookies, but taking some extra time to bake them yourself or buy from a wholesale store will save you a considerable amount of money.

After figuring out the budget, it’s time to set goals. These should be realistic and attainable. Maybe it’s saving up enough money to buy a new mirror for your car, or maybe it’s finding the money to buy a car, period. Set some goals for yourself, it’ll feel great when you attain them. Next, though, it’s time to…

Get an emergency fund

This fund should be liquid cash (meaning not tied up in assets like a house, car, etc.) that is left untouched until something unexpected comes up. This could be sudden travel, replacing an appliance, or unexpected medical procedures. After drawing from this fund, your first priority should be to get back on your feet and replenish it.

The general advice is to have three to six months of expenses on hand. A larger time frame (nine to twelve months) may be needed if income is variable or uncertain. 

Having financial security is especially difficult to manage nowadays, but by following these tips you can make it just a little easier for yourself.