Sample Essay on How to Save Money: How to Be in Good Funds When You Are a Student

Students are always looking for ways to save money. Some turn to part-time jobs while others resort to reducing their expenditure. This is a sample essay on how to save money that could inspire you to write a masterpiece on this issue.

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The life of a college student is not as rosy as most people imagine it to be. Well, there are amazing parties and all sorts of fun things to do when in college, but that’s just it. Students have societal expectations to deal with. They have assignments and projects to deliver and exams to ace. This is no easy task since some of the courses in college are tough and ever-absent professors don’t make things easier as well. There is also the issue of student finances to deal with. Without a steady income, college students are forced to rely on student loans and funds from their parents to see out a semester. These funds, however, are not always enough and students are forced to turn to unorthodox means to make sure they have enough for their education. Students are forced to reduce their spending on certain items, and this usually comes with harsh consequences.

In an attempt to save more, students would resort to cheap meals or even skip some of them altogether. These cheap meals are usually very unhealthy, and the students miss out on the vital nutrients that are needed for healthy growth and development. Some of the cheap meals that students turn to in an attempt to save money include fast foods such as French fries and burgers. These meals are unhealthy, and their regular consumption has a bad impact on people’s health.

Cutting out on entertainment is another ‘luxury’ that students do away with to save money. Movies and music concerts cost money and students avoid them so as to save as much as they can. Some even avoid going out with their friends and spend most of their time in their rooms. Entertainment, however, is very important for the emotional development of a human being, and students are advised to take time for entertainment. A lack of entertainment among college students may cause depression and other emotional issues since all that the students will be thinking about is books and their academic assignments.

Students also turn to free software and applications so as to save money. These non-premium versions, however, come with a lot of bugs and students are at risk of virus attacks to the minimum.

Some would even terminate their gym membership to save money. Most colleges have gyms on campus, but they are usually in a poor state and that is why students visit gyms that are off campus. When times get tough, most students would terminate their membership so as to save as much as they can. Without working out, students get unhealthy, and this brings a lot of challenges.

Tough times call for tough measures. Students resort to the above-mentioned activities to save money, but these methods have some harsh consequences attached to them.


  • Boatman, A., Evans, B., & Soliz, A. (2014). Applying the lessons of behavioral economics to improve the federal student loan programs: Six policy recommendations. Policy report written for the Lumina Foundation .
  • Buckley, A., Soilemetzidis, I., & Hillman, N. (2015). The 2015 student academic experience survey. The Higher Education Policy Institute and Higher Education Academy .
  • Duclos, R., & Khamitov, M. (2016). Is Cash Almighty? Effects of Hard vs. Soft Money on Saving/Investment Behavior.
  • Fagerstrøm, A., & Hantula, D. A. (2013). Buy it now and pay for it later: An experimental study of student credit card use. The Psychological Record , 63 (2), 323.
  • Garbinsky, E. N., Klesse, A. K., & Aaker, J. (2014). Money in the bank: Feeling powerful increases saving. Journal of Consumer Research , 41 (3), 610-623.
  • Karlan, D., & Linden, L. L. (2014). Loose knots: strong versus weak commitments to save for education in Uganda (No. w19863). National Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Thompson, S., Cross, W., Rigling, L., & Vickery, J. (2017). Data-informed open education advocacy: A new approach to saving students money and backaches. Journal of Access Services , 14 (3), 118-125.

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Essays About Money: Top 5 Examples and 6 Prompts

With money comes great power; however, power must always come with responsibility. Discover thought-provoking essays about money in our guide.

Money is everywhere. We use it to eat, drink, clothe ourselves, and get shelter, among many other uses. Nowadays, it is an undisputed fact that “money makes the world go round.” The earliest known form of money dates back to around 5,000 years ago ; trade was previously carried out using a barter system. However, over the centuries, more and more nations began implementing a currency system, and money has become more critical. 

In the contemporary world, it seems to be “all about money.” However, it is important not to lose sight of what is important; we must maintain good physical and mental health and healthy relationships with the people around us. Money is necessary; it is just not the only thing necessary. To start your essay, read these examples to write insightful essays about money. 

5 Top Examples On Essay About Money

1. essay on money by prasanna, 2. how money changed human history by jacob wilkins, 3. capitalism: money that make money by ernestine montgomery, 4.  is money the most important thing by seth higgins.

  • 5. ​​An Introduction to Saving Money by Jeremy Vohwinkle

Writing Prompts For Essays About Money

1. good uses for money, 2. the “dark side” of money, 3. money’s role in history, 4. morality vs. money, 5. can money buy happiness, 6. how to save money.

“Imagine the world without money. We will eventually come to a point where we will be asking questions like “what’s the point of life”. Hope and goals are some of the important things that will keep a man going in life. Without any sense of achievement or motivation, there wouldn’t be any inventions or progress in the world. People work to get money and then people work harder to get more money. This cycle of life that keeps a man motivated and hopeful is one of the biggest advantages of the system of money”

This essay gives readers a general outlook on money and its advantages and disadvantages. It gives people equal opportunity to work for their dreams and motivates them to be productive members of society, while it also raises the question of greed. Money, without a doubt, has its positive and negative aspects, but it exists and is only becoming more critical.

“But the barter economy was flawed. There was no universal measure for determining the value of an item. It was all based on the subjective opinion of the individuals involved. And to make matters worse, the barter economy relied on both sides wanting something the other had to offer. Trade, therefore, could be sluggish and frustrating. Human beings needed something different, and money was the answer.”

Wilkins writes about how money revolutionized the way trade was conducted. The barter system involved trading any objects if both parties agreed to a deal, such as trading animal skins for fish or medicine for timber. However, the only measure of an item’s value was how much one party wanted it- both sides needed to have something the other wanted. The introduction of money allowed people to put a solid value on commodities, making trade easier.  

“So, if you were to closely observe the dirty, disordered canvas of economic progress during the 20th and 21 st century, you should conclude that, for all its warts, capitalism has been the winner. It has sometimes caused pain; suffered from serious cycles; and often needed the clout of the state- such as we have seen from September 2008. It has also been quite resistant to sensible regulation. Even so, the basic institutions of capitalism have worked, not just in the US and the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and development) nations, but also many developing countries, of which India is one.”

Albeit lengthy, Montgomery’s essay discusses the debate between socialism and capitalism, a topic of which money is at the core. Montgomery describes Karl Marx’s criticism of capitalism: all the money goes to a few people, not the workers. She believes these are valid to an extent and criticizes certain forms of capitalism and socialism. Neither capitalism nor socialism is perfect, but according to Montgomery, capitalism creates a better economy. 

“Being the richest man in the world does not mean you are the happiest man in the world, although money can buy you happiness sometimes, but not always. If we could all appreciate the way life is, the fun, and the beauty I think the world would be better. If people weren’t power hungry maybe we’d have a lesser demand for money. Those people who is money hungry and power hungry need to relax. Money can’t buy you happiness. These individuals need to understand that.”

Higgins implores readers to remember that money is not the only thing people need in the world. He stresses the necessity of money, as it is used to pay for various necessary goods and services; however, he believes it is not a prerequisite for happiness. Material things are temporary, and there are other things we should focus on, like family and friends. 

5. ​​ An Introduction to Saving Money by Jeremy Vohwinkle

“A financial emergency may take the form of a job loss, significant medical or dental expense, unexpected home or auto repairs, a hurricane or major storm, or something unthinkable, such as a global pandemic. The last thing you want to do is to rely on credit cards with their hefty interest fees or to be forced to take out a loan. That’s where your emergency fund can come in handy. Historically, the formula for an emergency account is to have enough readily available cash to cover three to six months of living expenses.“

Vohwinkle’s essay gives readers some suggestions on how to save more money. Most importantly, he suggests setting up an emergency fund, as all other saving techniques stem from there. He also suggests creating an automatic savings plan and cutting down on “spending leaks,” like buying coffee. You might also be interested in these essays about celebration .

In this essay, write about why money is necessary and the ways to use it for the greater good, and include ways in which it can be used (investing, donating, etc.). For each point, you make, be sure to explain why. Of course, this is entirely subjective; feel free to write about what you consider “good uses” for money. 

On the other hand, money also has a negative side —research on money-related issues, such as taxpayer-funded corruption and trading of illegal goods. In your essay, explore this side of money and perhaps give solutions on how to stop these problems. 

Money has played a progressively more important role throughout human history. Discuss the development of currency and the economy, from the barter system to the digital world we live in today. You need not go too in-depth, as there is a lot of ground to cover and many eras to research. Be sure to cite reputable sources when discussing history. 

Many people warn of “selling your soul” for financial gain. In your essay, you can write about the importance of having solid values in this day and age, where money reigns supreme. What principles do you need to keep in mind? Explain how you can still value money while staying grounded; mention the balance between material needs and others. 

As stated in Higgins’ essay, more people have begun to prioritize money over all else. Do you believe that money is truly the most important thing? Can it alone make you happy? Discuss both sides of this question and choose your position accordingly. Be sure to provide precise supporting details for a stronger argument. 

Essays About Money: How to save money?

Enumerate tips on how you can save money. Anything works, from saving certain things for special occasions to buying more food in the grocery rather than eating out. This is your opinion; however, feel free to consult online sources and the people around you for extra advice. 

For help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers .If you’re still stuck, check out our general resource of essay writing topics .

writing essay about saving money

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The first step people might take is recording their spending. It is a practical decision that allows for transparency and calculation. According to Better Money Habits, “Keep track of all your expenses—that means every coffee, household item and cash tip. Once you have your data, organize the numbers by categories, such as gas, groceries and mortgage, and total each amount. Consider using your credit card or bank statements to help you with this” (“Saving Money Tips – 8 Simple Ways to Save Money”). It might seem painstaking, but this process will help you to note how payments and purchases affect your balance, and savings ultimately.

Another important factor in saving money is creating a budget. This is usually done after reviewing all your transactions and what you need to use your money for in order to survive. As stated by America Saves, “Create a budget that you can stick to. Look at places you can cut back in order to pay down high-interest debt and save. Each week, check your finances to make sure you are staying within your budget” (Bryan, Katie). The most essential factor in creating a budget is knowing you can keep to it through the bumps on the road of your finances.

As an extension of your budget, you can create a plan for your spending. You can give exact percentages and figures. According to Better Money Habits, “Try to save 10 to 15 percent of your income. If your expenses are so high that you can’t save that much, it might be time to cut back. To do so, identify nonessentials that you can spend less on, such as entertainment and dining out, and find ways to save on your fixed monthly expenses” (“Saving Money Tips – 8 Simple Ways to Save Money”). It might be painful to slash out certain areas of your life you enjoy spending money on, but in order to save money, you have to sacrifice some of your desires in order to achieve your goals.

A useful tip in addition to the previously mentioned points is that you can save money with a certain item or items in mind. Sometimes focusing on a certain object of desire can work better for people in terms of saving money. According to Better Money Habits, “One of the best ways to save money is to set a goal. Start by thinking of what you might want to save for—perhaps you’re getting married, planning a vacation or saving for retirement. Then figure out how much money you’ll need and how long it might take you to save it” (“Saving Money Tips – 8 Simple Ways to Save Money”). Whether short-term or long-term, it is good to have a goal in mind while saving money.

Finally, prioritizing the way you spend and save money is a key element. According to The Balance, “Each individual will have slightly different priorities, but no matter what those priorities are retirement and your emergency fund will come first. After that, you can focus on your other goals and building wealth. Once you determine your priorities, you can create a chart or excel sheet that lets you track your progress on your goals” (Caldwell, Miriam). So, setting priorities is a nuance you should take into account while creating your spending and saving plans.

Looking back, we can say for certain that saving money is possible for the average citizen. However, there are certain ways you have to go about it: noting down your spending, making a budget, creating a plan for saving money, setting a savings goal for particular items, and figuring out your priorities.

Works Cited

“Saving Money Tips – 8 Simple Ways to Save Money.” Better Money Habits, Bank of America, 6 Sept. 2018,

Bryan, Katie. “Creating a Budget.” America Saves,

Caldwell, Miriam. “How Should I Prioritize My Savings Goals?” The Balance,

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Home — Essay Samples — Economics — Money — Saving Money: Approaches and Importance


Saving Money: Approaches and Importance

  • Categories: Money

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Words: 714 |

Published: Sep 5, 2023

Words: 714 | Pages: 2 | 4 min read

Table of contents

1. approaches to saving money, 2. the importance of saving money, 3. balancing saving and spending, 4. cultivating a savings mindset, conclusion: a secure and fulfilling future.

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The Importance of Saving Money for Students

Table of contents, building financial resilience, advantages of financial literacy, strategies for student savers, lifelong impact of prudent financial management, references:.

  • Fernandes, D., Lynch Jr, J. G., & Netemeyer, R. G. (2014). Financial literacy, financial education, and downstream financial behaviors. Management Science, 60(8), 1861-1883.
  • Grable, J. E., & Lytton, R. H. (1999). Financial risk tolerance revisited: The development of a risk assessment instrument. Financial Services Review, 8(3), 163-181.
  • Levine, J., & Nidiffer, J. (1996). Encouraging student responsibility for learning. In Teaching at Its Best (pp. 161-172). Anker Publishing Company.
  • Mandell, L. (2008). Financial literacy of high school students. In Financial Literacy (pp. 89-108). Springer.
  • Tam, M., Chan, R., & Morris, M. W. (2015). Building financial literacy: A comparison of two approaches to teaching financial literacy to university students. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 36(2), 231-242.

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Essay on Ways to Save Money

Students are often asked to write an essay on Ways to Save Money in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Ways to Save Money

Importance of saving money.

Saving money is a crucial life skill. It helps us prepare for unexpected expenses, achieve financial goals, and secure our future.

Creating a Budget

One of the best ways to save money is by creating a budget. It helps track income and expenses, allowing us to identify areas where we can save.

Limiting Unnecessary Spending

Avoiding impulse buying and unnecessary expenses can significantly increase savings. Always ask, “Do I really need this?”

Using Discounts and Coupons

Using discounts, sales, and coupons can help save a lot of money. They reduce the cost of items, allowing us to save more.

Saving Small Amounts

Even saving small amounts can add up over time. Start with saving a small portion of your pocket money. Every penny counts!

250 Words Essay on Ways to Save Money


Money management is a critical skill, especially for college students who often operate on tight budgets. The ability to save money can contribute to financial independence and stability. Here are a few ways to save money.

Create a Budget

The first step towards saving money is creating a budget. It allows you to understand where your money is going and how much you can save. Prioritize your needs over wants and make adjustments accordingly.

Automate Savings

Automate a portion of your income to go directly into a savings account. This ensures you save before you start spending. It’s a simple, yet effective way to build your savings over time.

Utilize Student Discounts

Many businesses offer student discounts. Use these to save on everything from meals to textbooks. It’s a small step that can add up to significant savings.

Limit Eating Out

Eating out frequently can significantly impact your budget. Opt for cooking at home or using meal plans provided by the college. It’s healthier and more cost-effective.

Buy Second-Hand

Consider buying second-hand items. Whether it’s textbooks or furniture, you can find quality used items at a fraction of the cost of new ones.

Saving money in college might seem challenging, but with a few strategic changes, it’s achievable. Remember, every penny saved today is a step towards a financially secure future.

500 Words Essay on Ways to Save Money

Financial management is a crucial life skill, especially for college students who are just beginning to navigate their own financial waters. With increasing expenses and limited income, it becomes essential to identify effective ways to save money. This essay explores some advanced strategies to manage finances better and save money.

A well-structured budget is the cornerstone of effective financial management. It provides a clear picture of income and expenses, allowing for better financial decisions. A budget not only helps in tracking spending habits but also in identifying areas where one can cut back. Using budgeting apps or simple spreadsheets can simplify this process.

Automating Savings

One of the best ways to ensure regular savings is by automating the process. Most banks offer automatic transfers from checking to savings accounts. By setting up a monthly transfer, one can ensure they save a portion of their income before they get a chance to spend it. This method is often referred to as ‘paying yourself first’.

Embracing Minimalism

Minimalism is a lifestyle choice that focuses on reducing unnecessary possessions and living with only what is needed. By embracing minimalism, college students can significantly reduce their expenses. This approach allows them to save money by avoiding impulsive purchases and focusing on quality over quantity.

Utilizing Student Discounts

Many businesses offer discounts to students, which can lead to substantial savings. From software subscriptions to movie tickets, these discounts can significantly reduce expenses. It’s always worth asking if a student discount is available before making a purchase.

Investing in Education

While this may seem counterintuitive, investing in one’s education can lead to long-term financial benefits. Acquiring skills that are in high demand can lead to better job opportunities and higher income in the future. Online courses, certifications, and workshops can provide these skills at a fraction of the cost of traditional education.

Cooking at Home

Eating out or ordering in can quickly add up. Cooking at home not only saves money but also promotes healthier eating habits. Learning to cook basic meals and prepping meals in advance can significantly reduce food expenses.

Saving money as a college student may seem challenging, but with careful planning and discipline, it is achievable. By creating a budget, automating savings, embracing minimalism, utilizing student discounts, investing in education, and cooking at home, students can significantly improve their financial health. These strategies not only help in saving money but also inculcate valuable financial management skills that will serve them throughout their lives.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

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‘Miles Walked, Miles Driven’: This Year’s College Essays About Money

Each year, we seek out college application essays about money, work or social class. Here are five from writers who are now undergraduates.

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By Ron Lieber

Photographs by Lexi Parra

Ron Lieber wrote one of his college application essays about a television commercial for the company formerly known as Waste Management.

  • Oct. 22, 2022

Writing a personal essay is more art than science. Discussing money — what you or your family has or lacks — is tricky under the best of circumstances. Doing both well is harder still, especially if you’re a teenager and a committee of grown-ups will sit in judgment on whatever you produce.

Each year, we invite essayists to forward their work to us after they’ve submitted their thoughts on money, work, social class and related matters as part of their college applications. At their best, they inspire a kind of empathy, even if money is not on your mind all that often.

This time, we find ourselves in the human resources department with a racing mind; the kitchen as a daughter observes her mother making do; the car, driving many miles for so many reasons; the house, stuffed with way too much; and the head of a young woman wondering if her soft hands bring honor upon her family.

To write this way about these topics requires perspective, about who has what and why and how. But it also demands bravery — to go where most people don’t, including a lot of adults.

writing essay about saving money

Katya Spajic

“Their hands symbolized their love and sacrifice for family. But my unblemished hands signified nothing in return, only evidence of wasting away their hard work.”

New York — Bronx High School of Science

Mom always told me that if my hands were smooth and unblemished nobody would be able to tell my age.

She wore rings and gloves to cover up the premature wrinkles from her time as a waitress in high school and the scars on her fingers from her first four years in America as a seamstress.

Try as she might, no amount of jewelry or hand cream could erase those markings. But I envied her imperfections: Mom’s weathered hands spoke volumes about her strength, selflessness and love.

Whenever my family gathered at the dinner table, I would steal glances at their hands. Each wrinkle and scar read like a chapter of a life well lived: a life full of purpose. When I looked at my smooth knuckles and babylike palms, I wondered when I would receive markings that told my story.

When Dad squeezed my hand as we crossed the street, I tried to place the sharp ridges and rock-hard calluses that dug into my soft skin. Did they come from summers in Montenegro, gripping the worn handle of the scythe to cut hay? Were they caused by heavy tiles nicking his palms during the kitchen renovations that paid for my babysitters?

During summers in Pljevlja in Montenegro, I would watch Grandma’s trembling hands as she kneaded each piece of burek. What initially seemed like splotches of flour were actually burn scars from 70 years of cooking. Perhaps they came from adding one too many coals to the furnace or accidentally lifting pots out of the oven with her bare hands.

Their hands symbolized their love and sacrifice for family. But my unblemished hands signified nothing in return, only evidence of wasting away their hard work. So I tried to gain markings the only way I knew how: mimicking my family’s defining actions.

I attempted Grandma’s burek, but my imitation’s flaky shell hardened each time I took it out of the oven. And my burns never felt purposeful, only documentation of my mediocrity.

I tried picking up a needle and thread like Mom. But even as my hands took the shape of hers, the needle pricks left me unsatisfied — it never came naturally like for Mom.

My hands began to read like a list of failed ventures — until I found volleyball. Volleyball seemed like a forbidden interest, so independent from family. But each purposeful movement left me satiated with fulfillment. I picked up the game quickly, and my parents were thrilled: Recruitment was my ticket into a top university. I even fractured my thumb while diving for the ball, the bone awkwardly jutting out as my own personal talisman of greater purpose.

But during high school, I was exposed to a plethora of other opportunities. I began spending Monday nights practicing cases for Mock Trial and dedicated weekends to taking photographs for my school’s Dynamo literary magazine. And though my hands remained unchanged, these passions, along with others, showed me sides of my identity that I didn’t know existed.

But with little time left for volleyball, I came to the decision to leave my club team. My crooked thumb became an ominous reminder of another failed pursuit.

My parents were furious. They perceived my new activities as unfocused distractions, leading me away from my ticket to college.

I soon understood that my parents’ anger did not stem from disappointment, but from unfamiliarity. Their only path forward was committing to their available roles, never pondering the existential questions I did: self-discovery in a sea of options.

Becoming “lost” for pursuing seemingly unconnected interests was not what they envisioned for me, but I realized that the best way to fully take advantage of my privileges was to explore all my curiosities. I stopped emulating the identities of my family and realized that my hands would eventually bear the weight of my pursuits.

More importantly, those markings and hands will be my own, not my mother’s or father’s.

Griffin Ayson

“Travel costs may prove too great a financial strain for my parents, but my world map and ingenuity are free.”

Los Angeles — Van Nuys High School

The room was stuffy, cramped and packed with teenagers. I was about to embark on a new adventure — my first job. I made sure I brought everything listed on the required materials list: Social Security card, passport, student ID, work permit.

As I waited for the human resources personnel to call my name, I gingerly opened my passport. A glance at the photo taken when I was 12 brought a big smile to my face: Chubby cheeks. Bowl cut hair. Forced smile. My jolly mood quickly faded when I read the expiration date: 03 Jan 2022. As I flipped through, each page was blank. My heart felt empty.

I tried to shake off the sadness dominating my thoughts. I should not have been bothered by my empty passport or its pending expiration date. But I was. It was a painful reminder that I had never left the country, not once in my entire life.

I remained quiet even as my mom repeatedly asked how my job orientation went. My replies were a mere yes or no. But when we got home, I held up my passport and finally dared to ask her. She looked at me and responded: “I’m sorry, but we can’t afford it. Airfares alone for a family of five would cost an arm and a leg.” Her quavering voice said it all. I walked away, empty. My passport was for “just in case,” not “when.”

When I spend time with Grandma, I am greeted by her cabinet full of cherished souvenirs. Some mark her 90 years on earth, others Grandpa’s travels as a merchant marine. Admiring the elephant tusk from India, brass plates from Morocco and hand-carved Last Supper wall hanging from Italy, I often wondered what it was like to travel the world just like Grandpa did.

Today, I catch myself looking back at those visits at Grandma’s and realizing I don’t need to leave my beloved city — Los Angeles — to experience the world. I satisfy my wanderlust by feasting on hearty, delicious global cuisines here in my neighborhood. Couscous from Morocco. Vindaloo from India. Gelato from Italy. Each is a small marker of my city’s diverse population and the perspectives and experiences surrounding me.

The first and last thing I see from my bed is my vast world map from Ikea, occupying almost an entire wall. This map has been my constant travel companion since I was little. Beginning with Dad’s stories about his business travels early in his career, this map has taken me to the countries he toured and locals he befriended from Belgium to South Korea to Indonesia.

Through Google Earth’s lens, I’m able to transport myself to any far-flung places without leaving the comfort of my bedroom. I have explored the Philippines, where my mother was born and raised. Her accounts of her upbringing fascinated me growing up, the tropical climate a drastic change from L.A.’s dry, sunny summers. When I showed her the schools she attended, the church where she and her family worshiped every Sunday, and the empty land where her house once stood, she was delighted. I was, too.

I don’t need to set foot in an airport to know every country, city and capital in the world. The knowledge I amassed, from the map in my bedroom to virtual tours, has taught me that not traveling outside my birth country will not define who I am. I pull what I can from my surroundings, whether wandering my neighborhood or following the virtual tour of the Louvre’s Petite Galerie exhibition of founding myths. And there are dozens of UNESCO sites still to see.

I am a globe-trotter. Travel costs may prove too great a financial strain for my parents, but my world map and ingenuity are free. So while my passport pages are empty, my limitless adventures are being vividly stamped in my mind forever.

Mimosa Hứa Mỹ Văn

“My treasure was occupying my time and mind. Overflowing piles, boxes and chaos tornadoed around me.”

Tucson, Ariz. — Flowing Wells High School

I was 6 years old.

Waltzing into my room, I had no room to dance. Looking at the floor, I would not be able to convince anyone it is hardwood. Clothes with price tags and unopened toys covered every inch of the ground. Mountains of freebies from convention centers engulfed me every time I entered the room. It was chaos.

Each day, these mountains became mountain ranges. As time passed by, I thought this accumulation would make me better. More items, more wealth and more friends. Having more meant a better life, right?

I waved to my dad at the screen door while I was yawning in jammies that were made authentically from Vietnam. He hopped into the only car to drive eight miles south to sharpen blades for lawn mowers as my mom cared for me, my brother and the house.

And every morning, my mom dropped me off at school on the next fastest transportation: the only electric scooter. Other days, my dad would pick me up and head to the doctor’s as the English-speaking parent before dozing off until his next shift. I cherished my parents’ efforts and actions for me.

When I was 10, my dad was heading into his mid-60s, and he retired. The income cash flow was dripping as my mom joined the work force and slowly gained clients. We celebrated every time a letter came in with government assistance.

We savored all the stuff. Every item made us the richest people on earth. My mom told me stories about when she was younger in Vietnam. She never had new clothes or gifts. She always got hand-me-downs.

I treasured and kept every item as sacred as a pirate’s gold. I felt like I won the lottery by having all this stuff.

Because I knew the most English, I researched Americanized things and how-tos for my parents. With a disastrous house at bay, my mom suggested to me to research how to get a cleaner house. I typed it into the Google search bar, expecting nothing helpful. I went down the rabbit hole, weaving from grease, storage containers, organization and more.

And then, I found this foreign word, minimalism.

Simplifying the number of items in possession to have a tidier home can make people happier. What were these jabberwocky words arranged in this order doing here? Can this end my chaos?

But, I thought more meant better. My treasure was occupying my time and mind. Overflowing piles, boxes and chaos tornadoed around me.

What about the social pressure? What would all my friends think if I didn’t have a lot of things? Would they think I was poor, poorer than I already am? Or worse, could I lose everything in life?

You know what? Let’s just do it. The chaos needs to end.

I slowly start to sort piles and load the car trunk. A part of me vanished at first. As days went by, I felt a weight of possession leave my chest and free me from all of the strings from each item tying me down.

Now, I zoom from assisting my mom with dishes to checking out TED Talks and self-love Instagram reels to working on my random urge to do pottery. The void has been filled with experience, knowledge and gratefulness.

My hands dance as I attempt to take in every single word that emerges from my wandering thoughts. I observe my sleeping plateau and two work space plateaus with a small stack of notebooks and feel content. “I appreciate myself,” I scribbled with one of my five — and only five — writing utensils.

I don’t need to rely on items, wealth and friends to be content. Others’ opinions of my display of wealth are not necessary to me. Without these items gluing me down, I easily settle from place to place. The internet was right. I can experience life now, for new challenges, opportunities and experiences.

Nathaniel Erb

“The miles that I drive, and others that I walk, are a small part of what makes it possible for our family to function, even thrive.”

New Windsor, Md. — Delone Catholic High School

Digits. Miles on the odometer, time on a clock. Neon clock face — 4:00 on a Tuesday morning. Driving 25 quick miles to swim practice, then 45 long ones to school. A rushed 11 miles to work. Finally, 9:30 p.m. Shift over — 13 miles home.

Total: 94 miles in 17.5 hours. A typical Tuesday bleeds into a typical week, adding up to a total of over 600 miles. Nearly three hours each day before I add in school, work, swimming and commitments as a brother, as a son.

These miles are unavoidable. Living in a rural farming community, you soon realize that everything is far away.

Being the oldest of five children, a perch I share with my twin sister, I know what my parents have sacrificed to provide a loving and stable life for us. My dad gets up early every morning — working weekends and missing vacations to provide for our family. My mom gave up her career to raise my four siblings and me.

Their sacrifices have formed the foundation of who I am. The miles that I drive, and others that I walk, are a small part of what makes it possible for our family to function, even thrive.

The longer drives lull me into thinking. Goals and ambitions — for tomorrow or 10 years from now.

I often think about what I have and the people around me who have sacrificed to get me where I am today. Sacrifice isn’t giving up or missing out on something. It is making the hard choices that will lead a person to become extraordinary.

Today, my choices are laying the foundation for something extraordinary of my own, shaping me into my future self. My foundation is supported by cornerstones — a big, loving, supportive family; work with meaning; financial independence; self-direction.

At age 2, I received my first wheelbarrow. It was small, tot-sized, but I used it to help with yardwork. Today, I spend weekends planting and maintaining the gardens — a sacrifice of time and a strain on my body.

Beginning with seeds in the greenhouse and continuing through harvest, I enjoy watching the produce grow and reaping the bounty of my work. These gardens provide us with much food. My wheelbarrow is full-sized now, just like the role I play in helping sustain my family.

The miles I walk pushing a wheelbarrow offer one type of support. Those I drive to and from my job as a restaurant dishwasher provide another 20 to 25 hours a week I scrub and rinse, pacing myself to stay ahead of the front of the house.

These hours demand a different type of sacrifice, but offer the promise of financial independence, my ability to save and even invest. I crave stability and dream of a future I can provide for myself. I want to help pay for college, buy a home on the water, maybe even have a boat.

But the miles I drive to swim practice feel different. These are just for me.

Setting goals and working to achieve them empowers me. After an early alarm and my daily decision to sacrifice sleep and free time, the tough morning workouts motivate me to push through obstacles. I can carry these lessons through college, my future career, my personal life.

These miles, hundreds walked and thousands driven, take me to and from the century-old farmhouse we call home. We have expanded it several times to house the seven of us, each new cornerstone marking the sacrifices made to get to that point.

Soon, I will expand my foundation, adding cornerstones uniquely mine to the ones I share with my family. This expansion will be in stages — college, a job, a family of my own — but I know how I will mark them. Miles walked, miles driven, sacrifices made. And I know that with each one, I am building something extraordinary.

“The duty of our generation is to ensure the next generation has it a little easier.”

Charlotte, N.C. — Olympic High School

Pieces of me live in my kitchen.

An art easel stands sentry nearby with stained paintbrushes and repurposed mugs. The curtains are drawn back, revealing clouds ambling against a sun-streaked sky.

Cherry-red and mint green boxes of tea sit in the cupboards above the sink — Earl Grey, peppermint, jasmine. Peaches sprawl across the counter, next to honeycombs I would suck on during long, oppressive summers. Very Monet, don’t you think? Beautiful, sweet, impressionist.

Yet if you peer beyond the bowl of bananas and crooning stereo, you would find a drawer of flatware. Rusting. Brown. Cheap. I didn’t know I was poor until I noticed the flatware. You can beautify the ugly in all sorts of ways, paint and plaster over all the cracks and holes. But the truth will stick like tar.

It was the autumn of 2019, and my mother was hunched in the kitchen, beaming and bright. “Look,” she beckoned. She handed me a fork and spoon: so shiny I could see my reflection, heavy in my hand and cold to the touch. There were two more pairs on the counter. She had replaced the entire drawer.

“Three hundred dollars,” Mama said proudly. “Two graveyard shifts.”

My mother works two jobs. I save coupons for back-to-school shopping. Why did I take so long to notice? Maybe I wanted to see myself as something other than a stereotype. Another brown body who lives under the umbrella term of low-income, first-generation. Maybe my mother was embarrassed to be another brown body who couldn’t afford a good cutlery set without 20 extra hours.

But I never had to think about it, because she kept the kitchen picturesque, and I never mentioned the bags underneath her eyes. It was some dark, dirty secret we clutched to our chest, kept away from prying eyes. No one should know (not even us).

“Poor” has always been a tainted word, like “homeless” or “beggar.” The generous donate, the indifferent ignore, the unkind scoff, but there is a quiet murmur, an intrusive “this is your fault” inside all of us. That’s why we say “escape poverty” like it’s some monster under our bed, not a symptom of a monstrous society. We are all eager to escape, and when we do, we do not look back.

I have always had a deep longing for more. I was named Jaylen after a basketball player, but I tell people I was named after the blue jay. Inside me, a small bird, like my namesake, was desperately trying to fly. I wanted to leave, because I was ashamed, and by wanting more for myself, I forgot to want more for everyone else.

But standing there, I saw my mother for the first time. I saw the pride in her purchase, her sunken face, how her hands shook and her hair grayed. She worked every day, so I could one day rest. She never kicked up her feet and enjoyed honeycombs on a Saturday afternoon. She loved my future enough to forsake her present.

Each of us has that small bird inside of us, but birds fly in flocks (and together, cages aren’t really cages). The duty of our generation is to ensure the next generation has it a little easier. There is no shame in that weight. There is pride.

We plant seeds so that our daughters and sons can enjoy the flowers. We add semicolons so that our children continue our story.

I work, no longer to escape my community, but to transform it. I distributed hundreds of letters that I and my classmates had written to nursing home residents who were in quarantine during the holidays. I taught computer science and business classes to underprivileged students. I helped underclassmen transition to the turbulent ocean that is high school. I paint murals, drink tea and take birds with broken wings to animal hospitals.

The other day, I bought my mother another set of cutlery that I hope to give her soon. I can finally say I learned how to fly.

Ron Lieber has been the Your Money columnist since 2008 and has written five books, most recently “The Price You Pay for College.” More about Ron Lieber


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  • Budgeting & Savings

Why Saving Money is Important

Amy Fontinelle has more than 15 years of experience covering personal finance, corporate finance and investing.

writing essay about saving money

Pete Rathburn is a copy editor and fact-checker with expertise in economics and personal finance and over twenty years of experience in the classroom.

writing essay about saving money

If you don’t earn much and you can barely pay your bills, the idea of saving money might seem laughable. When you only have $5 left at the end of the month, why even bother to try saving? Because everyone has to start somewhere, and if you work at it, your financial situation is likely to improve over time. Saving money is worth the effort. It gives you peace of mind, it gives you options, and the more you save, the easier it becomes to accumulate additional savings.

Peace of Mind

Who hasn’t lain awake at 3:00 a.m. wondering how they were going to afford something they needed? If money is really tight, you might be wondering how you’re going to pay the rent next week. If you’re a little further up the financial ladder, you might be worried about how many months you could pay the bills  if you lost your job. Later in life, the money thoughts that keep you up at night might center around paying for your kids to go to college or having enough money to retire.

As you accumulate savings, your financial worries should diminish, as long as you’re living within your means . If you already have next month’s rent taken care of by the first week of the current month, if you know you can get by without work for three to six months, if you have savings accounts for your children’s education and your own retirement that you’re regularly funding, you’ll sleep better at night. The reduced stress from having money in the bank frees up your energy for more enjoyable thoughts and activities. Finding the best savings account is key to making sure that the money that you do put away earns you the highest interest.

Expanded Options

The more money you have saved, the more you control your own destiny. If your job has you on the verge of a nervous breakdown, you can quit, even if you don’t have a new job lined up yet, and take time off to restore your sanity before you look for new employment. If you’re tired of living in an unsafe neighborhood, you can move to a safer area because you’ll have enough for a deposit on a better apartment or a down payment on a nicer home .

If you get sick and need expensive healthcare that your insurance doesn’t cover, you’ll have a way to pay for it even though you can’t work while you’re getting treatment. And knowing that you have options because of the money you’ve socked away can give you even more peace of mind.

No, money doesn’t solve every problem. If you are laid off, it might take as long as two years to find a new job. Some illnesses won’t go away no matter how many procedures you can afford, and random crime can happen even in a supposedly secure, gated community. But with more money in the bank to deal with issues like these, you give yourself better odds of coming out on top.

Money Working for You

Most of us put in hundreds of hours of work each year to earn most of our money. But when you have savings and stash your funds in the right places , your money starts to work for you. Over time, you’ll need to work less and less as your money works more and more, and eventually, you might be able to stop working altogether.

What does it mean to have your money working for you ? When you’re first starting to save, you’ll want to put your money somewhere safe, where you can access it right away for unforeseen expenses. That means an online savings account, where you might earn 1% interest annually and not even keep up with inflation , which tends to run around 1% to 2% per year. You’ll even have to pay taxes on your meager 1% earnings. Anything is better than earning 0%, though, or not having savings and going into credit card debt , which will cost you 10% to 30% in interest per year.

Once you’ve saved three to six months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund , you can start saving money in a tax-advantaged retirement account. That’s where the magic starts to happen. These accounts, such as a Roth IRA or 401(k), allow you to invest in the stock market. You won’t pay any taxes on those investment gains along the way, which will help your money grow even faster. With a Roth IRA, you contribute after-tax dollars, and everything that’s in the account after that is yours to keep. With a 401(k), you get to contribute before-tax dollars, giving you more money to invest upfront; you’ll pay taxes when you withdraw the money in retirement. (If you’re not sure whether it’s better to pay taxes now or later, you can hedge your bets and contribute to both your employer-sponsored retirement plan and a Roth IRA.) The third choice, a traditional IRA, allows you to contribute before-tax dollars as you do with a 401(k).

If you have a high income and low expenses, you might accumulate enough to retire in 10 years. For most people, it takes closer to 40 years. But at some point, if you save and invest regularly, you should be able to live off the income generated by your investments—the saved money that’s working for you. The earlier you start, the more time a small amount of money has to grow large through the miracle of compounding .

The Bottom Line

Saving money is incredibly important. It gives you peace of mind, expands your options for decisions that have a major effect on your quality of life , and eventually gives you the option to retire. Most people who are wealthy got there through a combination of their own hard work and smart savings and investment decisions. You can become one of those people, too.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. " Inflation Rates ."

Internal Revenue Service (IRS). " Topic No. 403 Interest Received ."

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. " The Consumer Credit Card Market ," Page 57.

Internal Revenue Service. " Roth Comparison Chart ."

Internal Revenue Service. " Traditional IRAs ."

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Student Essay: Saving for Retirement: ‘Time Is on Our Side’

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Rohit R. is a junior at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, N.J. Roy responded to KWHS’s recent outreach for student essays with a pitch about the importance of saving for retirement, a topic that is not typically top-of-mind for 16-year-olds. After all, when you’re a teenager – retirement just seems so far away. But, as Roy points out, starting early can make a huge difference. And considering 46% of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement and 29% have less than $1,000 saved, it’s never too early to start thinking about your nest egg. In this essay, Roy helps us understand why.

Both my parents are computer engineers. My father Jaideep is vice president of information technology at HSBC, a global financial services firm, and my mother Anu is a senior IT professional at Verizon Wireless. I often hear my parents discuss their retirement plans and the likelihood that they are not saving enough for the days when they are no longer earning income from their jobs. They worry about not being able to pay for housing, transportation, medical care and other basic living expenses after they retire. Additionally, they want to travel, play golf and eat out, but are anxious that they won’t be able to afford the good life. They often lament the fact that they did not start to save for retirement earlier in their careers. My parents tell me a lot of things (sound familiar?), but they especially tell me not to make their same retirement-planning mistakes.

Retirement Savings Shortfall

Medical advances and today’s healthier lifestyles mean that we are likely to live longer than ever before. According to some estimates, millennials are expected to live beyond 90 years of age. Considering the average retirement age in America is around 60, most of us will need to save enough money to live for another 30 years or more after we stop working in our full-time careers.

A recent study by the National Institute on Retirement Security estimates the overall U.S. retirement savings deficit or shortfall to be between $6.8 trillion and $14 trillion.

And according to a recent research report by Vanguard, saving for retirement is lowest among employees who are younger than 25. Only about 50% of employees younger than 25 saved for retirement in 2015, while about 70% of employees between ages 35 and 64 took advantage of employer retirement plans to put money away for retirement. My biggest takeaway from all the numbers: most young Americans don’t start saving early enough.

In addition to employees not saving for retirement, opportunities for other income streams are also fading. Most companies in today’s business world have stopped offering traditional pension plans where the employer provides money after retirement. Additionally, the Social Security Trust Fund — Government-provided Social Security for older Americans — is severely underfunded and is expected to run out by around 2033. As teenagers, we can’t depend on these previous sources of income to provide financial security in our old age. It is up to us to save enough money for our golden years.

The best time to start thinking about saving for retirement is when you start generating income, especially as you begin your career. My parents have saved money in two popular retirement plans called the 401(k) retirement plan and the Individual Retirement Account ( IRA ).

A 401(k) retirement plan allows employees to deduct money from their salaries and to contribute that money to their own 401(k) retirement account. The benefit is that these deductions are not subject to federal and state income taxes. For example, last year my parents contributed $36,000 ($18,000 each) to their 401(k) retirement accounts, enabling them to save more than $14,000 in income taxes. Another benefit is that this money is pre-committed, meaning you don’t physically have to save it yourself — once you specify the amount and set it up through your employer, the money automatically deducts from each paycheck that you receive and is invested through the 401(k).

Most employers also provide an added incentive for employees to save using 401(k) accounts by matching their contributions. This essentially means that employers are giving you free money to save for retirement. So, once you enter the work world take full advantage of it! My parents, for example, received more than $12,000 last year in matching contributions from their employers! One thing to keep in mind is that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does limit the amount that can be contributed to a 401(k) plan. The 2016 limit is $18,000.

The money contributed to a 401(k) plan can usually be invested in financial instruments such as mutual funds. Mutual funds are financial products that invest in collections of stocks and/or bonds and offer higher rates of return. Thus, the tax-free money saved in a 401(k) account has the opportunity to grow over a period of time.

You can start taking money out of the 401(k) plan after you reach 59½ years of age. You will be hit with a 10% penalty if you try to take the money out sooner. This, of course, is to ensure that we are forced to save for retirement and do not raid our retirement accounts for frivolous activities. Once we start withdrawing money during retirement, that money is then subject to federal and state income taxes. Since we will not typically have other income during retirement, the taxes that we will have to pay will be significantly lower than what we will have to pay while working.

An IRA is very similar to a 401(k) retirement plan. An IRA offers tax-deferred growth on retirement savings and is not to be taxed until the money is withdrawn. While the opportunity to contribute to a 401(k) plan is restricted to people employed by companies that offer such plans, anyone can contribute to an IRA as long as he/she is less than 70½ years of age. The maximum amount that can be contributed to an IRA is limited to $5,500 for 2016.

Multi-millions in Your Future?

I feel that saving for retirement is crucially important for my future happiness, and I plan to save for retirement as soon as I start earning income. Time is on our side. High school students can even contribute to an IRA to the extent that you have earned income – so if you have a real job and are reporting your income on a tax form, you can start saving for retirement now. Talk with your parents or guardians, and research your options. If you’re not yet 18, you will have to open a custodial account, meaning your parents must co-sign. But the advantages of even starting a few years before college can really add up.

If you’re still not convinced, consider the following reality check. If you save at least $12,000 per year from the age of 21 and get just a modest 5% return on your invested savings, then you will have more than $2 million saved in your retirement account by the time you’re 67. It’s all about planning for your financial security – and a well-deserved trip or two to Hawaii. Hope to see you on the beach in a few decades!

Related Links

  • Forbes: Fund a Teenager’s Million-dollar Retirement
  • NYT: Summer Job? Time to Start a Roth IRA
  • NYT: Getting Workers to Save More For Retirement
  • IRA Accounts for Novices
  • Should Young Investors Choose a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA?
  • The Washington Post: Running Out of Money in Retirement

Conversation Starters

Rohit says that his parents “often lament the fact that they did not start to save for retirement earlier in their careers.” Essentially, they feel they wasted valuable time. Why? What is the value in investing sooner in life?

Have you ever thought about retirement savings? Do your parents or guardians save for the day they will stop working? Go home and have a conversation with your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles about retirement. Write down three or four key takeaways from your discussions and share them with the class.

The statistics for saving early for retirement are really compelling. And yet, the data show that not many Americans are saving enough money. Why do you think that is? What is preventing them, especially if they have enough income to save?

6 comments on “ Student Essay: Saving for Retirement: ‘Time Is on Our Side’ ”

It is very important to save money for retirement. It was a great assay.

I have thought about saving for retirement in the future. My parents don’t have the luxury of being able to do that. I think that many American’s are not saving money because they don’t have the money to save.

Value investing sooner in life is the value of time and knowledge and being past everyone when it comes to a young age. Saving for retirement is very important to have the money you need to be financially stable and don’t have to work when you get older.

I haven’t thought of retirement savings right now. My parents save for the day they stopped working. I learned from my mom that the retiring population is bigger than ever before. Also its the only time when you no longer owe anybody money. I think Americans are not saving enough for retirement because the lack of high living expenses and limited access to retirement benefits.

Yes, I have thought about retirement savings. I hope to save enough to retire early and travel. My parents are also saving for their retirement.

I believe Americans are not saving up for retirement mainly because of a few reasons including high living expenses, unawareness of benefits, and lack of opportunity to begin. The amount of people I’ve met who aren’t knowledgable on IRA’s, pensions, and 401k’s is heavily surprising as they can really make a huge difference!

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Home / Essay Samples / Life / Money / The Importance of Saving Money: an Essential Skill for Students

The Importance of Saving Money: an Essential Skill for Students

  • Category: Life
  • Topic: Money

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  • Emergencies: Life can be unpredictable, and unexpected expenses can arise at any time. Having savings can help students deal with unexpected events like medical emergencies, car repairs, or sudden changes in living arrangements.
  • Future goals: Students may have long-term goals such as buying a car, saving for a down payment on a house, or traveling. Saving money early on can help them achieve these goals faster.
  • Avoiding debt: Saving money can help students avoid taking on debt. If they have savings, they can pay for things like textbooks, school supplies, or living expenses without having to use credit cards or take out loans.
  • Building good financial habits: Saving money teaches students to be disciplined and responsible with their finances. Developing good financial habits at a young age can set them up for long-term success.
  • Managing expenses: By saving money, students can learn to manage their expenses better. They can track their spending and prioritize their needs and wants, which can help them make better financial decisions in the future.

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