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My name is Shekinah Duncan, and I am a senior from Memphis, Tennessee. I will be attending Lipscomb University, a private Christian college located in Nashville, Tennessee. My major will be a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and I plan to go to Graduate school to pursue midwifery.

Finances play a major role in one's life- whether it is your credit score, how much money you save, or how you choose to spend your money- there are endless topics. These factors can follow you for years, and possibly for the rest of your life. I am only an 18-year-old senior who works part-time at the cute Target Starbucks, so I wouldn't know a ton. Although I don't have a lot of experience, I have learned some valuable lessons in my lifetime.

One thing I have learned over the years is the importance of a savings account. When I was younger, I got a bi-weekly allowance; $50 would go into savings and $50 would go into checking. This was in 2021, so I wasn't hanging out with friends, paying for gas or car insurance, and we were in the middle of a world pandemic. Thus, I wasn't spending money, nor did I have a reason for digging into my savings. When things started to shift back to normal and I got back to school, I found myself spending way too much money and pulling from my savings.

Only recently, as of the beginning of 2023, have I started putting money in my savings account and not touching it. I have to tell myself that the secret to financial success is saving money, as unexpected things come up. If I were to pull from this account, I wouldn't be able to be prepared for these costs.

I got a job during the summer of 2022 and I was thrilled. I was excited to build my savings back up, and to be able to buy -ALL- the food and clothes I wanted- ALL the time- so I thought. I only made $10 an hour and worked 12 hours a week, which isn't terrible for a high school senior, but my paychecks weren't enough to cover bills, savings, and other expenses. I loved my job, but I quit so I could meet my financial needs. In September, I was able to get a job at Target that pays $15 an hour, and recently, I was able to transfer to Starbucks so I make even more with tips. This experience took a long time, but in the long run, I can cover bills, and unexpected expenses, and have money to put into savings. Getting a job at Target was a very difficult process, but in the long run, it was worth it.

These two examples of saving money and having a job that gives you the pay and hours you desire have helped me come a long way financially. Because of this, I will have a good and firm foundation for when I go out to work in the real workforce. I plan to be a Nurse-Midwife, so my stable career with the stable foundation I built will get me far in life.

Thank you for reading, -Shekinah Duncan


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