In a time where education is so predominant in deciding our financial security, we find ourselves forced to work a job (or even two) on top of school. This situation can make for a lot of distractions, but we must remain focused on our goals if we want to achieve our dreams. For me that dream is law school.
During my typical week, I spend my mornings and afternoons at high school, evenings at work and late nights at college for class. Now, you may be thinking, “I’d hate to see the bags under his eyes,” but I’m willing to make this sacrifice because I know it won’t be long before I achieve my dream of providing justice throughout my community as a lawyer.
Aside from the many hours I spend learning, there are also many expenses involved. Car payment, gas, insurance, textbooks, tuition, cell phone, clothes, food, shelter, my tanning membership (well, maybe not the tanning membership). However, as a working student, I am eligible for many discounts such as the Good Grades discount with State Farm car insurance and I am also able to have various fees waived at my local bank.
Another way I’ve found to really save money is with coupons and discounts for things like groceries, sporting goods, clothing and eating out. There is a misconception that clipping coupons isn't worth the hassle, but many of these discounts are quickly found through a simple internet search. If I plan my shopping trips ahead of time, I can set aside some time to search for available discounts on what I need and the savings really add up.
This all may seem overwhelming and too hard to manage, but when I’m in a tight financial situation, it really helps to set up a budget. A budget helps me to not only decide what’s most important and what expenses can be cut, but it also gives me the peace of mind in knowing that if I stay on track, I will finish the month without financial worries.
I hear many people talk about success only in terms of money, but I believe that I cannot truly be successful if I do not pursue my dreams and strive to achieve what I am passionate about. Although money is certainly a variable in choosing a career, it’s important to remember that importance must be given to the satisfaction that is gained by making a positive difference in some way. As the saying goes, “Hate your job and spend the rest of your life working, or love your career and never work a day in your life.”
From coupons to budgets to following your passion, there is a lot to keep in mind, but whatever path you choose to pursue, utilize all your resources, stay focused and always follow your dreams.
Tyler Zirkle is a full-time high school student, part-time college student and also works a part-time job. Though his life has been anything but easy, he is determined to make all of his dreams come true.