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Saving and Investing at a Young Age

Hello from the east coast. My name is Niya Villanueva and I am part of the Expressive Leaders Program at The Practice Space. This post is about saving and investing at a young age, and being free of debt as we grow. I hope that after you read this, you will be inspired to start saving and investing ( with help from an adult) and find some ways to make money. 

I am in sixth grade. I used to live in California and I moved to Connecticut in early 2021.  I like swimming and online gaming. My family and I like to travel and explore other places.  I am an Expressive Leader because I would like to help other people learn things that they do not teach in school. One topic that interests me the most is saving and investing at a young age. Schools do not teach young children like me on how to save for the future. My parents always inspire me to save money so I will not be in debt when I grow up. 

My project is about saving and investing by opening a custodial account with help from our parents or an adult. I chose this topic because whenever I hear adults talk about their loans, I always wonder why they are always paying so much debt.  They always talk about student loans, car loans, mortgage, and credit card debts. Even my parents have these debts and I see them struggle paying each month.  I was inspired to talk about this topic because I don’t want our generation to continue this “tradition”. 

Kids under 18 years old cannot open a bank account without the help of an adult. The investment/savings account for kids is called custodial accounts. With custodial accounts, we can invest our money in stocks, bonds, and index funds. 

This issue is important because a lot of people do not know how to start saving and investing. Part of my topic is to guide on how to invest in index funds like how my parents do it for me. 

As part of my project I will show how to open custodial accounts and give ideas on how to save and earn money. To start this project, we need to figure out where and how to earn money so we have something to save. Next, we need to ask an adult (or our parents) to help us open a custodial account. 

I have some ideas for earning money.  Some of them are selling items that are not needed around the house. If you know how to bake, you can sell some food like cookies or bread. We can also ask our families and friends to give us monetary gifts on our birthdays and Christmas instead of giving us wrapped toys. 

One of the challenges I had is that some kids we know have parents who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.  It is hard for them to save money.  That is why, as kids, we have to be more creative to help our parents.  We can sell lemonade on a hot day or bake cookies to sell to neighbors.  

One surprising thing I have learned is that the government gave out stimulus packages to people who make under $75,000.00 a year.  Each kid gets $1400.  That is a lot of money.  I think that saving 10% of $1400, which is $140, is a very good start to open a custodial account.

As a result of this project, I hope that when kids and parents are done reading this blog, they will be inspired to open  a custodial account and start saving. My project will be successful if the kids reading this blog will start thinking of ways to earn money and convince their parents to open a custodial account for them. 

For more information on custodial accounts, go to https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/custodialaccount.asp and https://www.schwab.com/custodial-account.  It only takes 10 minutes to open a custodial account.  My parents used this link to open one for me.  https://enroll.schwab.com/AoUI/#/getStarted

Thanks for reading!

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