A person’s success doesn’t solely depend on their academic achievements. It also hinges on their financial literacy. Professionals who cannot effectively manage their money may struggle to live a comfortable life, no matter how substantial their paychecks may be.
High Rise Financial chooses to offer its Financial Education PSA Scholarship to students who display a gift for financial management. We hope that the students who receive this scholarship will go on to encourage financial literacy in their peers. At the start of the 2022-2023 school year, we are pleased to award this scholarship to Shenran Chen at UCLA.
Contending With Modern-Day Debt
To qualify for the High Rise Financial Education PSA Scholarship, Shenran had to submit an academic transcript and proof of enrollment at an accredited United States university. Most importantly, she had to draft a 500-word PSA on financial literacy.
This essay was Shenran’s primary opportunity to stand out from other applicants, and she more than met the bill.
Shenren’s essay on financial literacy begins with a brief assessment of the debts that today’s students are often forced to contend with. In acknowledgment of the expenses that tend to come with higher education, Shenren encourages her fellow students to forgo expensive Chipotle bowls in favor of long-term savings.
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The Importance of a Consistent Budget
Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to budgeting for today’s economy. Shenran emphasizes the need to realistically assess one’s financial standing before establishing a household budget. Specifically, she recommends:
- Calculating your post-taxes income to establish your liquid assets
- Tracking your monthly spending
- Establishing your essential expenses versus your leisure costs
- Establishing short and long-term financial goals
- Comparing your spending habits against those goals and analyzing your results
The analysis you conduct on your spending habits can, according to Shenran, provide you with a path toward consistent financial change. Reducing your leisure spending and working toward a specific ambition can make it easier for households to effectively manage their finances.
That said, Shenran also acknowledges the role that emergencies can play in a person’s regular financial management. She encourages budgeters to plan around these possible expenses. High Rise Financial agrees with Shenran’s call for risk assessment, as the group consistently offers risk-free loans to survivors contending with the aftermath of unexpected emergencies.
A Budget as a Means to a Goal
Shenran emphasizes that a budget shouldn’t only be seen as a force that confines a person’s finances. Instead, a budget allows individuals to achieve their long and short-term goals. When you can see a budget as a means to an end, it gets easier, she says, to avoid unwarranted spending.
Reframing the lens through which budgeting is often viewed can help students and adults better understand how to manage their finances. By establishing goals during the budgeting phase, all parties can motivate themselves to avoid the little habits that might otherwise destabilize their finances.
Finding Space Between Wants and Needs
Successful budgeting doesn’t require a person to deny themselves the occasional leisure item or fast food dinner. Rather, Shenran’s essay recommends against spending in excess. She recognizes how easy it can be to fall off the financial wagon, especially in the face of stress and supposed convenience.
Shenran doesn’t shame a person for spending money on life’s little pleasures, either. Instead, she encourages anyone new to personal finance to factor treats into the budget they create. This way, there’s room in a budget for people to enjoy themselves, even while they’re busy chasing their financial goals.
Drawing Inspiration From Personal Experience
When asked what inspired her to write on the need to stick to a meticulous budget, Shenren describes her high school experience with personal finance.
Shenran participated in the California personal finance challenge throughout her junior and senior high school years. The challenge encouraged her to develop a better understanding of her personal spending habits. Her participation helped her go into her first year at UCLA with a more comprehensive understanding of her living expenses than the average college student.
What’s more, Shenran discusses her mom’s hard work as an example of how consistent self-discipline can improve a person’s life. Her mother’s belief in Shenran’s potential, paired with her optimism and curiosity, both serve as driving forces behind Shenran’s quest for financial literacy.
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Shenran Chen’s Next Steps
At the moment, Shenran is pursuing computer science and engineering degrees at UCLA. She intends to major in Chinese or business before she graduates. In her free time, she tutors disadvantaged children at her local community center. She’s also involved in Gen-Up, a program that empowers students to make their voices heard in town halls.
Upon her graduation, Shenran hopes to become a project manager in the tech world. She discusses the continued need for women’s voices in the world of STEM. Shenran cites the High Rise Financial PSA Scholarship as one of the forces that may one day help her make a name for herself within this field.
Start Drafting Your High Rise Financial PSA Scholarship Application Today
High Rise Financial wants today’s youth to learn how to become more financially literate as they complete their college degrees. WIth that goal in mind, the group awards high-achieving students $1,500 in financial support for the school year. At the start of the 2022-2023 academic year, we are pleased to offer our financial support to Shenran Chen.
We congratulate Shenran on her persuasive essay on budgeting and wish her the best of luck throughout the coming academic year. Future scholarship applicants can consider the Financial Education PSA Scholarship terms and conditions on our website before next year’s deadline.