JOHNSTON, Iowa -- Who doesn’t want to save more money this year? No one. Improving your financial situation is a common goal for many as they enter the New Year but it’s also one of the hardest.
We tracked down some good resources to help you push through 2017. We found them at an unlikely place too, East High School in Des Moines.
“Be smart about it,” said East High student Paige Sensouk.
Paige gets it and she’s only 15, she must have pretty good teachers at school.
“We had to do some budgeting things just to save money,” said Sensouk.
She is talking about a new program at East High. Students partner with a local non-profit, Iowa Legal Aid, to prepare them for adulthood. They do simulations on common things adult face every day, like proper healthcare and housing. The common theme throughout is, how to be smart with your money.
“Saving now, can definitely help in the long run,” said Paige.
That is valuable lesson. If someone can teach high schoolers such a big lesson, maybe they could pass down a few tips for adults who want to be better with money.
This is where Dennis Markway comes in. He was the financial adviser that taught Paige the money saving lesson. We went out to his office in Johnston and asked how we could be better in 2017 with money. He says if you follow three steps you’ll have a better year and it all starts with knowing what you want.
“Whether it’s saving up for a down payment on your first house, or getting an emergency fund built up. Or starting to save in your 401k at work,” said Markway. “Those are all big wonderful things that you can start in small moderate ways, that won’t hurt too much.”
Step two in Dennis’ adult money lesson is start saving now.
“Great examples I’ve had over my career are people who thought it was too late,” said Markway. “But they got started. The little thing became big things as time was moving on.”
The last and final step in his lesson plan is starting small.
“A lot of people think that the $10, $20 or $25 you save isn’t going to amount to much over time,” said Markway. “I’ve seen over my career, when people do those little things consistently over time, those little things become big things.”