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2023 Second-Half Scholarship winner

The winner

Congratulations to our 2023 Second-Half Scholarship winner, Brooke Turpin! Check out her winning response below.

Thank you to all those who submitted entries!

Our scholarship essay prompt

What are your financial goals? How have you set yourself set up to achieve them and what do you do to stay on track?

Brooke’s response

Sydney Robertson

“This is an easy process, just sign here and you will be the proud new owner of a car”, said the mechanic. I finally achieved my first financial goal. Yes, it may be a cliche, but I’ve always wanted my own vehicle. Due to my diligent planning and saving I now own a car. Buying a car was not my only financial goal. I also want to save and invest.
Buying a car is no easy feat. Working a minimum-wage, part-time job around a busy university schedule means I have to demonstrate restraint and determination when it comes to my finances. Luckily, I was always taught good saving habits and budgeting techniques when I was young. I avoid unneeded purchases and try to buy on sale where possible. Though, I still allot myself a little bit of guilt-free spending money. Over the course of about two years, I was able to save up enough money (with the help of a small loan from my mother) to purchase my first used vehicle. Now that it’s bought, the planning doesn’t stop there. I still need to budget my money so I can afford gas and insurance every month. To do this, I keep a well-documented budget of my income, expenses, and savings.
As mentioned before, saving is not easy. With the rising cost of living and temptations all around, it’s easy for money to get away from you. Just a $4 coffee every morning adds up to about $120 a month or $1440 a year. Yikes. I avoid these costs by practising restraint. I know what I need and what I don’t, and keeping to these principles allows me to save money. Especially with a car, unexpected expenses arise. I want to have the savings to overcome these challenges. I also set a saving goal each month. This strategy is great as I know I’m going to spend more money some months, like in December, and less in others. Knowing where every dollar of my paychecks is going, I have a better understanding of my financial habits. This helps me work towards fostering new ones.
A new financial goal I have is to start investing. I can’t do this yet, as I am not old enough in my province, but it is something I’m interested in. Last year, I took an Investment and Finance course at my high school and learned many important financial tips. One of my biggest take-aways from that class was how important investing can be. Many people are scared away from investing because it seems big and scary, but it can be broken down into simple concepts that everyone can understand.

I learned that the biggest factor contributing to investing success is time. The longer the money sits in the account, the more profit it’s going to make. This is why my goal, when I am old enough, is to invest just $5 to $10 each month. It may not seem like a lot of money, but as I get older and gain higher paying jobs, I will invest higher amounts, and this will accumulate over the years.
Recently, I achieved one of my first financial goals: to purchase a car. I will continue to practise good financial habits to maintain this goal, and work towards saving up for unexpected expenses and investing when I’m eligible. To keep myself on track I maintain a monthly budget, practise restraint when it comes to spending, and allot myself some guilt-free spending money. I have learned that achieving my financial goals takes time, patience, and good spending habits.

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