How Online Learning Ted Talk

Learn how you can create your own TED Talk with online learning, thanks to Michael Williams and Suzy Ohlman, speakers at the 2nd annual TEDx Unexpected at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

How Online Learning Ted Talk

We all love to borrow money from our parents and send them home with our best iPhone case or bag of M&Ms. That’s such a crummy thing to do, but we all do it. So if we’re going to make any money to support our college educations, here’s a little reminder: our parents paid for it.

And that’s why I give so much money to my parents. I put it in an account for them to touch. In return, they help me pay for my school by saving it in my thrift store kids’ savings account, which I pay for with my aunts’ cards.

But I’ve also tried to grow my own money. My dream has always been to open a shop that buys and sells secondhand things. But, like, not a Gap or Banana Republic or, like, H&M-type store. I mean something with cute graphics, a hip aesthetic and incredible inventory. I started an online shop called Birchbox at age 16. I’m in college. I bought my first house at age 22. I’m just three years removed from my sophomore year in college and I’m moving into my first condo. How the heck is the amount of money I’ve saved sinking in my pocket all this time?

If you’re a new online student, you might start with an online schooling loan — one available to all students but specifically meant for new undergraduates. My husband and I also took out our first credit card, a debit card and a PayPal account. When we’re ready to raise our family, a small savings fund or “personal funds” as we’ve termed it, could become “forced savings.” In other words, we might have to refrain from dining out or even going to the movies during this five-year period. We might have to come up with a little extra cash for those memorable moments that we can’t wait to tell our children — because those experiences can’t just be scraped out of the “fun money” drawer, thank you very much.

I’ve recently been thinking about this Kickstarter project, “A.H. Habib: Building a Panopticon. Amazing how much it takes to get the answers you’re looking for, but how quickly the answers themselves evaporate, as well.”

A colleague of mine is working on that class, and we’ll see what they come up with. But you never know! This is probably a good time to start saving. We were, for a time, interested in a wedding dress, and you never know how far you can go on budget shopping and keeping track of your receipts. We looked into a big-box shoe store but opted for a women’s size 8 at a local boutique. We were thinking of doing some skeet shooting on a regular basis but eventually realized we didn’t have the money to put into a gun, or spend thousands to learn how to use one properly. I’ve managed my budget this way for awhile, just buying things I want when they get cheap enough, but this was the first time I’d ever managed to do it with money. It could be the beginning of something huge.

There’s no way to know how much you’ll need — and how long it will take — to grow your own money. You could start small by mowing your own lawn and putting 20 bucks on the wager. Or, you could open a savings account and promise to bring home $50 after each pay period. The only thing you can do is figure out what works for you, because if you don’t have a plan, you might as well keep plunking it in your piggy bank.

However you approach this, the more confident you are in it, the more comfortable you’ll feel and the better you’ll handle it, whether it’s your weekly grocery store run, or weekly doughnut run. You’ll be less tempted to buy those pepperoni subs for every lunch with friends.

Remember, everything you need to take control of your finances is right there in front of you. No need to take out a loan to start saving, though. Start by paying yourself first by saving what you can every week and earmarking the money to your big goal. And don’t be shy about asking for help. If you’re not good at budgeting and you want to learn more, enlist the help of a certified financial planner. They’re going to be the people who get you there.

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