What high school me didn’t know about money and life

Dear high school Cody,

While it might not seem super exciting, your new job at Wendy’s is actually a great opportunity for so many reasons. The money you make, even though it’s just minimum wage, will be nice for starters. You’ll learn valuable life skills (believe it or not), and learn to work hard and have fun at the same time. You’ll get invaluable practice with Spanish that will serve you well in the future. But there are some things you might not understand yet, and you’ll just have to trust me.

Look at that… strapping young lad. He looks excited to start his first job!

Start saving for college now.

Cody in the fjords of Norway!

Yes, your parents have been kind enough to save some money up for your education, and that will be a huge help. And yes, you can get scholarships too. But college is expensive – and you’ll pick an EXPENSIVE school. Start saving now so you can stay out of debt and work your way through school with the same excitement you have now! Plus, you’re going to want to travel, and that costs extra! Save now, and pay for it all with cash.

Right now, your expenses are low – gas, entertainment, and that’s about it. Take advantage of this time and use the extra money you’ll earn to save. Especially over the summer – those 40 hour work weeks add up to a good chunk of change! Don’t blow it on Chipotle trips or fancy dinners with your girlfriend. It’s not worth the hassle, just trust me!

Learn to budget.

I know, you’re a math nerd and you like to save money. But the skill of budgeting and living by that budget is so invaluable. Take the time now to get used to budgeting expenses ahead of time, and spending within the limits you decide! It’s a discipline that will serve you so well, especially as you get older and are responsible for all the expenses in your life.

Keep up your work ethic.

One of Cody’s many college jobs – running tech for the theatre!

You are a hard worker, and you enjoy learning new things. Keep growing and working hard, because it’s going to set you up for bigger and better things in the future. Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the journey as well, of course. The work and saving you do now is just the beginning, and remember that the end will be worth the wait too! Save up and be thoughtful with your time and money, and don’t get too caught up in the little distractions.

Just trust God.

Sometimes, you get a little too focused on what you want for yourself. You aren’t really a planner, but once you have something in your sights, you really work towards it. This is a great skill for sure, but can also make life and faith harder. Take a step back from YOUR plans and listen to God. Spend time talking to him and working on your relationship with him, and use that to guide your life. It will be so much smoother if you just trust His plan now!