I am excited to introduce Victoria Kistler to you today! Tori is an incredible young woman who has a passion for personal finance which began for her as a child. At only 15 she wrote a speech about the dangers of student loan debt and how a young person can avoid making huge mistakes with their money. Throughout the post you will see some blocked out quotes – all from Tori’s speech.
We need to get control of our spending, which really means taking personal responsibility for our choices. Consumers are inundated with advertisements of the latest and greatest stuff others con us into thinking we must have. But, if we are going to develop good spending habits, we must make our decisions based on facts, not emotions.
Tori and I met through a mutual friend who told her about TeensGotCents. We made arrangements to meet at a speech and debate tournament where she was giving her speech and I actually got to go in with her and hear her! It was so much fun to meet someone who is concerned about teens and their financial future. It’s just nice to know there are other
nerds awesome people out there who are passionate about some of the same things! At the tournament Tori did extremely well and advanced to the regional tournament with her money speech! I know that you will enjoy getting to know Tori a little better – I wish you could hear her give her speech!
Me: Hey Tori! Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Tori: I am a 16 year old home schooler. I enjoy doing ANY kind of craft project. I love decorative cooking. I am what you might call a ‘dabbler’. I am also working really hard on getting a book finished so that I can publish it. I have written for a while but the reality of being able to be published has really spurred me on to finish it.
Me: How did you get involved in competitive speech and debate?
Tori: My brother started speech two years ago and he loved it so much that the next year I was “forced to do it.” I was super nervous the first few weeks. I shook the whole first day. 🙂 I have loved every minute of it, and I can’t imagine my life without it.
Me: Why did you decide to write a speech about personal finance and how teens should handle their money?
Tori: I have always been very careful with my money. I saved up and bought an American Girl Doll at age 5 (if that says anything). I suppose the reason I wanted to write a speech about teens and their finances was because I have watched so many people be so careless with their money and then get in big trouble. And the thing was, they didn’t know better. Most parents don’t drill into their kids from an early age that they need to be careful with their money and make wise choices. I wanted to tell teens how to be carful with their money and show how EXTREMELY important it is for them to make wise choices with their money. Habits they develop now will be hard to break later and it is harder to learn how to have more control over your money when you are twenty because you haven’t had to before.
The envelope system works well for me because I have purposeful goals for my money. Since I have a small income right now, I have to be very specific about where each dollar goes. It also reminds me that I can’t have everything I want.
Me: What did people think about the speech? How was it received?
Tori: Everyone seemed to really like my speech. Some were impressed by a 15 year old speaking on such a “grown up” subject. I had several judges who said that they learned new things from it. All around it was well received.
Me: Have you had the opportunity to give your speech in the community or has it only been in competitive settings?
Tori: I have given my speech for another group of home schoolers (in addition to NCFCA) and I hope to have the opportunity to again.
Me: What system do you use to manage your own money?
Tori: I use the envelope system to manage my money. It works really well for me because most of my savings are long term, and it is also nice to be able to write things down on the envelopes. I do also use my bank account as a “super” envelope, and that is my car “envelope”.
Me: How do you earn extra money? Do you have a job or a business?
Tori: I don’t really have a “job” at least I do not have an employer. I watch kids once a week during the school year. Last year my brother and I took care of our neighbors dogs, letting them out and such. I have one piano student that I teach. Mostly I make money from crafts that I make and sell. We have a big “craft” fair once a year in my town and I go out sell things there. I have mowed lawns with my dad and brother. I am hoping that if I do get my book published that will also be another source of income. Like I said, I am a dabbler so I take every opportunity I get to make money.
Me: What are your plans for the future regarding college/not college and how do you hope to prepare for your future financially?
Tori: As far as college goes, for now I am planning on dual enrolling, and then getting my AS in diagnostic sonography. I am hoping to work while going to school and also find some scholarship money too. I don’t know exactly how that is all going to work out yet, but I am working on it.
Saving money is not about how much you earn, but the choices you make with the money you have. Saving must be intentional.
Tori is carefully considering how her decisions now will impact her financial future. She is purposeful in her choices and is already saving her money diligently. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to meet Tori and get to know her a little bit!