Why You Should Get Good Grades, Even Though 2 Chainz Didn’t

I actually just lied to you in that title. Tauheed Epps, aka “2 Chainz”, aka “Tity Boi”, was the salutatorian of his high school class and went on to get a 4.0 GPA from Alabama State University. So I guess all the baby boomers who complain about the stupidity of modern music were valedictorians!

OK, are all of the adults gone? Good! This article is geared towards young people anyway. And I’m sure that like me, you want to be the next Kanye West or Jay-Z. Or am I the only one who wants to be a famous rapper?

Whether you want to become a performer and have millions of fans, or go to medical school so that you can perform life-saving procedures on others, you want to try to get the best grades you can. Even though many people end up being successful without a traditional education or a top GPA, getting good grades gives you more opportunities to make money and life a happy life, compared to those who are less educated.

The main goal of an education is to gain knowledge. And with knowledge comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes money. A basic education provides you with a strong base to develop business ideas. While school may not be fun, it trains you to analyse and synthesize information, which will be extremely helpful in your future endeavours.

Furthermore, to be successful in business, you must constantly teach yourself about investing, industry, and other fields of practical and intellectual value. People become rich because they know things that most people don’t. If you devote a significant amount of time to teaching yourself, and understanding concepts that most people can’t grasp, you will eventually have a breakthrough idea for an innovation or business.

Some people become wealthy without an education. A lot more become wealthy with an education. If you want to be not only financially successful, but also live an intellectually fulfilling life, stay in school and try your best, no matter how boring it is!




Get a Job! Not just any Job, though

Exams may be over, but that doesn’t mean I can take a break! There’s nothing like getting up early on a Sunday to clean Tennis courts in 20-degree Fahrenheit weather. Luckily, I get to spend part two of my Sunday shift sitting at a nice, cozy desk writing this article.

And you know what makes this gig even sweeter? I’m getting paid to sit at this desk and do nothing for 75% of the time! Sure, I need to help customers for a few minutes whenever they come into the shop, but outside of that, I’m making money while growing this blog. It’s very time efficient, and if you can find a job where you get paid to sit around, I would highly recommend it.

However, a job like mine is hard to come by. That’s why I am going to tell you about my second job! Outside of working on Sundays, I also teach Tennis to young players at a rate of $20 an hour, or about 2.5x the minimum wage here in Florida. While it’s not possible to book a full 40-hour workweek, I can control my schedule and work when I want to, and make a heck of a lot more than most kids my age.

“But Andrew, I have no idea how to play Tennis, or any sport for that matter! Will I be poor for eternity, or at least until I get a college degree?”.

Well, you don’t necessarily need to teach a sport if you want to have a great first job. Do you have a subject in school that you are good at, or at least have a B in? You should consider tutoring middle or elementary school students in that subject! With professional tutors ranging from $60 an hour to several hundred dollars an hour in places like NYC and San Francisco, $20 an hour (or even more in some cases) will seem like a steal to most parents!

Other ideal jobs include anything that involves sitting at a desk, whether as a clerk or a library attendant, that allow you to work on other projects, such as your homework, when you are not helping a customer or maintaining the facility. You want to find a job that puts you at a desk or reception area just so your employer has someone there, not involving any lengthy periods of work.

Many teens can easily get a job working at a local store or restaurant stocking shelves or cleaning dishes, and while I do believe there is value in menial labor, it’s not very efficient to take such a time consuming job when you already have 40-50 hours of school work! I implore you to seek out more time efficient ways to make money, and leave a comment if you have any other ideas on how to make money on a tight schedule.


Setting Financial Goals as a Teenager

One of the most difficult things to tell a teenager is to save their money. One of the most difficult things to tell myself is to save my money! Why put my checks in the bank when Starbucks and Chick-Fil-A are only 5 minutes from my house? However, as painful as it may seem, one of the best times to save during your life is when you are a teenager.

Reasons why you need to save your money NOW!!!

  1. You have parents or a parent that will feed, clothe, and shelter you until you are 18, and even afterwards if you’re lucky or just too lazy to leave the house. All of your money can go towards savings if you so desire
  2. There is no downside to any experiments in investing. You can buy stocks and learn what works and what doesn’t work without dealing with the consequence of not having enough money to cover bills/rent
  3. If you want to be a little more conservative, you can invest in Bonds and CDs and get an extra cash infusion a few years down the road
  4. You can minimize your college debt, or have a little extra spending money if you get a scholarship or have generous parents
  5. You start learning good money habits that can only be helpful down the road

As you can see, there are many good reasons to start saving money from a young age. In my opinion, #5 is the most important reason. If you start with $1,000 in savings, that can grow to $10,000 in your first few years out of college, $100,000 within the decade, and even $1,000,000 by your 40s… I don’t know about you, but I sure wouldn’t mind being a millionaire!

For many teenagers, getting a first job is a rite of passage, and holding that first paycheck in your hands can be exciting and even overwhelming. But saving even a small portion of that check can prepare you for the future and help you save for all big-ticket items your teen heart desires, such as this $379.95 pair of Beats Studio Headphones. So start saving now, and enjoy the benefits in both the near future and the far future!


Welcome to 17tofinanciallyfree!

The first thing I must admit is that I am starting this website in the middle of my high school midterms as a way to distract myself. Procrastination at it’s finest.

However, I am not just some kid who has no idea what he is doing, trying to tell strangers online how to manage their money. I have extensively read the work of many financial experts, from the 1996 hit “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley to the modern blogs “Mr. Money Mustache” and “Financial Samurai”. My goal is to draw the core lessons from these various sources and explain their practical applications to people just starting out on their journey to financial freedom.

I will also be posting lessons from my personal life and my own journey to financial freedom. While there is no clear path for me at this point, considering that I am still in high school, there are still choices that people my age and older can make to start preparing for not only a secure retirement but also big ticket purchases such as a vacation or a down payment on a home (or my friend’s old Chevy that I so desire!).

As time goes on, I will continue to get more specific about what I will be posting, and explain my own financial goals, tips, and tricks in detail. Until then, happy saving!