Resources / Money Matters

June 2024 1st Financial Bank USA Financial Goals Scholarship® Winner: Holt F.


We are excited to announce the June 2024 Financial Goals Scholarship winner is Holt! Congratulations!

"My primary goal financially, at this stage in life, is to learn to manage my money with good character and establish a healthy financial lifestyle so that I can live contentedly within my means, contribute to my local economy, and give graciously." - Holt F.

Holt explores how managing finances with integrity and intentionality can help achieve personal and community goals. He reflects on his experiences and aspirations, aiming to develop a strong financial character that supports his academic success, contributes to his local economy, and enables him to give back generously.

"My parents have always taught me that my character is more important than any material possession or worldly success.  My grades were important, but not if I had to cheat or plagiarize to get them. Friends were important but only if they were friendships formed out of loyalty and not superficiality. Athletic success was celebrated, but only when it was hard-earned and gracious, not achieved through dishonesty or with bad sportsmanship. I point to these things to say that my financial goals are more related to my overall financial character. My primary goal financially, at this stage in life, is to learn to manage my money with good character and establish a healthy financial lifestyle so that I can live contentedly within my means, contribute to my local economy, and give graciously.

I see so many of my friends get immediate gratification of their wants.  I admit it is a struggle to want something and quell the urge to buy it or sign up for it immediately.  We have grown up in the Venmo age. We purchase things with the click of a button, swipe of a card, or scanning our phone.  It is pretty easy to lose track of what money really is and means. I think a primary cause of financial insecurity comes from urgency of spending, rather than careful planning, and from lack of appreciation of money itself. Preparing for college has helped me appreciate how those quick clicks and purchases add up.  I have had to look at my tuition for the coming year and my bank account more carefully and realize that some of those “wants” have made my long-term goals less stable.  I hope that I can take a closer look at my needs and wants and what will really foster a sense of contentment.  I have already benefited from this “taking stock” of what my means are in light of my financial responsibilities this next year.  It has helped me plan and manage how the money I earn is spent. 

Part of my financial character also involves contributing to my local economy. It is tempting to want to hop online and find the best and least expensive options, especially when you are “getting by” financially. I have found that when I manage my money better, I have more freedom to make better purchases that benefit people I know locally and are usually better made. I want to manage my finances in a way that allows me more purchasing freedom to benefit the most people.

Lastly, I want my financial health to allow me to give back graciously.  I don’t merely want to give what is leftover but prioritize giving. Establishing good financial character means planning to give philanthropically and intentionally to do the most good. Establishing good financial character is important so that I can do the most good with what I have. I plan to achieve this goal, by intentionally looking at my financial health and measuring it against these guideposts."

*The Financial Goals Scholarship is sponsored by 1st Financial Bank USA® (1FBUSA). Established in the year 1910, 1FBUSA provides quality community banking services in South Dakota, credit card and other financial services to college students and college graduates, and construction lending to builders, developers, and investors from coast to coast. 1FBUSA will award a $2,000 scholarship to a new winner each month through the end of 2024. View full rules and eligibility at CollegeData®, a free online college advisory service, has been provided by 1FBUSA for over 25 years.

Link to Financial Goals Scholarship Entry


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