This is Austin. It’s been a while since I’ve acted on the show, and a lot has happened in the last couple years. I’ve grown up! I’m 21 years old! I’ve graduated from high school, moved out of my parents’ house, and gone through three years of college at The University of Washington. I’ve even figured out that I want to be a film director, and I’m taking steps to achieve my dream. Anyway, I thought it would be kind of fun to tell you how I’m really starting to take control of my financial future. Since the beginning of summer I’ve been working as an administrative assistant at UWTV, UW’s television station. Basically, I do office work, filing and whatnot. I also produce video-stories for “UW 360,” one of our station’s television shows. Looking back I’ve come to realize that for the first time in my life, I’m working a “real job.”
Not that acting on Biz Kid$ wasn’t a good job. It was an amazing job! It was any high-schooler’s dream, I got paid to act on television! I also got free lunch every day on set (and let’s be honest, I was doing it for the free Thai food). Working on Biz Kid$ was life changing, but it wasn’t like working a job as an adult… Wow, it’s weird to say that: I’m an adult now. And as an adult, I’ve discovered that handling your finances and working a job is completely different than when you’re a kid. There are two big differences. Let me explain.
First, what’s the biggest thing you notice when working as an adult? The answer is that you have no parents. I mean, your parents are probably fine, but they will not be as involved in your life anymore. I live at school, and I’ll go for weeks at a time without seeing them. Some of my friends even go months! Having no parents around means that I have to do a lot of financial stuff on my own. Here’s a short list:
-Setting a budget
-Paying for housing / utilities
-Paying for college tuition (this is a big one)
-Finding a job
-Saving all my banking information
This looks like a lot, but I’m lucky enough to be a Biz Kid. When I worked on the show I learned a lot about this stuff, and got a solid grasp on how to manage it all. Although I knew about this as a kid I lived at home, and my parents were kind enough to actually manage it for me. When I moved out and started doing these things myself, I learned that there is a big difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it. For example, even a task as simple as depositing a check becomes more complicated when you do it by yourself for the first time. I spent hours trying to set up a way to scan checks with my phone so I wouldn’t have to bus down to my bank.
My parents still help me with some of these things. They’re also paying for a lot of my college tuition. Some students have to do that all by themselves. Regardless, their financial wisdom is a lot less accessible than it used to be and I’ve gotten to be much more independent. Growing up, at least in my case, has meant learning the difference between knowing and doing.
This is part one of a two-part series. Check back on Thursday for part two of our catch-up with Austin!