Financial Literacy: Our Interview with Camille Carter

It’s Important For Young People to Build For Their Financial Future

by Adaeze Okoli, age 18

Along with several other Free Press reporters, and I recently had the opportunity to sit down and interview MetLife Financial Planner, Camille Carter. As a financial planner with over 13 years of experience, Carter has a lot of knowledge about finances. We discussed financial literacy and she shared a lot of interesting information with us. 

   Her number one piece of advice for building wealth is to pay yourself first. Often times in our consumer society, we are quick to spend our money on the newest clothes, shoes, and video games. This means we often forget to save some of our money. Even as a middle or high school student with a part-time job, saving a percentage of each pay check or your allowance can put you on the road to amassing wealth.

   During our conversation Carter also noted that discipline plays a major role in building wealth. It can be difficult to save money, especially as a student with little or no income. When you’re just starting out, it doesn’t seem like your savings build up very fast. But, as the years go by, you will be amazed at how powerful saving can be. Carter also shared with us some tips about how college-bound students can succeed financially. 

1. Be disciplined with your money. College students tend not to have a steady income, so it is important to be frugal with the money you have.

2. Save if you can. Carter recalled how difficult it can be to save money while in school, but she emphasized that every dollar counts.

3. Avoid the misuse of a credit card. If you don’t have a job, using a credit card can ruin your credit. “Don’t get a credit card unless you have a job.” Credit cards can have high interest rates, and you may end up paying a lot of money in interest later on. Carter suggests using a debit card instead.

Although college may seem like a long way off, beginning to save as a high school student or even a middle school student, will put you on the road to building wealth. Not only that, but as Carter reminded us several times, developing good financial habits is very important. Getting in the habit of being smart about your finances will pay off in the long run.

We really enjoyed talking with Camille Carter. We talk a lot around the Free Press about financial literacy, avoiding debt and the importance of saving wisely. It is an important part of preparing for college. Our discussion with Camille Carter was inspiring and we think all young people should take these tips to heart.