Written By Isabella Ocasio
In America, we are graciously given the right to free public education. No matter how many bad days we have at school, or how many failing test scores we get, we must be thankful for this liberty, because millions of children around the globe have never attended any school.
Students in America are able to learn a diverse set of subjects, from the branches of science, to complex mathematics, to history all around the world, to writing and literature, and more. Here at Polytech, students are given even more options, varying from art and design to mechanics and engineering. And despite all this – despite all the vast knowledge students learn – they do not learn the most important subject they could: how to survive in the real world. For example, why are students taught how to graph quadratic equations over being taught how to buy or rent a house? Why are students told that the mitochondrion is the powerhouse of the cell, yet they are never told what taxes, mortgages, or bills entail?
Ultimately, I inquired a number of random Suncoast Polytech students and asked them: “What is one thing you wish schools taught, but don’t?” Below is a discussion of one of the answers I got: “How does banking work?”
Once you earn a job and begin to work stable hours, having somewhere to put your money is enormously important! How often you get paid varies from job to job, but once you get your regular check – or cash, if you’re paid “under the table” – you can deposit this money in different types of bank accounts that you must open with your bank. If you are under 18, your parent must help you through this process. The two most important types of bank accounts are a “savings account” and a “checking account.”
In a savings account, you can deposit and withdraw money as needed. It is best to place money you do not plan on spending soon here, especially since there is a federal limit on the withdraws you can make. For depositing money in your savings, you earn a small amount of interest (meaning more money). Lastly, if your bank ever shuts down, moves locations, catches on fire, or explodes, all the money in your savings account will be safe. If some emergency happens, you will not lose any of the money in your savings, so be sure to store lots of money in here, just in case!
If you are given money you plan on spending soon, then it is best to put it in your checking account. With a checking account, you can make payments with a debit card, write checks, make online purchases, and pay online bills. Again, a checking account is best for immediate payments
But wait, what exactly is a debit card? When you use a debit card to make a purchase, the cost of the purchase is drawn directly from your checking account. So, if you buy some groceries for $30, then $30 is taken out from your checking account. Stores will give you a receipt to sign when you use your debit card. You will have to write the total and your signature, and you can write a tip if you’d like.
These are very basic foundations of any bank account. Having a savings or checking account aren’t even necessary. There is still a whole other world of banking that hasn’t even been discussed yet: loans. However, there’s only so many words one can put in an article before a student’s attention leaves this mortal realm.
Renegades – stay tuned for the next issue of After-School Survival to learn more about life after graduation!