2016 Spokester Search: Jalen B.

Jalen is a 21-year-old from Livonia

Jalen's Situation

Hey Young & Free Michigan, my name is Jalen Bartlett. I’m a proud Alumni of Specs Howard School of Media Arts, and studied in the DMA program for Digital Media. Along with my passion for videography and innovation, I’ve realized I love helping others. So, I created a passion project called Tribe Passions which hosts events for people with similar interests to come together, share knowledge, and be a part of something bigger.

While talking with my peers, I noticed most people approach the topic of money with a “wing it” attitude, instead of having a prepared plan. This sparked my interest, and I began educating myself in the world of finance. Concepts such as saving and budgeting became more than just words, but a lifestyle.

Jalen's Blog Post

Five Ways to Save Money For a Michigan Vacation 

What is something you and I both need but can’t afford? That’s right you guessed it, a vacation! So, I’m going to let you guys into the VOS (The Vault of Secrets) on the top 5 innovative ways to save money for a great vacation.

Big Spenders Are Big Savers 

Ironic, right!? I call it the Reciprocating Rule, a creative budgeting plan that allows you to save what you spend. Say you just have to buy that new gorgeous $55 swimsuit for your vacation. I have good news, you can! With the Reciprocating Rule you must set another $55 aside to save. If you can not afford to spend and save $55, then you will have to pass on the swimsuit. Adding other things like food or your weekend fun into the mix will really help your savings bloom. 

Don’t Eat Your Vacation Away 

Many of us say “I don’t buy much”, but at the end of the day, I’m broke! I'll let you in on a secret. We eat out, a lot! On average, Americans spend upwards of hundreds of dollars each month eating out. We’re out with friends and spend $7 on a burrito. Then we come home and realize there's no food, so we order pizza for $20. This adds up fast, and it drains your wallet. The best way to control this is to track it. The more you realize how much money you’re wasting, the more likely you will resist the temptation of eating out.

Trix Are For Kids, Not Piggy Banks 

Piggy banks! The good ol days of Mr. Pigs or whatever container you had for saving your sliver. My family and I recently did an experiment to see how much spare change we could save. Within only a month, we saved a little over $100 with just couch quarters and dimes found on the floor. An extra $100 of spending money doesn’t sound too bad, right? 

Don’t Take Your Vacation Home With You: Plan ahead  

Now this is the mistake many of us are guilty of. We plan for the vacation, but we forget to plan for our return home. All of our impulse buying adds up, so it is essential to plan ahead. Want to travel Up North and drive ATV's at the sand dunes? Estimate how much everything you want to do will cost and set enough money aside. Once you determine the budget, don't go over it. 

Good Karma Leads To Good Things

We all have an elderly neighbor or know someone that could use an extra hand. Whether it be by shoveling snow, taking out trash, or walking the dog, go out of your way to help someone out. Sometimes money will come from it. But don’t do it for the possibility of money, do it because someone needs assistance. You might be able to earn some extra cash, but more importantly you will make someones day a little brighter.