For penning a money-savvy rap

Tess Vigeland: Our little blue plastic friend is headed to Vegas, and sixteen-year-old Syretha Shirley. She recently won a financial literacy contest sponsored by Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Charles Schwab Foundation. Her winning entry? A rap called "Time is Money."


Syretha Shirley: The overall message is basically to inform people -- not just kids -- to let them know about financial responsibility, and you know, teach them and to focus on your needs and your wants and things like that, how to spend your money the right away, in a smart way. That is basically what the message is in the song.

Vigeland: Well that sounds great. So who's been teaching you those messages?

Syretha: I've gotta say I kinda taught myself, because I just looked at other people and what they did with their money. And it just kinda motivated me to spen dit the right way, because I saw the outcomes of what they were doing. So I didn't want to be like them, broke or struggling. So I just said, "Let me go the other way!"

Vigeland: That's a great message. So are you, would you say, more of a saver than a spender at this point?

Syretha: I would say I'm more of a saver, because I always save my money. Every little penny I get, I always want to save it. I hate spending money. I'll spend my mom's money, I'll ask her fi she can give me something, but I always save my money! I always save my money, as much as I can.

Vigeland:What are you saving for?

Syretha: Actually, I'm saving for college. You know, I know my mom's gonna help out, but I like to do things on my own. I like to be independent, so I want to save my money for college, my car, so I don't have to have to use loans or anything like that. I just want to save up as much as I can for what I need when I get older.

Vigeland: Sounds like a great plan. And did you win some money from this contest?

Syretha: I did! I won a $500 scholarship. So that's a big help.

Vigeland: Well, I know you already won this contest and the $500 scholarship, but we're going to add to that and send you a Marketplace Money Piggy Award.

Syretha: Oh wow! Thank you!

Vigeland: Congraulations.

Syretha: Thank you so much.

About the author

Tess Vigeland is the host of Marketplace Money, where she takes a deep dive into why we do what we do with our money.

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