The Winner of the August 2014 Call to Action!

The Winner of the August 2014 Call to Action!

August Call to ActionLast month at LearnVest, we called everyone to class.

That's right: August was devoted to getting organized for the school season and tackling some important financial homework to prep for fall. We covered it all—from the financial terms everyone should know to how teens and their families are paying for college.

At the beginning of the month, we also asked our readers to share their thoughts on our back-to-school-themed August Call to Action question: What’s the most important money lesson we should teach our kids—and how can we do it?

We received over 100 smart responses—everything from teaching kids to set goals to the importance of living within your means. Thanks to everyone who shared their wisdom!

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We'd like to congratulate the winner of our challenge, who will receive $100 to put toward her financial goals: Megan W., 24, a graduate student from Texas.

Below, check out the crucial lesson Megan learned early on—and why she hopes future generations will master it as well:

"I think the most important concept to grasp at an early age is that of 'opportunity cost'—the idea that everything we do is a choice and comes at the cost of something else. When I was growing up, whenever I would ask my parents for a new toy I saw at the mall, they would ask me if I wanted it at the cost of something else, like ice cream after dinner or a trip to the pool. From as early as I could remember, I knew that money wasn't a limitless resource—and that every time I wanted something, I would be giving up something else to have it.

"As an adult now, I use this principle almost every day. For example, while it is often more convenient to grab lunch out during a busy week, I know that if I invest a little bit of time in preparing my own meals, I can put those savings towards a fun night out instead. I also employ this principle when constructing my budget. For instance, I know that if I find a way to cut $50 a month from my groceries, I'll be able to beef up my travel fund as a result.

"For me, taking the time to understand the opportunity cost behind a money choice makes me happier because I know exactly why I decided to make a sacrifice. It helps me grasp the personal value of each dollar—and prioritize what's truly important to spend on."

Thanks for sharing, Megan!

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