Sitting at the desk in her room, Mackenzie Phillips, a sophomore studying business finance, tries to decide if she will buy new decorations for her apartment.
“It’s all a matter of deciding between what I want and what I need,” said Phillips.
According to the Consumer News and Business Channel, 70% of college students in the United States are in debt. Conversely, Phillips is investing her money and actively building her credit; something she believes will be very beneficial to her future.
“I’ve always liked doing finance, even as a little kid doing my tithing… I just want that sense of self-sufficiency,” Phillips said.
Phillips admitted that she would often watch YouTube videos on “the financial diet” as a child, a program that helps people to learn budgeting skills. She even cut corners by playing with dolls at a friend’s house instead of buying or asking for her own.
Phillips said that these qualities have not slackened as she has gotten older. Since returning home from serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ecuador in July, Phillips is continuing the habit of counting not only every penny but every blessing as well.
She asks herself, “How have I seen the hand of God in my life today? Why was it so? How did it happen?”
“I always write it down so that I can see how the Lord is blessing me,” Phillips said.
Although blessings come in many forms, Phillips said that learning how to be self-reliant has blessed her and her family. Throughout her life, her family has moved all across the East coast. She says that the gospel is the glue that keeps her family together.
“No matter how many times we move or how many places or wards we go to, we still understand the importance of just staying within Christ’s gospel,” Phillips said.
By combining her two passions of finance and family, Phillips hopes to continue to help her family members and others become more financially self-reliant. She said that this concept is gospel-centered.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, “A better understanding of God’s governance of the vast galaxies can lead to our better self-governance.”
Phillips said, “I think that this is really important. The more that we understand this concept, the more we know how we should act.”