At the age of 13, Samantha Christensen has grasped a concept that many adults struggle with: saving money.
Christensen, an eighth grader at Mountain View Middle School, is a finalist in Zions Bank "Financialize A Film" contest, for a video that she produced titled "Spend vs Split."
Christensen's film was one of 13 selected out of 30 entries from Idaho middle and high school students in the competition sponsored by the bank encouraging people to make good financial choices. Christensen's 60-second film is posted on the bank's Facebook page through March 31 for a public vote along with the other submissions.
The producer of the video who receives the most votes will win a $1,000 cash price, plus a $1,000 matching award for their school. Second and third place winners will receive $500 and $250 plus matching awards for their schools.
Christensen, who created the film in her home with the family camcorder, teaches "how to keep from spending your entire paycheck at once."
"It's about splitting the cash from your paycheck into two piles," she explained. "You put one pile in a sealed envelope not to be opened until halfway through the month and then you have money to last through the month."
Christensen said she heard about the contest through her Media Tech class at school and decided it was a worthwhile project to pursue.
"I credit my parents for teaching me how to be good with my money; but I realize I have made some unwise decisions with money in the past and I want to make better decisions with my money in the future," she said.
Christensen said that if she wins the $1,000 cash prize, she will stick to the principles that she teaches and use half of the money to go on the eighth grade class trip to California this spring and save the other half.
Christensen, the daughter of Cynthia and Cameron Christensen of Blackfoot, said she aspires to pursue a career in business someday.
Cynthia [Christensen] said she is proud of her daughter and is impressed that she took the initiative to take on the film project.
"She figured out all the fine print in the paperwork and did this totally on her own," she said.
To vote on the "Financialize A Film" videos go to Zions Bank's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/zionsbank  and click on the "Vote Now!" tab. Winners will be announced the first week of April.