Colorado Springs resident Sam Suksiri has been chosen as a top 10 finalist in The Save 10 Coalition’s nationwide contest for creating a clever video on who, when, why and how people can save 10 percent of their income toward retirement.
In his 44-second You Tube piece, “Start Early,” Suksiri tells the story of twins Dave and Ned [both played by Suksiri] who each contribute $5 a day to different things: One brother spends it on breakfast burritos and the other saves it for retirement. In the end, one twin comes out on top enjoying a happy retirement, while the other is left with a burrito-stained shirt.
“My video is based on mostly a true event because every day on my way home from work, I pass this by Mexican drive-through and I have to remind myself that neither my budget nor my body will appreciate it if I stop too often,” he said.
The 25-year-old is eligible to win the grand prize of $10,000 by receiving the most public votes for his video beginning Feb.10. People can vote once a day through Feb. 19 and the winner will be announced March 8.
“It feels good to be a finalist,” said the Los Angeles native. “I had a lot of fun making the video, but it was also pretty weird and silly. I’m glad the judges enjoyed it and the message came through.”
It’s important for young people to be saving for retirement because it’s a sign of a responsible budget, he said.
“Even though young people may have a small income to budget, the bigger value is practicing the mindset of budgeting and saving so that when one earns more, they will know how to manage it responsibly,” Suksiri said. “I wish I had learned that lesson sooner and am glad to be practicing it now.”
The Save 10 initiative, founded by the Financial Services Roundtable in Washington, D.C., is a business-to-business, peer-to-peer effort to encourage responsible employers to help their employees better prepare for a secure retirement by enabling them to save 10 percent of their income, including through automatic savings programs, according to the coalition’s website.
Suksiri moved to Colorado Springs last summer and is a writer for Focus on the Family’s radio program, “Adventures in Odyssey.” The video was filmed on his cell phone camera and he performed music for it using a piano and a Tupperware filled with dry quinoa.
In 2011 when Suksiri was a student at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif., Suksiri and his roommate won $10,000 from the Food Network for their pulled-pork recipe during the “Shine at Dinnertime” cooking challenge. The online competition consisted of creating a dish using Worcestershire sauce and making a cooking segment video.
“I have been a filmmaker since I was in high school and found out about the Save 10 contest when my mom emailed me a link,” he said.
Go here to view and vote for Suksiri’s video.