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COLUMNS


My lesson in summer spending


By Ben Todd
Posted on September 11, 2014 | Columns | Comments Off on My lesson in summer spending

This summer I got a job for 17 bucks an hour. That’s as much as I’m going to say about that job. The point is that I had a hefty amount of cash on my hands. So what do you think a 19-year-old who never got that much pay in his life before did with the money? I did some serious shopping. Amazon and eBay were my best friends for the next few weeks as I splurged on all the technology that was on my wish list.

I was satisfied with my new toys for a few days, but my wallet started itching to find another deal. I perused pages of products on sale, thinking I could find something else I wanted. Thank goodness most of the things on sale were gardening tools and baby products – neither of which I have use for.  Slowly, I stopped checking the pages for a sale, and my urge to find a new toy to play with died away.

The moral of the story is: don’t let shopping control you. I got lucky that Amazon and eBay couldn’t figure out what I wanted from their stores anymore, but, for the most part, businesses these days are incredibly good at selling you things you don’t really need. It’s best to assume all businesses are trying to make money, and you, an impulsive, oblivious consumer, are their best chance to achieve that goal.

As much as we would like to blame the companies for their cunning efforts to reach our money, we have the final say on where our money goes. At the root, these businesses will take advantage of any consumer who doesn’t have the discipline to restrain his or her spending habits, but the more informed we are on this situation, the wiser our choices will become.

Here is one piece of advice that can help with your potential purchasing spree problem: sleep on it. Wait twenty-four hours before you think of buying something. You can even use the time to do more research online. I’ve stumbled on a lot of products I would have purchased right away, but they would have ended up wasting my money. Since I waited a day before looking at the product again, I often realize how caught up in the moment I was the day before. But today, now that I have a level head, I can make a better judgment on if I really need it.

Try putting that to practice, and feel free to send other money saving tips my way. College students have to make the most out of every buck, right?

avatar Posted by Ben Todd on Sep 11th, 2014 and filed under Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.  - This post has been viewed 3977 times.

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