By Rasheed Hassan, Illinois High School Student
I save my money. That’s the type of person I am. I’m not the type of person who takes the money that I’ve saved and spends it on pointless things that won’t matter to me in the long run. Chips (you just eat them), shoes (you grow out of them), clothes (you grow out of them, too) - these are all things that I don’t spend my money on. But, if I really want something, then I’m going to save for it using some skills I learned when I began saving for a video game.
The video game I wanted came out in January 2010, but I thought I wouldn’t be able to get it until my birthday in July. This seemed so far away. It’s like when you’re in elementary school waiting to go to high school. It seems like forever. I wasn’t going to wait until my birthday for the game. So, I decided to start saving.
In the month of January, I was able to save $35. I had $20 already, and my step-dad gave me $10 for helping him with his car. But, we had a break in, and the money I saved was stolen along with other belongings of ours. I felt disappointed that I never got the chance to finish saving for the game I wanted.
My granddad came through and gave me $15, but in my head I thought, “This won’t help me at all.” So my mom suggested a smart shopper’s website. I checked out the site and found the game for ONLY $10. Because of my Mom’s suggestion, I still had $5 left over from the money my grandfather gave me, and I saved $40 compared to buying the game from the store.
Through this experience, I learned that you don’t always have to go to an actual store to buy things. You can often find prices that are lower if you just look around and comparison shop. I learned that comparison shopping is also a good way to save money.
TIPS FOR SMART SHOPPING
1) Comparison Shop – try at least 3 stores or online retailers before you buy a major item.
2) Consumer Reports – if you are looking for electronics or a big ticket item, your local library may have issues of consumer reports that you can use to research your product and view product reviews.
3) Online Reviews – many online retailers post reviews and ratings from other consumers, sometimes you can even research and locate online coupon codes.
What have you been most excited to save for? Join the conversation on Facebook.