I started working when I was a sophomore in high school to earn a little extra spending cash. I took babysitting jobs and eventually the local video store, Kensington Video, hired me to work when I turned 15. At that point my parents were still buying me clothes and gave my money for food and really anything I wanted. So, I took the initiative of starting my own savings account and putting my $80 a week into savings.
I graduated from the video store and started working at Abercrombie & Fitch when I turned 17. I started receiving a slightly bigger paycheck, most of which was still going to savings, but I had to buy Abercrombie clothes to wear to work so about 50% of my paychecks went back too the company. When I turned 18 my parents decided I should start learning how to budget and cut off my clothing and going out fund. Luckily, I had my savings account with about 3 years of savings. I thought that $3,000 would last me awhile. I was wrong. Now I am 19, I work at Nordstrom and I am a sophomore in college. I pay for everything, with the exception of school, on my own. I needed to start putting the money back into the savings account that had used up and start figuring out where and how I spend my money.
Where did my money go? My dad figured that one out for me. “Jess, are you really asking me this question? How many times have you been shopping in the past 2 weeks?” he said. When I did not respond he kept going, “You are always going out to dinner because you refuse to eat the food at your school. I am positive you spend money taking taxi’s instead of the bus…”
He was right. I was spending money with unnecessary cause. I go shopping because I am bored. I go out to eat when I have flexi at my fingertips. I take a cab home from work when the bus is only 15 minutes away. Then I started thinking, I make money when people buy clothes from me. The market has gone to hell. Therefore, people will eventually stop shopping (if they’re smart). If people stop shopping, I wont be making as much money anymore. I cannot afford to be taking Taxi’s and going out to eat every night and buying new clothes for the hell of it. I need to conserve.
For the past three months I have cut down on my spending by not taking cabs, eating at the cafeteria and using my pre-paid flexi, as well as cutting down on my shopping. I don’t get home as fast anymore, and some of my meals are not exactly wonderful, but I am saving about $150 dollars a week.
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