It’s finally summa summa summa time as your good friend and mine, DJ Jazzy Jeff, would say. You know what that means! No, I’m not talking about lemon water in mason jars, lazy days by the pool or mornings spent on the beach. I’m talking about the ridiculous amount of money we spend.
Picture this you walk into Forever 21, hoping to buy a cute shirt or two. You walk around, your hands grazing over various fabrics, textures so tantalizingly sheer that you simply must try it on. You saunter into the fitting room with a shopping bag piled with half of the store’s new collection. You’re just going to try it on, obviously. It’s hard to resist the sweet, sweet calls of crop tops.
Half an hour later, you leave the trial room with your mind made up. “Anything else?” says the woman at the cash register. You stare at the mound of clothes, nervously eyeing the visible price tags. “Um…” Headbands. Smart strategy, Forever 21, but the range of hair accessories you keep by the cash register don’t tempt me at all. Nice try.
You leave the store with three bags full of clothes. And yes, you bought the headbands.
Aaaaand then you feel it. That wave of guilt that crashes into you like high tide on a beach. And then you think – did I really need eleven new pairs of shorts?
As teenagers, we always have a few (but impactful) splurges that lighten our wallet significantly. Normal? Yes. Necessary…debatable. We need to be able to ration our allowance between the irrelevant but really cool, and the necessary yet slightly more boring. That AED 400 we spent in Forever 21 could have been saved up for your trip to <insert wherever you’ll be spending the summer here> where you’re bound to ‘need to shop’ anyway. Or even split the money – 200 dirhams to be spent here, and the rest can be collected and spent in a location of your choice.
Let’s take a few steps towards wisely spending our money because let’s be honest, we really don’t need those weekly shopping trips to the mall. Yes, I know all the good sales are on. But I believe in you. Just the sheer amount of money we spend on a trip out – money for transportation, food, and whatever you do, wherever you go. The amount we spend over the summer doubles – triples even (I’m looking at you, social pariahs).
If you know you’ve got a busy week coming up, save up a bit next week:
Downsize: You don’t need a grande latte from Starbucks. Go for a tall latte instead- save some money there.
Necessary: You don’t need that bag from Michael Kors. Step back from luxury when you know you’re splurging too often.
Save: This is a habit none of us have, but believe me [or my parents], you’ll appreciate that you chose to develop the habit [when you’re 23, unemployed and relatively broke].
Stop rolling your eyes, I know this is annoying but this actually helps. Think about it in the long run. Be wise, young grasshopper. More for you to buy later.