I believe in bargain shopping

Shelby - Healdsburg, California
Entered on August 31, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

I believe in bargain shopping. Just like any fashion-crazed teenage, all-American girl, I enjoy the sheer thrill of discovering a pair of jeans that was made, designed, and molded for me. Or even finding the perfect shoes that are made for walking with my feet. But even with high-paying job, meeting these “needs” can be pricey and uninviting, resulting in a girl with, gasp, only a dozen pair of jeans.

I’ll never forget the day I went shopping with a bunch of friends and each one of them spent large amounts of money on a pair of jeans, and I ended up coming home with nothing but a Sparta poster. I remember the feeling of a twinge of frustration with myself, and wondering if I’d ever be able to sport the all-hailed pockets that distinguish royalty from commonness. The next day, I followed my mom into Marshall’s, a store that embraces past-season clothes and customers like me, looking for a cheap fashion fix. After an hour of wrestling racks, haggling salespeople, sore feet, and trying about every item in the store on, I walked out one of them: the grand elite wearing the coveted pockets of the Seven for all mankind denim, except I had a lot more money in my purse!

Before I had ever entered the store, I had forced myself not to like or accept it. After all, marked-down prices didn’t mean they were still designer, right? The problem that has come face to face with me now is that, people spend so much money on frivolous items like jeans, and purses, and shoes, and dresses. Here’s a kicker: girls spending hundreds of dollars on a new dress for each different dance every year. And with a new dress, comes a new pair of heels, and a new set of jewelry. People are plunking down their money so easily, and little kids and teenagers are being brought up in a world where they get everything they want. What’s going to happen to the prom queen who spent 500 hundred dollars on her dress, and 200 hundred on her homecoming dress? How will her future husband feel when he can’t live up to her steady-stream shopping sprees?

Money can be spent for a much greater, and priceless cause. Sophomore year, I had the privilege of going to Mexico for a week to work with a Habitat for Humanity type project. I witnessed the poorest of children, who gratefully clung to everything they had, and appreciated the small beauties in their lives. They also were the most giving people I ever met: one girl showered me with all the jewelry she had, and although she was insisting, I felt horrible that I was taking her possessions.

I believe in spending less money on things that will be outdated, outgrown, and out appreciated in a few years. I believe in giving my money to people who need it more than I do. I believe that money can and cannot buy happiness, depending on who you give your Visa to. Make sure it falls into the right hands.