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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Joel J.

How Coupons Inspire My Purchasing Decisions and Goals

As a working student, coupons definitely influence my purchasing decisions in more ways than one. While growing up I clearly recall having a much more tentative relationship with them than I do now as an adult who understands both the value and importance that they add to my sustaining a good quality of life. The precarious balance I have to maintain in order to both work full time and be a full time student continues to bring this to light. In addition, the excellent example of my oldest sister (who is a super coupon-er) is reinforcing new strategies to money management and inspires the resilient can-do attitude that is allowing me to excel at my academic career.

Initially, my first forays into post-secondary education were both professional certification and technical programs related to the healthcare field. Similar to most persons in the hospital in which I worked; I was a working while studying. However, only upon embarking on undergraduate studies did it occur to me that the expenses related to studying, maintaining a healthy diet and balancing the stressors of multiple time constraints would be such an intense challenge. The concept of economizing now filters through all aspects of my life. I economize my words in research papers by exploring all angles of sources. I economize my time by strategically planning a schedule and revising it as necessary. In turn, I economize in the ultimate way buy using a great deal of coupons in order to ration and amplify my spending power to the best of my ability. The latter is something that I started doing as an adult but have since learned in leaps and bounds through coaching from my eldest sister.

In addition to being a working mother of two, my sister also has maintained a full time career in marketing and international development while completing her undergraduate education. Hers has been a juggling act the likes of which I’ve had the privilege to observe with wonder and learn from over the last few years. The secret to this has hinged a lot on her being a ‘super coupon-er’. We now have a laugh about how her extremely organized coupon folder has become a fixture in all shopping trips and how her children know that her forgetting to bring it to the store means that she may be having an off day. What her children don’t realize is that the rare times she doesn’t have coupons in hand are because she has access to them on her phone, e-mail or is merely redeeming one of the countless rebates she keeps track of by means of social networks.

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Routinely she’s gone grocery shopping, searched for electronics and appliances and everything in between with results that are astounding. On average she saves between 75-80% off of the sticker price. These tips and tricks have shown me how to enjoy the brands that I like while budgeting my money so that I can take advantage of the times when they are best priced. My fears of not being able to maintain a good quality of life have turned out to be untrue. Coupons continue to enhance my quality of life by providing access to deals that make sure I can indulge in the brands and products that I enjoy.

Finally, as mentioned before, this has created a greater level of bonding between my sister and myself. Hers is the example of someone who is managing to do so much with a combination of strategy, a can-do attitude and good old fashioned work ethic. I’ve embraced these qualities in myself by maintaining a career in data management while being an honors student and full time blogger. Couponing not only influences my purchasing decisions but also continues to fuel the can-do attitude that I’ve learned from my sister. This fuels my pursuit for advancement academically.

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