On Coupons and Fun
We live in a “disposable microwave” society. In other words, not only do we want the quickest and easiest method, but we hope for one-time solutions. Honestly, I’m much the same way with coupons. Rather than dedicate a few minutes each week to checking the newspaper or particular websites, I have a more last-minute approach. For instance, if I’m going to go watch a movie or eat out with some friends, I’ll take about 45.3 seconds to Google search any printable coupons. If I can find something quick and easy, I will go for it. Otherwise, I will likely make the purchase without a discount. My guess is that others are in the same position. Obviously, it would be more effective to plan farther out, to have an account with a coupon-based website, or to search for a bit longer. Effectiveness is not something that we always seek out though, is it? (A Poptart is better when toasted for a few minutes, but how many of us just nuke that sucker?)
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Knowing how last-minute my coupon searches are probably influences the degree to which I value them. It’s rather a cyclical thing. If my searches were more effective, I would probably value them more. Since they are not, I probably miss a lot of great opportunities and spend money that I don’t have to.
As you might see, my examples of purchases were pleasurable in nature. A likely implication of that might be that I am financially well-off and coupons aren’t really a necessity for my fiscal survival. I would say that’s half true. My examples are definitely those of a freelancing person with few cares. I am not that. I think more effective than coupon searching is just spending wisely. Sure, I can save $3.00 on a $12.00 movie ticket. Or I can save $9.00 by not even going to the movie at all. So, let me diverge from the topics of coupons and merge onto the highway of entertainment.
What is the nature of entertainment? Firstly, I think it serves as a break. We all lead busy lives full of responsibilities, deadlines, pressures, blah blah blah…So entertainment has become one facet of our society’s attempt to deal with these things. Another purpose of entertainment is community. Most nights on the town are with friends or family. If that’s not the case in your life, I would suggest you would find much more enjoyment in your activities if it was. Not everybody likes a big crowd, so maybe your thing is spending time with just a few quality friends. Back to the nature of entertainment, though. I mentioned not going to the movies at all, so what are some alternatives that are still attractive? Allow me to list a few ideas: go to a park, work out, decorate a sidewalk with some chalk, look for things in nature you’ve never seen before, serve someone less fortunate than yourself, find one thing that you don’t know much about and research it, work out, make your own movie, play a round of board games, clean your bedroom, work out, go for a run, or begin checking things off your bucket list. You can probably guess which of those occupies most of my time, but here’s the cool thing: everything I just mentioned can be done for free, and there’s no coupon that reduces that price.
Now, all of this writing is for a coupon company, so it’s probably not a good idea to completely negate their significance. Here’s the lesson I want you to learn, though: Once you have learned to appreciate free-fun and simpler pleasures, the common outings of our culture will likely gain value. If you only go out to the movies once a month, they have a lot more appeal than if it were a weekly excursion. The more value something has to you, the more likely I think you might be to plan your paid-fun better. If you’re like me, better planning will probably involve a more dedicated approach to coupons. So there you have it, we’re back to www.imin.com and their great deals. That’s about it, folks. From one 20 year old broke as broke college student to the rest of the world, here’s a few words of wisdom. No go have fun and save some money! I dare you!