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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Syeda F.

To buy, or not to buy: that is the question. Well, if you have coupons for that specific item, why not?

I’m not really the type of person that likes to go shopping. I actually try to avoid it as much as possible. I like to stay cooped up at home and occasionally click on my laptop if I have to buy something. Normally, I let my mom do the shopping. It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s just that I don’t like seeing the cashier ring up my stuff. Why? Because I practically go into cardiac arrest every time I see the numbers go higher and higher.

If I have coupons, however, I can’t help but shoot out from my hermit position and jump in my car to the nearest store. It’s simple, really; when you’re saving money, the numbers don’t really matter anymore since they’re considerably lower than what you would normally pay for. Coupons are a way to save money, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of them?

For me, my buying decision focuses on if I have coupons on that item or if I don’t. if I see a box of an accredited brand of cereal for three bucks and another box of a lesser known brand for two bucks, I’ll naturally reach for the one with two dollars. If I have a coupon that makes those prices even less, well, you can imagine which one I’ll be grabbing; the one that’s cheaper, regardless of the brand.

Living in a day and age where everything is expensive and money is hard to come by—especially for a college student who’s barely making it—coupons, money deals, and a lot of newspaper ads is what you do in your free time if you’re planning on surviving for the week. We’re all practically living on the brink of debt—well, don’t take the rich people with Lamborghinis into account— and even the littlest of money comes a long way. Every penny counts when it comes to people with trifling financial situations.

Being in college with more than 20k per semester fees to pay, I’m pretty much cutting back on everything that’ll cost me money. I’ve cut back on food, clothes, any recreational activities that cost money, and anything that’s not necessary for me to survive on a day to day basis. I don’t have the money to buy expensive food, or fashionable clothing from whatever new designer released his/her brand, or even to splurge on a movie ticket for a friends’ night out. I’m broke and there’s nothing more cut and dry than that. However, when I do find the occasional coupons outlined in newspaper ads, grocery ads, or whatever ads are out there, I instantly reach for my scissors and snip them out. Every dollar saved goes directly towards my college fees so saving even the tiniest seemingly insignificant amount of money goes a long way for someone like me.

College is expensive and coupons are a saver, so why wouldn’t I take advantage of them? If you were drowning and someone threw you a lifeboat, why wouldn’t you grab onto it for dear life and let yourself be reeled into a safe zone? Just like that, coupons and little money savers here and there go a long way for people whose financial situation is barely hanging by a thread.

I wouldn’t call myself cheap,  but more so financially aware of her situation. It’s not like I wouldn’t want to buy the latest items from certain brands, or more expensive food that’s sold on shelves, or even whatever new line of lipstick Maybelline released, but it’s just that I can’t afford to. With coupons, however, I think that even people like me are able to snatch up deals and buy whatever they want at a price that’s more affordable for them. Coupons have been dealt with a bad image since many people think greedy people are their handlers, but it honestly is a way for people who need help to get that little help.

A note from us at I’m In:  We can help you save on health and beauty at I’m In!

To buy, or not to buy? Well, that really depends on if you have that specific coupon.

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