As a high school student who has gone from having a job to focusing on school activities, I have come to understand just how much money I spend on useless garbage. When I had my job, I would eat out every other day — sometimes even more frequently. But now that I’m unemployed, I have had to learn how to budget my money better.
Shopping has become something of a luxury for me. When I do go, it’s only a spontaneous trip to Walmart with my friends, never to a mall to buy books and clothes like I might have last year. I was extremely wasteful with my money then; I still have an unopened lava lamp sitting in my room from last year’s Black Friday sale.
Adults in the town like to stress the importance of buying locally, but the economics involved makes it extremely hard for high school students like me to purchase things they want from local vendors. Oftentimes the selection isn’t nearly what people my age are looking for, and when it is, it’s oftentimes cheaper to buy from a store like Walmart or Target.
It’s hard for a small business to compete with the corporate resources being endlessly poured into big chains like these, and with the growing online marketplace, both of these traditionally opposed vendors are taking a hit.
I think that the solution to the old problem of small vendors trying to sell more of their goods lies in the new problem that is threatening these chain stores. Anyone can use the internet — it has allowed for people from all walks of life to network and learn about new ideas. And this virtual social space is fueled by advertisements for products you might never have known existed had they not shown up on a banner advertisement.
Local businesses need to be more willing to take their operations online if they want to be competitive in the modern marketplace.
As my generation grows, we’ll only expand the possibilities of the online market. If we are their target audience, then they need to work to cater to that demographic and provide ways to connect to their businesses that will appeal to younger consumers.