Meet our Achiever: Ricardo Calderon!


Posted by Janie O'Brien / Jan 23, 2018 / 0 Comments / Posted in Student's Corner

Ricardo_Calderon
 

Name: Ricardo Calderon

School: Depaul University, Chicago

Concentration: Information Technology

Expected Graduation Date: 2020


Congratulations to Ricardo Calderon, one of our winners at SDL Achievers Scholarship 2017! We liked his essay about the reasons of poor financial decisions and ways to avoid them and are delighted to offer him $500 to help pay for education. Congrats, Ricardo! Well done!


Poor Decisions Make You Want More

You’re on the internet watching your favorite youtuber, but suddenly you are caught by surprise by an ad for the new iPhone X device, the newest and shiniest phone on the market. You snap back into reality and ask yourself, “Do you really need this?”. People often make poor financial decisions in their life. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, and sometimes it’s completely avoidable. I believe the majority of the poor financial decisions come from lust and not putting enough research on things they are about to research.

Lust is a strong emotion to overcome and affects a lot in you sort of feel about yourself. When there are objects you desire, it’s not about practicalness but about impressing others. This leads to emotionally driven financially poor decision making. I don’t blame people for giving into lust. In our western culture, we are driven by materialism and often judge others success on what type of materials he or she has.

Does he have a hundred-dollar phone? He must be barely making it by and must have made some bad decisions in his early life.

Does he have a car that is pretty, rather than practical, affordable, great miles per hour, and easy to maintain? He has money, but he is too cheap to buy himself a fancy car and saving his money like a hermit.

What people say “live fast die young”. The newest gadget and newest car are often given a lot of positive attention, so it makes sense that people buy these objects. They don’t want to be looked down on. They want to be equal or better than their peers. This hits me personally because I have to control to buy objects such as a new phone, tv, and earphones.

Actually, today that I was writing this essay, I was considering buying a new phone because I felt the camera on the phone I have is horrendous. Then I thought to myself, is it a need or want situation. I decided, sadly not to get the phone because as a college student, this is not the time to make poor financial decisions. People are worried about how they will be perceived if they do not have status items. This is when using credit cards and loans sound like an attractive option even though they know financially they are not able to support it. That is why I believe we need to change the way we think in order to change all of this. Society should stop making fun of the people who buy the generic store brand cereal when clearly it is a smart financial decision.

The next thing what causes a lot of financially poor decision is the lack of research. It is very important to learn as much as possible prior to your purchase for many reasons.

  • Are their view, aligned with yours?
  • Do they tend to make good products? What about the models?
  • What are their competitors?

These are the questions that people should think prior to making a purchase. For example, there are brands that rely on name rather than the quality of their products. Like Mac laptops which are very expensive compared to their competitor Microsoft who has a PC laptop that goes for the same price with more power and overall usability. I am not discounting Mac laptops but sometimes you have to research your needs and wants so that you choose what is the best for yourself. If you are just going blindsided buying a product without looking into it, your investment could be an enormous waste.

Another way you can make fewer poor financial decisions is looking for alternatives. Smart TV costed hundreds of dollars more than regular flat TVs because of their ability to watch Netflix, YouTube and Hulu. People started to use the Chromecast which provide, the exact ability that the smart TV does with a lower price. Next thing we see is TVs actually incorporating Chromecast into their TVs. Anyways I feel this is a skill people can start cultivating to prevent making financially poor decisions. The goal is to prevent buying used models of cars that constantly break down, pricey earphones that don’t last a year, and worst of all to prevent being scammed.

This brings me to my next issue scammers. They exploit people who are clueless as to of what they are being offered. They influence the buyer to rely on emotions to drive their purchase. Therefore researching makes an educated buyer stay safe from poor financial decisions.

We can’t prevent all poor financial decisions but we can help prevent many of them. We must stop lusting for what other people have. We have to research the products we buy. I feel that these two points are why many people are struggling financially. I recommend people to overcome their feelings or perceiving needs to stop and think before purchasing another object in their homes.

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