This month's guest blogger is a member of one of the most sought after consumer demographics ' a college student. We spoke with Jon, who is 22 years old, and currently finishing up his senior year at Bentley University in Waltham, MA. Here are his responses to the questions we asked him:
1. What kind of shopper do you consider yourself to be?
I would like to think that I buy what I need when I need it, but that doesn't usually end up being the case. I'll admit, I also fall victim to many fads and desperately can't wait until I can get my hands on newer products. After I buy something that's 'in'? I get tired of it and want the newest version of it when it comes out. There's always room for improvement, but unfortunately my bank account can't keep up.
2. What do you look for in the brands you use?
Usability for sure. Why buy something that won't do what you need it to do? It also depends on what it is I am buying. I couldn't care less who makes my clothes or what shampoo will give me the most nutrients or whatever. The brands of my big kid toys matter to me: MP3 players, cameras, TVs ' you don't mess around with that stuff. If I'm going to drop a couple hundred on something, it better be best in class.
3. Which brand do you feel best describes your personality? Why?
I'd say that Apple would best describe my personality for a few reasons. First off, Apple is always looking to improve its products based on feedback on previous products. Like that, I like to think that I learn and grow from my personal experiences to continuously change how I live my life. If I were an Apple product, I'd probably be iTunes. I'm fun and outgoing and love to have a good time. And plus, who doesn't love their iTunes???
4. What is one thing you could not live without?
I'm obsessed with my BlackBerry. It keeps me connected to everything in my life. I've got my Facebook and Twitter at my fingertips to let me know what my friends are up to. I can keep up with the Red Sox and the rollercoaster ride of emotions they put me through every season. It even has a pretty decent camera to take pics of those random moments that need to be captured. Oh, and I don't own a watch so it tells me what time it is too. I'd be so lost without my BlackBerry.
5. What is your biggest concern as you prepare to finish up college?
I am lucky enough to have landed a job right out of college. The biggest problem I think I will face will be handling my money. The paychecks I will be getting every two weeks will be the biggest checks I have ever been given. I have to prepare myself to not get in the habit of spending so frivolously. I'm going to have to budget for rent, bills, and food first no matter what. Something tells me that's easier said than done though.
6. What will you miss most about college?
In the time I've been at college, I have grown extremely close so my group of friends. Every year at the end of the year, we've had the comfort of knowing that come September we would see each other again for another year of shenanigans. This time it's completely different. We're all from all over the country and we won't be able to see each other as often as we would like since we're all starting our careers. It's going to be difficult dealing with not having my closest friends around me all the time.
7. Do you anticipate the brands/products you use will change after college? Why/why not?
After college I know I'll have to manage my money way better and with that, the stuff I buy may change as well. While I don't pay attention to the brands I buy for little things like detergent, paper towels, or toothpaste, I may need to look at brands besides the big names for luxury items in my life. I mean, maybe Apple products aren't all they're cipro purchase online hyped up to be?
8. What advice would you give to an incoming freshman who will be living away from home for the first time?
Buy in bulk as much as you can by joining a wholesale club. I got a Costco membership my freshman year of college and have been so glad I did ever since. They legit have EVERYTHING you will need to survive in college: plasticware, solos cups, toilet paper, late night food snacks, ramen, you name it they probably have it and a lot of it to offer. It will save you many trips to the regular store and money too.
9. If you had a million dollars, what would you buy?
If I had a million bucks, the very first thing I'd get is a sick penthouse overlooking a city. It wouldn't have to be in Boston just in a city somewhere. I'd fill it with tons of cool gadgets and electronics too, like huge TVs and stereo systems, the works. I'd also have to get a car since I'm currently lacking one and wouldn't mind just having one to drive around in, maybe two. With whatever's left I'll try to get rid of some student loans, but definitely the penthouse and car(s) first.
10. What is the most important thing you've ever done in your life?
The most important thing I have done in my life is gone away for college. It's a wild world out there and I think college is an essential transition period to ease the changeover to the real world. That small amount of independence has helped me learn to manage my time and my money better than I could have if I didn't go away for school. The last four years have been the best ones yet and I am happy I experienced them.