Shane is an aspiring athlete, who is fourteen years old. He is very fast, and loves to run. His coach wishes Shane to purchase a sports watch that can time Shane's runs accurately and well. Shane has only one hundred dollars, and he assumes that he would need three hundred dollars to buy the best sports watch. He has no idea of which sports watch he should buy, and how to earn the extra two hundred dollars he requires. Shane does not know how to budget.
Advise Shane, in an extended response on how to earn the two hundred dollars that he needs. What should Shane do in order to find the sports watch that he requires?
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One other thing that I remind students who are trying to save for something very special is this: Let your family know what you are doing, and why. Shane should not expect his family to contribute, but most young people have relatives who do send them gifts for birthdays, etc. IF Shane has someone in his life who sends him gifts anyway, it would not be wrong to nicely let that person know (or ask his parents to let the person know) that he is saving up for a special purchase, and cash toward the goal would be a welcome alternative to a gift. Fourteen year olds are often hard to choose gifts for, and Aunt Ida might actually be relieved if she can just give Shane a little cash for his birthday.
As life lessons, Shane needs to learn several things. 1) He needs to learn how to earn and, more importantly, save his money in order to achieve his goals. At fourteen, he is possibly restricted to doing odd jobs but there may be some opportunities for a more extensive employment at his age. (My son started bagging groceries at age fourteen.) Once he has income, he needs to learn how to establish and follow a budget that includes putting a significant percentage of each pay check into savings. 2) He needs to learn how to research possibilities before making major purchases. As previous posts have suggested, Shane may be able to find a watch for much less than the $300 he is assuming, particularly since he may not need that much watch at this point in his athletic career. Visiting sports equipment stores and checking out Internet sites would be very important and informative. 3) Shane probably needs to learn time management in order to be able to manage school, work, practice, and some free time to enjoy being fourteen!
The question asks that you advise Shane on how to get the $200.00 in order to buy the watch, though. I don't think he should have to spend that much because we have Ebay these days, but in order to answer the question accurately, the goal would be to advise him on how to earn the $100 that he needs, not tell him how to buy a less expensive one. So all posts considered, the odd jobs idea and talking to parents is the way to go. If he has any grandparents, he could ask them to "sponsor" him. Along those lines, he could ask a sporting-goods store to sponsor him by giving him the watch and he'll wear their T-shirt when he runs in meets. He could hold a fund-raiser, too, for himself and other students on the team so more people would be helped in the process.
Shane needs to stop "assuming" he would need to spend that much money on a a timer/watch. There are plenty of less expensive options out there that wouldn't even cost him the 100.00 he currently has! If he doesn't know how to budget then he needs to learn that skill from someone who knows better than to spend that much money on a watch -- especially money he doesn't currently have!
As a 14 year old boy, Shane does not need the best sports watch available, though he and his unrealistic coaches may think differently. As another post mentioned, Shane will have trouble getting a decent-paying job because of his age, so I would recommend that he discuss this problem with his parents. They might be able to convince him that a less expensive watch will be satisfactory, or they might be able to provide him with odd jobs or a loan to make up the difference. If I were Shane, I would approach his coaches and offer his services to them for babysitting or odd jobs. If they are as concerned as they seem about Shane's prospects, they should be willing to help him out as well.
I think that he should do some research before he goes any further. He might find that he has enough money to buy the watch already. He could also buy a used watch. He might also consider not buying the best watch. He is only 14. Why buy the best? Finally, he could talk to his parents and ask if they will pay for the watch or loan him the rest of the money.
As for finding the best sports watch, we now have the internet for research, so he make extensive use of that. It's really much easier than it used to be. However, Shane will have to be careful and not take the word of one site. I would also recommend he do some old-fashioned face-to-face questioning, asking coaches what they think the best brand is and what features he should look for.
According to the question, Shane is fourteen. He will have trouble finding a job at any law-abiding stores or companies. So he will have to offer to do odd jobs for people like cutting lawns, washing cars, and other fairly traditional jobs that people always need help doing. The rest of Post 2 would be accurate, he'd have to put away a sizeable chunk of his earnings and be willing to make sacrifices in order to find the watch. But in the short term, he needs to rely on word of mouth, or perhaps put up signs in the neighborhood asking if anyone needs help doingthe types of jobs that fourteenth-uear olds can legally do.
I would start off by suggesting that Shane finds himself a job at weekends. He needs to start applying now and to take in his resume to a number of different stores or companies, and maybe get his parents to help him find a job through their contacts. Then, he needs to be incredibly strict with himself to put aside a certain percentage of his income each month or pay day, such as 50% or maybe more. This will help him to plan and then he can work out how long it will take him to earn the money he needs to buy his watch.
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