Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Economics taught me that I'm not alone in cash-strapped era

Chris McKee, an A-level student studying economics at Regent House, gives his take on the economic situation

Saying that studying economics during a period of global economic crisis is an interesting concept would be an understatement.

It is always a laugh coming into class and posing economic questions to the teacher, only to receive a purely theoretical answer that should occur, despite the situation being utterly unpredictable.

No amount of pages listing the advantages and consequences of unemployment, for example, can do anything to constructively change what is happening in the real world.

However, having a subject that's always adjusting is very refreshing compared to something along the lines of history, where World War I never has a new development (thankfully I did not choose history for A-Level, so I am free to take cheap shots at inferior subjects).

One of the first things I learned in the subject was how the demand and supply for goods influence everything.

Since then, it has become abundantly clear that there are so many variables that can cause havoc in our local economy, never mind globally.

Being a stereotypical teenager, buying mostly fizzy drinks, music and video games, I easily notice the constantly fluctuating prices of my favourite items.

With no actual job, coping with just a £5 increase is hard to stomach with a standard allowance.

Maybe it's just my personal investigative approach to things, but because of an economic education I take comfort in knowing that everyone else is being affected by the downturn, and not just me.

Budgeting is an important ideal in my household, so if a recession on this scale is to return in the future at least I will know how to plan my income each month.

If economics has taught me anything, it is that a solid financial plan means a solid lifestyle - something the country's bankers obviously didn't consider.