As a college student, it can be easy to want to buy anything and everything because everyone else is doing it. While this seems like it is good to do while it is happening, in the long run, you will probably end up regretting it. We all have different sources of income, whether it be our parents helping us out with expenses or having a job while going to school. For me, I have two jobs and I am not going to lie, I spend my fair share of money on things I DON'T need. It is easy to get carried away and there are several things that we might not think about when swiping that debit or credit card.
1. Focusing on Lifestyle
It is easy to want to focus on a specific lifestyle that you desire. You see it all over Instagram, people living a lavish lifestyle. We are so caught up with wanting to compare our lives to others and want to live that way as well. While it may be easy to do so, it can be cheaper to try to love your life a little more frugal and not try to uphold a standard that everyone might do.
2. Valuing Brand Over Basics
With the previous topic, this also can coincide. It can be easy for us to want the name brand of products. Such as water bottles, for example, it is common to want to get a Hydroflask that is $40. You can always find good dupes for high-end products. Just because it is not a brand name, does not mean it will not be as good as quality.
3. Eating Out Instead of Eating In
With busy schedules, of course, we would want to eat out because of its convenience. Although it might be cheap then, in the long run, it adds up. Buying food from the grocery store ahead of time and planning out your meals can save you time and A LOT of money.
4. Ignoring Financial Aid Opportunities
Paying for college in full all at once can be a burden to your bank account because it is not cheap at all. Try to make monthly payments are taking out a loan if you need to, but if this is the case make sure to do your research before just accepting one. Get the one that has a low-interest rate and that is subsidized. It will also help you with your credit score
5. Credit Cards
I cannot stress enough how much financial trouble I have gotten in with credit cards. I made the mistake of getting a credit card as soon as I turned 18 and maxed it out because I wanted a new laptop. Whatever you do, don't use your credit card recklessly if you cannot afford the monthly payment or to pay it off in the future. You will regret this the closer you get to full-on adulthood.
6. Buying New Textbooks
Your campus bookstore will scam you into getting new textbooks. While it may seem appealing, the best thing to do is buy used or rent your books. You can get your books for a lot less cheap. Websites such as Chegg.com or Amazon.com can get you better deals than the bookstore.
7. Iced Coffee Or Coffee In General
I am not gonna lie when I say I am not a coffee addict because I am. I live off of coffee and macchiatos. While it can be tempting to stop at Starbucks to get you a coffee save yourself some money and make your coffee at home. If you get all the things needed for your coffee it is eventually a lot cheaper than spending money of a $5 or $6 coffee. Every time you buy a coffee your bank account probably wants to yell at you. I know mine does.
8. Buying New Clothes
I cannot remember when I truly bought new clothes. Over time clothes have gotten so expensive and they tend to not last long. Going thrift shopping can save you so much money and your bank account won't hurt as much.
9. Cute School Supplies
Have you seen those girls that have pens and highlighters in every color? Yeah, I am one of those girls but I have stayed away from buying new pens every year because it is just a waste. There is absolutely no need for the cute supplies. Just get the basics, no one will care if you have those specific supplies so do not spend your money on it.
10. Going Out
Yes, although we all love to go out, the bills can get pricy and your bank account can go from 0 to 100 real quick. Drinking at bars may be fun but you can probably save money and make your own drinks at home, maybe have a little get together and relax.
11. Not Using A Budget
When I first started college I did not have a set budget. Even though I had bills I was a bit irresponsible. My mom then sat down with me and created one and this has saved my life more times than I can count. When I get paid I can set aside the money needed for bills and budget out how much money I have to spend for the pay period.
We all see those college girls who go on extravagant spring break trips and we wonder how they pay for them. My advice is to save money over a year or so for a trip and not drain your bank account right away for a spontaneous trip.
13. Student Deals
As a college student, you are eligible for hundreds of student deals. Unidays.com is the place to go for hundreds of sites and stores and you can get discounts for being a college student. Even streaming services such as Spotify have deals for students that are so cheap.
14. Buying High-End Tech
It is not necessary to buy the most expensive Apple laptop. Instead but one you can afford and will do the same job.
Don't spend your money on an expensive apartment. Instead, get a roommate and get a comfortable place to rent and split the costs. You will save so much. I even still live with my parents and grateful they are still letting me stay. I have saved so much by doing this.
16. Tuition Money
In college, some students receive more financial aid or scholarship funds than what they actually need for the semester. When this happens students receive the extra money. Most of the time some students spend the money right away. One thing we could do is put the money in our savings or use it to pay off debt.
I cannot stress how much I wished I would have applied for scholarships. Scholarships can save you so much money, it prevents you from paying out of pocket or applying for loans.
18. Skipping Class
Whatever you do, do not skip class! You are paying for a class and you are just wasting your money if you decide not to go and your grades will be affected as well.
19. Not Planning For The Future
While it is easy to get caught up with the now, time goes so fast that your future is right around the corner. That is what I have experienced at least. Now that my senior year in college is approaching I am doing nothing but planning for what happens afterward.
20. Special Gym Memberships
The trend right now is to go to all these crazy different workout classes such as spin class, yoga, and many more. While it can add up quickly, It is possibly cheaper to go to the gym that is on campus. It is most likely free because your student fees pay for it. If you want a specialty workout class, there are also actual classes that your school offers for the semester and you can even get credit for working out.