manage your money in college

6 Helpful Tips For Every Broke College Student

It's okay, college is the time of life to be broke.

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Let's face it. You're broke. Keeping in mind the hundreds of thousands of dollars you are paying in tuition, it's time to cut back on unnecessary spending and embrace reality. Here are some helpful tips from one stingy college student to the next. Your bank account will appreciate this.

1. Wait AT LEAST a day to make an impulse buy

"Wow, I really look great in this shirt. And look at that it's only $60." Potentially one of the most detrimental moments to our wallets, that ALL of us experience. Don't let that fancy new suit or boujee pair of shoes tell you that you look great the second you see them. After all, you don't get married after the first date. Take a moment, or a day, step back and think, "Will this be worth a paycheck?" Commonly you will find yourself regretting impulse buys, so make sure that you're actually in love with the item before you say "I do."

2. Carry around cash

Whether you know it or not, there's a hole in your wallet. It's that little piece of plastic that you always have trouble getting to work when you pay for something. Yes, I'm talking about your credit card. I find it so much easier to swipe than to hand over cash. When we buy things with cash, it is almost painful because you watch yourself lose money. Whereas, paying with a card, many develop a mindset involving something with the likes of "Oh, I won't have to worry about paying for that until my bill comes in the mail." Carrying around cash will make you want to get rid of it slower, compared to just a piece of plastic that tells you that you can afford anything.

3. Do not waste your money balling out on food

At the end of a long week, we all know that it is nearly impossible to not cash out on a nice dinner or an extra dessert. Be strong. It is ok to eat out in moderation but don't get hooked. It is time to dabble in some of the food in your pantry that you forgot existed.

4. Try to find ways to make money off of some of your hobbies 

People these days will buy ANYTHING. Do you enjoy throwing paint on a piece of paper? Sell it. Makeup connoisseur? Charge people to do their makeup. Instagram freak? Offer to edit people's posts for a couple of dollars. No matter how little you think your hobby may be, it can be extremely helpful or valuable to someone else. It's time to kick back, have some fun, and make a profit.

5. Don't stop into that coffee shop on your way home

You might have convinced yourself that a vanilla latte with an extra espresso shot is the primary energy source from which you will pump out the 7-page essay you've been avoiding, but in reality, it probably won't do that much. You do not need that cup of coffee to keep you going, and your bank account doesn't need it either. It's time to break that caffeine addiction and give your wallet a break.

6. Embrace the dining halls

I love a burrito from chipotle as much as the next person or a nice fancy dinner with some friends after a long week of work. However, your wallet does not. Try to limit yourself to purchasing food that you have not already paid for. Dining halls are a great option for low-budget ballers. Save your money and spend as much time as you want getting food that has already been paid for. An occasional treat is allowed, but give your wallet a treat too.

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8 Reasons I'll Take In-Store Shopping Over Online Shopping Any Day

In-store shopping shouldn't be disregarded.

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Lately, there have been many department stores closing due to the rise of online shopping as opposed to in-store shopping. According to Fox Business, this includes department stores such as Payless, Gymboree, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Dress Barn. The close of so many retail stores has led to more questions as to whether online shopping will become the only method of shopping.

However, just like with reading on a Kindle versus reading an actual book, not everyone prefers shopping online. At least, I don't prefer online shopping, and yes, I have tried shopping online for almost everything.

Here are eight reasons why shopping in the store will always be better than online shopping, no matter what other people have stated.

1. You can try on clothes

Clothes

Pixabay

This is one of the biggest problems I have with online shopping! You can't try on the clothes before buying them online. Sure, you can try on the clothes you get once they've been shipped. But if you have trouble finding the right size, especially since for women every size in almost any store varies, then it becomes more of a hassle.

Yes, a lot of online shopping sites have a "find the right size" menu where it gives you multiple measurements that match certain sizes. But most of those measurements include waist, hip, stomach sizes, and who has time to measure all of that?

2. You can expect what you're going to get

Shopping

Becca McHaffie / Unsplash

With in-store shopping, you usually know what you get with buying an item. You know what the item looks like from seeing it in person, or with clothes you've felt the fabric and seen what it looks like in person. With online shopping, you basically don't know for sure what to expect until you receive the item in the mail. There are a lot of sites that may try to scam you where they'll present you with a clothing item that looks nice on the model until you receive it and it looks nothing like what you saw online. At least with in-store shopping, this doesn't happen as often.

3. No shipping expenses

Cost

Artem Beliaikin / Unsplash

The nice part with in-store shopping is you don't have to spend extra expenses on shipping. Although there are times when online shopping sites offer free shipping, on some sites, it's hard to find free shipping. And on a lot of sites, they will try to offer free shipping only if you buy items that are $50 or more, which means you have to pay for more to receive free shipping.

4. No wait to receive what you buy

Shipped Box

Tyler / Flickr

The great part about in-store shopping is you get the item right away, unless you ask for the item to be ordered in the store. With online shopping, you have to wait for the item to be sent. And although there are some shipping options that allow one-day shipping, you'll sometimes be charged more to receive the item early. With in-store shopping, at least you get the outfit you want or item you need as soon as you pay for it.

5. You can avoid additional shipping hazards

Shipping

Bench Accounting / Unsplash

There are a lot of other shipping hassles that you have to go through besides waiting for the item to be shipped and the cost of shipping. You also have to worry about the item getting lost in the mail or if you'll receive it at the right address. And sometimes the item can get damaged during transit, which makes you feel like you wasted all of your money on buying the it.

6. You can speak to a sales representative in person

Sales Representative

Blake Wisz / Unsplash

This is especially helpful for buying bras or a dress. With in-store shopping, you can talk to a sales representative and get their opinion before buying the item. Sure, online shopping has someone you can talk to online, but it's not the same since you aren't talking to them in person or trying on the clothes in front of them. With in-store shopping, they can give you advice when you try on the item and offer you alternatives if it doesn't fit, whereas with online shopping, they can only offer you general advice without seeing you try on the item.

7. The option to pay with cash

Cash

Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

If you hate paying with a debit card, then you probably would prefer in-store shopping. The problem with online shopping is that you can't pay with cash since you can't exactly transfer real money online except through a debit card. With in-store shopping, you at least always have the option of paying with cash.

8. You miss the experience of shopping in person

Shopping

freestocks.org / Unsplash

Lastly, what most people don't seem to understand is that with online shopping, you don't get the whole experience with in-store shopping. You don't get to walk through a mall, try on clothes, finger through the fabric, or see clothes or items in person. Instead, you have to sit behind a computer and shop. Though many people may like online shopping because you don't have to go through the hassle of dealing with people or lines in a store, you still miss out on real experiences with shopping.

So many people are already found in their houses behind a computer screen or buried in their phones. We already miss out on real experiences because we're too caught up in the digital world. So why should we do the same with shopping?

As you can see, shopping in person can have its own benefits to it. I'm not saying that online shopping is completely bad where you may not be able to purchase the item in the store. However, I also don't think that in-store shopping should be disregarded for online shopping. Not everyone enjoys shopping online completely, and by getting rid of in-store shopping, we miss out on the many different experiences that come with it.

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