A College Student's Perspective On Money
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A College Student's Perspective On Money

A sad story of regret.

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A College Student's Perspective On Money

I was not always bad with money. The reason being I just really didn't have anything to spend it on. I did not like being dependent on my parents, so I pushed myself to always have a summer job and tried work on the weekends during the school year. I was responsible!

Then I went to college and lost total control of my life and finances. I'm horrible with money. I spend freely and only feel mildly bad about it. It's possible I developed a shopping/alcohol addiction my freshman year and was never again able to curb my thirst for crop tops and tequila sunrises.

I basically live my life by the motto "Go big or go home." I go big with a weekly egg and cheese on a bagel. I go big with the family size SKYY Vodka bottle. I go big when I convince myself I need the same tank top in three different colors. But my bank is going to be the one telling me to go home when I can't pay my credit card bill.

To all the incoming freshmen: Do not be like me. Learn from my mistakes (that I refuse to learn from). I cannot stress enough to ask yourself, "Do I need this?" That $15 orange bralette will not look cute when you look back on it sophomore year. That tequila shot is not going to feel good later as you're hunched over a toilet. If you have any doubt at all, you definitely do not need it.

I get it. You do not want to miss out on anything, and you are willing to spend whatever for a good time. I'm here to tell you that it's not always worth it.

Those countless Friday nights you spend at the bar will get old and add up. You can have just as good a time having friends over and getting drunk off cheap wine. College is a lot of fun, and sometimes those extra fun nights are also extra expensive. But that fun can turn into a headache the next day when you get a text from your parents asking, "What is Darby's Bar? Why did you spend $65 there?"

Before I got to college, I told myself I would watch my spending. I had watched my older sister pave the way for self-bankruptcy that ultimately led to my parents taking away her credit card. I did not want to be like that. It took me until junior year to realize looking for other social activities is key to not wasting your funds. I don't have to buy a new shirt every weekend, I can just ask one of my friends. I don't have to buy Starbucks every time I go to the library, I can bring a self-brewed coffee from home. Do I really need Panera, or can I be happy with the dining hall that my parents graciously pay for? Also, flasks were invented for a reason—use them (they save money)!

I'm fortunate enough to have a decently paying summer job and parents who frequently bail me out of impending debt. But that time is quickly running out, and soon I am going to be living in a cardboard box. I never knew anything about "interest rates," "bills," and "taxes"—those were things my parents took care of. Now I can't believe how ignorant I was. I'm 21 years old and still convinced the Bank of Parents is bottomless.

This is not a heartfelt list encouraging you to spend all your money because you are free and 20. This is a PSA to not be like me. I didn't take my own advice, and I never learned to pace myself. Take my words of wisdom and budget yourself. Then when you're rich and see me living in a trashcan, you can say thank you and bail me out.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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