I do not know what is more depressing when the dining hall food is sub par or when you look at your bank statement and see less than $100. If I could calculate all the money I have spent during my years in college based on the amount of food I ate off campus, alcohol, random stuff that I do not need (like a plush Olaf from Target), and other stuff, I am sure that I would go into a total shock.
I work two jobs, and I still worry about money. The fascinating question, “what are you going to do post-graduation?” rings in my head every time I spend a penny because grad school seems so far away. If a university could give me money to attend grad school, then I will wear its school colors every day for the rest of my life. I am not kidding
So why are students broke?
1. Victoria Secret Semi-Annual Sale (no judgment if anyone other than females take part in this; they have some really nice stuff)
Three body care products for $15?! 70% off make up?! 7 panties for $25?! I really feel for VS employees during the semi annual sale because it may be worse than Black Friday. I have seen grown women fight over a bra just because it was $18…I can get two bras for $18 at Kohls. Other than that, I could do some real damage on that plus the swim wear sale! A bikini for $39! Thankfully I have learned to put stuff down items and end up only spending $40 max, but the girl in front of me spent $200…you do you boo!
Cartwheel, Red Points, and sales oh my! I may only go to target to get my prescription refilled and came out with three shopping bags filled with that concealer “I needed,” glitter (because that is my favorite color), and random food items because they were all on sale. I scan every item with Cartwheel, and if it is on sale, I am getting it. Pretty sure my apartment bedroom could be a model room for Target. Tip: Bring reusable bags, and get 5 cents off per bag towards your final purchase.
3. Taco Bell or any other fast food
Is the dining hall food sub par? Maybe you are just too lazy to make food? Well, my roommates and I have a solution to that! Taco Bell runs a thing at my apartment. When one of us craves those warm potatoes topped with fake cheese and sour cream, we all make a field trip to Taco Bell. Happier Hour can force me to dance; $1 grillers and medium drinks (except they never have Mountain Dew Baja Blast) can make anyone smile. Love cheesy fiesta potatoes? They got a wrap for it! Now my stomach may not like it, but let’s be honest, yo Quiero Taco Bell.
4. That gym membership that we don’t use
No judgment. Just like Planet Fitness, this is a judgment free zone. I go to Planet Fitness for $10/month, and I used to loathe going. What do I wonder is why people just go to the gym to take selfies? Are you paying $10-80/month to take a selfie? Move over so I can use the weights. Just a warning, that monthly membership adds up, so use it or drop it to save yourself money!
It costs $6 for a shot of Fireball in Diet Coke at a local club. It costs $7 for a mimosa. It costs $9 for a Sour Amaretto. It costs $0 for water. As stereotypical college kids, my friends and I would go to fraternity parties and get free alcohol. Open for the ladies and $5 for a cup for the men. Recently I sat down with a friend who is a member of a particular fraternity, and he said they would spend $300 on alcohol per party….do you know what I could do with $300? I could buy 30 cockroaches at the Bronx Zoo and name them after people I do not like, buy 150 packs of gum, pay for my car to get detailed, or do the responsible thing and pay off student loans. Tip: If you plan on going out to a bar or club, only take a $20 for your alcohol purchases. You cannot spend more than $20, and you learn not to chug everything plus drink specials.
My sociology textbook was $200…why? Luckily my dad is an Amazon Prime wizard and can score excellent deals, but why do I need to spend $300+ every semester when we already pay $15-80,000 per year for tuition? Can there be a deal like pay your tuition, get free textbooks?
7. Spring Break
First of all, it is not forever; it is a week. For example, you are going to Panama City. You need to find a flight to get there and back, or gas money for you brave souls who drive down there, buy a room at a hotel for so many nights, buy food and alcohol, pay for taxis unless you plan on walking everywhere — also, if you get a drinking ticket, then that is more money — and money for restocking the mini bar. That all comes to a total of $800+. I am in no way putting down this awesome trip (if you need an extra person, and it is free, hit me up), but I do not have that money. I usually work during my spring breaks because I am poor, broke, and tired. However, I plan on going all out next winter break on a cruise because it will be off season and so much cheaper.
But remember, what happens on spring break doesn’t stay on spring break.
One thing that they do not teach you in high school is how to survive college balling on a budget. Seriously, there needs to be a how to course on this! I did not write this article to put anyone down, but to make it known on why we are all broke. Yes, I love Wicked Taco, but I do not want all my money to go towards it when I have piles of student loans. Just be mindful of what you are using your money towards, but also have fun. College is a lot of work, so if you have a huge exam and you passed it, you get yourself a 24 oz margarita on Margarita Monday for $6, or a mani/pedi, or just time for a nap. We all deserve a little treat.
Credit: Anna Landis and Edited by University Magazine