Think back to your last weekend out. If it was anything like mine, you spent too much money on drinks that could’ve been made better at home, bought too much takeout, and didn’t get enough sleep. The memories will last us a lifetime, but the feeling of waking up the next morning with money regret is a feeling that we all wish to avoid.
College is a time where we explore ourselves, live life to the fullest, and make embarrassing memories that we’ll one day laugh about at dinner parties. But making these memories often leads to one big downfall – being poor.
Our early 20s are the only time in our lives that it’s socially acceptable to be as poor as we are, but that doesn’t mean we should have to be. No matter how smart we are, we all do stupid things that end up costing us in the long run.
Drying our clothes more than once so we don’t have to put them away.
There’s nothing worse than hearing your dryer make the god awful sound of letting you know you have to get out of bed and put your clothes away. As we continue to lie in bed and watch one three more episodes of Netflix, our clothes sit there and wrinkle. Every time you have to hit ‘wrinkle release’ on your dryer, you’re throwing away your hard earned cash, so do yourself a favor and just go put them away the first time.
Buying the anonymous birthday girl shots.
Ah, the anonymous birthday girl. We’ve all been there – standing at the bar in a sash and crown just waiting for someone to put a drink in our hands. It’s hard not to get caught up in all the drunken screaming and celebrating about how she ‘finally made it to 21,’ so of course you have to join in the fun and buy her entire group of friends a round of shots. Wouldn’t you want the same? No. This is when you walk away. Odds are she’s drunk enough already and isn’t going to remember your generosity in the morning, so save your money.
Stopping to grab Chipotle when you have food at home.
There’s something so satisfying about rewarding yourself to a burrito with extra guac after you’ve had a long day. It’s so much easier to just stop and grab something on your way home than actually having to cook, but take a look into your wallet and realize that all of those $7 burritos add up. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s definitely worth it, just probably not as much as you’d like to think. You’ll be glad you saved the money on a night out with your friends instead of that meal that you regret eating as soon as the post-feast bloating comes on.
Meeting friends for lunch.
There’s no shame in wanting to catch up with old friends, but lunch dates can add up pretty fast. Try meeting for home-brewed coffee or having a night in watching movies instead. This way you have more quality time with your friend, can wear a sports bra, and save money at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.
Buying pricey decorations for our rooms.
As we finally move out of the dorms and into our first apartments, the excitement seems to take over. One moment you’re signing your first lease and the next you’re standing in the middle of IKEA picking out new nightstands and dressers. No matter how much you want to justify buying three new collage picture frames, you’re better off just walking away. Try making your own decorations instead. Not only will you save money, but your apartment will stand out among the others.
Next time you’re out making memories, stop and take a second thought about why you’re spending money. It can be easy to get carried away as your friends drag you to the ATM on a night out, but don’t be afraid to be the one that says no – odds are your wallet will thank you the next day.
Featured Image by Zach Zupancic