How To Control Your $pending

11:53 AM

Being in college, money is a big concern. Being an out-of-state student in a city that costs way too much to live in, money is an even bigger concern. This is how I've dealt with money as a broke college student.

I don't like talking about money. I never have. It's always been an awkward conversation to have. I didn't even know how much my parents made until last year when they had to fill out the FAFSA. Even then, I still felt awkward talking about it. Even today, when people owe me money, I don't like asking for it. I'd rather lose a few dollars than have that awkward "you owe me money" conversation. This is pretty bad for my bank account now that I have to pay for things. 

As I mentioned, I'm an out-of-state student. If you've ever done any research on college tuition, it's quite expensive, especially if you're not paying in-state tuition. Knowing this high expense, I got a job to help pay for at least part of the expense: housing. 

I'm just going to make it clear that I'm not the best at saving money. However, I know my limits. Fall quarter, my parents paid for the housing, but my job was to save for Winter quarter housing. The price tag was around $3500. Being that I could only work a part-time campus job, my parents helped foot some of the bill. However, I ended up about $1000 short due to mindlessly over-spending. This is when I decided to get a second job. Over winter break, I worked full-time at Nordstrom and was able to make the rest of sum. 

Now back to the mindlessly over-spending part. I'm sure everyone can relate sometimes you just see something and you have to have it. Plus it's only $20! This happens 10 more times and voila! You've just spent $200 that you shouldn't have! The struggle for me, especially working at Nordstrom, was that I knew I would be getting a paycheck so I justified spending a little bit more money than I should. (Plus, employee discount!) No, Joycie, no. bad.
Rule 1: Just because you have a job, it doesn't justify spending $5 on starbucks.

When shopping, I find that if you're going shopping, once you pick up one thing to "try on" it's the "foot in the door" effect and you just start grabbing a million things to "just try on". That first piece you grab is a gateway drug to your shopping addiction. Going shopping in social situations is just as dangerous as going alone. Seeing everyone else buy things makes me feel like I need to buy something just to fit in. In this situation, just remember that it's okay not to buy anything and to not pick anything up in the first place. Also, online shopping is even more dangerous. At least for me it is. It's so easy and unburdening (quite literally since I don't have to drag around the pile of clothes around the store in shame like I usually would.) To conquer this challenge, I add everything to my cart and then right when I think I should buy everything, I exit the page. No going back. NEVER use the excuse "I'm just going to return it in! You won't actually go to the actual store -that's why you're online shopping. 
Rule 2: Going shopping when you should be saving is also just a bad idea. Remember, it's okay not to buy anything.

Like I said, I hate anything related to money. I often refuse to look at my bank account or even wallet just so I can be oblivious to the truth. This is also bad. Ignorance is NOT bliss. Which brings me to..
Rule 3: Always check how much money you actually have and have been spending.

After forcing myself to look at the totals in my bank accounts, sometimes, I go into a panic about the bills I will have to pay for. When I panic, I organize. Recently, I made a spreadsheet of my projected expenses for the summer verses my projected income for the summer. This helps me gauge how much I should save a month. If the number after your income and expenses is negative, it's time to get a job. This is what I did winter break.  Don't sit around complaining about your lack of cash. Do something about it!
Rule 4: When budgeting, make a plan. 

There's so much more I could say about this. Just to be clear, again, I'm not the best saver in all of the land by any means. I've been very irresponsible with my money before, and now that I'm in college, I can't do that anymore. This is just some of the things I've learned that help me curb my expenses. 

Hope this was helpful!

Thanks so much for reading!

Comment below: what's one thing you spend way too much money on?
Mine's definitely food. It adds up way too fast and ends up being a huge expense. Only costco grocery shopping from now on! (No more bubble tea and late night Thai delivery!)

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