There is no secret that college is tough, especially when you’re trying to achieve that 4.0 GPA, balance a part-time or full-time job, and squeeze in time for a social life. What’s even more difficult is trying to survive on a college student’s budget; your bank account seems to never be where you want it to be.
While your collegiate years are shimmering with new-found independence and breathtaking moments, it’s also the time when you realize that part of becoming an adult, is making smart financial decisions. You start to learn when to say no (or yes!) to those shoes you have eyed for so long. Here are five young women who offer their tips on how to maintain a healthy relationship between you and your bank account.
Q: Where are some places that you shop that would fit into an average female college student’s budget?
A: For my basic pieces, I shop at affordable places: Cotton On and H&M. For fun and trendy pieces, I love checking out stores like Forever 21 because I can find great, on-trend pieces within my limited budget. I also love online boutiques because, again, there are a lot of affordable, trendy pieces that are also unique. — Michaela Soltau, junior
Q: What is the one thing that you spend the most money on and how do you try to limit your splurge on it?
A: I actually spend the most money at Barnes & Noble. I know it sounds nerdy but one of my favorite things to do is buy a book then sit in Starbucks and start it. However, we all know how expensive Barnes & Noble has become, so I end up dropping a bit of money to afford this habit. I try to limit my spending by forcing myself to pick off my bookshelf in my room. Also I have to limit my trips because it takes up gas in my car to get there. — Dana Gunnarson, junior
Q: How do you prioritize your spending fees?
A: I cut costs on things that don’t matter as much. This is neither good, nor bad, so long as I can afford the things that I am prioritizing. I do this by cutting back on the areas that aren’t as important to me. For example, I have an old Mercedes car and I’m taking good care of it and as long as it’s doing its work, I am good to go. — Marina Ethanasioss, graduate student
Q: What are some tips you would give to other college students on maintaining a comfortable college lifestyle without being broke or in debt?
A: Budget, Budget, Budget! I use to budget to the last penny because I didn’t make much money during my undergraduate. It is even more important to budget what I spend now that I have to pay for graduate school. — Lisa Green, graduate student
Q: Do you have a process for sticking to a budget?
A: Yes, but I feel it also varies from time to time because I work paycheck to paycheck. I like focus on the things I absolutely need to buy/pay for in advance; bills, grocery, and hygiene products always make it to the top of the list. For the things I wants it’s all about treating myself now and then to something that can also help me the end. For example, I love getting a new pocketbook so I stick to styles that can benefit me in a chic yet professional way. — Taylor Jones, sophomore
By: Anika Nahar | Photo: YHM Magazine Archive