Splurge or save? HC's guide on when to shell out the big bucks vs. save your cash

Posted -

            As college students, we become more and more aware of how much money we actively spend. When we are the only people responsible for our finances and purchases, we also realize what we typically spend our money on. As we become more aware, many of us have difficulty acknowledging what we can cut back on, and where the spending seems to fall within reason.

            As prospective students, the college food options seem to be exciting and unique. However, once you begin to go to the same place for all your meals you find yourself gravitating towards only certain items that appetize you. This common occurrence leads to the first piece of advice: you should not feel guilty for spending money on food. Especially when fruit and vegetables are sold at different locations around campus, you should never feel guilty for spending a few extra dollars on strawberries or a smoothie. In addition, going out to a restaurant is just a nice excuse to get off campus.

            Another ubiquitous hobby on college campuses is online shopping. Online shopping can be dangerous: you’re not physically handing cash over to a cashier, so you can easily become ignorant of how much money you’re truly shelling out. A typical online shopping rule-of-thumb is if you see something online and really like it but don’t necessarily NEED it, you should wait 24 hours before you actually decide to purchase it or not. This rule prohibits you from making an impulse buy and potentially saves you from spending money on something you don’t really love or want.

            When contemplating big purchases like technology or something that is way over what you normally spend for a good, ask yourself some questions like: Do I really NEED this item? If you do need it, can you wait to buy it and see if there are any special offers or sales? Also, ask yourself if the benefit of having the item will surpass the cost of actually paying for it. When answering these questions, be honest with yourself. By doing so, you’ll be potentially saving you from making a purchase you didn’t really need to make.

Two last things to keep in mind: in college, things are bound to get lost, stolen or destroyed due to parties and shared laundry rooms, keep in mind to not spend too much on something that may be gone within the next couple weeks! Lastly, if you already have plenty of an item already (for example: sunglasses, makeup, bathing suits, etc.) really think about if buying an additional item will benefit you. If you think it will, always keep an open mind into selling some of your old things so that your spending has a monetary benefit as well!