In Her Campus’ series Where’d My Money Go?, we’re taking a look at what one college student spends in a week on campus. In this piece, Hannah, a senior at Florida State University, shares her weekly spending habits.
I have a confession: I’m a couponer. There, I said it! Jokes aside, couponing and looking up deals have helped me tremendously when it comes to my college spending. As a senior at Florida State University, I’ve learned money anxiety is very much real, but there are little things I do in my weekly routine that help ease the worries of being financially independent.
I don’t have a job, but thankfully, I have a scholarship, which I use to get me through the semester. My main goal is to make that money last till the new classes start up. I’ve been very fortunate to live in a house by campus that my family owns, so my main expenses are groceries and gas. I also pay for my own Spotify and Amazon Prime subscriptions. I like to treat myself every once in a while, of course, to new clothes and especially to a drink at Starbucks. If I’m being honest, all my money goes to Starbucks (outside of gas and groceries). I mean, I am a college student after all — caffeine is my motivation.
Growing up, my family’s financial situation was never really talked about, so when I got to college and was in charge of handling my own money, I became overly cautious. I had this fear that I couldn’t spend money on myself, but I came to my senses. To combat my nerves and allow myself some leeway to reward myself here and there, I budget. Before getting groceries, I look up the weekly ads for Publix and Target and then divide my grocery list depending on which place had the better deals for each product. I try to spend around $50 on groceries that will last me two weeks. I also try to eat out no more than twice a week, but sometimes that’s unrealistic because Chipotle or sushi is calling my name. I’ll sign up for rewards for any restaurant, and I’m not afraid to use them. Though I might seem like a money-nervous nelly, I do like to spend money on myself — especially on memories. This week, this definitely stood true.
12 p.m.: I got Dunkin while visiting my ~medium-distance~ boyfriend in Orlando. Sundays are my favorite day of the week. I take them as a chance to refresh for the new week, and a refresh always equates to getting a coffee and breakfast. Starbucks on Sundays is my go-to, so I low-key felt like I was cheating. Blame it on my boyfriend. $8.03
Daily Total: $8.03
2 p.m.: It’s a Monday, which can only mean one thing: Bachelor night. It was the premiere of The Bachelor, so of course, I had to stock up on some treats from the grocery store to watch with my roomies. $16.19
3 p.m.: It was time to head back to Tallahassee after visiting my boyfriend in Orlando, so I had to get gas. I had one goal in mind: Make it back in time for The Bachelor (safely, of course). $28.29
8 p.m.: One thing about me is whenever one of my weekly shows is on, I will be getting takeout. This week’s choice was a veggie burrito bowl from Chipotle. $8.98
Daily Total: $53.46
9 a.m.: I have classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and more often than not, I stop at Starbucks on one of those days. A Tuesday Starbucks run was a must for this week because I had a presentation and I needed the little pick-me-up. I knew I was going to be visiting Starbucks this week, so I saved my free drink reward for this moment and used a gift card for the rest of the order. A free Starbucks visit is a win! $0
Daily Total: $0
12:30 p.m.: So, I may or may not have forgotten to get one of my textbooks for this semester. Once I remembered, I quickly placed an order on Amazon. P.S. To save money on textbooks, buy used ones off Amazon. $9.73
Daily Total: $9.73
5:30 p.m.: I had a bonding event with my school’s Her Campus chapter at 7 p.m. I wanted to stock up on groceries beforehand so I had a meal to cook when I got back. $34
6:00 p.m.: Gas twice in one week is a very rare sight for me, but it had to be done after my recent trip. I usually only get gas twice a month. $25.21
Daily Total: $59.21
Since I don’t have classes on Fridays, I took the day off to catch up on some sleep and relaxation. That meant binge-watching a TV show and not leaving my room all day. Ginny and Georgia was the choice this week. $0
Daily Total: $0
4 p.m.: I went to see the new Avatar: Way of Water with my friend. If you don’t get snacks at the movies, did you really even go? Of course, I loaded up on popcorn and a large coke. I was tempted to get Swedish Fish as well, but I knew we were going out to dinner after, so I refrained. $32
7:45 p.m.: After a three-hour movie with a wild plot, we needed some food to refuel us. We opted for Chili’s because nothing beats their three-for-me deal with chips and salsa. $17.75
Daily Total: $49.75
Weekly Total: $180.18
If you haven’t gathered this by now, this was not a normal week for me by any means. Quite frankly, looking at the weekly total pained me. However, it was worth it. Sure, weeks like these might make a slight dent in my bank account, but ultimately, I’m spending it on making memories that will last forever from watching The Bachelor premiere with my roomies to spending quality time with my boyfriend (even if it’s at Dunkin). Full transparency: I also had some cash that I got during Christmas, which aided me in these purchases. For the next week, I’ll be keeping it low-key and going back to my regularly-scheduled programming.