By Tabitha Carranza
If a group of students were asked what they thought would solve most of their problems, more than likely their answers would be the same: money.
Now, if you ask the same group what they like doing or where their interests lie, the answers would vary.
Shopping would likely be one, but regardless, the answers would most likely =spending money.
Spending money isn’t necessarily bad. After all, consumerism is what keeps the economy well-rounded
and the country thriving. However, the problem is that college students tend to spend money frivolously
and accumulate a lot of belongings as they begin their journeys into the real world.
This isn’t to say that young adults are the most wasteful when it comes to their finances or even spend
more than any other age group. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual Consumer Expenditure Survey
found that recent college grads spend the least. But they spend more of their paycheck on items such as clothing.
This is obviously an issue because most college students are trying to begin their careers and adult lives with a lack of support from their bank accounts.
So what is their money being spent on? Besides the necessities, fast food, clothes and electronics are most likely the answer. Young college students are susceptible to buying items that give them instant gratification. The prominence of online advertising and one-stop online shops such as Amazon make self-discipline even more difficult for students.
The solution to this is not an easy one. It would be easy to suggest that students should save their money.
But the truth is, students who are in debt can’t rightfully save their funds. They need to focus on paying off their debts first. Students who live on their own or have families to support also can’t simply put their money away for a rainy day.
A good way for students to curb their spending habits is to see where their money is going. They can do this easily by looking at their bank statements. There are also apps, such as BillGuard, that will show them exactly what categories their money is going into.
Once they know what kind of things they spend their money on, it’ll be easier for them to choose where their dollars should be going and plan accordingly.
Another way college students can track their spending habits is by decluttering everything that they already own. This means everything, including clothes, books and even dishware. They should ask themselves when they last used an item and whether it brings value into their lives.
This can be a grueling process, but once it is finished students will have a better understanding of what they need and what they wasted their money on. The point of this is so they will make better buying decisions in the future based on that knowledge. Also, they can sell the things they are getting rid of to make some extra money.
The final way students can stop wasting their money on stuff is for them to divert their money into
something more meaningful: experiences.
This doesn’t mean they should plan a trip to Bali. Experiences can include going to a local show or seeing
the new blockbuster with friends. When students see what amazing life experiences their money can be
spent on, the latest trends and new gadgets will lose their flare.
Robert Diep / The Poly Post
Stop wasting money
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