Many college students can admit to going to Wal-Mart for one essential item and ending up with eight things they do not need. Deals and possibly useful items grab the attention of shoppers and cause unnecessary spending. College is when students are poor and have no money, but if that is true how do students end up with so many non-essential items?
Deals and coupons can make it seem as if the items are coming at a steal, but if the money is not there is it really a deal? Kelsey Walkup, a sophomore at Simpson College, said she thinks students buy things to feel cool and up to date with the latest trends.
“We’re sucked into great deals that aren’t always great deals and we have this tendency to want to be in with the times,” Walkup said. “We want the new iPhone or newest Buckle jeans or newest Jordan’s.”
Walkup also believes having a job during school changes her outlook on things. “Now that I have a job and have a steady income, I’m not so afraid to spend money because I know it’ll be replaced,” she said.
Having a job can be both good and bad for students. The good aspect would be having a little bit of money to spend on a want and putting some away to help pay for college. The bad aspect is spending all of that paycheck on wants instead of needs and saving nothing.
The best thing any student can do is budget their money. Kara May, assistant director of the Hawley Center, said there are plenty of easy ways to budget your money. “The Mint.com is an online budgeting money management system where you can track every expense and categorize it,” May said.
Every dollar counts when it comes to saving money for college. Simpson has many students receiving some form of financial aid to assist with college expenses.
“People are borrowing more money, people are getting more loans and grants, some people are paying for college on their own,” May said.
When it comes to saving money, students should create a budget and stick to it. Spending money in moderation and putting some away in savings is the key to a happy bank account.
There are smart ways students can spend money, but the key is to stray away from the dangerous spending habits. Heather Gaumer, assistant director of Admissions and Financial Assistance, said, “Whenever a student is thinking about buying something they should definitely shop around and think about it.”