Let’s just admit it – we’ve all had some type of money problem in the past due to our poor budgeting skills. The good news? As we get older, we will also (hopefully) get wiser.
Upperclassmen at Simpson are far more likely to have a set budget in place than freshmen. While many first years have heard the horror stories of bare wallets and empty bank accounts, sometimes they need a little advice from those who have wrestled through the expenses before.
So wouldn’t it be great if we had all the answers to our money problems without ever having to learn from our own mistakes? Pay attention freshmen – because now you do!
“I’ve stopped spending as much this year,” senior Megan Culbertson said. “I have to buy food, but I don’t spend money on clothes or other fun things.”
Culbertson is not the only upperclassman that has to decide what’s important enough to spend money on.
“I used to feel like I had to buy a t-shirt for every organization I’m in, but after a while it all really adds up,” junior Maddie McAreavy said.
While you may be tempted to purchase every t-shirt someone walks by your room selling, take a few moments to think it through first.
To determine if a shirt is worth buying, ask yourself:
Am I directly involved in this organization or sport? If no, continue to the next question.
Are any of my best friends directly involved in this organization or sport? If no, proceed to the third question.
Is it a really sweet shirt that I absolutely cannot live without? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the following questions, purchase that shirt without feeling guilty.
In the off-chance that you answered ‘no’ to all three questions, I applaud you. You have just taken your first step towards learning how NOT to spend your money.
Another mistake many first years make is eating at restaurants or buying fast food too often. When you are free to leave campus at any time, it can be hard saying ‘no’ when your friends take that late night trip to A&W.
“I learned last year that I can spend money on things I really need like food, but I don’t have to go to Red Lobster every Friday night,” sophomore Brad Davison said.
Junior Alicia Kollenkark has advice for first-years in that position.
“Since you already have your meal plan paid for, use all your meals and don’t go out to eat when you have some left for the week,” Kollenkark said. “You’re just wasting money.”
While it’s okay to spend money occasionally on things you really want, be smart about it. Make sure what you’re buying is something that’s going to be worth it in the long run.