Students: Stop Wasting Money on Things You Don't Really Need

In today's world, you might feel pressured to have certain things just for status, like designer clothes and the newest tech. However, learning to ask yourself what you really need versus what you've been spending money on is a good trait to develop in college. Read some tips on reining in your spending.


Spending Money on Things You Really Need

Before college, maybe you pampered yourself a bit. Nicer foods, designer clothing and Starbucks every morning promptly at eight. You liked to go out and have a mini shopping spree every now and again, and you went out for meals with your friends fairly regularly. But now you're in college and you don't have as much free cash as you did before. What's a student to do? To save money and to get you into better spending habits, there is really only one thing to do: stop buying things you don't need. But how do you do this?

Dump the Designer Brands

It's true that more girls are going to comment on that handbag if the name Prada is written across it in big bold letters, but what does a handbag really do? It holds things. A handbag from Target will function just as well as a designer bag, and if you look hard enough you're bound to find one that's just as stylish as the big name. That idea is the key to this step. When out shopping, focus on cost, quality and utility. That expensive shirt is just so cute! Maybe you can find it at Goodwill for half the price or one that looks like it at Walmart. Also ask yourself how often you are going to wear it. If you already have ten black dresses and you only wear them once in a while, then you probably don't need a new black Gucci dress. Or if you live somewhere where it snows all the time, you probably don't need those designer cut-off shorts.

Lose the Shoes

A girl's got to have shoes to match every occasion. But how many shoes is that? I promise you, it's not 50 pairs. When shoe shopping, apply the same rules as when looking at clothes: How much does it cost? Is it well made? How much will I wear it? If you work outdoors a lot, you do not need ten pairs of strappy heels. Also, will those neon blue pumps match anything in your closet? A few simple black heels can match almost any dress, whereas blue only matches one or two things at best. One last thing to do is to set a limit for your closet. Only allow ten pairs in there at a time or something similar. When a pair of shoes breaks or gets thrown away, only then can you go out to get a new pair of shoes.

Cut Back on Tech Toys

You're a big kid now, but that doesn't mean you don't still have toys. Technology is one of the newest and best diversions ever created, and there's a tech toy out there for almost everyone. But tech toys are still just that: toys. Do you really need a thumb drive that lights up and plays show tunes or would a regular thumb drive do just as well? But a brand new video game just came out! Can you borrow a friend's copy or at least wait until you can buy it used online? And of course there's an app for that, but would you ever really use it? It's true that technology is cool, but it's also costly. Cut back on tech toys and you'll find your life can be just as fulfilling without them.

Learn to Cook

How does this keep you from buying things you don't need? Simple. It means you don't eat out as often, won't buy expensive foods and don't have to order in and pay the deliveryman. Learning to cook will help you make tasty bulk meals for yourself and for friends that can last several days instead of saving that cold pizza or ordering another one. A great place to start is learning to brew your own coffee. You don't have to grow the beans yourself or anything like that. Just learn how to make coffee in the morning, and you're going to find that your Starbucks bills are declining.

Ask Out Loud

This is a very simple step, but it helps. Before you buy anything at all, look at it and ask yourself out loud: do I need it? Sometimes just reminding yourself that you're in college now and should be focusing on need and cost more than want can convince you to put back whatever it was you were considering buying. If you ask and can know that you'll use it regularly, it's well made and it's in a decent price range, then it just might be okay to buy it.

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