How To Budget In College
Our latest blog is from the smart and handsome Sam the Intern (not to be confused with Intern Sam) whose here to help all you college kids make it through your last few weeks of school without going broke. For those who are adults and still broke, check out our How to Make it Through the Week with $50 in Your Account blog.
Essentially everyone in college is broke, or at least is on the verge,. Of course, there’s exceptions to this rule. Everyone knows that one girl with a distinctly foreign upper class name like “Anastasia” whose dad bought her an Audi and maxes her credit card out every month even though her credit limit is like $20,000. Too specific? Too bad. Anyway, most of us are not in that small pool, and instead are left to watch our summer lifeguarding money slowly approach zero. Being the savant business student that I am, let me help. Let me break it down for you.
How to Not Go Broke in College
Your spending in college is broken down into three main categories: Food, alcohol/drugs, and miscellaneous shit like posters, LED lights, soap, and fines.
This is obviously a very important segment of your spending pie chart. If you’re fucking stupid, you’ll overspend on food and have no money left to buy cool things like Natty Light and dab rigs. The key is to buy food in small amounts. Hit the grocery store like once a week and get enough food to last 5-7 days. If you buy anymore than this, it’s almost guaranteed at least a quarter of it is getting thrown out. You wanted to be healthy and get a dozen apples? When you’re drunk and need food, apples aren’t gonna cut it and soon enough half of those apples are rotten.
Secondly, Trader Joe’s is your greatest friend. They have perfected frozen meals and I will die on that hill. Load up on that shit. Easy to make and super affordable. Your other best friends are rice and pasta. Dirt cheap, filling, and tastes good enough if you have any competence with seasoning.
Lastly, stop ordering Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash, or any other food delivery service. It’s a massive scam and will run your funds absolutely dry. Just drive, bike, skateboard, run, walk, I don’t care. Reserve these purchases to once a week at most, when you are either so hammered that you can’t see or are so hungover that you swear you’ll never drink again (and then drink literally 6 hours later).
If you’re not a complete nerd, this category should set you back about as much as food does. Don’t be a snob about your alcohol and drugs because 1. It’ll cost you a pretty penny and 2. Nobody likes that person anyway.
Drink regular drinks. Bud light, Natty light, Keystone, Budweiser etc. If you’re drinking mixies and pay more than $30 for a fifth, fuck you. You can’t tell the difference between top-shelf vodka and anything else, just pour some lemonade in it and drink up. That being said, you need to splurge from time to time. Treat yourself to a sixer of IPA’s if that’s your thing or a strawberry daiquiri if that’s more your style. There’s no such thing as girly drinks, don’t be afraid to admit you like piña coladas or rosé or getting caught in the rain.
As for drugs, this is a family blog, so we’ll keep it brief. Just know that every drug dealer is going to try and rip you off at first. Everyone’s been ripped off for drugs before, limit this as much as possible.
Costumes, Posters, LED lights, Soap, and Fines
You should limit spending in this category as much as possible. Miscellaneous spendings like these can almost always be avoided. There’s a party this weekend and the theme is Western? You don’t need to go buy a cowboy hat to fit in, just wear jeans and a flannel or something. Nobody cares that much if your outfit is really in theme, it’s at best an icebreaker. Other miscellaneous spending could be those Michael Jordan and Pulp Fiction posters and LED lights you “just needed” to improve your rooms feng shui and make you look and feel sick during sex. Overall a terrible investment since you’ve been having way less sex at college than you predicted. The person in the room matters more than what it looks like. Wholesome, right?
Other miscellaneous spending can’t be avoided. If you live in a dorm, best believe those narc RA’s are going to snitch. This usually results in ridiculous fines from your respective greedy and power-hungry college or university. If you live off campus and have people over, some cranky old couple will probably call in a noise complaint, which is actually super not cool of them. Begrudgingly pay the fine and hope that old couple dies soon 🙂