Money management is difficult at any age. When you are a fresh college student, a sudden burst of funds can go wrong rather quickly. Here are a few purchases to avoid in your college years that your future self will thank you for.
1. That Big Screen TV
Once you move out on your own, it may cross your mind to purchase a big screen like the version your parents have. Toss this thought out and consider streaming on whatever devices you already own. Making such a grand purchase only makes sense if you are 100% you’re going to live in one place throughout your entire time in college. You’ll avoid moving costs, constant cable set-ups, and you’ll save enough dollars to purchase that screen once you receive your degree. This is one of the biggest purchases to avoid.
2. Shopping Exclusively At The Campus Bookstore
A lesson we have all learned the hard way. Although it is incredibly convenient to purchase your books at the campus bookstore, there are also so many cheaper alternatives available! From Amazon to independent bookstores, if you take the time to venture beyond campus you will still get all the required materials for a cheaper price. Unless you plan on showcasing your extremely overpriced materials once you’re out of college, it may be best to spend as little time as possible in the school bookstore.
3. Excessive Events
You’re young and you want to live life to the fullest, I get it. There are so many music festivals, events, and sporting events to attend in such a short amount of time. The most common defense is that it is a “once in a lifetime” event so it is worth spending money you don’t have. As a college student, you have to be strategic about which leisurely activities you pay for. It is not going to help if you are left with a pile of ticket stubs, yet your tuition went unpaid and now you’re stuck. I am all for experiencing what life has to offer, I even made a few too many Giants game purchases in my college days, but deeply consider which events are worth the sacrifice. We’d definitely mark this as one of the purchases to avoid.
4. Maxed Out Credit Cards
The best piece of advice is to not pile debt on top of debt. If you max out your credit cards in your college years and assume that it will balance out in the end, you could be in for an uphill credit climb that you cannot win. Sometimes there are emergencies where a credit card is your only option but if it is a frivolous purchase that you can’t justify five years down the line, put the card back in your wallet!
5. When FAFSA Becomes Fast Food
If you are fortunate to receive a portion of money from FAFSA, it is easy to spend that leftover cash like it’s water. With many college campuses being located near fast food or chain restaurants, that money can manifest into multiple chicken nugget charges on your bank statement. In your college years anytime you have money left over, you should try your best to save it. I know it’s not easy, but it is better to have a small cushion of funds instead of wasting it on Olive Garden breadsticks. We highly suggest putting this on your list of purchases to avoid.
6. Obtaining The Newest Devices
When a new device is released, consider asking yourself a few questions. Do I really need this? Is it going to help me study? Is this one device crucial to me getting my degree or is my current technological set-up getting the job done? I did not purchase a new laptop until I graduated college because I knew that my current model was cranking out my assignments just fine. Although the devices seem like a lot of fun, consider the long-term impact.