This past week, I challenged myself to spend as little money as possible, preferably none at all unless absolutely necessary. As a college student who has been in the position of literally having negative dollars in my bank account, I know how it feels to be forced to be frugal with your money and spend it as wisely and strategically as possible. Instead of taking it day by day, for this challenge I’m just going to talk about what I refrained from spending money on as a whole for the week and what I did instead to save some cash.
Almost every day I go to Starbucks and get a coffee, whether it is in the morning after I rush out of the house, or when I’m on the go in the afternoon and need a pick me up. With that being said, this week I stopped myself from spending a ridiculous $6 on a coffee every day and used the Keurig in my house for each coffee I drank, no matter how much I was craving that perfectly blended Starbucks Caramel Macchiato. This saves a lot of money if you do that math, because buying a coffee a day adds up to almost $50 a week, which is so unnecessary if I can get my caffeine fix for free in the comfort of my own home. Sounds like a no brainer when I put it that way and I’ll definitely keep in mind how much money I can save if I just make my own coffee at home instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money elsewhere.
Food is the next thing, and frankly the biggest thing, that I spend a ridiculous amount of money on when I really don’t need to at all. My sorority house provides me with food 24/7, whether it be home cooked meals, cereal, bagels, yogurt, sandwiches, and still, my bank account is overflowing with charges from food places. Why am I the way I am? I couldn’t tell you. Living in a college town with an abundance of places to eat within walking distance is dangerous. At my old school, there were no food places nearby, and I was forced to eat only my meal plan and barely spent any money at all on the weekdays, but here it’s basically the only thing I blow my money on, and it’s getting out of hand. This week I did my best to curve my Tacoria and Hansel cravings and stick to the meal plan I pay for in the house. I decided to leave my debit card at home whenever I went out instead of keeping it in the back of my phone, which really helped because even if I had the urge (which is seriously always), I couldn’t do anything about it except wait until I got home to eat. This tactic worked for this week, but I doubt I’ll be able to have this type of self-control all the time.
After looking at my bank statement, I found that the third thing that I spend the most money on is Lyft. When you go to a school as big as Rutgers, it’s inevitable that sometimes you are going to have to walk 15 minutes in the freezing cold to get to your destination. That just isn’t my cup of tea. Instead, I prefer to spend $6 every time I have to make a trek through New Brunswick, whether it be to get to a house party or to get to class on another campus. You may be thinking “why don’t you just take a bus?”. You know the answer to that though. The Rutgers busses suck. BUT, for the sake of my challenge, all week I either walked, or took the bus. Granted, I was late to class a few too many times and may or may not have frost bite on every single exposed body part of mine, but I made it through. I acknowledge the fact that I could definitely walk more and get some exercise and fresh air instead of Lyfting unnecessarily, because I admit sometimes I just do it out of pure laziness. When it comes to making it to class I’ll probably stick with Lyft because the bus system honestly may be the reason I don’t graduate on time.