Top 10: College Money Black Holes

By Scarlett Valentin (SUNY New Paltz) — No paying for gas. Meal plan already paid for. I’m going to save so much money at school.

I couldn’t be more wrong. As soon as I got to school I was spending money left and right and couldn’t keep track. For those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, here’s where your money’s going.

1. Cigarettes and Weed

I can’t bear to look at my own receipts so
these aren’t mine, but you know the feeling.

The one thing I will never understand. With the crazy amount of money spent on these bad habits, you could buy yourself a lot nicer things. Or put that money towards everything else on this list that’s a lot more necessary.

2. Vending Machines
It may be only a dollar here and there but it adds up. Buy things in bulk at Costco to get your money’s worth. Just don’t buy things that go bad quickly.

3. Restaurants That Aren’t Included In Your Meal Plan
I got sick of my unlimited buffet meal plan halfway through first semester. Freshman have mandatory meal plans at SUNY New Paltz so I choose to pay for a meal plan I don’t use and spend every last penny I have on food anywhere but my dining hall.

4. Alcohol
You think you’re being frugal by buying cheap alcohol, but in the morning you find receipts to ATMs and realize that the cheap alcohol put you in a state of mind to make you think you can afford every other type of alcohol.

5. Alcohol For The Ladies
You may think you’re being smooth by buying her a drink, but don’t be surprised when you wake up with no one to comfort you but your empty wallet.

6. Admissions To Clubs, Bars Or Parties
$5 may sound okay for a party until you’re standing on the keg line all night and realize you paid 5 bucks for 2 cups of beer instead of unlimited.

7. Taxis, Buses And Trains
Luckily almost everything is within walking distance in New Paltz, but it’s not like that in most towns.

8. Groceries

Stackin’ up on my Costco goods!

Food seemed a lot cheaper when your parents were buying it. Stick to generic brands and get bonus cards to your supermarkets. You’ll save more than you realize.

9. Laundry
Some colleges warn you to stack up on quarters for laundry. For some reason, people are more willing to throw away coins than dollar bills. Money is money and those quarters stack up.

10. Cleaning Supplies And Toiletries
I don’t think college students put as much money as they should towards cleaning supplies, but they still are very expensive. Again, when you’re at the pharmacy, go for generic brands. And ladies, makeup is very expensive. Embrace the natural look.

Expenses don’t stop after you pay tuition and housing. You may think with a summer job you’ll have some extra cash to spend, but it’ll be gone before you know it. Save your money as much as possible for the school year.

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4 thoughts on “Top 10: College Money Black Holes

  1. I definitely agree! Money doesn't seem important until you are spending your own money, not your parents. The money you spend on eating out, buying snacks, doing laundry, and groceries adds up quicker than you can spend it. You don't realize that even though the meal plan food might not always be good, it is already paid for (from money that either came from your own pocket or your financial aid) and taking laundry back home or to a friends house will save you hundreds of dollars rather than paying $2.00 a load in quarters. College is expensive without all these things, and since spending money on alcohol and other things is a must in most college students eyes, cut back on other expenses as much as possible!
    Good blog! 🙂

  2. When I started college in 2008 i thought that i would have a lot of money saved up. The next thing i knew i was calling my mother within months. As Young adults we fail to realize how expensive things are when our parents arent paying for majority of our things anymore. As we get to enjoy the feelin gof being free from our parents rules we think we can do any and everything. We tend to shop for clothes and shoes more often. college students want to hang out with their friends, go on random road trips and party, which requires them to spend more money that usual. Being on your own with little to moderate rules to abide by, you tend to do things you probably wouldnt if you were at home with your parents. This includes drinking and smoking. as i college student i have tried something and spent plenty of money on useless things and to tell you the truth i regret half of the things i did.

  3. lMAO! i think #1 is in the correct position! #6 should be #2! everything on this list is true! especially if your living on campus or your freshman year in college. I think it was very hard balancing my money my freshman year because i wanted to do everything and try to survive while attending class. Laundry especially took up my money because it was $1.25 to dry clothes for only 20 mins! and sometime i would have to double wash my clothes because it still would stink because of all the previous clothes that were in their before. I think food and clubs took up allot of my money because i got tired of the food in the Caf to quick and I went out every weekend to the clubs!

  4. I don't actually stay on campus at my school but this is very interesting to read. I have friends that stayed on campus and most of these apply to them. at least 2 apply to each of my friends. I do agree with #1. Students will spend their last to buy weed and I think it is crazy. Even with students who don't actually stay on campus, most of these can apply to us.

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