Living the college life is one of sporadic sleep schedules, daily confusion, and a consistently changing and adapting task list. With all the different responsibilities and random obligations one is juggling while he or she is preparing for the real world, what I like to call “Money Bandits” love to take over bank accounts and sneak into the everyday life of an 18-23 year old college student.
Money Bandit Number One: Eating Out
College and home cooked meals are two categories that fit like oil and water. With constantly altering schedules and a majority of students lacking in knowledge when it comes to cooking, fast food and delivery services creep in as a backbone of what a college meal plan starts to look like. Still, this is much more expensive than a grocery list or general meal plan, so keep in mind your spending when applications like Uber Eats and Bite Squad fill your email with “great deals.”
Money Bandit Number Two: Subscriptions
With all the new possibilities of streaming music and television, subscriptions to these sites add up when they are all stacked together. Apple Music, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, and even an old resume building site will incur monthly fees that one must be aware of. These sites also have student rates, so if you are paying the general fee, do yourself a favor and make a quick phone call to simply switch account settings. A big problem that students run into is mistaking a one-time payment for a monthly subscription. Keep up with your monthly transactions and ensure that you are not losing money to an application you are no longer using. Many people make the mistake of also paying for cable, another monthly bill that, as a college student, you should be able to get rid of if you are also using all of these streaming applications. Figure out what you need and quit spending unnecessary cash on the rest.
Money Bandit Number Three: The “Necessities”
Below is a list of compiled college money crunchers that many millennials claim to be necessities, yet can actually drain your bank account faster than the two others above.
- Alcohol/Bar Tabs
- Store-Bought Coffee
- Uber/Lyft Fees
- Brand Name Products
- Late Fees (see how we save you with our Smart Start Checking plan)
Understanding that you can avoid some of these money bandits is a good start in having a little extra cash later on for that specific event, trip, or impulse buy. Prioritizing spending is a skill that, once perfected, will keep you in good financial shape for the long run. There’s no better time to start than now!