5 Mistakes That Are Making You Broke AF

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Okay, so it's Friday night and free drinks are calling your name but the $10 cover… not so much. You check your bank account and you have $13.12. “Ok so if I go I just can’t get cheese fries after no big deal.” Flash forward to the next day and you are waking up to a text that says you have over drafted your account. Sound familiar? A little bit? 

I have heard the many cries of my fellow poor {pun intended} college students who spend a lot of time hustling to make ends meet {or calling their parents for just an extra $20, hey no judgment here}. What if I told you that the same people who are always finding themselves in this financial rut are making the same common money mistakes? What if I told you to just tweak your habits a little bit to get yourself out of them?

Here are the 5 most common mistakes {with solutions} I have noticed within my college career amongst my peers and myself {you live and you learn}. 

Mistake #1 | Failing to Budget
First and foremost BUDGET people! I swear by the app Mint. {check it out → https://www.mint.com} Mint makes it super easy to budget, stay on top of your bills, credit score, literally everything from your smart phone. Plan a budget and stick to it {more of that coming soon}.

Mistake #2 | Subscriptions
Subscriptions are literally like those random pop quizzes on those “readings” you were supposed to do the night before. You acknowledge them on syllabus week {maybe} but tend to forget they exist short after. I can not tell you how many times I have forgotten to cancel my accounts for Hulu, Prime, Chegg, etc. The list goes on. Make a conscious effort {like a calendar reminder} to cancel subscriptions when you only signed up for the free week and/or to check in if you are only using it for an allotted time period.

Mistake #3 | Dining Out & Going Out
This is my biggest weakness. Ya’ girl loves her iced coffee … but her wallet doesn’t.  Dining expenses add up {$10 here and $10 there}. Also, who wants to spend about an hours worth of pay on lunch? I love food, a lot. But I also love saving my money, a lot. Meal prepping has saved my life because I BUDGET how much I am spending at the grocery and avoid over spending on things I do not need when popping into other places for lunch and what not. I can’t really talk from personal experience about going out and spending all my $$$ {I’m more of wine and bubble bath kind of girl} but this is the trap that most of my friends fall in to. My words of wisdom {don't read this mom} pregame at home, drinks are cheaper or house party {and have everyone pitch in} OR make a new friend at the bar {like the bartender}.

Mistake #4 | Impulse Buying
Whenever I tell people I pay for school fully myself the first question girls always ask me is how do I afford such nice things and girl its all because of EBAY, POSHMARK, and SALES. I love me some designer clothes and I do have a pricier taste. I do not think it’s a bad thing to enjoy the finer things in life, but be reasonable and budget. For example, I went on revolve clothing and fell in love with a swim suit. The top was $80 and the bottom was $120 {uhm HECK NO}. I literally copied the name and brand of the set pasted it into eBay. I found the sat for 1/4th of the price, BRAND NEW! People are so weird about buying from eBay, but don’t be! Be smart with your money and get more BANG for your $. No one will know where you bought it from, so who cares? Stop impulse buying and look around for similar looks or if you can find it cheaper, and if you can’t SAVE up for it and Treat Yo Self {within your means, of course}.

Mistake #5 | No Emergency Fund
Lastly, my biggest tip is building you an emergency fund. Every student should have this. Set a personal goal to save a $1000 back up emergency fund and gradually build that up to a month or two’s {or more} living expenses. This is so so important. You never know when something can happen that will turn your financial world upside down. You do not want to be grasping desperately for loans with absurd interest rates for something you could have easily prepared for.