Lauren Hightower: Broke girl summer
Summer 2019 was full of dollar menu burgers, an empty gas tank and a negative bank account. This is the summer I became broke and learned the consequences of money management.
I am a freshman in college now, which means no more spending my and my parents’ money on worthless things like that venti white chocolate mocha frappuccino from Starbucks, or that extra guacamole at Moe’s. It's time to pay attention to every penny. This was my thought process going into summer 2019, but that is definitely not how it ended.
What caused my account to go into the negatives? The answer to that question is me. It was my childish and uncontrollable spending that got me into this mess. I had unrealistic expectations and didn’t understand the value of a dollar.
For example, I wanted new clothes for my freshman year of college. I racked up 10 shirts, not taking into account that each shirt is around $30 to $40. The bill ended up at $300. Next on the ever growing bill were new shoes. I put six pairs of shoes in my cart which was another $230. All of these items, plus tuition and books getting taken out of my bank account dropped it to a whopping negative $40.
I was able to get my spending habits under control using several techniques. When shopping, I now go straight for the clearance rack, because you never know what you might find. When I don't find anything I like, I use coupons and student discounts so I'm able to afford what I want.
You pay to be a college student, so take advantage of the student discounts! When I grocery shop, I try to be more mindful on the options given so I can get the best deal. There is nothing wrong with buying off-brand groceries. Most of the time they taste the same.
Summer 2019 was a season full of epiphanies and the realization that my pride was ruining my money management skills. I have now learned the importance of being more mindful and realistic when it comes to my spending habits and I will never make the mistake again.
Thank you, summer 2019, for all the growth and learning opportunities. I will never suffer from a Broke Girl Summer again!