Money is an all-powerful substance, which, although we (I) may not like to admit it, is really important and has a huge impact on many of the decisions we (I) make in life. Taking myself for example, there's a lot of stuff that I like to do which requires money (eating, studying, travel, eating), and I've had to learn to accept that, despite my rebellious-stick-it-to-the-man-teenager-angstiness.
The problem is, I'm a spender. I'm not saying I have some type of dude-version confessions of a shopaholic thing going on, it's just that sometimes, when I have 20 dollars to buy 19 dollars worth of stuff, I may forget that I really need that stuff and I'll go on and spend 10 of those dollars on cheese fries and a milkshake instead.
My point is that it's been a battle. I've had jobs and saved for stuff in the past, but when I first came to college, having not worked for a year, and my dad put a few hundred in my People's United Account for my first few months at college, most of that few hundred was spent in a few weeks.
I'm real bad.
So I said to myself; "Thats enough. You don't have enough money on your knight card to do laundry and you just bought a large order of fries with the 12 quarters you found in your desk. Time for a change."
So, in the lame way that I do things, I organized myself a budget. I looked at what I had spent so far, made some cuts, decided what would be most appropriate for necessities as well as money for spending, and then I called my dad and said "sorry I suck at money; so here's the deal", and we figured something out.
For sure, everyone doesn't have to resort to a budget, but it helped me out a lot. I know what I can spend on this or that, and unfortunately it requires more thought and planning, but that's the best way I can do it!
There are tons of lessons-learned to be had in college, and if anyone wants to hear advice/stories about certain adjustments upon starting freshman year, I'd be happy to do what I can! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me on facebook, twitter or formspring!