lol

The other day, I was watching a YouTube video by MissRemiAshten titled “What I spend in a Week as a 24 Year-Old.” Now, I’m not a vlogger, a 24-year old, nor do I live in Los Angeles. In fact, Remi and I are basically on opposite ends of the spectrum. I live in a college house on the outskirts of Boston, I make about $10 per week, at most, and I expenses upwards of $20-$30 usually give me a headache. That being said, I don’t pay any bills because I live on campus, so I can take that out of the equation. Here are some other quick facts about my lifestyle before I get into the blog:

-I don’t have a car, so I don’t put in any weekly money for gas. However, I do have to rely on public transit to get to work, which is a weekly expense for me.

-I have campus “dining dollars” that are pre-paid as a part of my tuition, so I’m not going to include dining dollars or meal plans as part of my weekly expenses.

-I pay for two subscriptions, Amazon Prime and Spotify Premium, which are taken out of my account once monthly. I also have a Fab Fit Fun subscription, but that is only billed quarterly. 

If I think of any other important information, I’ll edit it here. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into it!


SUNDAY

I didn’t leave campus today, and I ate all of my meals at the dining hall, so I didn’t end up spending any money. Unless I’m going out with my friends, I usually don’t have any reason to spend money on the weekends, so this was a pretty typical day for me. 

Daily Total: $0


MONDAY

Today is my monthly Analog meeting, so I bought some snacks at Walgreen’s with Lily for a total of $7.75. It was a bit more expensive than I would have liked, but it was still much cheaper than buying a pizza, which was my original plan. Per usual, I ate all my meals on campus so I didn’t have to worry about buying food or drink for any other purpose.

Daily Total: $7.75


TUESDAY

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My train fare from campus to work is $2.40, so round-trip, $4.80. I also stopped at Tatte Bakery to buy a caramel latte, because I had an hour to kill before work and I wanted to stop somewhere to get some blogging done. My small latte cost $4.65 (gasp), but it was delicious. I ate breakfast at Lasell and brought lunch from home, so I didn’t have to pay for any other food or drink today. 

Daily Total: $9.45


WEDNESDAY

Today I had three back-to-back classes on campus, and I only ate at the dining hall, so I didn’t spend any money today!

Daily Total: $0


THURSDAY

Train fare for work is $4.80 round trip. I also made my morning coffee at work, so that was free! I’m also lucky enough that my place of employment provides lunch for us, so I always have access to that for free as well. 

Daily Total: $4.80


FRIDAY

Today I only had one class, and I used meal swipes and dining dollars for all my meals/coffee. I did have to pick up a couple of toiletries at the campus store today, and my total was $6.48 on my card.

Daily Total: $6.48


SATURDAY

I was going to go out today, but I ended up feeling like shit and stayed home in my room instead. It ended up being a good choice, because I think my body and my mind really needed to rest after the crazy week I had. And, of course, it’s always a good idea for me to save my money.

Daily Total: $0


WEEKLY TOTAL: $22

I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with the fact that I lived off $22 this week! Obviously my housing and food is paid for as part of my tuition, but I still think I did a decent job managing my other expenses. The only “frivolous” I would say I made would be the coffee from Tatte, but hey, it was pretty delicious. In the future, I’ll probably continue to bring food and coffee from home so I can continue to cut unnecessary costs. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t have an income while I’m at college. And, in the wise words of my professor, “This is the only time in your life you will be happy being broke.” I’m pretty okay with scraping by on $40 a month for groceries, taking public transit instead of ubering, and giving up all of the necessities I get to enjoy at home. I’m taking six classes this semester, so I don’t really have time to be working a full-time job while taking adequate care of myself anyway.

I’ve written about time management before on my blog, so if you’re interested in that, I’ll link it below.

Today’s article is going to be all about how I manage to survive on such a tight budget. To put it shortly, I am essentially living off of my savings. And don’t get me wrong- that was my goal! I spent the entire summer saving money, so that I could then in turn spend it on things I needed throughout the school year. This mostly constitutes food and essentials, but every once in a while, I let myself go out with my friends and have a fun night. Unfortunately, this sometimes means giving up another expense I had planned for that month. If I decide I want to see Creed Bratton at the Paradise Rock Club for $20 (which I do and probably will go through with), that means I probably can’t buy as many groceries this month. Oh well, it’s Creed Bratton.

One way I keep track of my expenses is by keeping a monthly budget, and then tracking my purchases in a planner. The one I am currently using is called Midnight Desert II, and I got it on Amazon! I love this planner because it was under $20, and it has a really awesome section for organizing finances at the back of the book. At the end of every month, I go through my bank statements and log everything that used my debit card to pay for. Obviously I’m going to show you a blank section, because y’all don’t need to see all the DoorDash I waste my money on.

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As a visual person, this is a really great for me to literally see where my money is going. Most of the time, as I’ve said, it’s for food and groceries. I’m very careful about spending money on non-essentials, like new clothes or entertainment, so usually cap that at $20-$30 per month. Even things like face wash and pads are a careful expense for me that I have to really sit down and ponder about. Trust me, trying to stay within $100 a month can be pretty challenging if you just let yourself swipe your card whenever you feel like it!

When I go to purchase something online, for whatever reason, I always do a quick google search first to see if there are any coupon codes I can utilize. For example, when it did come time for me to order some new clothes, I decided to order from an online secondhand market that I knew would offer hefty discount. Not only did I save $400 from shopping secondhand, I also saved a boatload of money using a new member discount and even received a store credit for taking a survey. It’s literally free money, so utilize it if you have the chance.

I also check if businesses offer a student discount, which can be super helpful for saving money in the long run. With my student ID, I have a discount on Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Spotify. I can also get into specific local attractions for free, such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. This is helpful for me when I’m making plans with my friends, because I can usually start by suggesting a place that I know I can get into for free. This saves a lot of money in the long run, so I highly suggest you look into your student benefits as well!
Those are my beginner’s tips for saving money in college, so I hope this was helpful for you. I’d love to do some more advice pieces in the future, so drop some ideas down below!
Coming up next: Animals & Anxiety Treatment for College Students