I’m a list-maker. Let’s face it. I live and die by the lists, scattered across my desk and in my planner on sticky notes, when in reality I could probably cross the things off my list faster if I didn’t write the list in the first place. But apparently people like lists? We’re lazy. We want to skim through something quick and say “Does this apply to me?”
So how do you know you’re just as broke and just as collegiate as myself?
1. You buy what’s on sale.
A few weeks ago, soup was 10 for $10 at Martin’s. And suddenly, I’m on a Progresso kick. Feed myself for a dollar? That’s beautiful. I think I spent $2 on groceries that week because the rest I bought at Target with a gift card. And I actually bought this Michelina’s frozen entree because it was a dollar at Walmart, only to discover that their version of tortellini alfredo was much smaller and more pathetic than mine.
2. You get the cheesy bread because it’s free, not because you plan on eating it.
I ordered Domino’s last weekend and listened through the entire recording of the current specials, just to see if I could use one. And we get these free Cinnastix, Cheesy Bread or bread sticks with a purchase of $7.99 or more, so I whipped out that coupon–which has no expiration date–and got myself some free food.
3. Jeans are worn no less than two times.
Until they start hanging off you and you look like one of those kids who’s starving, they’re good. Jeans are durable. They take a lot of crap. Washing them after wearing them once is just going to make them faded. Besides, they fit better the second time.
4. You spend eight hours on campus because it saves gas.
I could go back and forth twice a week, but think about how much that small distance saves me in gas each week. Right, barely anything. The point is, it’s gonna add up. I’m convinced.
5. You start printing on both sides of the paper.
I’ve been known to do this. I’ve also been known to reduce the font size, change the margins, and otherwise reformat something just to save half a page of paper. Last week, a girl was in the SMAD lounge (a study room for people in my major) trying to read a pdf file sideways. She actually turned to me to ask if I knew how to rotate the file so she didn’t have to print it. Either she’s going green or she’s trying not to spend money printing. You decide.
6. Waiting in line for an hour and a half in the cold doesn’t seem that bad if you get a free t-shirt.
Last week our student government association gave out 3,333 free t-shirts for Homecoming. The lines were wrapped around the quad, as people seriously camped out way too early for their chance for a t-shirt. One more day you don’t have to do laundry?
7. You live by the fruit rule.
It’s simple: you can take one piece of fruit from either of the two all-you-can-eat places on campus when you leave. Even if you don’t want an apple, you get the apple because who knows when you’re going to be hungry.
8. You reprioritize how you spend your money.
What’s more important: milk or Doritos? My best friend would say Doritos. My roommate would probably tell you it’s sugar and flour. She actually admitted scrimping on groceries just to afford baking ingredients. So whatever your passion is (baking or otherwise), you probably spend more money on it.
9. Abusing the local library is acceptable.
Over the summer, I read maybe thirty or forty books. If I had honestly bought all of those, I would have spent hundreds of dollars. And some of them sucked. Lesson? Library books are free and you can put in requests to have them transferred to your library.