Amy Ledman, Financial Aid Administrator and Purdue Alumni
A common statement you hear people say is “live like a college student.” To most, this means live cheaply or live within your means. Trying to live within your means might be difficult when it’s your first time living on your own. When you’re out with friends and shopping here are a few questions to ask yourself.
Do I need this or do I want this? Keep in mind that it’s insanely easy to convince yourself a want is a need if your want is strong enough. If you need something it means you cannot survive without it. That means water, food, and preferably shoes without holes. So if you’re on the fence of buying your 5th pair of sandals it’s time to step back and think if you really need a rainbow choice. Or just maybe you should save this money for a weeks worth of groceries.
Will this be practical? A good way to save money is by spending it wisely. Say your professor states you need to dress up for a day and you only own flip-flops. Clearly nice pair of shoes is needed. This would be classified as something you should own, but be practical. Look for a pair that is versatile enough that they can be used for different situations. While the jazzy hot pink shoes might look fun a less expensive black pair would work and be more useful in the end…which will also cause you to not have to go buy another pair later.
Is this crazy or a good buy? Even while you are being a cheap college student you also need to be not overly crazy cheap…or frugal if that sounds nicer. There will be times when being cheap won’t pay off in the long run. An example would be buying shoes that are $15 but end up giving you 20 blisters. Finding something that’s low in price doesn’t always make you thrifty. This comes back to being practical. If you get 20 blisters you’re going to need to go buy another pair of shoes causing that $15 to sit in your closet.
These are just some quick questions to consider the next time you are out spending your hard-earned money. If these questions don’t help solve your shoe dilemma then you should go walk around. Leave your possible purchase behind and around the mall. If the wish to buy your new shoes is gone then clearly the purchase wasn’t meant to be.