Raysha Duncan, Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor
Last year the 8th most common New Year’s resolution in America was to get out of debt. However, if you were to poll Purdue’s student population on how realistic getting out of debt was for current students, the student’s response would be laughable. Every year students rack up more and more debt in student loans to pay for their college education. It’s impossible to expect any student to pay off all of their debt by working part-time jobs and studying for class all night long. Perhaps a more reasonable New Year’s financial resolution for college students would be to start setting money aside every once in a while.
This sounds like a pretty hefty task when it’s not explained. If students stop depending on their credit cards so much and only borrow what they need in student loans, they could save themselves a little pain in the long run by minimizing their debt today. Cutting back on expenses doesn’t have to be painful, especially once you’ve had time to adjust. For instance, I love drinking coffee and I really love the delicious coffees sold in coffee shops, but I know it’s expensive, upwards of $5 per coffee. So, recently I started opting for buying my favorite brand of coffee and brewing it at home. A bag of my favorite brand costs around $10 a month. If I only have one cup of coffee every day for a month, I’ve already saved myself $140 for that month. Now, I do crack and have to buy a delicious coffee once in a while, but for the most part, I’ve become satisfied with a good cup of joe at home.
If instead of buying a coffee every day, I put $5 in my savings account instead, I would be able to save $1825 in one year. Even if I bought myself a coffee just once a week to have a little treat, I could still save $1565. That sounds easy enough right? Just by cutting out one seemingly small, but regular expense in my life, I could save a lot in one year. Here’s the catch, in order to save the money, I actually have to put it into my savings account or somewhere else where I won’t touch it, which I haven’t been doing; but, I think I’ve found my New Year’s resolution.
New Year’s resolutions are meant to help better lives and reach goals. They’re not meant to be impossible to reach. Taking baby steps towards become more financially stable in college could definitely help everyone in their future. It’s harder to make drastic cuts in finances when they are already so small, but by cutting corners in expensive and bad habits, we could all definitely save a lot.