My name is Liz…

26 Aug

…and I have a spending problem.

There, I said it. I am 20 years old. I am not financially independent, so every cent I spend is not actually my money; it’s my parents’. And I have this weird thing where, if it’s other people’s money, I tend to lose track of how much I spend. At the beginning of college two years ago, my parents opened up a credit card for me. I think this is probably the worst thing they have ever done for me. Because when it’s just a little piece of plastic I’m buying things with, it’s so much easier for me to spend more since I’m not seeing the money actually leave my hands.

I know I should be really, really thankful that my parents pay for everything and I don’t even have to get a job or anything. And I am, for the most part. But sometimes, I think it would be easier to be financially independent because I’d feel more in control of my spending. If I were my only source of income, I would probably be more careful about my spending.

Another problem I have is distinguishing between “want” and “need”. There’s a very fine line, and I confuse the two way more often than I should.

So, starting this quarter, I have decided to impose a strict budget on myself. I’m writing it down here to make it semi-official. Here goes:

  • No more clothes. And definitely no more shoes.(See, I told you it was strict!) I have plenty of clothes. The only item of clothing I am allowing myself to buy this quarter is a cocktail dress for my sorority’s date party if I go.
  • Do not go out to eat more than twice a week. We have a cook that makes food for us Monday-Friday, but on the weekends we’re on our own. I’ll be hitting up Kroger for frozen dinners (I like Amy’s and Kashi) to eat instead.
  • Cut down on the iTunes purchases. I tend to go a little crazy on iTunes, purchasing entire albums when I really only like three or four of the songs on there. One song here or there is fine, but don’t buy the album unless I like every song enough to listen to more than once.
  • Rent textbooks from Chegg. I discovered Chegg last quarter and I saved over $200 on textbooks. If you’re a college student, I highly recommend it!
  • Only get the necessities when it comes to school supplies. I’m one of those people who has a strange obsession with school supplies. I am limiting myself to 4 notebooks/folders, a package of these pens, a planner and highlighters. I do not need anything else. Repeat: I do not need anything else.
  • I also tend to go crazy at CVS. I will only go when I actually need new toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, etc.

There. Now, let’s hope I can stick to this. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Oh, one more thing. I realize another obvious solution would be to, well, get a job. My parents have told me they would rather me focus on my schoolwork, and between that and sorority stuff, I wouldn’t really have time for one, anyway. So this is the next best thing, I suppose.

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One Response to “My name is Liz…”

  1. Nancy 08/27/2009 at 11:26 am #

    Sounds like an admirable plan. Good luck!

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