There are a lot of things that come easily to me: telling jokes, writing about my life, and embarrassing myself, to name a few. Budgeting, however, is not one of them, and it seems like I”m always locked in a constant struggle to stretch the dollar and conserve money. Sometimes I’m surprised that fingers aren’t all calloused from pinching pennies–always having to buy store brand cookie dough instead of name brand to eat raw gets old fast. I am, however, guilty of splurging on items that I don’t really need on a pretty frequent basis. “It’s not that expensive,” I’ll reason with myself. “I deserve this. I’m a good person. I vote. I give to charity. I should buy this for myself.”
Case in point: after watching Ariana Grande’s (one of my life and style icons) recent interview with MAC cosmetics in which she wore a pair of black lace bunny ears perched on her famous pony tail, I became convinced I too needed some. Immediately, I jumped on Amazon and ordered them, convinced that I’d be belting out “Break Free” by the end of the day and signing autographs.
Now, even as one of the biggest fans of Ariana on earth, I can admit that I probably didn’t need those bunny ears. I’ll likely wear them to a party or two with some specifically coordinating outfits and then retire them–I mean, I can’t exactly show up to a post-grad interview in bunny ears, can I? I had wasted my money trying to look like a pop star when I was really just a broke college student. You’ve got to stretch that dollar as far as it will go, ladies, and you can’t be throwing cash at vendors every time something shiny catches your eye.
Accessories are, in my opinion, the biggest money wasters. When something shiny catches my eye, I am possessed with an avarice that rivals that of a garden crow’s, and I have to have it. However, keep in mind that unless you’re shopping at Dior for a pair of diamond studs, most accessories are pretty cheap and short lasting. Unless it’s a magical item that goes with every possible outfit combination you own, I’d hold out on spending more than ten dollars on an accessory. Even then, be careful–all those 2.99 flower crowns can really add up.
Food is another big one. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been out mall walking and felt my blood sugar dropping because I hadn’t packed a snack. One dollar here and there on a candy bar may not seem like a lot, but when I think about how often I splurge on them, it starts to snowball. Unless you’re specifically going out to eat, I’d pack snacks from home (especially if you’re going to a movie. Five dollars for a box of milk duds? Who am I, the Queen of England?) to munch on. Definitely not as appealing, but it’ll end up paying off big time when you’re buying something you really want.
Watch your iTunes bill while you’re at it. I’m a huge advocate for technology, but all those seemingly little 1.29 song purchases look pretty intimidating when they’re stacked on top of each other on a bill. It’s always tempting to download the latest hit, especially when it’s right at our fingertips, not to mention apps and books. Remember that there’s a whole wide world out there that’s not on your phone, though, and One Direction isn’t going to pay your bills because you bought their new album.