It's finally getting warm in the Windy City and we all know what that means... college kids are hitting the streets more often. St. Patty's Day is the notorious start of spring drinking and with 60 degree weather allowing girls to wear skirts and dresses with no tights, it's a sure sign that the party is just beginning.
Now while I am all down for going out 3-4 nights a week, I do have a problem when it comes to the money spent. When you add it all up, there isn't much left to put in your savings account.
I recently had a conversation with Adrissha Wimberly about the company Smarteys, an online resource dedicated to promoting a different way of living financially fit. I have always been pretty wasteful with my money--spending $5-10 on Starbucks everyday (Hey, no judging--I need my three Venti coffees to stay awake!) or just deciding to foot the bill when there is a problem with splitting the check. After talking to Adrissha, I realized that my ways of life needed to be reformed considering my internship doesn't pay and I always end up broke the last week and half of the month.
Adrissha gave me some great advice for managing money as a college student. She told me not to sweat the small stuff and to understand that dues had to be paid like rent, electric bills and books for school (like anyone actually buys those anymore). Also, whenever you have that shopper's impulse to buy something that is way out of your budget, ask a sensible friend their opinion. Use Twitter or Facebook and ask your friends whether or not the item is something you just have to have. Adrissha additionally brought up a great point that I never really have taken into consideration--people live very different lives and you need to keep that in perspective. Just because your roommate can afford it, doesn't necessarily mean you should take the plunge.
Smarteys.com has this awesome tool called their Cash Pile Manager which can help you divide down your savings to the exact dollar of how much you should spend in order to be financially fit. This is a great resource to use especially when trying to see how many nights you can actually afford to go out this spring.
Smarteys uses social media to interact with college students and offer money saving advice. Since their company is just starting up, I expect a much higher level of engagement on social media platforms once they gain a stronger following.
And good news for DePaul Students (or anyone who wants to stop by), Smarteys is having an event on DePaul's Loop campus April 7th to promote Money Smart Week. It will be all about college students with topics like budgeting for school, preparing for graduation, getting off of the parents bill, and still having the funds to have fun. Don't worry - it won't be one of those stuffy financial meetings. Smarteys wants to provide a comfortable atmosphere that people can easily interact with each other and take about money management. And there will be a DJ.
Remember, warm weather in Chicago is possibly the greatest thing in the whole entire world. Keep an eye on your wallet when you are going out with your friends and stay classy!
photo credit to zzzack