Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sustainability and saving money

It's no secret that college students across the nation are acquiring what seems like an endless amount of debt. Outstanding student loans are set to reach $1 trillion this year, a number I can barely wrap my mind around. With the rising expense of college and the challenge of not only getting a job in the first place, but also finding time to work while going to school, money is tight for many college students. 


In an effort to keep more of my money in my savings account, I have started doing a piece of Good's 30 day challenge: Financial Fitness Task. I have decided to adopt day 25 for the rest of the year: "Make a Wish List to Curb Impulse Buys." Instead of letting myself buy things on the spot I will take a picture of them with my phone and add them to my list. At the top will be necessities – things I truly need to survive or that will make my life easier like textbooks or socks – and at the bottom will be clothing and other items I can easily live without. 


In doing so I have learned that after a few days I don't want the item anymore and I end up deleting it off my wish list, and the items that do end up staying are the ones that I should spend my money on anyways. By making a list I also spend more time thinking about if I really need the item, where the item comes from, and if it would help or hinder my goal to live more sustainably. This means that most superfluous items get crossed off real quick. Do I need the beautiful print that reminds me to mend my own clothes? No. Do I need another shirt? No. 


Making a list allows for contemplation and it gives me more time to consider if these items fit in with my overall goals and beliefs. In doing so I not only save money, but I live more sustainably. 


Need a little more motivation? Alissa from Good said:
"Be wary of the buy one, get one free deal. Were you really intending to purchase it in the first place? Don’t be tempted to throw a few needless things into your cart to reach $100 just so you can get that 10 percent off. Stay strong, stand your ground, and remember your goals!
It takes nothing more than a split-second burst of willpower. Gather your courage and walk away, knowing every bit saved is a step toward getting what you really desire. And when the time comes to check something off your wish list, you can make the purchase guilt-free. You’ve earned it!"

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