If you think you’re going to get through your first year of university without spending your money on ridiculous items you’ll never use or letting vegetables turn to mush in the fridge, you’re dead wrong. Not to sound cynical here, but when you leave home the independence goes straight to your head, and doing stupid stuff with your money is the fastest way to realise you’re going to need more than a month to get used to living away from home.
Here are the top 6 mistakes you’ll make in your first year of uni.
Don’t get excited, buying vegetables isn’t a mistake. However, buying a crapload of veggies then abandoning them in the plastic drawer at the bottom of the fridge so they turn into goop and then conveniently ignoring it because now it’s too disgusting to clean up is a mistake. No one wants to throw out an entire section of the fridge because you decided you bought too much zucchini. Not only have you wasted your money, but you’ve seriously annoyed your roomies with that smell. Solution? Only buy small amounts and then see how much you get through!
Biggest. mistake. ever. Do not do this. You’ll leave Coles with a bag full of 50c Milkyways and a 2 litre bottle of Diet Coke. Not only will you buy food that’s unhealthy and unneeded, you end up spending way more money than you needed to. I’ll admit, the feeling of a full fridge and a big selection of snacks is amazing, but getting home and realising you spent $40 on cheese, biscuits and weird ‘fruity’ snacks isn’t great.
This goes for makeup, clothes, games, electronics, everything really. At the beginning of Semester a lot of us tend to be cashed up, and if you didn’t happen to blow all your money on O’Week takeaway food and bars, you’ll probably find yourself blowing it on online shopping. I used to purchase so much crap I didn’t need, purely because I thought “I have money right now, and I might need it later.” Big mistake. Don’t buy anything until you need it, and if it’s something you want, make sure you think about it before you buy!
You might be able to get back to your apartment lifting 20 bags of freshly purchased groceries, but if you’re carrying plastic bags you’re just asking for trouble. If you don’t have any of those fabric bags you run the risk of your milk breaking the bags and it going all over the road, and yourself. Not a good look when you’re trying to look hardcore by carrying a bunch of heavy bags 😉
One of the rudest awakenings of my adolescent life was realising that cleaning products had to go on my shopping lists. When you and your roomies run out of toilet paper the situation can get pretty dire, especially if none of you factored it into your spending money for the week. Set aside a good $10-15 every time you do a shop, that way you can buy toilet paper and other crucial cleaning products – and trust me, the feeling of buying toilet paper in bulk is pretty satisfying…
Payday is a beautiful thing. If you’ve been without sufficient funds to finance your studious existence for the last few weeks, there’s no doubt you’re going to town on that paycheck like it ain’t no thang. One of the mistakes I always made was to immediately go out and buy Cheddar Shapes, chocolate and takeaway Thai for three days straight. It was awesome at the time, but future Amy was pretty unimpressed – especially when I ran out of bin bags and couldn’t afford a bus ticket. Try not to get too excited about payday!
Trust me, you’ll be hard pressed to find a student who didn’t do at least two of these things in their first year, and it’s going to be damn hard for you to avoid doing it yourself! The thing about being in first year is this: you learn a lot of stuff the hard way. You’re definitely going to buy stuff you don’t need, and you’re most certainly going to run out of toilet paper before you have time/money to buy more. Just make sure you and your roomies are on the same page when it comes to buying what’s needed in the apartment, and keep an eye on your spending!