You’re on Your Own: Kind Of

Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal
Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal
Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal


Face it, if you have a lot of things to pay for and no money to pay with, then removing yourself from the lifestyle you once knew from under your parent’s roof can be hard. But you are in college, and it’s time to pull up your big kid pants and learn how to survive; you’re on your own now.

What To Spend: Creating a budget that works for you.

        -Create a list of your monthly expenses. That way you know what you need to spend and when you need to spend it. Doing this means that there are fewer surprise costs around the corner.

        -Label some plastic baggies (my personal favorite) for all of your expenses. Separating your money into categories tells you how much money is going to what expense. It also makes you feel a little guilty if you want to take money out of it and put it towards something it’s not intended for.

How To Save:

       -Don’t eat out. This is a way to see your money fly out of your pockets. You don’t need to eat fast food all the time, let that be a weekly treat.

      -Make a grocery list of what you actually need not what you want. You don’t want to spend a ton of money on things that you won’t actually eat.

      -Drink water. It’s better for your health and your bank account. You don’t need to spend the extra money on cherry coke, no matter how delicious it is.

      -If you are paying your own bills make sure that you take short showers, turn off all lights when you’re not in the room and turn you’re A/C or heat off when you’re not home.

Spend: What is worth the money.

  •        -Shoes are a good investment. The more you spend, the better quality you get and the less likely you are going to have to go out in a few months for a new pair. Same with work shoes, invest in something that is going to make it easier to help you rack in the money.
  •        -Paying a lot for a comfortable bed is important. It is where you start and end your day. A great bed is something that you should treat yourself to.

Save: keep your wallet shut.

       -Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. They all do the same thing.

       -Brand name foods. Honestly, the store brands taste a bit better most of the time.

Take What’s Free: It’s not stealing if you weren’t asked to pay.

  •        -Whenever you go out and a store or business offers you coffee or K-cups, take them. It’s pretty easy to run out of sugar when you’re drinking free coffee. So to go with your free K-cups you need some extra sugar packets. Whenever you go out for coffee, always ask for more sugar packets than you really need.

        -Napkins are a great replacement for paper towels. Remember that.

        -Condiments can really suck up your money. So when you get the rare chance to hit up a    fast food restaurant make sure you fill your pockets with salt, ketchup, mayo packets or anything   else you might use later at home.

       -Hotels are the greatest places to stock up on things. This is your chance to get whatever you can: shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, soap, and toilet paper.

       -Take-out containers are a great thing to hold onto. Not only are you able to reuse them for their original purpose but they can easily become an impromptu plate.


Surviving on your own can suck pretty hard. But there is no need to worry when you know how to get the free things out of life.