For college students, frugality and Top Ramen are a way of life. I know that my roommates and myself (I live with 4 other girls) are all relatively charmed in that our parents pay for our tuition, books and living costs, but in general, people think of college students as having a low standard of living.
However, the other thing that college students are known for is...partying. What I have never understood is how students can complain about the lack of money they have and why they can't do this or can't do that, yet still find a way to go out every weekend and buy handles of vodka so frequently.
Now, a little background on myself. I currently work 3 jobs, while taking a full load of classes. I also do not have a car.
This next caveat is what makes me so annoyed.
Since I like to shop (and can afford it, since my parents are taking care of my biggest expenses), I incur the judgment and seeming jealousy from some friends.
Does anyone else experience this?!
Now, I know that I wouldn't be able to have this standard of living if my parents weren't paying my way through school, and don't think that I am unappreciative of them. I am so very grateful for their support and feel very blessed that they're willing to invest in me and my future.
I'm also a personal finance nerd, and I love tracking my expenses and creating/tweaking my budget. And here's the thing: I save/invest about 60% of my salary. I tithe 10% and the remaining amount is my "fun" money.
My fun money is used on going out to eat with friends and for shopping. Or saving up to buy myself a really nice designer purse/pair of jeans/shoes, etc.
But people see just the purchases and don't realize the conscious way I choose to spend my money, so they point at and criticize my money habits, saying that I'm "irresponsible" and that there's no way I could be a financial adviser since I "can't" stop shopping.
It's not a matter of "can" or "cannot." I can afford a lot of things. So can you. But I'm not going to buy a $700 Louis Vuitton purse on a whim, the same as you will probably not buy a Mercedes on a whim. We all make decisions on how we spend our money. Most college students choose alcohol. I choose shopping.