How to Deal with Financial Fomo
College Life |  Source: wordsandblacktea.tumblr.com

How to Deal with Financial Fomo

Being social doesn't have to break the bank.

You've definitely been there: when your friends want to go out to Panera, but you went out for sushi yesterday. You spent more than $1,000 on your meal plan, so why can't you just get together in the dining hall?

Lucky are the guys and gals who can afford to go off campus to eat everyday, but for the majority of us, that isn't the case. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with being social in college on a budget without missing out.

Limit going out to eat to once a week
If you have a meal plan, USE IT! You've already paid for it, and instead of shelling out extra money on an expensive restaurant meal, get most of your meals in the dining hall. To mix it up, you can try the retail options most dining services run on campus. If you limit eating off your meal plan to just once a week, you'll enjoy it way more than if you eat out every day.

Plan before you go out
The social scenes of many schools are based around the bar, which can quickly add up to an expensive night out if you figure in the cover charge, drinks, and Uber rides. Instead of planning to drink only at the bar, pregame at your dorm or a house party.

If you can, walk to and from the bars, or take a bus. As far as cover charges go, you probably won't be able to score a discount, but if you pick only a few bars to go to instead of hitting up all of them.

Shift your spending to where you really want it
The best way to avoid not having enough money to do the things you want is to shift your spending from other categories to savings for the things you truly want. For example, if your library offers copies of textbooks on reserve, use them instead of buying your own. Or, if you want to save money to get coffee with your friends, make your own in the mornings, and spend the money you saved at the bar.

Talk to your friends and plan other activities
You don't have to miss out on college life just because you're on a budget. If you feel comfortable, open up to your friends and suggest cheaper alternatives. Chances are, they'd be happy to spend less too, and they're probably in the same boat as you financially.

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College Life | 

No Mo' FOMO

Don't compromise who you are to avoid FOMO.

FOMO, amiright? It's become a college student's downfall, influencing us to give attention to things we don't have the time, energy or desire for. Before this term was coined, we seemed to have a little more control over our priorities.

Think about it: We've all had those nights when you come home after a long day at the library, take a shower and slip into some sweatpants, only to get the text: "Everyone" is going out and it's going to be the "best time ever". You are so tired and comfortable, but FOMO is slowly but surely pulling you away from your bed. If everyone else is going, you have to go, too. You convince yourself it's going to be the best time ever, but in reality it's just another night at Tin Roof Bar you may not even remember. Take a step back and realize this opportunity will more than likely present itself again--so don't feel bad about saying no.

We're poor college students. The little money we do have seems to disappear so quickly. You haven't bought yourself a new dress in months and you've become acquired to the taste of egg sandwiches and ramen noodles. This coming weekend you know you need to stay in and save money, so you've made plans to catch up on homework and binge-watch rom-coms.

But Saturday morning rolls around and your phone blows up with day plans for the game. You've worked so hard pinching pennies all week, and to throw it away now... but FOMO calls and suddenly has you checking all your coat pockets for loose change. So before you call an Uber and blow your budget, think about the regret that will follow on Sunday morning. And don't feel bad about sitting this one out.

FOMO isn't exclusive to social events. It also applies to beauty, fashion and technology. If you don't have the latest iPhone, you feel FOMO. If you didn't have ombre hair at one point, you feel FOMO. If your nails aren't constantly painted with latest gel color, you feel FOMO. If you haven't listened and memorized every new Justin Bieber song, you feel FOMO. Even if something doesn't interest us, we still make ourselves do it in order to avoid the fear of missing out. Don't compromise who you are to avoid FOMO.

Missing out on a few things here and there won't change your destiny. When you do something to simply not miss out, or to just to say you were a part of it, you're aren't going to enjoy it, anyway. Plus, it's a waste of time. Do what makes you happy, not what you think you should be doing or--God forbid--what everyone else is doing.

The only fear you should have is the fear of not staying true to yourself.

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The College Starter Guide To Financial Planning

ADULTINGGGGG!

Since we're kind of adults now, it's important for college students, especially upperclassmen about to hit the real world, to think about finances. If you're paying rent, managing a few bills here and there, and budgeting groceries, then believe it or not, you're financial planning without even realizing it.

Learning how to manage your money, build credit, and start saving is going to help you in a ton of ways, like when you apply for auto insurance, are looking for loans, cell phone plans, or getting a job.

So like...adulting.

Before you lose your mind trying to figure out what the heck finances are (like I did), here are some basic financial tips for us college students so we can be badass adults(ish).

Educate yourself.
First and foremost, learn about finances, if you're like me and literally did not know what interest was. If there's something that's confusing, clarify it. Your parents are probably willing to help out.

Start a savings account.
If you don't already have one. Start saving as much as you possibly can now, so you can compound your interest and multiply your savings. Check our Discover's cool savings calculator to see how much you could save by putting away some money each month!

Open your own credit card.
DOI. If you can show proof of income, you should think about applying for a card in your name. Lots of banks on college campuses are pushing debit cards on students, which isn't a bad thing, but that won't do a thing for your credit.

...BUT don't be an idiot.
Since the card is in your name, you have to be responsible. Use the card for emergencies. Plan out one small purchase a month, something that you can easily pay off once the bill arrives.

Start small.
Like I said, be cautious and spend sparingly. One tip that I received was to literally cut up the card as soon as it arrived so you're not tempted to use it for stupid purchases.

Then, use the account number for ONE small monthly, recurring online payment, like Netflix or Spotify. These payments can be set up as automatic, so it looks like you're responsibly paying your balance each month.

Boom. Building credit.

Do your research. Cards, accounts, and programs with awesome rewards programs might have sky-high interest rates. No bueno. Ask your parents, do some research, and find the right one for you.

Have a backup plan for emergencies.
If you happen to run into trouble (think flat tire, broken phone, etc.), you need to have money saved, or an emergency card, as a backup plan to pay for this larger expense. And you won't go over your credit limit, since you've only been using it for small purchases. SO RESPONSIBLE.

Pay your balances...your FULL balances.
This'll teach you financial responsibility...if you can't afford to pay off your full balance each month, then you need to do some budgeting and prioritize your purchases. You'll also avoid fees.

You should have a way to pay your bills.
I wouldn't recommend this kind of financial plan if you don't have some sort of income or means to pay it off. Not paying your bills in this case would kind of blow the whole purpose of building credit.

Meet with financial planners.
Your parents might even already have people they work with to manage their money. You can learn to manage your savings, build up credit, and even start earning interest on money you already have. Financial planners are verrrrrry good at making you money.

Start budgeting.
Get yourself a planner and begin practicing allocating where you're going to spend your monthly paycheck or income. For example, vow to save a certain percentage each month, allow a certain amount for food, gas, fun stuff, etc.... getting organized is fantastic practice for down the road, and you can start to pinpoint areas where you can save even more.

...and ACTUALLY STICK to your budget.
Practice self-control. You don't get "cheat days" with your finances like you would on your diet. If you overspend in a certain area, make sure you plan to compensate for it the next month. Emergencies will obviously happen, but knowing how to handle them will be key.

AND DON'T FREAK OUT.
I'll be honest, this stuff was really intimidating for me at first. Once I sat down with my parents' financial planner and worked it all out, it didn't seem that complicated at all.

I am by NO MEANS a financial planner, nor do I play one on TV. But getting started handling your finances in college will only give you a head start for later in life. #adulting for the win.

*All info above was gathered from conversations with Merrill Lynch financial planners....and other real adults (aka my parents).

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College Life |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

Tips For Hitting The Bars On A Budget

Maximize the fun, minimize the financial regret.

Go in on the pregame with friends.
Every baller on a budget knows you can't hit the bars without pre-gaming.

Instead of just buying your own booze, have some friends chip in as well. If you're trying to pregame with fifteen people on a budget, try this Lemonade Hunch Punch Recipe: a handle of shitty vodka (Aristocrat), a thirty rack of shitty beer (Keystone Light), and three or four cans of frozen lemonade concentrate.

You won't taste the cheap alcohol at all, and it takes about one or two solo cups to get drunk off this stuff.

The best part? It only costs around forty-five dollars, so if everyone contributes a couple bucks, you and your friends can get wasted for cheap. Warning: this stuff will get you really drunk, so ya know, be responsible.

SOURCE: PINSDADDY.COM

The worst game of pool ever.

Go to the bars that are best for you.
What do you prefer to do when you hit the bars? Whether you like socializing, dancing, or playing pool (see above), find the bars best suited for you. Maximizing your fun will keep you more in the moment and less focused on that hot bartender.

When choosing what bars you hit, ask yourself, "Would I like this place if I were sober?" If a bar is so shitty or boring that you have to be wasted to tolerate it, then you'll probably end up spending too much money on drinks.

...Maybe don't get that drunk?
If you pace yourself, you're more likely to get the most out of the night. If you must get drunk, make sure to pregame. Keep the pregame buzz going at the bar with shots.

Unless you pre-gamed with beer, don't start drinking beer at the bar.


SOURCE: STABMAG.COM

Matt Wilkinson's bar tab after winning the Bells Beach surfing title.

Leave your credit card at home.
Use cash instead. Don't trust your drunk self to keep track of your credit card transactions. Just make sure you have safe transportation there and back as well as some cash in your wallet.

Have drunk food ready ahead of time.
You are going to get the drunchies. I personally think the best part about hitting the bars is coming back home to pig out. Delivery food can seem delightful when you obviously can't drive and probably can't cook, but it's a major threat to your budget. Plan ahead for your late-night drunchies if you're trying to hit the bars on a budget.

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College Life |  Source: esspeshal

Chic but Cheap Makeup for Broke College Girls

You don't have to break the bank.

We're in college. We don't have the time or money for expensive, tedious beauty products, (like a $30 bottle of Mac foundation), so I've put together a list of the best basic drugstore beauty buys.

Foundations

Foundations are the base of our look. They give us coverage for those stress pimples popping up out of nowhere. (Hello, finals!) I've found these products create the most flawless look throughout the day without breaking the bank.

Rimmel Stay Matte: This foundation is creamy, light, and, most importantly, inexpensive. For only $4.99 at Target, it's perfect for any skin type and any color.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless: This is one of the best, and cheapest, choices for your base layer. With 25 different shades, it's a given you'll find the exact color you need to look picture-perfect for your selfies.

Rimmel Lasting Finish: This foundation is smooth, rich, and buildable if you want more full coverage. For only $7.99 at Ulta, it's the best choice for all day makeup.

Powder

Powder is what sets all of our hard work in place. This is one of the most important steps in your makeup routine if you don't want it smearing off halfway through class.

Elf Flawless Face: This is the best for its price and coverage power. For only $2.00 at Target, you can't beat it!

Rimmel Stay Matte: This powder gives your face a flawless look and sets your makeup perfectly! For only $3.99 at Target or Walmart, this is one of the cheapest I've ever found, and is worth way more than its price tag.

Maybelline Fit Me: At only $5.99, this powder is perfect for setting and giving extra coverage. If you end up buying all of the Fit Me line, you won't be disappointed.

Mascaras

Who doesn't want lengthened, volumized lashes? These products below are the best, even compared to some more high-end products at Sephora.

Jordana Best Lash Extreme: One of the cheapest at only $6 on Amazon, (also found at Walgreens) it gives insane volume.

Any of the Covergirl mascaras: Literally every Covergirl mascara I have ever tried has been fantastic. My favorites are Clump Crusher, LashBlast, and Lash Full Bloom. Plus they are always in the range of $7-$8. Score!

Rimmel Wonderlash Lift Me Up: This has to be my favorite of all the drugstore mascaras. Not only does it smell amazing because of the cucumber extracts, but it also has vitamins to keep your lashes healthy. At $7.99, this is the most cost effective, beautifying product for lashes.

Now go get chic for cheap!

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College Life |  Source: jameswildexo

How to Embrace Being A Broke Bitch in College

Seriously, stop eating out.

Hands down one of the most stressful parts of college are finances. Sometimes people are lucky enough to be handed money from their parents, but most of us are not that lucky. I've dealt with being broke as shit in college for a couple years now; and I've developed some useful habits that will hopefully help all you fellow broke bitches.

Be proud.
Before I get to all the nitty gritty stuff about how to save your money and make wiser decisions, I first want to say that being poor in college doesn't make you any less of a person or any less capable to achieve your goals.

Learning how to manage your finances in college without a ton of help from your parents will make you smarter, goal-oriented, and more prepared for the real world. Maybe someday you'll even thank your parents for leaving you to figure your shit out on your own. I know I will.

Stop eating out, damn it.
Just stop it. Save those nice meals out for special occasions or holidays, but not for everyday meals when you're too lazy to make something in your own kitchen. Believe it or not, there are ways to eat cheap and still somewhat healthy.

Your taste buds might not be screaming for a peanut butter and jelly or a bowl of ramen noodles, but your wallet will thank you later. A whole week's food for $80 at a grocery store instead of $10 per meal eaten out makes a world of difference.

Only buy clothes if you absolutely need them.
Obviously, have some shit to wear to class, and some things to wear to work, and some outfits for nights out with your friends. These are essentials, but there's no need to go spending hundreds of dollars on clothes every month when you more than likely don't need to. If you're like me and you shop when you're sad (retail therapy), then I am truly sorry because you need to kick that habit. It sucks, I know.

Also, sell all your clothes that don't fit you anymore or just sit in your closet taking up space. Go to consignment stores like Plato's Closet or ask your friends or your sorority members or whatever if they'd be interested in buying some of your hand-me-downs. My school even has a Facebook group with girls who exchange clothes and make some spare cash. It's actually brilliant.

Have a jar for spare change/spare dollars.
Keep a jar in a safe place that you can throw extra change or money you acquire. Grab a couple dollars if you're going downtown or whatever, but try not to touch it (or count it). You'll be surprised by how much money you can save just by throwing extra change in a jar instead of on the floor of your car, couch cushions, the kitchen counter, whatever.

Kick the Starbucks habit.
Three bucks for a coffee the size of your pinky finger is a rip off, and you know it. It doesn't seem like a huge amount to spend but it really is if you're going to Starbucks two or three times a week or more.

Invest in a Keurig or a coffee maker and make your own coffee every morning. Or if you're absolutely too much of a lazy fuck to do that then go to McDonalds or Dunkin'. They're both cheaper and it does add up.

Tell your annoying rich friends to shut up.
These people are the damn worst, for real. We all have those friends that eat out whenever they want, go shopping during their free time, and have absolutely no sense of how much money they are spending.

We should feel sorry for them because the tables will turn and karma will get them, just wait. You're more prepared for the real world than they will ever be anyways.

So keep chuggin' along my broke bitches!