So today, I get home from a friend's house, and what do I see sitting on the table, waiting for me? A bank statement. Nothing scary about that, right? It's just a piece of paper. Well, I opened it up, to find that in the last month, I have spent almost 1,000 dollars.
Now, you might wonder, where does one starving college student get money like this? Well, I got 600 from my graduation party and around 400 from working.
Because of the money I had in my account already, I still have 180 dollars left. So the damage isn't as bad as it could have been. I could have gone completely into the red and be up to my ears in overdraft fees. This was a close call, and it's up to me that it doesn't happen again.
1. The first step to preventing another happening like this one is to determine the cause. About one hundred of that money was spent on college related expenses, textbooks and the like. That is perfectly excusable. And the rest of it? Well....
It's no secret that I suffer from depression. And shopping makes me happy. I'm always ecstatic to go through piles of clothes and find something new that I can add to my wardrobe. Unfortunately, once I got my debit card, it became very very very very easy to spend all the money I want to, whenever anything upset me or I felt alone. Spending money online was easier than my regular practice of DIYing, because the gratification comes much quicker. All I have to do is type in my Paypal password, and I get the feeling that I've won.
2. Next, I need to own up to my mistakes. I'm 18, I'm an adult, and it's time for me to be responsible for my own actions. Spending exorbitant amounts of money is unacceptable, especially for someone as young and who makes as little as I do. I want to go to school out of state in a few years, and the only way for me to afford that is to have enough money saved up so that I'll need as little money loaned to me as possible.
3. Third step? Repairing the damage. Obviously, this comes slowly, because I only make two hundred, at the best, per paycheck. To help the process along, I've started to sell the unneeded fringes of my wardrobe on Ebay. They were just draped on hangers, collecting dust in my closet anyways. It's better that someone else gets the chance to buy and wear them. I also thought about selling Avon, but I'm way too antisocial for that.
4. And finally, the last step. Prevention. I need to stop myself from ever doing this again. While it's impossible that my depression will just up and leave for good, I can still alter the way that I handle it, to make my coping methods much less self destructive. To help myself with this, I put all of the clothing items that I need to repair or do modifications to on the shelves of my nightstand, and I tacked up pieces of paper that I wrote inspirational things on, to help motivate me not to spend, even when I'm really upset.
Here are a few of them: