College Preparation #2 : Don’t drink away your college fund

Disclaimer: I do not condone underage drinking. In the United States it is illegal for any person under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcohol.

Ok, so one of the biggest non-school related expenses in college is alcohol. It’s a fact of life, parents, you need to accept it, students, you need to understand it. Many many freshmen get to school and go NUTS. They can finally drink freely, and they do it. I’m not going to say not to drink the first week or two, don’t skip classes because of it, but for the first month, most freshmen are drunk most of the weekend. I won’t say not to, because you won’t listen to me; it’s kind of a right of passage I guess. Anyway, your first few weeks, you’ll be at parties where you won’t spend much on booze.

IF you decide to have someone buy alcohol for you, you will spend lots of money very quickly. Don’t believe for a second that you will “buy a bottle of captain and make it last a month” You’ll drink it in two days, or one night if other people are with you (drinking alone=alcoholic) If you are not careful, you’ll be eating ramen for the rest of college. I had a couple of friends who the first week each got a bottle of Grey Goose Vodka…$30 each (good price) and after that they were drinking Popov Vodka…about $10 each. Grey Goose was for a 1/5th, popov for a handle; you do the math.

Drinking good stuff for a special occasion is ok; we celebrated many a birthday with a bottle of champagne and good liquor. You just cannot keep up the good stuff. You also can’t keep up buying alcohol every weekend. I knew two kids who spent about $40 a weekend on alcohol alone; they had to explain to their parents why they were spending so much money.

Moral of the story; too much alcohol will make you go broke, but so will buying only the good stuff. Get good stuff every once in a while (everyone deserves to indulge) but learn to drink the sub-par quality alcohol. If you drink very rarely, you can get away with buying better stuff. The point is you need to keep your costs down; I have literally seen people drink away all their spending money.

Another hidden expense is the food you buy when you’re drunk. Find the best pizza places with low costs. Also, find some Chinese, and make a little plan before you drink. I feel pizza and Chinese are the best foods while drunk. Go in with some other people and buy something in bulk; a large pizza, lots of Chinese, and split the costs, this will save you some money as well.

Just remember, with some careful budgeting and planning, you can have fun and save money.

College Preparation #1: Complete a Dorm Roommate Contract

Well, for those of you who are reading this who are not in college yet, but whom are preparing for school, I am going to put some tips on here that I think you could use.

Preparing for college is one of the most exciting things I have ever done, and the most “exciting” aspect of it is of course the roommate gamble; I HIGHLY recommend taking a random roommate. If you have a friend you think you would like to room with, I recommend rooming in the same building…NOT the same dorm. There is no better way to ruin a friendship than by rooming with someone. If you have known someone as something besided a roommate, it can ruin a friendship; however, if you meet someone new and become friends with them while they are your roommate, you will be able to deal with it, and you will be good friends/roommates.

My roommate and I are friends now, and are rooming together again next year. My roommate and I from my freshman year did not get along so well. We weren’t hostile to each other, but we definitely didn’t click. If I had roomed with my best friend from before school, I promise you I would not be friends with him today.

If you are taking the plunge and taking a roommate blindly (which, as stated before, I highly recommend this) I also will tell you: you WANT a roommate contract. If you don’t want to tell your roommate you want to do a roommate contract, talk to your floor RA and ask them to require a roommate contract. It might sound dorky, but trust me, I promise you won’t need to bring it up, it is helpful because it forces you to bring up issues before they become issues (ex: I wake up at 6 and go to sleep at 9 every night, or…I take naps during the day from 2-4, or I will not allow partying in the room while I am trying to study/sleep) You can also get over the issues like whether or not members of the opposite sex will be allowed in the room at certain times. I am trying to find a copy of the contract we had.

Another nice aspect was we ranked the following by which gets priority use of the room: Socializing, sleep, studying. We had sleep first, then socializing, then studying (you can go to a study lounge to study, you can’t do the same to socialize)

Anyway, I will continue trying to find a good roommate contract you can use, and post a link here. If possible, I will find the one that we used, because it worked well.

Note: If you and your roommate are comfortable talking about this without filling out a contract, still use one, it brings up issues like “can I eat your food? And under what circumstances may I?”
As well as many other issues

I’ll be out of town.

Quick update. I found a shopping cart I can use on my independent store, where I don’t use ecrater. That is basically all I need beside web hosting. I will continue using Google Checkout, and will design my own site. I need a host…if you know any cheap or free ones, let me know 🙂

I’ll be in Florida for a little while, and will not have regular internet access, so I’ll not be able to post for a few days.

New work on Webstore

Well I’ve begun working a little bit on the store again. I’ve got some down time since I just got my wisdom teeth out. I am working on creating product photos for the other glowing shot glasses (finally) and hope to have those finished soon. I’ve been neglecting the store I feel, and need to get going. I have some plans for the store this summer:

  • Get a real store up instead of just using ecrater
  • Get new product photos
  • Create pre-made magnets so people don’t have to rely on doing their own designs

Those are my 3 main goals. I would also like to find some new products, but I’ll be out of the country for a month, so I don’t have a lot of time to work with it this summer.