(This is part 4 in a 11 part series of things that Andy learned in college - sometimes the hard way - so hopefully you don't have to)

In College, the classroom is not the only place that you are learning things. For a lot of people, this is the first time away from family, and the first time having to deal with personal finances. We will cover the ever-important college job in a later post, but how to spend the small amount of money you have?

I can't tell you exactly how to spend your money, but I can warn you about one thing that will drain your bank account more than anything. The social "Walmart" run. Someone will walk by your dorm room and ask if you want to do a Walmart run for supplies. It's ok to go, but if you don't need anything, I would suggest NOT EVEN BRINGING MONEY. Because, if you are there and EVERYBODY is buying things, of course you will find something that you all of a sudden HAVE to get.

For example, I was on a run with my friends to Walmart, and I didn't need anything, but I saw this one item like a beacon of light, something that I was almost blinded by its brilliance. It was this:


Even now, years after seeing it in the store, I am still drawn to it. (I mean, look at it!  HE'S ON THE CART, WITH A BANANA, AND I CAN USE IT TO TALK TO PEOPLE!) So I put it in my cart, and as I was walking around with my friends some more, I realized that it was the perfect example of buying completely useless things in college. I mean, we had a phone in our dorm, but nobody used it! Why was I even drawn to it? Because I thought that other people (especially the people I was with) would think it was AWESOME!

So you have two choices:

1) Don't go on the "social Wal-mart runs"
2) Go on the "social Wal-mart runs" but don't bring your wallet.

or I guess you could go in having a list of essentials that you need to pick up, but you're only kidding yourself that you won't come out with a mario kart phone, or whatever that example of ridiculous spending would be in your case.

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