Gradvice: Worthy Investments

The hardest part of graduating from college for me personally was learning how to manage my money. I was always able to be frugal with my own savings account in college, because my parents were still footing the bill for most of my expenses. That meant that all the big and important stuff was being taken care of and I was only responsible to cover the things that I liked. Like bags. And shoes. And shots of vodka.

But when my dean handed me my diploma, my parents took away the checkbook and I was on my own. For everything.

I didn’t know much about saving, but I knew that I wanted to spend as little as possible on the big stuff so I could have more money for the things I wanted. Like shoes. And bags. And shots of vodka.

But I learned the hard way (by purchasing a broken TV from Craigslist) that while being frugal is a great idea (especially now when saving is even more important) there are a few things that are worth splurging on as you embark on your new life as an adult.  It may be hard to part with the big bucks, but I promise you these 5 items are worth every. last. penny.

Your bed:
It seemed weird at the time, but when I was at my graduation party an older cousin of mine pulled me to the side and gave me the “most important advice you’ll ever need.” What was it? To fork over the cash for a good mattress. Begrudgingly, I heeded his advice and now I must pass it along to you.  You will be spending a good chunk of your life on your bed (especially if you are living in a small studio!), so this is definitely a purchase worth splurging on. There is a huge difference between a cheap mattress and a good mattress, so this is a place where spending more will make a huge difference. And what is that difference? A body that doesn’t ache, a lot of good sleep, and an oasis to snuggle in after a long and hellish day at work.

Renter’s Insurance:
This stuff costs about $125 a year and covers all of your belongings in your apartment in case of fire, water damage, or anything else that might happen to that 1 bedroom apartment (converted into 2) that you call home. $125 may seem like a lot to throw down when you’ve got so many other things to purchase, but just imagine how much you’d be spending if something happened to your apartment (like the roof blowing off….true story) and you lose all your stuff (like all those designer jeans you’ve been collecting…true story. Sigh).

$15 a month adds up quickly, but there is nothing better than coming home from work on a Friday and having all of your shows waiting for you. Without commercials.

Costco Membership:
If you’ve got a Costco (or Sam’s Club) nearby, become a member. You’ll spend some money to join, but you will save a ton on your basic necessities: toilet paper, paper towel, cereal, vodka…. And weekend sample days? That’s 4 free meals a month, people.

Online Dating:
It’s really hard to meet people in a big city, so if you’re single, sign up for a dating website. It is annoying to spend $25-40 a month to talk to some major freaks (because that is who you’ll encounter about 80% of the time), but there are some gems in there that you wouldn’t meet any other way. And if nothing else, you’ll make your money back in free drinks/dinners with the boys you find.

5 Things to Learn Your First Week on Campus
5 Things to Learn Your First Week on Campus
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