Where did all my money go?

(graphic by Mitchell Cheeseman).
(graphic by Mitchell Cheeseman).

Money is a strange thing. Perhaps this is because everyone wants it in order to feel secure or that everything in the world revolves around it or the fact that even our most simple tasks revolve around the products we have to purchase.

I find it strange because I don’t see the dividing line of what I “should” be spending money on and what I “shouldn’t.”

Throughout my university career, which is now coming to an end, I’ve made some decisions with my money that weren’t the best or financially conscious. Yet, they made great memories that I’ll be able to look back on in the future.

We’ll start from the beginning. In first year, I lived in residence where I had a meal plan. This meant that my food, housing and electricity, was all paid for. There was no excuse to be wasteful with the money that was saved in the bank.

But did I empty my bank account at least once every month or two? Yes.

Where did it go? The scattered cans of cold shots and wine bottles that would appear after a weekend of forgettable social moments could explain it.

Moving into a house for second and third year takes a turn as shameless spending results in bigger consequences. Suddenly money is being shelled out for rent, bills, groceries, toiletries and social outings. Draining the bank account appeared to be the only job that was maintained throughout the years.

Budgeting can be the hardest task for a student who is trying to balance it all. In this world, it’s not hard to run out of money. Rent is reasonable but students forget that using a lot of hot water and leaving the lights on 24/7 results in high hydro bills. Streaming online which might seem free at the time cuts into cable usage and again, things get expensive.

Our favourite meals back at home contain ingredients that are expensive. A night out with your best friends with booze, transportation, drinks at the venue and late night meals can total in dropping almost a hundred dollars within the span of six hours.

Money just doesn’t grow on trees and if it did, those trees aren’t growing in Waterloo. But despite the moths that consistently fly out of my pocket, the poor budgeting goes hand in hand with some of the best memories gained.

Will I remember the countless nights when my roommates and I sat in the basement watching hours of TV and not leaving the house to avoid spending money?

At least not as vividly as the nights when we had to spend a little bit to gain a lot of fun. Those are the memories that I’ll revisit years after I’m gone. The town, the school and the roommates will be missed but I’m certainly not going to miss the money I spent creating memories with them.

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