One-click buys

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Online shopping: it’s just so easy!

As a group, we students are notoriously poor, it’s just the way it goes. We get loans that, for the most part, barely cover our accommodation, have to pay for books that tend to be left unopened for the whole year, and on top of all that spend the rest of our very small fortunes on feeding our alcohol addictions. You’re considered extremely lucky if by the end of the year you haven’t managed to spend a rather large chunk of that all important overdraft.

So, considering how most of us are virtually living on the breadline, you would assume that we would scrimp and save at every opportunity, keeping at least a bit of money hidden away to pay off that ever increasing debt that we leave university with. Well, as we all know, this couldn’t be more wrong.

Let’s be honest, if you have a spare tenner burning a whole in your pocket, is it going to be saved or is it going to be used on a cheap night out in Sugar? I think we all know the answer to that one. In my case, I have my own personal weakness that can easily cause my bank balance to drop right down: internet shopping. The problem is, it’s just so easy. You’re a bit bored in your room, most likely hungover, so you go online.

[pull]In my not-at-all-expert opinion, yes, we probably spend far to much money than we should do in the space of 10 weeks. But then again, you’re only a student once.[/pull]

You have a look at the Topshop or Urban Outfitters clothes that would never grace the stores of Lancaster, and look at what you’re missing out on. After just a few minutes you’ve already seen a beautiful pair of shoes, a dress that you know will hug you in all the right places, and a jumper that will make you feel all cosy and snugly on a wet and windy Lancaster day.

So after (let’s face it) not a lot of time deliberating, you buy something… and here comes the trap that is bound to lure you in; you don’t actually have to hand over any money. Of course, that gorgeous bag is going to cost you something, but you just type a few numbers into a few boxes and you’ve bought something – you didn’t have to make the trip to the cash machine and hold your breath as you click ‘display balance’, and realise as the much lower figure than you anticipated pops up on the screen that you just can’t afford it. No, instead you can happily sit there in the comfort of your own pyjamas and spend away your money without even realising it.

When you think about it, it is just so easy for us to spend money. Part of it has got to be that because the money you’re spending is from a loan, it just doesn’t feel real; it’s the equivalent of monopoly money. And for many of us, getting a big fat lump sum of money at the beginning of the term means that we suddenly have more cash to our names than we have ever had before. So should we reel the spending in, maybe not go on as many nights out or go off on as many trips with societies or your college?

In my not-at-all-expert opinion, yes, we probably spend far to much money than we should do in the space of 10 weeks. But then again, you’re only a student once. As long as you don’t manage to spend a whole grand in week 1, then you might as well have some fun with it.

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