Some people are lucky enough to rarely have to spend time being concerned over money issues. They can buy whatever they want without considering the consequences. Most of us, however, are not that fortunate.
College students, especially those no longer supported by their parents, are definitely those who have to be extremely cautious in their spending and will often work multiple jobs to maintain a steady income in order to balance their bills.
After rent, electric, heat and car payments, it's overwhelming to consider that there might not be enough money left over to have something that even resembles a life. There isn't much that comes for free, and even sitting in a coffee shop or bar usually implies eventually shelling out the money for a drink or two. Turning down your friends' offers to go shopping or even catch a $5 movie usually won't go over too well and skipping meals to save money for these social activities really isn't an option.
The college environment is a unique one. There is no way to hold a 40-hour-per-week job while maintaining full time status as a student; even trying to balance a part time job with classes and extracurricular activities is challenging. Learning how to save money shouldn't be completely dependent on whether or not your parents continue to support you monetarily. But is it basically impossible to save money as a college student? It's so easy to go out one night and spend $15 on a nice meal, $8 on an evening movie, and over $10 on drinks at the bar. Add on gas money and before you know it, half of your weekly paycheck is blown.
Trying to save money doesn't mean you can never do any of this, but trying to limit the times you do spend money to more special occasions is something that could help. It's tempting to always leave town on the weekends, thinking there's a lack of opportunities for a fun time in Geneseo, but the drive to Rochester or Buffalo costs you gas money that wouldn't be spent if you stuck around once in awhile.
Also, other little things like making a grocery list before going shopping will really help you to focus on what you need for the week instead of absent-mindedlytossing unnecessary items into your cart when you don't have a list. (Goodbye pink-frosted animal crackers and strawberry-scented lip gloss). Being money conscious is definitely far from fun, but it is necessary. There is a balance between penny pinching and spending lavishly, but finding it may be harder than it seems.
Adults face the responsibilities of paying bills and saving money like we do, but they also have the added challenge of possibly supporting a family and planning for their children's futures along with that. When we start to think about learning to save for someone other than ourselves, there is that much more at stake. Eventually being able to keep track of and save your money will benefit you no matter what.