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In this episode, one woman tells us the common spending traps she used to fall for as a young adult, and how she now avoids them easily.

Through weekly video essays, "Making It Work" showcases how *real* people have upgraded their personal or financial lives in some meaningful way. Making your life work for you doesn't mean getting rich just for the sake of it. It means making the most of what you have to build a life you love, both in your present and in your future. And while managing money is a crucial life skill for everyone, there's no one "right way" to go about it — you have to figure out what works best for *you,* full stop.

Video by Grace Lee

Based on an article by Bea Borromeo

Video narration by Erin Lillis

The Financial Diet site:

Making It Work is brought to you by Skillshare, an online learning community helping you move your creative journey forward without putting life on hold.

In the midst of my college career, my credit score took the biggest plunge and, consequently, so did my self-esteem. At 20, I maxed my credit card out thanks to a series of unwise spending decisions.

And I ended up really paying the consequences. After that catastrophe, it took me almost a full year to even be able to begin paying off my outstanding balance in full each month. There were, of course, a few things that especially led me down my path of unhealthy spending habits.

Here are five spending areas I would suggest steering clear of if you want to avoid a financial crisis like mine. Number one. I deleted the Starbucks and Postmates app.

Let's talk about the Starbucks app. I didn't realize how much I was spending on Starbucks until I noticed I had to hit the reload $25 button on my app every few days. If you can get out of your unhealthy caffeine addiction sooner, and realize the beautiful wonders water can do for your face and overall health, you'll definitely save your money for better and bigger investments.

Additionally, apps such as Favor or PostMates that deliver food to you may sound amazing when you're in the middle of a study session in the library learning about cost pull and demand pull inflation, and food delivery can certainly be a welcome treat when you're spending more time than ever at home. But trust me when I needed to stop indulging myself so frequently. If you have these apps, you probably know how addicting they can be.

If they're causing you problems, do your wallet a favor and delete them. Number two. I learned it's OK to be an outfit repeater.

Remember when Kate Sanders told Lizzie McGuire she was an outfit repeater? I blame that integral television moment for my actual fear of being an outfit repeater, specifically when it comes to dresses. In my university towards the end of every semester, it would be formal season.

I would go online looking for affordable dresses at online boutiques such as Lulu's, Toby, et cetera. I didn't have time to just go to the mall when I had to juggle all my classes and organizations I was involved in. And you know what, online shopping can be addicting.

Those dresses I got were beautiful but the shipping fees that came with them were not. Spoiler alert. It's OK to wear the same dress twice or to have to constantly wash and rotate the same three pairs of sweats.

I promise Kate Sanders won't find you. And if she does, you could always call her an outfit remember er. Number three.

I stopped buying furniture and decor I didn't need. I wanted my college apartment to look like those lavish fun ones on Pinterest. Who doesn't want their apartment to look cute and inviting?

But let's be real. I was only in college for a few years. And I always knew I'd move out of my living situation soon after graduation.

While I needed furniture that is sturdy, I didn't need geometric accent decorations from Urban Outfitters that I definitely could have made myself. Number four. I stopped spending money at the same rate my friends did.

Unfortunately, it took me some time to realize that some of my friends actually came from wealthy households. For some reason, just living in the same neighborhood as them made me assume we all came from the same basic socioeconomic background. When I started paying more attention to their spending habits, I eventually figured out that that wasn't the case at all.

It's definitely OK to opt to stay home instead of hanging out with all your friends when they can spend money you don't have. I noticed some of my friends were able to live off of eating at fast food chains and restaurants and never cook for themselves. I don't know how I was able to eat at the same fried chicken place every day for months.

It's upsetting not getting the lucky receipt with the one free chicken sandwich after doing an online survey, but it was even more upsetting realizing I would have saved hundreds if I had just learned to cook my own meals sooner. Number five. Not every experience is worth dropping money for.

I don't know about yours, but how were all my friends constantly going out of the country and taking the most beautiful Instagram-worthy pictures? Some experiences are definitely life changing. I never thought I would go to music festivals five years ago.

But after going to some, I found out they were amazing. It's good to be open-minded and experience new places with your friends when opportunities present themselves. And goodness knows we miss them when they're off the table.

However, hindsight is 2020. It's easier to see how much you were spending on major experiences when you take a break from them. Between food, travel, potentially lodging, the costs can seriously add up.

I had fun at that concert in a different city. But was it really worth the $400 total I spent on that weekend? I've learned that missing out on some experiences is a fair trade if it means saving for even better ones in the future.

If you've been working hard to save money but still want to expand your skillset and develop your creativity, you don't need expensive classes to do so. Instead, check out Skillshare. Skillshare is an online community designed for real life so you can move your creative journey forward without putting your plans on hold.

With thousands of classes in design, productivity, creative writing, and more, you can learn and grow with short lessons that fit your busy routine. Skillshare's premium membership gives you unlimited access to high quality classes on must know topics so you can improve your skills, unlock new opportunities, and do the work you love. Bonus.

It's super affordable with an annual subscription that costs less than $10 a month. If you're looking to revamp your routine and make use of the hours in your day, be sure to check out the class Simple Productivity, how to accomplish more with less, taught by author and productivity expert Greg McEwen. He'll teach you simple ways to hold yourself accountable and find focus no matter where you're working, because simplifying your work life makes more room for everything else you love.

Join the millions of students already learning on Skillshare today with a special offer just for TFD viewers. The first 1,000 of our subscribers to click the link in our description will get a two month free trial of Skillshare's premium membership. Explore your creativity on your own timeline and start learning today.