As scary as it sounds, Class of 2015, it's time to let college go. Soon you'll hopefully be starting your first job and bringing in a hefty wad of cash every week. Most of it will go towards rent and loans (ugh) but ideally you won't be too broke after that.
Still, don't feel guilty about the occasional splurge. These things are worth the extra cash -- trust us:
An awesome trip
Dip into your graduation monies and take full advantage of your time off in-between college and the real world. Unless you're heading to grad school, summer breaks and long winter vacations are no longer a thing. Once you have a job, you can't peace out for two months to go globe-trotting, so fulfill your wanderlust now.
Splurge on whatever vacay you can reasonably afford. Whether it's a road trip, a week at the shore or a backpacking adventure across the pond, you'll never regret dropping money on a priceless experience.
A good mattress
Sleep is a precious thing in college AND in the real world. You can’t put a price on a good night’s rest. You don’t need to buy the most expensive mattress on the market, but buy something that won’t leave you aching in the morning.
Buy this and stop running to Starbucks three times every day. You'll end up saving hundreds of dollars per year.
A solid pair of shoes
If you’re moving to a city, expect to be walking a ton and putting a lot of miles on your trendy footwear. If you prefer to buy cheaper shoes, that’s cool -- just know that they likely won’t last more than one season. It’s worth splurging on high-quality, comfortable shoes if you know you’ll love wearing them year after year after year.
A tailored suit
This goes for both guys and girls. Have a good suit before you need a good suit, because it'll be even more expensive to get a crappy suit altered last-minute before a big job interview. It'll come in handy for years.
A phone that works and a reasonable data plan
If you've made it this far with one of these old-school cell phones, kudos to you. But your life will be a lot easier with a smartphone (and enough data to use it all month long). You'll have 24/7 access to email, so you'll instantly know when the boss you're trying to impress needs something. You'll never get lost thanks to the plethora of map and subway apps. You can deposit your paychecks, manage your bank accounts and pay your bills -- #adulthood -- on the go.
Also, you need a smartphone to use Tinder/Bumble/Hinge/any free dating app ever...just sayin'...
A new computer
Your college computer has seen a lot of things it can't unsee. You put it through rigorous all-nighters, hours-long Skype sessions and Netflixed the poor thing to death. Now it processes everything at a glacial pace, and it takes forever for you to get anything done on it. Ain't nobody got time for that. For the sake of your sanity, splurge on a new computer so you can stream/tweet/type/download in peace.
PS. Don't cheap out on your internet service provider, either. A fancy computer is useless without solid Wi-Fi.
Your first apartment out of college is hardly going to be glamorous, and city landlords are the worst. Depending on the exact plan, renters insurance costs around the same monthly amount as your Netflix or Spotify subscription. Read that lease front to back before you sign it, and make sure you know who has to pay up — hint: it’s usually you — if something goes wrong, even if it’s not your fault.
For example, if the tenants above you overflow their toilet and the water leaks through your ceiling and ruins your treasured laptop and/or everything you own, insurance will cover the damages. Otherwise, you’re likely on your own.
A gym membership
You tell yourself you don't need a gym membership. You'll get your yoga on from the comfort of your living room. You'll buy some dumbbells and watch workout videos on YouTube. You'll jog in the park every morning. Then winter hits, and the only thing you want to do in curl up in bed with the heat on full blast.
Unless you have an iron sense of self-discipline, your workout routine won't hold up as planned. But you know what motivates self-discipline? Losing money on a service you're not taking full advantage of. Seeing that monthly gym membership charge on your credit card bill is a reminder to whip your butt into shape.
A nice purse
This is the purse you'll keep around for years to come. This is the purse you can wear with any outfit at any time. This is the purse that won't come undone at the seams or snap a strap after one year of lugging around your laptop. This is the purse that makes you feel like a badass person who can conquer the world. This is the purse worth splurging on.
You don't need to drop big bucks for this, but it's time to ditch that "Animal House" poster. Hang up framed photos, get some artwork at a thrift shop or create your own if you're crafty. Make your apartment feel like a home, not like a college dorm. You'll feel older and more mature just by changing up what's on your wall.
Food with actual nutritional value
We don't mean spending all of your cash on takeout or dining out. We mean spending an extra buck or two at the grocery store. Please don't live on instant ramen. (Learn to cook, BTW. You don't have to be great at it, but it will save you money in the long run.)
Get some real non-plastic plates and silverware while you're at it, too. You're 22 now -- you can handle washing a few dishes. It's better for the environment AND you'll feel like a grown-up in your apartment that's too basic for a dishwasher. And there's just something so adult-like about owning items that can actually break if you drop them. When you don't drop them, it's like you're succeeding at adulting!
...but we won't judge you if you drink cheap boxed wine from those fancy-ass wine glasses, either. ;)