By Adedayo Akala, University of Missouri

Personal finances, I don’t know her. At least I didn’t know her my freshman year of college. I am the type of person that, if I set my mind to something, I will accomplish it.

The summer before my first semester of college, my goal was to save all the money I made. This way I would have more than enough for a shopping spree for “college clothes” and the cutest dorm room ever.

With this goal in mind, I worked tirelessly at Carl’s Junior as the closing shift leader. I picked up any available shifts, in addition to the 40 hours I was already working every week. I was basically exhausted the whole summer, but I completed my goal. I ended the summer with $3,000. I was so proud and ready to spend, which is exactly what I did.

By the time I was done spending, I had about $1,700 left. What did I spend my money on? Honestly, I couldn’t tell you, because my parents helped me an incredible amount with my dorm expenses. The thing is, I am a girl that loves the finer things in life. I have always been this way, and I had decided I was going to be a “baddie” once I stepped on Mizzou’s campus.

Now, what does “baddie” mean? According to Urban Dictionary, a baddie is a girl who is always slaying the game and always on fleek. Basically, a girl who is extremely put together and looks phenomenal even on her off days. To accomplish this goal, there were things that were not just one-time purchases.  To get the idea, check out www.baddiegirl.com.

I had to get my nails done every two weeks, keep up with the latest fashion trends, go out, sometimes attend fancy birthday dinners, buy makeup, etc. This is where the majority of my money went to the upkeep of the “baddie lifestyle.” Even though I had no money coming in, I was dedicated to this lifestyle and the spending that came with it.

Now I look back and I realize I was not a rational human being during this phase of my life. By the end of my freshman year, I had no money in my account. I wasn’t necessarily worried about it, because I was going home where I would resume my terribly boring life as a Carl’s Junior shift leader. That summer I added to the fun by getting another job at Jack in the Box.

I was a two-job “shorty” making a reasonably good amount every two weeks.

I was ready to blow all of my money again, but then my parents sat me down for a “serious” conversation. They told me I needed to stop being irresponsible and believing money grew on trees. I was so in shock with the words that were coming out of their mouths. In all reality, they were right. I was not thinking about the long term at all. I was living for right now. Buying things for instant satisfaction, instead of saving for after college or an emergency. My parents were sadly right and it was indeed time to grow up.

I still live the baddie lifestyle, just more on a budget. I am definitely more money conscious now, actually I think I am just more mature.

I learned you don’t have to get your nails done every two weeks. It is better to shop for clothes while they are on sale. I am not necessarily saving for anything in particular, but last Spring break my friends and I decided to go to the City of Angels on a whim.

I was able to do that because I had a saving account. Honestly, being a baddie is a trait from within. It doesn’t really have to do with what you’re wearing, but more so how you carry yourself.

Akala is a senior, majoring in journalism at the University of Missouri.