Taking advantage of lower costs of living

By Jayden Jagtiani

Coming to Missouri as an out of state student was a big change for me in terms of culture as well as economically.

Being from New York City, the cost of living is immense with the average rent price for a studio apartment being $1800 and a one-bedroom apartment being $2100. This is more than double the price of average rent in Missouri.

When I found this information out, I was ecstatic, I knew that I could spend less money on food and groceries, but still do everything I wanted to do.

Eating in New York City is very expensive, it’s very hard to get a healthy meal for less than $10, when first arriving in Columbia, I found how easy it was to eat healthy at cheaper prices. A Chipotle bowl with chicken is $8.50 in New York City, but only $7 here in Columbia.

I first learned about how important money and time management was sophomore year of high school. I went to a boarding school, so I wasn’t with my family at all except for during breaks. This put a lot of pressure on me to make sure that I was managing my money wisely and not just spending it on items that I wanted but didn’t need.

Buying food became the biggest challenge, the dining hall was where we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner. Let’s just say that the dining hall dinners were not the best. My friends and I found ourselves ordering different types of food at least three times a week so that we wouldn’t go to sleep hungry. It got to a point where we were ordering dinner almost every night, and I didn’t even realize how much money I was spending. As I got to college, I realized how much money I was wasting, I started looking at my expenses and would set aside a certain amount of money to spend on ordering food and a certain amount to spend on groceries. It really helped me cut down on spending money and I was now saving money for items I really wanted.

When I first arrived in Missouri, I was happy about the lower costs, but also nervous that I would spend more money because everything was cheaper. I started saving money early and would only allow myself to spend a certain amount of money on meals that were outside of the dining halls. It helped me save at least a thousand dollars in my first semester, as I would try to make sure that I wasn’t spending money on items I wanted but didn’t need.

If there is one thing that is taken away from this blog, I want it to be that managing money and not spending it on wants rather than needs will lead to success in the future. Although, there are times to buy things you want, that may not be all the time, so I urge you to only buy things that are necessary at the time and save items you want for the future. It will also help save money and make you realize that we need to be grateful for a lot of what we’re given and not take anything for granted.

Jagtiani is a sophomore majoring in journalism at the University of Missouri.

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