Wasting Money 101

We’re already a month into the school year, and I still only own one notebook and one pencil, so we’re off to a strong start :’)

Clearly, organization, planning and most other life skills may not be my strong suit, but there is something I’m good at: procrastinating. And what is my favorite form of procrastination? Wasting money on things I most definitely don’t need — ironically, I refuse to spend a single cent on any new school supplies.

While there are already many blog posts out there about saving money or offering ideas on creating a realistic budget, there aren’t a lot for once you’ve already accepted you don’t have the self-control for financial planning.

So, if you’re like me and also a lost cause when it comes to saving your hard-earned money, I’ve created an “anti-budget” of some of the ways and places I most frequently waste mine:

1. Uber

I  realize Ubers are necessary for many people and sometimes they are for me too. I take them to my job, to the airport, and to many other places where I actually need to be in a timely fashion. However, I also use them to go to IHOP at 2 a.m. or to pick me up on M Street when it’s starting to rain and I don’t want to walk back to campus. Basically, I’m lazy, and Uber now has a lot of my money. I haven’t yet gotten to the point of ordering them just to drive around for fun, but I’m rapidly approaching this rock bottom.

2. Saxby’s

I am not exaggerating when I say I think a solid quarter of my life savings has gone to Saxby’s. Here’s the situation: I’ve been drinking coffee since I was about 3 years old — really not sure why my parents not only allowed this, but also encouraged it. So, yes, I am addicted to coffee (thanks, Mom and Dad) but do I need to be spending $10 plus my firstborn child on it ? No. Do I anyway? Absolutely. I have so many regrets.

Actual budgeting advice: If you weren’t aware, Saxby’s does free refills if you stay and do work there.

3. On-Campus Vending Machines

The thing about vending machines is that you don’t feel like you’re spending a lot of money, but when you buy Smart Food at 3 a.m. in Lau for months on end, that $1.75 really adds up. I would recommend this tactic for a mostly guilt-free way to waste money — until you check your banking account and realize your grave miscalculation.

4. Any Corp Location

To put it simply, everything at The Corp is overpriced, but I love snacks. Sometimes I just really need a family-sized bag of barbecue chips at 11 p.m., and by sometimes, I mean approximately once a week. People say that The Corp is going under, but I mathematically don’t know how that’s possible considering how much they charge for a bag of chips. What are they doing with all my money??

5. Opera

If you don’t yet know what it is, do not find out. Going to opera is the equivalent of setting $20 on fire. If you want to pay someone to have a bad time, this one’s for you.

6. Online Shopping

I’m going to end with a classic — online shopping. It starts with “I’m going to browse,” and that turns into “I’m just going to add some stuff to my cart.” Then you black out and realize that you just put in your credit card information and bought three almost identical turtlenecks because you couldn’t decide, and all of them were on sale, so it had to be a good deal, right?

I’m hoping this list will give me a wake-up call for my irresponsible spending habits. (It probably won’t.) Please feel free to judge me and the way I handle money, but if you decide to take any of my suggestions, I will not judge you.

Sources: https://giphy.com, pinterest.com

An Ode to Finals Season

As the long-awaited Dec. 20 draws near, we here at 4E have prepared an ode to undoubtedly the merriest time of the year: FINALS SZN. Whether you’re reading this post in the sanctity of your own dearly missed home, at your ~unique~ vacation spot in Mexico or on the Hilltop waiting for your unfortunately-scheduled math final, we can relate to what you’re feeling:

So, without further ado, let’s all take a moment to reflect on Georgetown’s beloved stress culture, appreciate the ~high-quality~ Whisk coffee that has fueled us thus far and give ourselves a pat on the back for succeeding  doing relatively well surviving this semester!

After endless midterms, weeks of studying all night,

there’s a brief respite, then finals are in sight.

It seems like it’s always time to buckle down

but that’s just part of being at Georgetown

The struggle is real as you prep for Bib Lit —

but what can you expect from the Jesuits?

You’ve got 99 problems, the first is Of God,

and in time you’re exposed as a Catholic fraud.

In your first exam, those wretched blue books appear

and before too long, they’re stained with your tears.

You fight through hand cramps for two hours straight,

and from nine to eleven, your heart palpitates.

Lau 2 is love, Lau 2 is life —

just kidding, that place is a hellhole of strife.

You wonder, will these troubles ever be over?

It’s been awhile since you’ve been this sober.

You’ve studied forever, it seems like a time warp,

and while waiting at MUG, you curse the capitalist Corp.

Later that day, you procrastinate more:

It was feeling too lonely up on Lau 4.

You’re buried in books on a Saturday night —

to friends at state schools, it’s a pitiful sight.

It’s only midnight, but the future looks bleak.

You remind yourself, though, that sleep’s for the weak.

But when you finally get into the swing of things,

to no one’s surprise, Lau’s fire alarm rings.

So you make your way over to good ol’ Leavey —

should four flights of stairs really make you this wheezy?

Texts from your friends say they’re already on break,

but at least they’ll be free to attend your wake.

You’re struggling to find the will to survive,

indeed, you fall short of the expectation to thrive.

“How to learn French in a day,” you search online.

You’d forgotten “Bonjour”— probably not a good sign

After handing in your final subpar paper,

it looks like life’s finally turned in your favor.

Though GPA-wise, there may be reason to fear,

that’ll be a problem you save for next year.

The holidays will provide plenty of reason

for you to repress this finals season.

Walking past Healy, you take a pic and proceed,

“until next semester!” your Snapchat story reads.

Suitcase in hand, you feel an upswing in mood

at the thought of three weeks without Leo’s food.

You search for your Uber outside the front gates —

What’s taking so long? New Jersey awaits!

~Happy Hoyadays~ from all of us at 4E!

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, tumblr.com

Transportation and Tacos: History in The Making

In just a few days, most Hoyas will be returning to The Hilltop. A select few will study abroad in the fall, but nevertheless anticipation to leave home has never been higher. But amid all the excitement and preparations to return to school, some may have noticed the blossoming of a new trend over the summer that could have serious effects on our futures: the combination of transportation apps (e.g. Uber and Lyft) and food delivery.

Uber Technologies originally unveiled UberEATS in 2014, but the service is still separate from the app that you use to transport your lazy body home from a night out. Food delivery apps quickly became a new fad; Postmates and Tapingo quickly followed and the industry boomed. Even more recently, Uber seems to have taken a step further with the ability to request an ice cream truck. I received this email recently and while the service was only available on August 11, I was still shocked to see how Uber promotes obesity continues to improve its services.

The email continued to describe an added benefit to requesting a personal ice cream truck. As if the idea of that wasn’t enough, Uber promised free ice cream at McDonald’s (every Friday until 9/22/17) when you brought your ~collectible cone~.

So now when you download Uber, you’re not just getting a car service. Instead, you’re exposed to a world of ice cream on-demand and free ice cream at McDonald’s.  While I am not a huge McDonald’s fan (unless it’s Shamrock Shake season), I can’t deny that I was impressed. But just when I thought it could not get any better, I received word that Lyft was developing something called “Taco Mode”: a service that delivers passengers to the nearest Taco Bell mid-ride. Instead of matching its rival’s ice cream service and partnering with McDonald’s, Lyft has raised the bar even higher by partnering with Taco Bell and bringing customers to a food source on their way home. This means that on your way home from the bar (or wherever you are in the middle of the night), you can easily make a pit stop at Taco Bell and satisfy your dietary needs. Has science gone too far?

The correct answer to that question is: NO! This is exactly what the people (read: we, students of Georgetown) don’t need in our lives. A service that allows us to stop for food on our way home makes life incredibly easier. Rather than taking two Uber/Lyft rides to stop for food and then continue back to campus, this idea saves time and money for students who are on a budget.

As the industry continues to change, one cannot help but wonder what services will be released in the future. In order to help some wannabe MSBros aspiring business leaders, here are some great suggestions that one could take into account when developing the next great food service:

  1. &pizza Feature for SafeRide– Building on the idea of Taco Mode, this could be both an excellent boost in business for &pizza on Wisconsin Avenue and great publicity for SafeRide and GUPD. If you are taking SafeRide back to campus at a late hour, what better place to stop? It’s close to campus and they have a variety of pizzas and free water. This feature could also mean that the SafeRide driver stops at &pizza for you and grabs your food. Either way, you’re getting pizza and a ride home all in one trip.
  2. Corp Coffee Delivery Service– As if The Corp didn’t have enough to worry about, a coffee delivery service could prove disastrous since probably everyone on campus (including faculty) would want coffee delivered to them. The solution would be to raise a delivery price, but then everyone would probably just not use the service. This may not seem like a great suggestion, but hey, maybe someone else can put a better spin on it.
  3. Quick Pita Food Truck– If this had happened prior to the tragedy of December 31, 2016, the eatery may have raised its sales enough to stay in business. Maybe it’s just me, but setting up this stand just off campus (in case you’re too lazy to walk the extra blocks) would’ve been a godsend.
  4. GUTS Stop at Jumbo Slice– Georgetown may have stopped the late-night Adams Morgan route, but it may be time to bring it back if this idea gains popularity. Picture this: you are leaving Madam’s Organ (if you’re of age, of course), and you want to take the free shuttle home but you also want pizza. Now you can do both because the shuttle waits while you run in and grab a slice.

While these suggestions may seem a bit ridiculous, are they any worse than “Taco Mode” or Uber ice cream trucks? That’s up to you to decide, but just remember that in the coming weeks there probably will be a longer wait for late-night Epi than a mid-day Cosi due to something called NSO. In case you have forgotten, the counter at Epi will look something like this.

So to whomever takes up one of these ideas and actually does something with it: please remember me when you’re famous!

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, uber.com, businessinsider.com, money.cnn.com

Crazy Uber Stories

uber

For those of you who live under a rock, Uber is a really cool app that allows you to order a driver right to your location. The drivers are real people driving their own cars, so you can imagine that they meet some pretty weird individuals on the job. We at 4E have compiled some of our favorite bizarre Uber stories to give you a look into what really goes on in the backs of those black cars.

giphy

Story #1: Last week this middle-aged white guy got in, and he was drunk with his hair all slicked back. He said he was going to go meet this lady: “I hooked up with this chick seventeen years ago, but this week I met her on some dating app, and she doesn’t know it’s me. I’ve been calling her and she’s saying, ‘I don’t know if I want to meet you.’ So I’m just going to surprise her today.” So then I was like “If she’s not comfortable meeting you, I’m not comfortable taking you.” He changed the subject and started talking about all the cocaine he’s been doing, and, I mean, I’m a big guy – 6’2″ and 240 pounds, but I started to feel uncomfortable. I acted like the car was tripping out on me, having all these problems and I pulled over and when he got out I drove off on him.

Story #2: I’ve had people in my car passed out drunk. That was super uncomfortable.

Story #3: I’ve only been a driver for two months, but a few weeks ago a guy and a girl got in the back of the car and they were making out and stuff, so I turned on the radio louder so I wouldn’t have to hear it. And I thought I heard him unbuckle his belt, but I was hoping that he just wanted to tuck in his shirt or something. Then he leaned in my ear and started asking if I could pull over and give them a minute. I was horrified and started to say no, so he got the girl to lean over to me and tell me it was consensual. I was at least glad they asked me, because I knew I could say no, but when they were just taking off his pants it would’ve been harder to tell them to stop. I told them that if they really needed to do something, they could get out of my car. They did.

If these incidents don’t have you guys itching to become Uber drivers, remember that you keep 80% of the ride fare and a lot of good stories to tell your friends.

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com; forbes.com

PUPPY BOWL!

puppies

Today is Uber’s “Puppy Bowl” celebration. This means that they are delivering puppies straight to your office until 3:00 pm! For only $30 you get 15 minutes of puppy playtime.

cutepuppy

All profits are directly donated to the participating animal society; for us, that’s the Washington Area Rescue League.

The best part: all the puppies can be adopted. Most Georgetown students can’t really keep a dog on campus (I know, we’ve all thought about it), but today might be the day you can convince a professor, recent graduate or family friend to adopt a fuzzy playmate. Plus, if you live off-campus, no one will ever know about your extra roommate.

If you still use antiquated taxicab services because you’re old, lame and living under a rock, you can use special promo code PUPPYBOWL2015 to get $20 off your first Uber ride.

So quick: download Uber, use promo code DCpuppies and make a new friend!

Photos/Gifs: Tumblr.com; geeksandcleats.com

Uber Delivers Kittens Today

kittensUber is delivering kittens today! Because it’s National Cat Day so naturally a taxi driver should arrive at your doorstep with a kitten and UberKITTENS swag. The kittens are coming to Austin, Chicago, Seattle, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco and D.C. (THAT’S US)!

kittens-gifIf you live in any of these cities you can order a kitten between noon and 4 p.m. today and have the little kitty for a 15 minute cuddle and petting session.  You can get your kittens and UberKITTENS swag on-demand for $30 by using promo code KITTENSDC.

Can it get any better? YES! All of the money will be donated to the Washington Humane Society.

Could it get any better? Yes.

YOU CAN KEEP THE KITTENS!

All you have to do is ask the shelter representative who will be assisting with handling the kittens about adoption.

Today is a beautiful day ladies and gentlemen. Enjoy the cuddles.

cuddle

Help Georgetown Unlock a Free Week of UberX!

UberPPTDo you feel the need to hibernate in your room all day long because this winter is way too much to handle? Do you refuse to walk anywhere outside the gates because the half hour you spent last week at Yates was already enough?

Well, even though staying bundled up under your covers watching Netflix seems like the perfect of perfect days, D.C. has too many things to offer. UberX has the perfect solution for all of your first world problems!

Uber is an mobile phone app that allows you to request a car, which will pick you up wherever you are, without having to wait or walk in the cold. Because Hoyas are so cool, Uber is offering the entire Georgetown community one free week of UberX if at least 1,500 people sign up for Uber using the Georgetown-only promo code: DCuberXtraCredit3.

We have from right now – yes, sign up NOW – until Feb. 11 to achieve our goal, so go tell every person you know to sign up for Uber. Tell your teachers, tell your friends, tell Jack the Bulldog. Since I know you’re probably as broke as I am, you probably want to save up a little something for Spring Break, so a free week of UberX would certainly come in handy.

To recap, all you have to do is the following:

1. Go to the App store and download Uber
2. Sign up using the Promo Code: DCuberXtraCredit3
3. Procrastinate your studies for at least an hour while you announce publicly why everyone should sign up too
4. Hibernate in your room watching Netflix until Uber unlocks a free UberX week for Georgetown
5. Explore everything D.C. has to offer FOR FREE. (My suggestions: Busboys and Poets on U Street, and Madam’s Organ in Adams Morgan.)

Well, what are you waiting for? Start downloading and let’s get some free UberX!

Photo: pardonmycrumbs.blogspot.com