Sophia Says: Honey, Balsamic + Pesto Flatbread

If you're looking for a great appetizer to make the next time you have friends over, MAKE THIS. 

I made this honey, balsamic, + pesto flatbread last week for some girlfriends that came over and it was good. Like really good. I got all the ingredients from Meijers and it made it in 5 minutes flat. It's easy, cheap, and looks a lot fancier than it is.

I ended up having extras after I made this so I decided to take pics of every step so you can see exactly how to make it. However, one of the best things about this recipe is you really can throw whatever you want on this! I will say, the honey takes it to another level.

1. Spread pesto over flat bread.

I get these long flatbread at Aldi's. They are really cheap, I want to say like $2? It comes in a set of two.

I just get pesto in a can at the grocery store! If you're feeling fancy you can make your own ;). I just spread a thin layer so that the flatbread is covered.

2. Put thin slices of tomato over flatbread.

I am not the biggest fan of thick tomato slices so I try to make these as thin as possible. TBH, I just grabbed random tomatoes and I am almost positive it was roma tomatoes. I used one tomato per flatbread.

3. Place fresh mozzarella on top of tomatoes.

You know those long logs of fresh mozzarella? Use that for this. I got precut ones to make it fast and easy.

4. Drizzle honey + balsamic reduction over flatbread.

Okay first, sprinkle a little salt + pepper over this.

Second, drizzle some honey + balsamic reduction over the flatbread. Omg. This makes it GOOD.

The balsamic reduction sounds fancy, but it's not at all. I just get it at Meijers for $3. It also tastes amazing on bruschetta so it's just good to have on hand in general.

5. Cook in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.

That's it! It is SO good. If you make it, let me know how it tastes!

Honey, Balsamic, + Pesto Flatbread

Honey, Balsamic, + Pesto Flatbread

Yield: 1 Large Flat Bread
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

The easiest (and inexpensive) flat bread that is perfect for when girlfriends come over or even for a quick dinner. I get all the ingredients at Aldi's for under $7 but they are such simple ingredients you can get them anywhere! My girlfriends and I love this with some wine...its delish.

Ingredients

  • Flat Bread
  • Pesto
  • 1 Roma Tomato
  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Honey
  • Balsamic Reduction

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On uncooked flatbread, spread a thin layer of pesto. I get the long flatbread from Aldi's. Any can of pesto will do!
  3. Cut tomatoes into thin slices. Place tomatoes layers on flatbread.
  4. Cut mozzarella into thin layers. Place onto flatbread.
  5. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the flatbread. I just eye it, no exact measurements happening over here 🙂
  6. Drizzle honey + balsamic reduction over the top of the flatbread. I get my balsamic reduction from Meijers. I believe it's at every grocery store but I know for a fact that Trader Joes also has it!
  7. Cook in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. I would start watching it at around 7 minutes to make sure that it doesn't burn.

The Truth About Long Distance Relationships | How We Survived Four Years Of Long Distance In College

This post is all about how my boyfriend and I survived being in a long distance relationship these past four years. These are the things I wish I would have known and the biggest tips I have for anyone going through long distance.

long distance relationships

After four years, my boyfriend and I are officially NO longer in a long distance relationship! We know first hand how hard it is and there is so many things we wish we would have known. 

We both learned so much about ourselves and our relationship during this time. I would have never in a million years thought I would be saying this, but looking back, I am actually grateful for long distance. 

I also thought it would be interesting to see things from a guy's perspective on long distance so I am having Ben answer all of these questions too! 

This post is giving you all our best long distance relationship tips and answering all the long distance questions we were asked.

Long Distance Relationships:

Background of Our Long Distance Relationship:

long distance relationships

Ben and I met in 5th grade, became really good friends in middle school, and started dating when we were juniors in high school. At this point, I feel like we've done majority of our life together. You can see in the picture above at our middle school graduation, high school graduation, and most recently, college graduation. 

We knew right from the beginning of starting to date in high school that we would be going to different colleges. However, it never even really crossed our minds (or at least mine) to break up for college. 

I ended up staying in Wisconsin for college and he went to Iowa. Our schools were 8 hours away from each other.

I remember the whole senior year of high school I would start getting watery eyes even thinking about him leaving. The summer before he left I would literally drive around crying to Adeles "All I Ask" and other long distance songs hahaha. 

What the first week of long distance was like:

I feel like it's important to mention that Ben and I were the couple that did everything together. We hung out like every single day (which I'll get to why long distance was actually super good for us because of this). So, the thought of us only seeing each other once a month was impossible to imagine.

Ben played soccer in college so he always left for school way earlier than all of our friends. The week before he left for his freshman year we made a "last week bucket list" in his living room and bawled while his brother was in the other room hahaha. Needless to say, we were slight emotional disasters🥴. We planned something exciting for every day leading up to his departure like going hiking, going to Chicago, having a picnic, etc. We really tried to make that last week memorable.

The weekend we dropped him off for that first year was ROUGH. Actually the whole first year in general was rough. I cried non-stop. We pulled away from his dorm room and I was in the backseat of his parents car just silently sobbing and his dad was trying to give me a pep talk in the front seat. So funny thinking back on it now but in the moment I thought life was horrible hahaha. 

Any time I would visit him after that even if I wasn't super sad about leaving him (no offense Ben 😁) I would get this clump in my throat and the tears would just start coming. And GUYS! I am not a crier. Which is hard to believe from this post, but seriously, I rarely cry. I just like couldn't control it haha.

That first week was really bad. Everywhere I would go I would always think, "Last time I drove on this road I was with Ben" or "Last time I went to Target, Ben was with me" like irrational things like that haha.

Moral of this all, the first week SUCKS. Just get through it. I promise it gets better!!

Things that were in our favor for long distance:

There were a few things in our favor that 100% made long distance easier. And don't get discouraged if these things aren't in favor for you, these are just things that we noticed made it way easier for us to get through long distance.

1. We went to small christian colleges.

I'm going to be honest here, there is SO much more temptation at big schools mostly because of partying. A lot of the time we hated going to such small schools, but in the relationship field it was actually really good for us.

I'm not saying we would have cheated on each other if we went to big schools at all, but there was just less going on (and drunk mess ups) and less things to be jealous over.

2. Ben played on the soccer team.

long distance relationship tips

This was the best thing and the worst thing about our long distance. All get to the worst thing later on in the post, but it was REALLY nice that he played soccer at college because his parents went to a lot of his games. 

I went to college near where I grew up so I could easily drive up with them when they went to watch him play. It was 8 hours away so having them drive and not me was SUPER nice. Plus, I was broke and wouldn't have had the money to pay for gas haha.

I definitely would not have been able to see Ben as much if it wasn't for that. Butttt, I also picked going to school near my house for this reason (not the only reason but it was definitely part of my decision making). 

3. We had an end date.

We knew that this was a 4-year, temporary, thing. Having that end date gave us something to work towards. Once that four years was over, we never had to be apart for a long period of time ever again.

If you are in a long distance and don't have an end date, I'm sorry!! I don't know if I would have been able to handle that haha.

Your Long Distance Questions Answered:

I thought it would be super interesting to see how I answered these questions versus how Ben answered them. I'm having him go through and answer all of these and I'm putting both of our answers down since it might help to see things from a guys perspective!

Ben's note - Hi everyone! After years of asking, Soph finally granted my request and is allowing to
share my wisdom with all of her “girlfriends”.

1. How far was your distance and how often did you guys see each other?

Sophia - We were 8 hours apart from each other. Ben went to college in Iowa and I went to school in Wisconsin! During the soccer season I saw Ben a lot more.

So, September-December we saw each other twice a month which was a TON. Spring semester was a different story. We saw each other at most once a month from January-May. 

Ben - I went to college in Iowa and Sophie went to college near our hometown in
Wisconsin. In total, we were 500 miles apart from one another or an 8-hour drive.
Based on the time of year we saw each other more or less. In the fall, we probably
saw one another twice a month but from January to May we probably only saw
each other once a month.

  • 2. Are either of you the jealous type?

  • Sophia - No, neither of us are the jealous type, which made LD way easier. I feel like one of the biggest things in being in a successful long distance relationship is that you have to fully trust the other person. Because, truth is, in LD you could easily cheat/be cheated on. If you're constantly worried about the other person cheating it will be exhausting after awhile. 

    Also, I wasn't jealous over a girl but I was REALLY jealous over soccer...and I'm being 100% serious hahaha. It always felt like soccer was #1 and he could never come visit me and I had some major meltdowns over that done 😂.

    Ben - No, I am not the jealous type at all. The only time I ever got jealous is when Sophie would be doing something really fun that I wasn’t able to be there for. If anything I suffered from FOMO but not jealousy. Truthfully, I think it would be extremely difficult to make a long distance relationship work if either person was super jealous.

  • 3. What is the best piece of advice you can give someone going into long distance?

  • Sophia -

    Okay, I have 2 really good ones.

    It gets EASIER. The first year (freshman year) was the worst. I thought life was over haha. By sophomore and junior year I was still really sad about it but I was fine. By senior year, it was "normal" and I was 100% okay with being in a long distance. But also, by senior year the end was in sight whereas during freshman year four years seemed so far away. 

    But even for visiting, the day he left was always the hardest. Once I got into my routine again, things were back to normal and it wasnt as hard. I would purposely try to go to the last places we went before he left because I constantly would be like "last time I was at this grocery store was with ben" and if I just ripped the bandaid off I was fine.

    Second one, APPRECIATE YOUR INDEPENDENCE. This one seriously changed my life. 

    I knew after freshman year that I couldn't live being that sad about ben being gone. I was missing huge parts of my freshman year because I was always just so upset about not being with ben. 

    I changed my mindset and thought about how I am planning on being with Ben for the rest of my life and these last three years are the only time I'll be able to be fully independent. I can give my full attention to my girlfriends and family. I can do whatever I want on a Friday and Saturday night. I can make those other people in my life really feel how special they are to me. 

    Instead of being sad about being Ben being gone, I started appreciating it. It's really allll about mindset.

    Ben - Enjoy your time alone and enjoy your time together. It is so important to make the most of the short amount of time you are together. It is arguably more important, however, to make the most out of the time you are spending by yourself.

    Chances are if you are investing into a LD relationship you see a future with the person. Once you are done with distance, chances are you will never be as independent than you will be now. Take advantage of that, and do the things that you otherwise probably wouldn’t do it your boyfriend or girlfriend were with you. You’ll miss fun opportunities and potential friends if you dwell and sulk about how you aren’t with your significant other.

    5. Would you always plan when you’d see each other next

    Sophia - YES. and this made things so much easier! We would always leave each other knowing when the next time we saw each other would be. Whether it was two weeks or nine weeks, being able to have something to look forward and plan was really exciting. It also gave us something to talk about. 

    Ben - Yes! We would always plan when we would see each other next. It always gave me something to look forward to. 

  • 6. Did you guys talk everyday? what’s the best way around different schedules?

  • Sophia - We talked every single day. We didn't go one day through all of college without talking to each other. I am a full believer that if you want to talk to someone, you will make time to do so. I think its bullshit when I hear people say they didn't have time to talk to their significant other. Ben and I always made it work even if it was 5 minutes while I was driving to school or he was walking to soccer practice. Now, there was some days that we didn't talk on the phone and only texted but those were rare. 

    Conversations can get super boring though because after awhile you really don't have that much to talk about like there's only so many times I could ask him what he ate for dinner. One of our favorite things to do when we had a little more time to talk was to look up deep questions to ask your boyfriend or something. It would lead to such good convos that were not part of the normal realm of things.

    I actually wrote a post about Ben and my favorite questions that you can read here: 42 Best Deep Questions To Ask Your Boyfriend

    Ben - Yes, we talked every single day. Depending on what our days looked like, we would always carve out some time to FaceTime. If you value something, you can make time for it. That is an important thing to understand when you have different questions.

    7. What are some ways to keep the romance alive virtually?

    Soph - Send nudes 😜. hah! JK. Ben and I would schedule facetime dates where we would either ask deep questions above or we would just make dinner together or something. This is definitely really hard...I think it helped to act actually interested in their life? But like romantic physically, I don't know how you keep that alive unless you send nudes or something hahahah (to bens mother - I am kidding :).  

    Ben - LOL, why do I know exactly what Sophie answered for this question without reading her answer?! She definitely did not do what she is telling you to do.

    8. How to find privacy facetiming while having roommates?

    Soph- This is super awk especially in the beginning when you don't really know your roommate. I would sometimes go out in the hallway or would just Facetime Ben when she wasn't in there. The more my roommate and I got to know each other, the easier and less awk it was to facetime ben. But also, be respectful and wear headphones.

    Ben - Hmm… good question. It’s situational but usually you have to get a little creative. It’s nice to get on a schedule when you’re able to talk when your roommate isn’t in the room.

  • 9. Is there anything you wish someone would have told you before?

  • Soph- YES. Looking back, it drives me crazy how so many people say that "Long distance relationships never work" or "you're so young, what's the point of a long distance relationship?". Like yes, we were babies at 18 but we knew what we had and that it was worth being long distance. If you're questioning your relationship then maybe you shouldn't be LD but if your confident and think it could last, ignore all those people that say its impossible. 

    Ben - Honestly, not really. Sophie and I seemed to be on the same page going into it and that’s what mattered most in hindsight.

    10. Is it hard getting used to dating IRL after LD dating is over?

    Soph- I thought this was a super good question. Honestly no, it was such a relief to not have to have an internal countdown in my head on the next time that he is leaving. It seems like things just went back to normal now haha. 

    Ben - I wouldn’t say it’s too hard at all. There was hardly an adjustment for me, although Sophie would probably say that she was seeing me too much right away LOL.

    11. What was the most difficult part of long distance?

    Soph- For me it was by far his soccer. He couldn't come visit me because of his soccer practices and that was SO frustrating for me since 1) I was always changing my schedule around and 2) it made me feel like he didn't care about me. That was by far our biggest fight. And it would be a big fight every single year. 

    Ben - For me it was definitely missing some of the bigger events that were going on back home. It was hard for me to enjoy where I was knowing the fun things that were going on back home.

    12. How do you avoid the arguments? My boyfriend and I fight over the silliest things.

    Soph- Whenever I would be really bored, I would start little fights to get bens attention. I brought up his soccer thing ALL the time. After awhile it's like, what's the point haha. Coming from the queen of being petty, you really can't be petty in a LD or you'll just be fighting all the time. Also, if you can see something is really important to your SO, then show them that you also care about it. 

    Ben - Chances are someone is going to fight just to fight because the LD situation can be frustrating at times. Just try not to be to petty, and then if it does happen don’t clap back too much haha. That was one of my biggest takeaways for when Sophie was upset with me. Arguments are inevitable, but it’s important to decide how to respond to them.

    13. How to deal with seeing other couples around you?

    Soph- I would have moments of jealousy towards other couples and then realize that this isn't their fault that they are together and my boyfriend and me are in a long distance relationship. It will literaly only hurt you if you're judgemental towards other couples around you. 

    Ben - As a guy I felt like that didn’t bother me even close to as much as Sophie. A lot of my closest friends were single so I never really dealt with it too much, whereas Sophie’s closest friends all had significant others. I don’t have too much advice to give to this one.

    15. Did you ever take a break? Go on another date?

    Soph- No, we have never taken a break or go on another date (but that doesn't mean our relationship is perfect haha). I know a lot of long distance couples who did take a break and then get back together. You have to do what's best for you!

    Ben - No, we never did that. To be honest, I never really thought about it during our long distance tenure.

    16. Who traveled to see the other person more often?

    Soph - ME! Touchy subject if you haven't been able to tell ;). It was way easier for me to visit ben, no denying that, but because I was always coming it sometimes made me feel like he didn't want to see me as bad as I wanted to see him.

    Honestly, we never resolved this issue and this was still something we fought about up until the end of our long distance.

    Ben - Sophie definitely traveled more to see me. It was really unfair to her, but in my defense she would come out with my family pretty often. I know that’s where I dropped the ball the most during that time in our relationship. I think it’s really important to have the travel be equal.

    That wraps up this post on our long distance relationship. Again, it was NOT easy. At all. Hopefully you learned somethings that will help your relationship! Keep putting effort into it and listen to your gut.

    A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Load A Dishwasher

    This post is all about how to load a dishwasher. Knowing these dishwashing tips can help you get more dishes into your dishwasher and have them looking cleaner than ever.

    how to load a dishwasher

    I think we can all agree that the invention of the dishwasher is one of the best things that has ever happened. It saves you time and takes away one of the most dreaded chores in the world.

    We've done our research on the best ways to load a dishwasher, the best dishwasher products, and those random dishwasher hacks you would have never known before but will change the game for you.

    Just knowing the best places to put things can help your dishes look new longer, get as many dishes in your dishwasher as possible, AND clean them insanely well so you don't run it and STILL have dirty dishes coming out of it. We're here to tell you the best of the best as far as dishwashing skills and tips go.

    This post is all about how to load a dishwasher properly so that it's easy + fast and your dishes get as clean as possible.

    How To Load A Dishwasher:

    The Best Dishwasher Products:

    how to clean a dishwasher

    The dishwashing products you use can be a huge deal to making sure your dishes get as clean as possible. There's really just two things you need for your dishwasher:

    • Dishwasher Detergent
    • Rinse Aid

    There is all types of detergent on the market that you can buy from pods, to liquid, to powder. I personally use Cascade Dishwasher Pods that I get in a big pack from Costco. However, I recently had a dishwasher professional come to my apartment and he said that powder detergent is the best. He also said it's a fraction of the price which is always a plus.

    You're also going to need Rinse Aid. This was something I had no idea even existed until I was living in an apartment. You can get rinse aid like anywhere (Amazon, Target, your grocery store) but it prevents those water marks that you get on dishes after you clean them. I used to get those water stains all the time and I would be so annoyed because it made the dishes look dirty even though I KNEW they were clean.

    Here's the exact products we use over here at BSL:

    How To Load A Dishwasher:

    how not to load a dishwasher

    Let's start with how to load the top rack of the dishwasher. 

    These are the best things to put on the top rack:

    • Cups
    • Mugs
    • Glasses
    • Small Bowls
    • Dishwasher Safe Plastics
    • Long Utensils

    You want to make sure the dishwasher safe plastics is on the top rack because you want it to be as far away from the heat source as possible.

    I personally load my top rack so it looks like this:

    how to load a dishwasher bosch

    I have the bowls, facing down, going down the center of the top rack. On the sides, I place all mugs and random small bowls. Between the bowls and cups, I place random long utensils like pizza slicers and spatulas.

    Let's move on to how you load the bottom of the dishwasher. The bottom of your dishwasher is for the big stuff like plates, big bowls, cutting boards, and pots/pans (but be careful with pots and pans and read your specific brands recommendations because you can wear some out if they're not meant to go in dishwasher.

    On the back left, I like to put my plates. I line them all up in a row and usually try to have the bigger ones in back and the smaller ones at front. I then will place the other things based on what I have. For example, I have this casserole dish so I am going to put this here. Then I have this bowl, so I'll put this here. It's not rocket science, so just do whatever fits for you.

    The bottom of the dishwasher looks something like this:

    dishwasher tips and tricks

    Lastly, we have utensils. I used to HATE this when I was growing up and my mom made me do this, but it really does clean utensils better if you have the top of it sticking up.

    dishwasher tips

    For unloading, start at the bottom of the dishwasher and work your way up because we don't want the top rack that retains some water to spill all over your dry dishes. 

    Dishwasher Hacks:

    Through our research, we found two dishwasher hacks that blew our minds. You're going to wonder how you have never known about these before.

    Dishwasher Hack #1: 

    It will actually use less water to NOT rinse your dishes out before putting them in. I mean, you want to get the big stuff out of the bowl but for all the little gunk that is stuck on your plate, just throw it in and the dishwasher will do its job.

    Dishwasher Hack #2:

    Check the bottom of your dishwasher to see if it has this little compartment (pictured below). Most dishwashers do and you should be cleaning it. I never knew this existed so I was shocked when I saw it and how nasty it was.

    All you do, is take it out and spray it out. If you've never done this, there definitely will be things sticking to the sides of it. It is GROSS! Once it's rinsed out, you can just place it back in.

    dishwasher hacks

    This post showed you how to load a dishwasher. I know it's not the most exciting thing in the world but its good little tips like this that can make your life a whole lot easier. 

    This post was all about how to load a dishwasher.

    32 Best Gifts Under $25 For Anyone in Your Life

    This shows you the best gifts under $25 that are really GOOD but don't break the bank. 

    gifts under 25

    Whether you are buying for guys or girls it is always hard to pick something out because you want them to love it! What's even harder is finding good gifts under $25.

    As a college girl who has had to buy many affordable gifts I can tell you first hand what gifts both guys and girls will love! If you buy one of these, it is almost guaranteed that they will love it! 

    This post shows you 32 most popular Amazon gifts under $25.

    Our Top Amazon Gifts Under $25:

    Best Overall: Fuzzy White Throw Blanket

    "Absolutely no one can turn down a great throw blanket. This one is huge and so comfortable! "

    Best Under $10: 18 Scrunchies With Hidden Zipper

    "I got this for my daughter who is in college and she loves this to hold her keys.  Plus, you are definitely getting a steal with this one. Scrunchies can actually be kind of expensive and this set comes with 18 AND have hidden zippers."

    Best Value: Yeti Rambler 10oz 

    "Every person should have a Yeti. This size is perfect for wine and cocktails."

    Gift For Homeowners: Mrs. Meyers Cleaning Set

    "This cleaning set is the best one out there. I bought this set for my mom as a gift and she uses it every day."

    Best Personalized Gift: Personalized Embroidered Towel Wrap 

    "Towel wraps are so much better than regular towels. Doing your makeup in them is much easier and I love how this is personalized with my name."

    Best For Guys: Adidas Slides 

    "Adidas shoes are the most popular brand of shoes for guys so finding this pair for only 20 dollars was great."

    Best Gifts Under $25 For High School Girls:

    1. Phone Wallet/Card Holder

    Keeping track of your money and cards can be hard. However, one thing that no one loses is their phone. This wallet sticks to the back of your phone to holds all the important things so you will always have them on you! 

    2. Scrunchie Set

    Pretty much every girl owns scrunchies because they are super in right now. I love this set because it has all the neutral colors any girl would need but adds something cool with the velvet!

    3. Mario Badescu Facial Spray Set

    Girls always rave about Mario Badescu and it is one of the most popular facial sprays. AND it smells super amazing. This set is under $25 which is a great deal for a high end skincare brand.

    4. Makeup Brush Set

    Even if the girl you are buying for already has some makeup brushes, it's always so nice to get a fresh, clean set. This makeup brush set comes with so many brushes plus 4 beauty blenders (which usually run $20 a piece) so this gift would be a steal that she would definitely use.

    5. Adidas Baseball Cap

    Bad hair days are very much a thing so you can never go wrong giving a hat as a gift. Adidas is a well known brand everyone loves so any girl would love to get this hat as a gift.

    6. Morphe Setting Spray

    Morphe setting spray is the best setting spray out there and it smells unreal. This setting spray is a collaboration which is selling for a little lower than the original setting spray. If you want to buy the original one though, it is only a few dollars more!

    7. Wireless Charging Phone Holder For The Car

    I have actually never heard of this but now I totally want it. This wireless car charger allows you to charge your phone without any cords! The reviews on it are great so this would be a great gift for any teen driver.

    8. Toiletry Bag

    It's easy to get in the habit of throwing your toiletries in a luggage bag but then you end up making a huge mess when something spills. This toiletry bag will help keep everything organized on trips or sleepovers. It is cute and under $25 so it's a win-win!

    Best Gifts Under $25 For College Girls:

    Gifts Under $25

    9. Agenda

    Keeping organized in college is so important so why not make things a little more fun by giving her a cute agenda. You could also go all out and get her a cute set of colorful pens (the BEST gift for those super organized girl, trust me).

    10. Tile Key Finder

    These things can save your butt. Attach it to something like your keys and connect it to your phone through bluetooth. Then, if you lose your keys you can easily track it from your phone! Who knew something so helpful could be under $25?!

    11. Champion Sweatshirt

    College girls pretty much live in sweatshirts so really any sweatshirt is a great gift for girls. Champion is a popular brand that is super comfortable so she would really appreciate this as a gift!

    12. Silk Pajama Set

    I have gotten in the habit of throwing on a big t-shirt for bed and calling it a night. But, if I had a cute and comfortable silk pajama set like this one I would sleep in it every night. This set has great reviews AND it's super affordable!

    13. Monogrammed Towel Wrap

    Towel wraps are so much better than trying to tie a normal towel around your body just to have it fall off a few minutes later. These are especially helpful in college when you are walking back and forth from your dorm bathroom.

    This specific towel wrap is under $25 plus it can be personalized with a name on it which would make it a super thoughtful and personalized gift.

    14. Photo Wall Decor

    This wall decor would be a perfect gift for a college girl living in a dorm or apartment.

    If you want to make it extra personal you could add photos of you and her on it before you give it to her!

    15. Overnight Duffel Bag

    College girls tend to travel a lot so a duffel bag would definitely be put to good use. This is the best one under $25 on Amazon and it comes in super cute patterns. The cactus pattern would be a great one to go with for girls no matter what their age.

    Best Gifts Under $25 For Women:

    16. Essential Oils Set

    Essential oils are huge among women and make a great gift. If they don't already have one, it would be great to buy them a diffuser in addition to the oils! Even on its own, this essential oils set is the perfect gift for any woman.

    17. Marble Coasters

    Home decor is a great option for any woman with a place of her own. This marble coaster set is stunning and will go with whatever decor she already has!

    18. Mason Jar Bathroom Set

    If the woman you are buying for loves the rustic style, this mason jar bathroom set would be the perfect gift for her! These could be used in any bathroom and she will love it.

    19. Oversized White Fuzzy Throw Blanket

    Throw blankets are the perfect go-to gift for anyone but this one is so big and comfortable so the fact it is under $25 is amazing. White throw blankets could be used anywhere so you really can't go wrong with this gift.

    20. Anti-Aging Jade Roller 

    If you're a guy buying this for a woman, she will honestly be so amazed you even know what it is... total bonus point for you. But no matter who you are, this jade roller would be a great gift for any girl. They feel so great on your face and are anti-aging!

    21. 10oz Yeti Tumbler

    Yetis are a great gift for absolutely anyone but this 10oz tumbler is even better because it's under $25. This size is great for any wine or cocktail drinker but honestly it can be used to keep any drink cold. 

    22. Mrs. Meyers Cleaning Set

    I give this cleaning set to my mother as a gift every year and she always uses it up before the next time I give it to her. Mrs. Meyers cleaning set smells amazing so it will for sure be put to good use. Plus, it all matches and what woman doesn't love matching cleaning items??

    23. Fuzzy Slippers

    If you have noticed the girl you are buying for is in need of a new pair of slippers, this pair would be the perfect gift to replace them with. For under $25 you can get a super fuzzy set that she will wear all the time.

    24. Gold Jewelry

    You can't go wrong with gifting jewelry. Jewelry can be expensive but fortunately, Amazon has a ton of great affordable options. This particular brand on Amazon has super affordable gold jewelry that lasts. I have the smaller hoops and love them so I'm sure the woman in your life will too! 

    Best Gifts Under $25 For College Guys:

    25. Yeti Beer Can Tumbler

    What do college guys like more than beer? A Yeti beer tumbler would be the perfect gift for a guy looking to drink a cold one by the pool. 

    26. Colorful Toilet Light

    Talk about great gifts for guys under $25. This one is more funny than anything but take it from a college student, a college guy will actually use this and love it no matter how stupid it sounds. 

    27. Fraternity Flag

    Fraternities are a huge part of guys lives in college and flags are pretty much their go-to room decoration. If they are in a fraternity they will most definitely love a flag to hang up with their letters on it.

    28. Charging Station

    This charging station is great for the guy that has a ton of Apple products. This keeps cords organized and all his devices in one spot. 

    29. Breakfast Sandwich Maker

    Guys love their food... especially breakfast. Get this breakfast sandwich maker to make mornings easier and breakfasts better. 

    30. Toiletry Bag

    A toiletry bag is something a guy usually never thinks of buying for himself which is why it would make such a great gift. This toiletry bag is under $25 but looks really nice!

    31. Adidas Slides

    Guys always need a pair of shoes to quickly slip on so a pair of Adidas slides would be the perfect gift for that. You can never go wrong buying anything Adidas for guys!

    32. Leather Wallet

    A wallet is a super thoughtful gift for any guy that they will use every day. No matter what age the guy you are buying for is he will appreciate this as a gift! 

    This post was all about the best gifts under $25.

    Other Posts You May Like:

    93+ Trendy College Halloween Costumes For 2020

    This post is all about college Halloween costumes for girls and couples to wear this semester at Halloween parties.

    Everyone knows that Halloween in college is one of the most looked forward to events of the fall semester.


    From the parties that last till sunrise to the unforgettable moments (good and bad), Halloween is the best time of the year to be a college student.


    If you want to make this Halloween your year, then you've come to the right place. With the perfect costume, nothing will stop you from having the most amazing night!


    This post is going to show you 93+ trendy college halloween costume ideas for 2020 so that you can go all out this year!

    NEW 2020 College Halloween Costumes

    The Devil

    Recreate this halloween costume idea:

    There's a little devil inside everyone, and the best part is seeing how each person makes the costume there own.

    So have fun, be bold, and let out your devilish side this Halloween!


    Space Cowgirls

    college halloween costumes

    Recreate this halloween costume idea:

    Mix and match the neons and metallics for this halloween costume idea for girls.


    The Flintstones

    easy halloween costumes

    Recreate this halloween costume idea:

    Not one Halloween will go by where you don't see this amazing costume.


    All you need is an animal print dress and a headband to pull this off!


    Sexy Lifeguard and Nurse

    sexy college halloween costumes

    Recreate this halloween costume idea:

    Sexy Lifeguard

    Nurse

    These extremely popular halloween costumes ideas always look stunning! 

    One of the great things about these costumes is that there are so many different ideas and variations out there that you can really make it your own!


    Rockstars

    hot halloween costumes 2020

    Recreate this halloween costume idea:

    Feel like the world deserves to see your edgier side? Then you simply can't go wrong being a Rock Star!


    Playboy, Dead Bride and Psychic

    sexy costumes for halloween

    Recreate this halloween costume idea:

    Playboy

    Dead Bride

    Psychic

    These are great costumes if you want a sexy classic costume to wear this Halloween!


    Pirates

    halloween costume ideas for couples

    Recreate this halloween costume for couples:

    The perfect costume for Halloween since the night always turns out to be a crazy adventure!


    College Halloween Costumes For Girls

    1. Talladega Nights

    college halloween costumes for girls

    Recreate this halloween costume idea:

    If you want to "wow" the crowd then this Halloween twins costume is for you. Fans of the Talladega Night's movie will die over how incredible this costume idea is.


    All you need is a handkerchief, an old t-shirt (you can find one at a Goodwill too) and some boots.


    This is the perfect halloween costume ideas for parties that will make you stand out in the crowd.


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    2. Sexy Skulls

    sexy costumes ideas for girls

    Recreate this costume:

    This is a great simple and easy halloween costume idea!

    One of the best parts is you get to have fun with the face makeup. 

    So you grab your friends, drinks in hand and have the best time putting together this look.

    3. Flag Football Player

    hottest college halloween costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    This look is great because you likely have most of the costume pieces in your closet already.

    You can either wear one of your crop tops or sports bras with this look, and you'll still look amazing.

    4. Deer Szn

    college costume party themes

    Recreate this costume:

    You've probably seen this halloween costume idea a handful of times.

    The headband makes this look easy to handle and super quick to put together if you're in a rush.

    Add a few white dots to your face and a dark nose, then you're good to go!

    5. Dead Girl Walking

    cheap halloween costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    You're guaranteed to seem some fake blood every Halloween.

    All you need is a plain white t-shirt and some fake blood. Cut up the t-shirt in various places and spray fake blood all over.

    One of the easiest halloween costume ideas for parties that you just can't go wrong with.

    6. Hunting Season

    cheap halloween costumes for women

    Recreate this costume:

    A Halloween favorite for those people who wish they could wear camo!

    You can find a camo top anywhere right now since they are trendy at the moment. Then pair it with a beanie and call it a night!

    Finding a friend to be your deer would also be one of the best halloween costumes ideas for best friends.

    7. The Lion and the Cat

    cheap halloween costumes diy

    Recreate this costume:

    Choose your favorite animal, find the headband on Amazon, and you have an inexpensive Halloween costume!

    8. Space Cowgirl

    cheap halloween costumes for college

    Recreate this costume:

    Something you might not think about, but wearing neon is a great way to make you look tanner than you actually are!

    So if you are looking for a halloween costume idea that will bring out the summer glow still left on your skin then this is the costume for you!

    All you need is a white cowboy hat, neon top, and some metallic shorts.

    9. Witch

    college halloween costume ideas parties

    Recreate this costume:

    Witch costumes are not recreated as often as you think!

    Grab a with hat, and put on your favorite black outfit. You have yourself one of the best halloween costumes for girls!

    10. Inmate and Vampire

    college halloween

    Recreate this costume:

    You're definitely going to see a lot of vampire costumes this Halloween!

    11. Fiesty Felines

    college halloween costume ideas

    Recreate this costume:

    This costume takes minimal effort.

    All you have to do is grab your favorite "going out" outfit and cat ears. Simple, easy, and you'll look great!

    12. Sexy SWAT Team

    halloween costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    This costume idea is super easy to put together. All you need is the bodysuit costume, and you're good to go!

    13. Little Mermaid

    college party costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    Venturing out from under the sea for the Halloween festivities? The little mermaid is perfect if you want to show the world your sweet side.

    You can either make your Little Mermaid costume out of pieces you already own or buy it online!

    14. Sexy Referee

    hot college halloween costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    Ready to be in charge for the night? Why not be a referee this Halloween?

    15. Hot Nun

    cute college halloween costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    Nun costumes are a popular college halloween costume idea! Halloween nights can get crazy, so being a nun might be a safe option!

    16. Daphne and Velma

    easy halloween costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    Daphne

    Velma

    Are you looking for the best halloween costume ideas for best friends? Then this is the costume for you. All you need is to choose who will be Velma and who will be Daphne!

    Hottest College Halloween Costumes

    17. Sexy Poison Ivy

    college halloween party

    Recreate this costume:

    This is a super creative halloween costume idea that is rarely worn, so you'll look super hot and probably be the only girl in the costume!

    18. Harley Quinn

    college halloween party costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    Harley Quinn is, by far, the most popular movie character to be these past few Halloweens. It's obvious to see why this is a fun costume idea for college students!

    19. Motorcycle Girl

    college halloween party ideas

    Recreate this costume:

    Motorcycles costumes aren't worn as frequently, but you will look killer in this costume!

    20. Kim Possible

    college halloween party fun

    Recreate this costume:

    Ready to save the night? Then Kim Possible is the costume for you! All you need is a cute black crop top and some army green pants for this college halloween costume idea.

    21. Sexy Nurse

    college halloween party drinks

    Recreate this costume:

    Don't mind a little cliche Halloween costume? Then this costume is for you because there's no way you won't look drop-dead gorgeous in this halloween costume idea 2020 edition.

    22. Where's Waldo and Dr. Pepper

    college halloween party outfit

    Recreate this costume:

    If you're going to be "Where's Waldo?" for Halloween be prepared for the question to be asked all night!

    23. Officer and Vampire

    college halloween party  easy DIY

    Recreate this costume:

    This is a great sexy halloween costume idea that you can't go wrong with!

    24. Hot Cat Girl

    awesome college halloween party

    Recreate this costume:

    If you think you can rock the classic cat costume, then adding this sexy twist is perfect for you.

    25. Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas

    college halloween costumes 20202

    Recreate this costume:

    Okay, this was my halloween costume last year, which I loved and got a bunch of compliments on. Please excuse the troll's headband, it was a complete joke, and I didn't wear it to the bars!

    26. Playboy Bunny

    college halloween costumes diy

    Recreate this costume:

    If you want the ultimate sexy costume for halloween then the Playboy Bunny costume was made for you!

    27. Kiss The Rockstar

    college halloween costumes parties

    Recreate this costume:

    A rockstar costume is a perfect excuse to wear that edgy outfit you've always wanted to wear!

    28. Cher and Her Bunny

    college halloween costumes bffs

    Recreate this costume:

    Cher

    Bunny

    Who doesn't love Cher from Clueless? Her style is still on point, so you can't go wrong with this halloween costume idea for girls!

    29. Mermaid

    hottest college halloween costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    Are you a Little Mermaid fan but don't want to go all out with a red wig? Why not add a little glitter to your face, put on a cute white crop top, a shimmery skirt and call it a day!

    30. The Substitute Teacher

    sexy college halloween costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    This is a great costume to wear if you are running out of time to find a Halloween costume. Just put on your favorite dress, glasses and write "Ms. ___" and slap it on your dress with tape.

    College Halloween Costumes For Guys

    31. Harry Potter

    college halloween costumes friends

    Recreate this costume:

    Big fan of Harry Potter growing up? (or still are?... I mean who isn't?) Why not be Harry Potter for Halloween? You can also grab some friends and add Ron, Hermione, and Draco to the mix!

    32. Safari Ranger and Construction Worker

    halloween costume guys

    Recreate this costume:

    These are perfect halloween costume ideas for guys who need to dress up but don't want to go all out. 

    33. Jon Snow

    halloween costume guys funny

    Recreate this costume:

    Game of Thrones will never not be important to people; this is one of the best halloween costume ideas for guys who want to start up a conversation with a lot of people. Could the ending of GOT been worse?

    34. Human Twister

    halloween costumes guys funny

    Recreate this costume:

    This is the perfect halloween costume idea for guys who are always looking to joke around!

    35. Bob Ross

    halloween costumes guys diy

    Recreate this costume:

    Bob Ross is a classic halloween costume idea that everyone will love. 

    Last-Minute College Halloween Costumes

    35. Devil

    college halloween costume ideas parties

    Recreate this costume:

    This is a fun costume idea for the girls who want to let their devilish sideshow for the night. All you need is a devil headband and your favorite black outfit to pull this one-off.

    36. Animal Onesie

    college halloween

    Recreate this costume:

    Are you looking for the comfiest costume you can? Well, here it is, this cozy halloween costume idea will keep you in the best mood the entire night!

    37. Sexy Bloody Mary

    college costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    You can't go wrong with a fake blood splattered t-shirt on Halloween! If you're looking for a fun DIY costume to do with your friends, then this halloween costume idea for girls is perfect for you!

    38. School Girls

    college party costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    If you went to a public school, wearing a uniform has always been something that seems so interesting, Halloween is the perfect time to try it on and see if the outfit really lives up to the hype!

    39. Avril Lavigne

    hot college halloween party costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    The 2000's Avril Lavigne lives inside you and every other college girl, so Halloween is the perfect time to let her shine. All you need is a black cami, a tie, and cami pants to pull off this halloween costume idea!

    40. Summer Fruit

    funny halloween costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    Love fruit? Why not be a sweet treat this Halloween!

    41. Space Cat

    college party costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    Every Halloween, you will always see a Space Cowgirl and cats, so why not put them together? This costume idea is super easy to put together; all you need is cat ears, a black crop top, and a metallic skirt!

    42. Space Aliens

    cute college halloween costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    You've probably seen space aliens a million times, especially at a college Halloween part; this is a super easy costume to put together, so there's nothing not to love about this halloween costume idea for girls!

    43. Beetlejuice

    easy halloween costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    Are you a Beetlejuice fan? Why not be him for Halloween! The great thing about this costume is that you never see it worn frequently, so you will be looking absolutely amazing as the one and only Beetlejuice this Halloween!

    44. Cereal Killer

    funny halloween costumes for college

    Recreate this costume:

    If you want, you can use your favorite cereal brand and have the best snack taped onto you the entire night to eat!

    College Halloween Costumes For Couples

    45. Where's Waldo?

    college halloween costumes couples

    Recreate this costume:

    This is such a cute way for you and your boyfriend to match this Halloween!

    46. Wonder Woman and Superman

    college halloween costumes couples boyfriends

    Recreate this costume:

    Are you a power couple? Then being Superman and Wonder Woman for Halloween is perfect for you! 

    47. Guardian Angel and Her Devil

    college halloween costumes couples girls

    Recreate this costume:

    A Guardian Angel and her devil always look out for each other; this is a super easy costume to put together, and you both will look perfect together.

    48. Construction Workers

    college halloween costumes couples

    Recreate this costume:

    This is a super easy costume idea for Halloween. All you need is some neon and a walking vest!

    49. Betty and Jughead from Riverdale

    college halloween costumes couples diy

    Recreate this costume:

    Do you feel like becoming the power couple of Riverdale for the night? Then Betty and Jughead will be the best couples halloween costume idea for you!

    50. Tooth Fairy

    college halloween costumes couples best friends

    Recreate this costume:

    Another popular halloween costume idea for couples that's easy to pull off. Just find a pair of scrubs and fairy wings!

    51. Robbers

    last minute college halloween costumes couple best friends

    Recreate this costume:

    Need a classic halloween costume idea? Here's an easy one you can't go wrong with!

    52. Football Players

    college halloween costumes couples creative

    Recreate this costume:

    This is a pretty simple costume for Halloween. All you have to do is find a football jersey to wear!

    53. Napoleon Dynamite

    cute couples halloween costumes 2020

    Recreate this costume:

    Love Napoleon Dynamite? Here's the perfect couples costume idea for you!

    54. The Shepherd and Bambi

    couples costumes halloween 2020

    Recreate this costume:

    This costume is hilarious and a great unique one to copy this Halloween!

    55. Shabby and Scooby Doo

    couples costumes easy halloween 2020

    Recreate this costume:

    Scooby Doo and Goofy are perfect for that hilarious couple who's always making each other laugh!

    56. The Clown and Belle

    scary couples halloween costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    I just saw this for the first time, and these two characters couldn't be farther from different, which makes them perfect for Halloween!

    Anything goes!

    57. The Magic School Bus

    funny couples costumes for halloween party

    Recreate this costume:

    The Magic School Bus is a show most college students cherish from their childhood. The couple wearing this halloween costume idea will make everyone smile!

    58. The Walking Dead

    diy couples halloween costumes college

    Recreate this costume:

    Most people feel like the walking dead the morning after Halloween, so why don't you beat them all to it and goes as one for the night?

    The Walking Dead is a super easy halloween costume idea for couples to pull off; all you need is a white t-shirt and some fake blood!

    59. Monsters Inc.

    couple halloween costume ideas

    Recreate this costume:

    Were you and your boyfriend big Monsters Inc. fans growing up? Then why not be Mike and Sully for Halloween?

    60. Pirate and Mermaid

    couple halloween costume ideas creative

    Recreate this costume:

    Who's a better pair than a Pirate and a Mermaid? This costume is perfect because you can look perfect when you are together, but your costumes will also completely make sense if you aren't beside each other the entire night!

    Cheap College Halloween Costumes

    61. Playboy Bunny

    diy halloween costume

    Recreate this costume:

    The Playboy Bunny is a classic and at this at this point, it' super easy to recreate! Just wear your favorite outfit, put on some bunny ears, and call it a night!

    62. Hooters

    last minute halloween costume idea

    Recreate this costume:

    The Hooter's costume idea takes such minimal effort that it is perfect if you are in a rush and on a tight budget. Each piece is very cost-friendly, and you'll still just as amazing as the people who spent over $100!

    63. Dead Girl and Mouse

    easy diy halloween costume idea

    Recreate this costume:

    This costume is so easy to pull off! All you need is an old t-shirt and some fake blood. Have fun with your friends and cut up your white t-shirts together!

    64. Darla from Finding Nemo

    funny halloween costume ideas

    Recreate this costume:

    Darla is honestly a scary costume idea. Who wasn't freaked out by her as a kid? That's why she makes one of the best halloween costumes ideas.

    Grab a long-sleeve t-shirt and make your braces out of aluminum foil, and you're good to go!

    65. Greek Goddess

    last minute halloween costume idea college

    Recreate this costume:

    All this costume really takes is a white dress (or blanket, bedsheet, etc.) to recreate. Have fun doing your hair and you'll look like a gorgeous Greek goddess this Halloween!

    66. Angel and the Devil

    college halloween costumes best friends

    Recreate this costume:

    Angel

    Devil

    You and your best friend will look amazing as this dynamic duo. All you really need a white outfit and a red outfit, so grab things out of your closet, and you'll look amazing this Halloween!

    67. Bloody Doctor

    scary college halloween costumes

    Recreate this costume:

    Scrubs are insanely cheap on Amazon, and this costume takes such minimal effort that it's perfect if you're in a rush!

    68. The Price is Right

    funny halloween costume ideas girl

    This costume idea is great if you love a good DIY! All you really need to do is make the box, you can wear whatever outfit you want!

    69. Psychic

    easy halloween costume ideas to recreate

    Recreate this costume:

    Always wanted to be a fortune-teller? Then this cheap halloween costume idea is perfect for you!

    All you need is some gold jewelry and flowy pants to pull this costume off!

    70. Mermaid

    mermaid halloween costume idea

    Recreate this costume:

    This mermaid look is super easy to recreate and budget friendly! You can have fun with the makeup and go super minimal with the costume to save money!

    71. Emoji

    halloween costume ideas last minute

    Recreate this costume:

    I had never seen this costume done before, but it is hilarious and super cheap! All you need is a purple long sleeve t-shirt which you can find on Amazon for around $5!!

    Group Halloween Costumes

    72. Hippie Love Childs

    halloween group costume ideas

    Recreate this costume:

    Everybody love s a good hipster look, and you and your friends will look amazing when you show up to a party looking like this!

    73. Space Aliens

    halloween costumes for girls college

    Recreate this costume:

    Have some fun with your besties with the space aliens costume idea. P.S. be prepared to see other girls rocking the same costume!

    74. Frat Boys

    college halloween costumes for groups

    Recreate this costume:

    The chances of you going to a frat party this Halloween are highly likely, so showing up as a frat guy will be absolutely hilarious. You and your besties will steal the show that's for sure!

    75. Go Go Dancers

    college halloween costume ideas for groups

    Recreate this costume:

    Go-Go Dancer dresses are VERY flattering, so this costume is perfect is you want to show off your amazing body!

    76. Game Day Cheerleaders

    hottest college halloween costume ideas for groups

    Recreate this costume:

    Game-day outfits are such a classic piece in a college girl's closet that it would be insanely smart to go as on for Halloween! It's like making a funny joke out of yourself (and you'll look hella cute)!

    77. Crazy Killers

    scary group halloween costume ideas

    Recreate this costume:

    Again, you can't go wrong with fake blood on Halloween. The best part will honestly be you and your friends splattering the paint on each other!

    78. Halloweentown

    college halloween group costume ideas diy

    Recreate this costume:

    You and your friends can all have individual looks while still coming together and looking like a bad-as* squad.

    79. Winnie the Pooh

    cute halloween group costume ideas

    Recreate this costume:

    Who doesn't love Winnie the Pooh? All you need is different colored shirts to pull off this look with your besties!

    80. Frat Guys

    funny group costume ideas diy

    Recreate this costume:

    Again, you cannot go wrong going as a group of frat guys!

    81. Police Officer and the Crazy Cats

    easy halloween costume idea for groups

    Recreate this costume:

    This look is so easy to recreate, and when in doubt remember, every Halloween party deserves a sexy cat and police officer.

    82. Basketball Players

    sporty halloween costume ideas for groups

    Recreate this costume:

    If you and your friends have basketball jerseys, then throw those on and call it a night. You guys will look amazing!

    83. Barbies

    barbie halloween costume idea for girls

    Recreate this costume:

    Who doesn't want to be a Barbie for the night? All this halloween costume idea for girls really needs is a pink top and some white bottoms! Put your hair in a high pony and you are Barbie!

    84. Hunters

    easy halloween group costume for college party

    Recreate this costume:

    This is a super fun costume idea for you and your friends this Halloween. You can pretty much dress it up how you want, just make sure there's a bit of camo here and there!

    85. Lifeguard and Vampires

    best halloween costume ideas for girls

    Recreate this costume:

    All you and your friends have to decide with this one is who will be the lifeguard saving everyone all night!

    This post showed you 93+ Trendy College Halloween Costumes for 2020.

    Like it? Share it and let us know what you're dressing as this Halloween!


    Want more trendy college halloween costumes for 2020 or just some more college costume ideas? Check out these posts!:

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    SOPHIA SAYS: THIS WEEK’S H&M FINDS

    I went to H&M earlier this week and found SO many great finds at really good prices. I haven't been in a real life store in such a long time and it felt ammazzzing. I'm all about neutrals lately (shocker) and wanted classic pieces that stay in style for a little longer. I also went a little out of my comfort zone with the pants ;). I'm doing a try-on haul on my Instagram stories today so check that out for sizing!

    Have a great weekend!!

    How I Paid Off Over $58,000 Of Debt At 22

    This post is giving you all my top tips on how I paid off over $58,000 of debt at 22 years old.

    debt free tips

    Well, holy crap. I can not believe I am writing this post!! When I found out I had to pay for my own college four years ago, I made a lofty goal that I would graduate debt free from college.

    Just two months after graduating from college, I can officially say that I paid and paid OFF every single cent of college!

    I know so many people are in my position of paying for college on their own and I know firsthand just how scary and overwhelming that can be. I started from ground zero with no money in savings, no idea what types of student loans were out there, no knowledge of how to set up a budget, and so many more unknowns about money and debt. I literally knew nothing about money! 

    In this post I am telling you how I was able to pay off all my debt and all the tips that really helped me be able to pay off this large amount of money while being a college student. 

    How I Paid Off Over $50,000 In Student Loans and $8,000 In Car Loans

    A little background on my debt free journey....

    debt free journey

    (This was a picture of me with my parents and boyfriend BEFORE I knew I was paying for my entire college hah!)

    Let's back up...my growing up was unique because I lived in an upper class community where we always had everything we wanted. I am really grateful for my parents that they made it work that whatever we wanted, we were able to have. However, money was always tight and I know it was a huge stress for my parents. 

    While money was always a big stress for my parents, they made it possible for me to live in the beautiful town I grew up in. 

    In the town where I grew up, a lot of people get their college paid for by their parents and I just assumed that same thing was happening with me. It makes me sound spoiled, but I really thought my parents were paying for my college. I didn't even LOOK at tuition prices when I was applying to college (I know, yikes).

    The week before I went to college, I found out that I would be paying for every single cent of college.

    I literally thought my life was over 😂😂. I cried and cried over it. I thought it was the meanest thing my parents could do to me.

    Majority of my freshman year I felt bad for myself. Like, really bad. Then, I hit a point where I could either keep feeling bad for myself or I could figure this all out and start working hard to pay off this debt. 

    So, that's exactly what I did.

    Like I said before, I knew NOTHING about money. I had worked all throughout high school but I was the type of person that would get paid and the money would be spent on a cute shirt the next week. I had NO idea about different loans, how to write out a budget...heck, I didn't even know how much my school was actually costing me!

    Looking back now, paying for my own college changed my entire life. It taught me that while money isn't everything, being responsible and smart with your money can allow you to live the life that you want while being able to give to other people.

    I hope for everyone that is in my position or is paying off debt of their own and is scared 💩-less, that this gives you some motivation and hope that you CAN come out of this and set up your financial future for success. Sounds cheesy, but I'm serious. I am convinced that with hard work and never giving up, you can accomplish ANYTHING you want too.

    How I Learned About Money...

    debt free by sophia lee

    I'm a big researcher so I took to the internet to look at how other people paid off their student loans and it led me to ALL of these great money blogs. I learned SO much from them...even more than just student loans.

    I noticed that a lot of people were talking about this guy named Dave Ramsey. I started researching Dave Ramsey and became OBSESSED.

    He teaches how to pay off debt and I listened to all of his podcasts, read his books, followed her program, and stalked his website hundreds of times.

    debt free student loans

    ^I was getting links for the books I've read of his and thought this was so fun! You can see how I purchased this on June 29, 2017. That's right before my sophomore year when I was becoming obsessed with all of this!

    I can't even tell you how much I learned from him. If you're paying off debt, I highly recommend looking into him.

    Some of the things he teaches are a little out there. Like, he doesn't believe in credit cards. I'm not saying you have to listen to everything he says, but knowing his general teachings helped me SO much.

    I personally would recommend reading these two books below...but honestly, his podcasts were what helped me the most! 

    The BIGGEST tips on how I paid off my debt...

    Looking back over the last three years, these tips below were what impacted my debt free journey the most.

    Some of them are more mindsets and then others are action things that I did like set up a budget every month. I am trying to make this as helpful for you as possible so I am going to include almost everything I talk about like my monthly budget that you can use and print out for yourself!

    by sophia lee debt free

    1. You have to learn how to say "no".

    Learning how to say "no", especially in college, will save you A LOT of money. It is already so hard to say no, but I was finding that I would say yes to going out to eat with my friends, or yes to going to the mall, or yes to that trip with my friends. All those "yes's" turned into a whole lotta money. 

    I get the worst FOMO so this was not easy for me. I also had to continually battle with my mind on whether what I was saying no to was a really important life event or something that would be forgotten about in a week. Most of the time, it was the trips that were hardest to say no too. If I did go on a trip with friends, I made sure I had it extremely budgeted and that it was a cheap trip. 

    2. I transferred colleges and went to a cheaper school.

    This is more of a situational thing but it's worth knowing just in case you're in a similar situation. 

    I started off my freshman year going to a public school. Public colleges are the cheapest school you can go too, right? That's what I thought too but I found that it was actually more expensive because my parents salary meant I didn't qualify for any scholarships.

    However, when I transferred to my private college I ended up getting so many more scholarships from grades that it was actually cheaper for me to go to a private college. That really surprised me!!

    ALSO, every single summer I took classes online at community colleges. Check with your school, but I was able to take a ton of my gen eds at these community colleges and it saved me thousands!!!

    Plus, if we're being honest, the community college classes were WAY easier for me and a great GPA booster. 

    3. Every month I would put together really intense budgets.

    At the beginning of every single month I would put together really intense budgets.

    Here's a really bad quality screenshot of what my budget sheets look like (PS - this is taken from my story highlights where I go into extreme detail how I set up my money...you can click here to see that and then scroll over all the way until my last highlight labeled "MONEY"):

    budget sheet printable

    I followed Dave Ramsey's zero-based budget system so I would budget for every single dollar I had that month. I always spent barely ANY month one month so I was always one-month ahead. I am a huge stresser and that was one way to always make sure I knew that I was okay and could afford life.

    I also did Dave Ramsey's debt snowball where I paid off the smallest debt first and then paid off the next smallest debt and so on. That way, it was easier for me to get those "small wins" and stay motivated.

    You can download the exact budget sheet I used (free) by clicking here.

    4. I researched HEAVILY what jobs I could do around my college schedule that made more than minimum wage.

    I want to start off this tip by saying that I think on-campus jobs are great. However, usually those pay minimum wage and I knew I could find jobs that still worked around my college schedule that made me much more than minimum wage.

    I had always nannied in high school so I began looking at Care.com for babysitting jobs. I found an AMAZING family that I am still super close with today. I made $12 an hour which was $4 more than what I would have made at a campus job. Now, I feel like you could get even MORE than that...at least $15-18 babysitting. There were so many great things about this job but the best was that they always were able to adjust around my semester class changes. I know that isn't always possible, but there are families on Care.com that are able to be that flexible. 

    I also considered waitressing and bartending. Waitressing might be harder to do around college schedule but bartending is at night after your classes. I know some friends who are bartenders and they make GOOD money. Same with being a cart girl/boy. 

    I then did a few odd jobs like UserTesting and BestMark secret shopping. These were actually really fun and I could do them in my dorm room. UserTesting is where you look at peoples websites and review them. It's really easy and you can easily make $100 a month from this.

    BestMark shopping is also really fun. You are basically a secret shopper and go to restaurants/stores and pretend to shop. Then you fill out a questionnaire on how the employee did who helped you. You definitely won't get rich off of that but it was fun.

    Lastly, I obviously started a blog. I started this because it aligned with my other career goals but I knew I could build it up from my dorm room. A huge misconception about starting a blog is that it's "easy". I can tell you it's NOT and I treated it like a full-time job from the beginning. It's also not fast money. However, if you stick with it and find a niche you like, blogging can change your life. But again, I babysat and did all these other jobs for the first two years while building up my blog. 

    5. I used cash envelopes.

    This was another thing I learned from Dave Ramsey and this helped me a TON! So, I literally would get envelopes and each one I would write a different category like groceries, clothing, dining out, bars, gas, etc. I would place whatever money I budgeted for that category into the envelope.

    Once the money was gone, I was done spending for that category.

    I found that I spent way less money doing this with cash than just swiping my debit card all the time (I actually have gotten off of this a bit lately and want to get back on it).

    6. I planned for big expenses like Christmas and birthdays.

    I remember being really stressed out at Christmas and birthdays because I would be trying to put so much money into debt that when big things came up like this, it took up so much of that money.

    I started budgeting every single month for Christmas and birthdays. By just putting $25 away each month, that gave me $300 to spend on Christmas gifts for my family and boyfriend. I basically wrote out all the big things that I would need to buy for every month and planned it a year ahead. That way I was always prepared. 

    I actually have a checking account where money specifically is for gifts.

    7. I worked ALL the time.

    Paying off all this debt was not easy. I was going 24/7 all the time. 

    You're probably sick of me mentioning him, but Dave Ramsey said something that REALLY stuck with me. He always preached, "Live like no one else so you can LIVE like no one else". Basically, he was saying for three years work your butt off and live so frugarly or crazy that people are like "what is going on with her". By living like that for that short period of time, you can set your life up for financial freedom. 

    This is exactly what I did. I was up at 5:30am most mornings and would start working at 6:30am until 9:00pm most nights...sometimes even later. I would say no to doing things. My friends and family would call me and my response 90% of the time was, "Can I call you back, I'm working". While that's not healthy for forever, I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel when all my debt would be paid off so it was worth it for me.

    I also NEVER said no to a job. If someone asked me to babysit I would make it work. 

    8. I was stingy with my money.

    Shockingly, I am really stingy with my money. Don't get me wrong...I like nice things. Now that my debt is paid off and I have consistent money coming in, I am starting to get some of those nice things that I wanted. However, when I was in the thick of paying off this debt where I was nannying, taking over 20 credits a semester, working on my blog, doing all those other odd jobs, I would barely get anything nice.

    My wardrobe was made up of cheap SheIn and Forever 21 clothes. I basically survived on "Fake it, til ya make it". 

    I also went to a college where I could live in an apartment with roommates for $300 a month. If I was paying what my other friends were paying at big colleges with $900 monthly rents I could have NEVER done this. Truthfully, I felt lame a lot of times going to to the college I went too which was basically in the middle of nowhere but now looking back, it was the best decision for me to help nail out this debt.

    NOW, I want to make sure that you know that I am not naive enough to not realize that I did have privilege that helped me get this debt paid off.

    I had it easier than a lot of people. While my parents didn't pay for any of my college or car, they were there for me. They paid for my groceries throughout all of college and that was a HUGE expense. 

    At Christmas, they would get me those items that I wanted and didn't want to pay for myself. I had friends and family that that encouraged me and gave me gift cards and more to buy things.

    If I was completely alone, I honestly don't know if I would have been able to do it.

    Paying off this debt wasn't easy. There were so many times I wanted to give up and just say, "is having debt really that bad" or "everyone has debt, why does it matter if I don't have debt?".

    I think for me, I saw how much my parents struggled and stressed about money and I SWORE to myself that I always want to be financially stable enough that I never have to worry about this.

    When I would fall asleep at night I would think about how I would feel once this debt was paid off. Now that it is, it feels so surreal. I honestly can't believe it. When I went to get my last check to mail into Great Lakes Credit Union (where my federal loans were), the entire bank cheered for me. They saw it from the very beginning when I was 19 years old stomping in there saying I want to pay off all my college debt before I graduated.

     At least three times a week, I open Sallie Mae and Great Lakes just to stare at the big ZERO in the balance owed section.

    I know it's hard, I've been there. But if you're in any situation like I was in, you CAN DO it. Set your mind to it, never give up, work hard, and don't listen to what people say about you.

    debt free dave ramsey

    Now all I've gotta do is do my debt free scream!! If you know, you know ;). Thanks for following along on my debt free journey!!

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