Cardinal rule of the college kid life: if it’s free, take it.

Everybody who’s in college, been in college, had to pay off student loans or simply had to live on a tight budget understands this cardinal rule: if it’s free, take it. This is one rule that I happily apply to my life on a day-to-day basis. From searching craigslist’s free section to attending free OC fashion shows, I have learned a thing or two about finding and taking advantage of anything labeled free.

Living in Costa Mesa, Calif., right up against the wealthy Newport Beach area, I am blessed with a certain caliber of free that you don’t see many other places. In this area, numerous well-off individuals would rather toss their barely used furniture and outdated designer apparel than try to sell or donate it. I often pass by nice leather couches, dressers, TVs, dining chairs and various other furniture pieces and appliances during an afternoon drive.

Now, I suppose I should clarify that this rule is not encouraging you to become a hoarder or to collect nasty, unusable items just because they’re free. I’m talking about things that should cost money, but for whatever reason, don’t. And trust me, you may eventually find yourself asking the classic shopaholic question, “do I need this?”, once your eyes start spotting curb alerts left and right.

Inspired by this quite amusing and ever-astonishing conundrum, I decided to put together a photo gallery of curb alert items I found on Craigslist and a picture of the free Ikea couch that now resides in my living room. I hope after seeing these photos you are inspired to keep your eyes open for the flashing free signs that come and go on your daily commute. Remember, the more you save in one area, the better you can invest in another. Money that would have been spent on new bar stools can go toward school books or a laptop, or maybe even that new, limited edition blender that you swear is the key to dropping that pesky freshman 15. Regardless of what you’re saving for, remember, as the saying goes: money saved is money earned.



About Mackenzie Foster

I was born in a small town in Texas, but have spent most of my life in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Nestled up against the Rockies, I enjoy the crisp mountain air, snow and small-town feel of the Springs. I just graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism in May 2015 at Southern California's Vanguard University. I love to write, hang out with friends and family, travel, hike, camp, go to the beach, watch movies, play volleyball and find good deals!

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