Airing my dirty (and pricey) laundry

As a college student, I pay for many necessities on my own that leave me with little money left for plebeian costs like laundry. So why is it that students at APU have to pay for laundry?

Every month I have to pay for gas and insurance for my car, Netflix, Spotify and a few luxurious meals at Chick-fil-A. I have to carefully budget my money to make sure I have enough for the entire semester.

Yet a simple necessity such as laundry is not accounted for by the university that I pay thousands and thousands of dollars to attend. That really irks both me and my roommate.

“I think that it’s completely unnecessary [to pay for laundry], given that we already pay $43,000 a year just to go here,” freshman Christian ministries major Garrett Davis said. “I think that they could put the money we give them to better use by paying for our laundry. We pay so much money to go here. They could at least pay for our laundry.”

He’s not wrong. Part of the small fortune that goes to this wonderful school should be dedicated to laundry.

I wash my clothes once a week, and my sheets and towels every other week, which costs $1.25 to wash and $1 to dry each load. That’s about $13.50 a month to just do laundry.

That may not seem like a lot of money, so here are some other figures to compare. If I continue to do laundry at the same pace all year, I will pay over $110.

To some people, $110 is enough to buy food for a week. To others, $110 will buy that new pair of shoes they’ve been eyeing for months. To me, as a lump sum, that would buy me a new tennis racket. However, I prefer to break it down by month.

If I didn’t have to pay for laundry each month, I could use the payment for Netflix and Spotify. Now, I’m a dedicated college student with a job and a fair amount of schoolwork, but I would suffer without homework breaks of “How I Met Your Mother,” binge-watching “Parks and Recreation” and seasons of “Breaking Bad.” I don’t know how I would write essays without listening to The Neighborhood and Linkin Park on Spotify, or jamming out with my roommates to the new Lecrae song.

Laundry has become a luxury for me as of late. If I get to do it twice a week after getting food all over my work clothes so I don’t show up dirty to my next shift, I’m spending extra. It used to just be a given, but like many things in college, I find myself being frugal on things I used to take for granted.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford the gas to drive home for Thanksgiving. If I hadn’t already spent so much money to wash and dry my clothes, maybe I wouldn’t have to worry. Or maybe I could buy my girlfriend a nicer gift for Christmas. As it is, I’m just trying to afford clean clothes.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m managing to survive. I’m not saying that it’s a sin or anything that we have to pay for laundry. I’m just saying that I think we all have things we’d rather spend money on than washing our clothes.

It’s just something to think about the next time you swipe your laundry card and watch the balance dwindle down. Wouldn’t you rather spend your hard-earned money on something that truly matters to you, like a month of music and sitcoms or a new pair of kicks, than on doing laundry?