You’ve made it to the next level in your education. You’ve picked your classes, and you’ve settled into your schedule. You’re looking forward to the semester, and to what the next few years will bring. It’s an exciting time of year! There’s one issue, however, always in the back of all of our minds - life in school can get very expensive, very fast. That’s where we step in - we’ve compiled a few tips to make sure everything stays under control while you enjoy everything about your education and internship experience!
To Buy or Not To Buy?
The first big category of potentially uncontrolled expenses are school supplies. Whether we like it or not, they add up fast. Most classes require more than a few textbooks, and, if you approach your classes in the old-school way, notebooks and writing utensils. You don’t need to buy every book in its brand new state, however. There are options to make sure you are keeping everything under control! When it comes to textbooks, find used or rental options. They’re the exact same as brand new copies, except cheaper (and maybe come with cool annotations!). If these aren’t available, look online - books are often available for bargains on different websites.
Food For Thought
Food and delicious meals are another way in which students often get caught up in an (apparently unbreakable) cycle of expenses. Most campuses are surrounded by delicious restaurants, with the perfect appeal to the hungry and stressed students who walk by them every day! You’re most vulnerable to the poster of the tasty smoothie when you’re running from class to class, hungry and waiting for dinner. The problem would be solved, however, by a pre-made smoothie from the dining hall! The best way to avoid food expenditures is to make the MOST out of your dining hall. Do they have fruit available? Do they have yogurt, too? Mix them together! Make a smoothie of your own, and save your money in the process.
It is also easy to get sick of dining hall food. If and when this happens, diversify. What can you combine to make a plain meal more interesting? Can you make a panini out of whole wheat bread, cheese, and tomatoes? Can you combine tofu, broccoli, and carrots into a delicious rice bowl?!
Fun Comes With a Price
The final category that can carry a high price tag is fun activities, outside of school. Going to the movies can cost more than $10. Student discounts are your friend! Look for them! Many movie theatres have half-price nights, for example. Even more mundane activities, like reading the news, can also make a difference in expenses. Subscriptions for some news outlets can cost up to $20 a month. Before you sign up for these, check with your school - chances are, your school has already done it for you. Ask a librarian for help - you will be surprised what is available simply with your school email!
The most important thing is to know how to have fun while taking care of the money in your bank account. The fun ends when the money does, too. We’re here to make sure it doesn’t!