Bone Up On Budgeting Smarts

Every semester, college students across the nation have to worry about expenses tuition, food, books, transportation, housing and entertainment. Worrying about all these things would make Hercules cry. And that’s horrible.

Here are seven tips to help you with your finances.

1. Spending time prioritizing makes fears about money less vague.

Brayan Headshot

Make a list of the things you truly need and pay less attention to the things you want.

Melani Andrade, a North Campus biology major, can agree with that. She has been working for a number of years and now has a savings account. She feels confident that those years have taught her how to prioritize and identify the things she really needs versus the things she desires.

“Don’t spend all [your] money,  just spend it on the things that are necessary,” Andrade advised.

2. Seek bargains, always.

Stop buying at the mall. Instead buy from second-hand stores like Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity. Their clothes are generally in great condition and on holidays they have extra discounts. Shirts that go for $65 retail are priced at $5.

3. Save money by bringing lunch from home.

A lunch meal at the College’s cafeteria can cost  $10 for a sub and a drink. Bringing lunch from home can reduce the price to just under $5. Plus, you will always know where your food is coming from and what’s in it.

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4. Buy books from other places besides the school’s bookstores to save a lot.

Generally buying a textbook at the school’s bookstore will cost you more than other outlets. For example, my biology book new online/bookstore was priced at $230, the same book that was used from Amazon cost $100. Chegg is charging $120 for the same book. Sometimes if you are lucky you can find textbooks online for free.

5. Selling back your old books will earn you some dollars.

You won’t get the exact amount back, but you will be getting some dollars in return to buy your new set of textbooks.

6. Carpool with friends or take public transportation.

On average, a young student can pay up to $120 on car insurance plus the $35 weekly gas budget. Public transportation can cost you $50 for a monthly bus pass. Students can obtain this pass at the bookstores.

7. Start investing in your future.

You don’t have to be out of school in order for you to start saving for your future. You can do it as we speak. Start with your savings account and if you get a chance then move on to investing. Explore the many different opportunities available to you.

For Flaurence Timothee, a first-year student at North Campus, saving is her number one priority, when she’s budgeting for school expenses.

“I don’t go out as much and every time I get paid, I transfer $200 to my savings account,” said the 21-year-old biology major.

Preparing for school’s expenses can diminish financial questions and worries and open up more time for your studies. It’s important that you start considering all your possibilities and embark on the journey of better financial decisions.  

Brayan Vazquez

Brayan Vazquez, 20, is computer science and computer network major at North Campus. Vazquez will serve as a forum writer and photographer for The Reporter during the 2014-2015 school year. He aspires to be a tech-based entrepreneur and revolutionize the way kids learn in this new technological era.