Tips to protecting your wallet

Allison Perkins


With the second semester of the calendar year already well on it’s way, you’re likely stressed out by now with the completely new work load, your jobs and extracurricular hours, and, possibly most of all, the strain of having enough money to do everything else in between.

As a college student, a social life and time spent off campus may well be the most important aspect of staying sane amidst all the daily pres­sures of academic life. And it seems like there’s no way to get away from campus without spending tons of mon­ey, whether it be on gas, food or other purchases. However, even the tiniest tips and tricks of everyday life can help to cut down on everyday spending, knocking at least one burden off your shoulders.

Some of the tips that I’ve found to be most helpful are these:

1. Swap clothes with a friend every few months. Not only will you have new clothes, but they’ll all be absolutely free since you’re swapping instead of selling/buying.

2. Cook your own food at least once a day. I am the absolute worst when it comes to eating out all of the time, but when I started making myself eat at home for dinner or lunch, I started sav­ing at least $30 a week.

3. Get water when you do go out! At an average restaurant, a soda is going to cost around $2. If you get water in its place, you’re not only being healthier, but you’re also saving some extra pocket change that could be used on gas later.

4. Don’t grocery shop when you’re hun­gry. If you do, you will buy a ton of snack food and nothing of actual substance. And later you will regret it when you have a huge stack of cosmic brownies, but no vegetables, meat or milk.

5. Buy spices! You can make all kinds of meals out of just a box of pasta and differ­ent spices. Onion powder, garlic, lemon pepper, salt & pepper and Mrs. Dash make a good start.

6. Carry snacks on you. If you carry a granola bar or the like in your purse or backpack, you’ll be much less likely to shell out five dollars on a candy bar and drink later on during the day.

Even by doing only these six things, the amount of money you can save can be almost unbelievable. Most people don’t pay attention to where their money goes, but for many college students, at least half of our money is spent at fast-food restaurants. But cutting back on that money alone will help a little.