Money Graphic (new)

Graphic by Ann Salman.

Abigail Ali, News Editor: One way I have learned to save money as a college student is by setting money aside to prepare for moments I want to splurge. Every time I get paid, I put a small amount of that money into a reserves account to be used on fun stuff like traveling and concerts in the future. Over time, the money I set aside adds up, and by the time I’m ready to splurge on something fun, I have enough money saved up to keep me from worrying about overspending and screwing up next month’s rent payments. Doing this has saved me so much financial stress and has allowed me to say yes to being a part of so many exciting things I probably wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

Mariana Fabian, Opinion Editor: Even though I love eating out, the costs sometimes don’t match my budget. One way I allow myself to eat out and splurge is to set how many times a week I can eat out and how many times I’ll make dinner and lunches at home. Having a commuter meal plan is also incredibly helpful to cover some lunch or snack expenses. Obviously, this is not accessible for all, so my plan consists of eating out one to two times a week, so plan accordingly! 

Ellie Bruno, Design Editor: As someone who just started buying their own groceries and not relying on the dining halls, I’ve had to learn the hard way that trying to feed yourself is incredibly expensive at times. It never sounds glamorous, but buying generic store-brand groceries has saved me a large chunk of money. Food Lion has a great variety of generic goods — from coffee creamer to canned food — that make it easy to get the groceries you need at prices that fit your budget. I also recommend joining the discount clubs different grocery stores offer; they’ve come in handy several times in my own personal experience!  

Heidi Reid, Assistant News Editor: One way I’ve learned to save money is to make food instead of eating out. Although it can be a little boring, learning how to cook at home and buying snacks to take to class is significantly less expensive. If you are just cooking for yourself, I highly recommend shopping at Trader Joe’s. Their portions are small so your groceries won’t go bad before you can eat it all. Another way you can save money is buying clothes secondhand. There are tons of Facebook pages you can join that other students sell their clothes on, as well as clothing swaps and garage sales! 

Myra Bari, Culture Editor: If you’ve ever attempted to buy any sort of good or produce near campus, you know how inconsistent the prices are to your local hometown grocery store (especially with inflation). The Target and CVS on Hillsborough Street both have crazy prices, never price match and should be avoided at all costs (unless you have an emergency). I’d recommend stocking up on the essentials once or twice a month at a wholesale retailer like BJs or Costco, or even your local Walmart. 

Emily Vespa, Assistant News Editor: Make sure to set a budget that considers your lifestyle and habits. When I first tried to set my budget, I didn’t allow any room for spending money on things I enjoy, such as getting food with friends. I ended up spending money and not meeting my budgeting goals, which was stressful. I decided to change my budget to prioritize spending on necessities first but accommodate for spending a small, reasonable amount of money on fun activities, and this helped me stay on track with my spending.

Elyse Boldizar, Assistant Opinion Editor: Setting a saving goal each month is a great way to stay motivated about saving money. Sometimes when budgeting, it’s easy to focus more on how you spend your money and forget to set a target of what you want to save. Starting with this goal has really helped me and is a great way to stay on track without getting distracted by spending. Additionally, when budgeting, it’s helpful to estimate how much you’ll likely make that month and use percentages to categorize your spending. In college, our income can be a little scattered so it’s helpful to plan ahead.

Cameron Rhinehardt, Brand Manager: One of the biggest ways to save money as a student is through budgeting food. If you have a meal plan, make sure to utilize it fully to get the most out of it and save money on buying groceries. There are a lot of places on campus to buy separate items with dining dollars if you don't want to only eat at the campus restaurants. Another way to save money is through using the campus transportation systems rather than paying for parking every day at a parking deck or spending money on gas. The Wolfline stretches pretty far and can definitely be convenient for getting around on campus for free.