College is the only place where basic economics principles just don’t apply. More labor tends to mean more profit, but it seems like the more work we put in, the less we get back. There is an upside to our continual struggle though: We find ways to stretch a dollar more than any big league economist. From the practical to the completely bizarre, Temple students shared the best techniques to save money. Trust me, these tips are much more realistic than any financial aid brochure you might come across.
1. Move Off-Campus ASAP
“I moved off-campus as quick as I could because it’s like $4,000 cheaper a year.” —William Whalen, sophomore, music Education
Imagine how much ramen you could buy saving a few grand a year. Find a cheap apartment with roommates, and save the luxury living for later when you can actually pay for it.
2. Get a Part-Time Job
“I print photos at a Walgreens and it’s easy. It pays all of my expenses and I still save some money.” –Alex Senatore, sophomore, finance
If you can slave over a textbook or get yourself up and running for a day on just a few hours of sleep, a part-time job should be a cake walk.
3. Be Smart With Your Textbooks
“I buy all of my books online, never at the bookstore. And I always wait until the very week that I know that I will absolutely need it, which sounds bad, but it works.” –Imani Glenn, senior, advertising
Sometimes it’s better to be unprepared, especially if it means saving hundreds. Try to feel out your professors and the course load during syllabus week to gauge what you actually need.
4. Bring Your Meal Plan Home
“I’ve taken home leftovers from all of the dining halls and put them in containers and eaten them later.” —Ann Hughes, sophomore, kinesiology
Tupperware-ing your unfinished dinner would not only make your mother proud, but it also saves you from spending on late night snacks at a convenience store, which yes, do add up in the long-run.
5. Just Say No to Coffee Cups
“I bring my own mug to get refilled at coffee places because it only costs a dollar instead of two.” –Rachael Clark, sophomore, journalism
If you’re too lazy to brew at home, tote around your own mug to avoid paying full price at certain coffee stands.
6. Sell Those Clothes
“The most desperate thing that I have done for some money is sell my clothes to consignment shops.” –Cassandra Chalfant, junior, painting
Before you continue to wash your fifteen black t-shirts, or let those impulse clothing purchases rot in your closet, share your wardrobe and get paid for doing so.
7. eBay Might Be Your Savior
“I buy everything online from eBay shipped directly from China.” —Natalie Lepera, freshman, neuroscience
If you’re an eBay novice and are a little afraid of what the clothes might actually look like when they hit your doorstep, just go thrifting around town. You’ll still save loads of money, and it’s almost guaranteed that the clothes will still be made in China.
8. Pocket Those Everyday Products
“I steal whatever plastic utensils or napkins from the dining halls and toilet paper, because you can never run out of those.” —Aish Menon, sophomore, journalism
You pay a ton in tuition; resist giving your precious pocket money to the Charmin bears or the Bounty man and fill your pockets with freebies.
9. Spare Change? Pick It Up
“My roommate and I pick up change and save it in a jar until we have enough to go out.” —Meghan McFerran, sophomore, dance
Saving money is important, but let’s be honest, so is having a good time. Avoid the guilt and pay for the extras with your piggy bank.
10. Trash Pick
“I’ve garbage-picked for materials for projects.” —Michael Schaffner, Junior, Painting
All it takes is a quick look around the city blocks of Temple to notice that sometimes people throw some good stuff away. Channel your inner American Picker and dumpster dive with pride.
There you have it, Owls. Take this information and use it as your guide to being the most frugal student you can be, and while you’re at it, make some desperate money-saving memories of your own.