Cents Sense: Strapped for Cash

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In these economic times, the number of paid internships is few and the number of solid summer jobs is sparse. Just because you may be low on cash this summer, however, doesn’t mean that you have to be low on fun!

Stacy Berg, rising junior at Washington University of St. Louis, says, “Making dinner with friends is always a good time. Cooking in general is fun, and it's a nice experience to share with people you care about. It's definitely something different to do when spending time together, but it's probably one of my favorite things from last summer.” Berg and her friends made homemade pizzas and had a movie night. Added bonus: it beats paying $10 a ticket and even more for a good pie.

Nathaniel Margolies, rising sophomore, definitely agrees with his fellow Wash U Bear. His best suggestion is to “not eat out, but actually go food shopping and make meals.” Added bonus: “That costs a ton less and leaves more money for doing [other] stuff,” Margolis says. 

Montana Blum, rising junior at Kutztown University, says that she loves hanging out by her pool and grilling. That way, she and her friends can have a nice potluck dinner and enjoy a warm summer night. Added bonus: you can stay cool and don’t have to pay for gas to travel to a faraway beach.    

Madeline Bricker, rising senior at Cornell University, says that if you’re living in a big city for the summer, you should take advantage of it because your bank account will thank you. There are magazines and postings that promote free concerts in parks, free movies outside and free museum admittance. In addition, if you can get involved in a work sports league or the like, it’s a great way to have free fun, Bricker says.

Although it is sometimes hard to find even a small amount for spending money, Alex Cooper, a portfolio manager at Deutche Bank, explains that it is possible. Cooper laughingly says, “Take advantage of your parents as much as you can”; having dinners at home and bringing lunches to your internship instead of going out are great ways to save. Cooper says that besides rent, he estimates that 50% of his expenses go to food, so these changes plus doing your laundry with Mom are easy ways to cut down. 

So when you’re in a pinch, summer fun is still a cinch!

Sophomore > Marketing and Finance > University of Maryland

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