When it comes to being a college student, life gets pretty freaking expensive. I should know – I’ve been a college student for a long time now. So I thought I’d compile a list of tricks I’ve learned for cutting down the budget in our lives. I’m not talking about eating only Ramen noodles because that will only do you good before you starve to death. I’m talking about having fun, going on dates, surviving classes and parking.
1 Buying books online, or even renting them, for the semester will save you tons of money. It’s ridiculous what we’re forced to spend, and even more ridiculous what we don’t get back for books barely cracked. If you need a book right away, check out the city library, get expedited shipping or see if the the school library has the one you need. They frequently set aside books for students to check out for 2 hours at a time. You can always scan the pages and save them to your thumb drive for further review at home.
2 Parking on campus is a joke. Park in the free lot and take the shuttle in. If you have a lot of books, get a locker in either the GT or PE building. You can store your books there for easy retrieval and it only costs $5 a semester.
3 Why are you spending money on a gym? With the exception of a pool (which few chain gyms have anyway) the PE department has many of the same pieces of equipment and you can use them for free pretty much whenever. Rent a locker or bring your own stuff, use your student I.D. to get an issued shirt and use the facilities that come compacted in your student fees.
4 We, as young people, deserve to have fun, but fun can be costly. Thankfully, we have easy access to dollar movie theaters that frequently have half-off specials. BYU often offers free or cheap movies in the Wilkinson Building, and many of the clubs here have movie nights, both foreign and popular, if you look them up on the announcement boards. And by volunteering to take tickets, you can get into many of the plays that show at the Blackbox and Ragan Theaters. Freedom in the outdoors is also something we enjoy, provided one has a car or friends as interested in hiking the Y as you are. One can be cheaply creative if an effort is made.
5 D.I. and vintage stores are great places for cheap clothes and furniture for spicing up the pad. Also try Craigslist, KSL or Freecycle, where people get on to offer items free for the taking. Be safe with any online directory, though. The crazies don’t just come out at the full moon. For clothes, maybe have a garage sale/trade party. Have people bring stuff they no longer want or need and trade for it. Whatever is left can be donated to D.I.
No one expects college students to have money or demonstrate much prestige, and many of these services are simply par for the course of the university, so there is absolutely no reason to not take advantage of these saving tips. Save it for the big time.