Being self-sufficient isn’t fun, but someone’s gotta do it

Being self-sufficient isn't fun, but someone's gotta do it

by Erin BoneStaff Writer

Fall break has come and gone, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This means two things in particular. First, Christmas is closer than you think – meaning you are about to dish out a lot of money. Second, all that cash you made during the long summer days is beginning to become scarce.

Ladies, your purses are feeling a little light. Gentlemen, your wallets aren’t supposed to be that thin. So what are you going to do about it? As far as the whole Christmas thing, I’ve been playing the, “I’m a poor college student and have limited funds, but will make it up to you next year,” card quite a bit and it seems to work well for me. As far as making it through daily expenses like beer, food and entertainment without having to cry to Mommy and Daddy every week, here are a few suggestions:

Eat at Pfeiffer. I know for some you’d rather starve then eat there, but these are meals you have all ready paid for; you might as well take advantage. Whether you have six meals or 12, optimize your resources.

Get your money’s worth. Back to the whole dining service thing, you are paying a lot for these meals so make sure you fill up. “Fill up” refers to both your stomach and your pockets. There’s no shame in filling up a water bottle with milk or snagging a few extra bananas for an afternoon snack. Please don’t get too greedy; there are others trying to avoid starvation on a limited income as well.

Shop at the Grill. When at all possible do your grocery shopping at the Grill. I mean, come on, they have milk, bread, peanut butter and jelly. What more could you want? Don’t forget about their plastic dinette set that would look lovely in your dorm or apartment.

Walk everywhere. This is an incredibly small campus; if you are driving to class you have more than just money issues. The only time your car should be utilized is when you are going to work or to Wal-Mart. Any other time you are probably only going to drive somewhere to further waste money. Furthermore, even your trips to Wal-Mart should be limited.

Name brands are for the rich. If it comes in a bag instead of a box, you’re on the right track.

Good personal hygiene is an option. In high school it was okay to take two or three showers a day, but now that just equals money. It costs money to do laundry, which you better have if you’re taking that many showers, because it is not all right to shower and then put dirty clothes back on. Shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc. all have a price as well. It soon becomes clear: the less you shower the less you will use of these products and services.

Join a sport. Besides the grueling practices, the long hours invested and the pure and total exhaustion that comes with being involved in athletics, in the end it could be a real money saver. First, you get free laundry. Well, as much as you can fit on a laundry loop, but that’s really quite a bit. Second, whenever you travel, you get free meals. Sure it’s a real commitment and a lot of hard work, but in the end you could save a few bucks.