Senior Suggestions: Protection from college expenses

janen_WEBIf anyone knows about the struggle, it’s me. My current financial fiasco comes to the tune of about $3,988.47 for three courses and the required textbooks. As students, we all know how costly a textbook can be. With these money woes lingering in the air, a new problem arises: After breaking my back to work and pay for this semester, how do I save money for next semester?
I’ve come up with some solutions if you have found yourself with money troubles similar to my own. First, you need to open up a bank account. If your money isn’t easily accessible, it will be easier to save. I recommend PNC Bank because it offers a Virtual Wallet, which has three accounts: checking, short-term savings, and long-term savings. Once you have these set up, you’re on your way to having extra cash for next semester.
Next, you need to come up with a philosophy that will help you during the moments when you feel the urge to spend. Here are a few tips:

Save with cents
Start with the change. While everyone has forgotten about the penny, embrace it. Love the penny, nickel, dime and quarter. The old saying is, “They add up, too!” Reclaim all of the quarters that your couch has eaten up and take back all of those dimes hiding in your car. Loose change can easily turn into $5 to put towards that $51.37 textbook you need for the upcoming semester.

Do you really need that?
If you don’t need it, don’t buy it! I know, I know. I love sunglasses and purses, too, but the 30 pairs that are already sitting on my dresser are going to have to do.
Find out where to cut costs. Try your cell phone. It is understandable that your eyes are continuously glued to its screen, but ask your provider to reduce the data package from 10GB a month to 5GB. Use the phone less and hop on the computer instead.
Instead of streaming videos from Hulu, Netflix and others, drop all but one. That way, once you have paid for all of your necessities, that long-term savings account will be a bigger pot to purchase those sunglasses and purses.

Smarter Spending
Be responsible. There are some responsible ways of purchasing textbooks and still keeping some funds in your bank account.
While we all love shiny, new things fresh out of their packages, there is nothing wrong with buying a used book. Embrace technology and opt for an e-book. This allows you to not only save a few cents, but you can highlight, and bookmark, or hit control F to easily find that page your professor is referencing instead of flipping through the book.
For the sake of your wallet, I hope these tips come in handy.

-Janeen Rodgers
Senior public relations major


Printed in the 09/03/14 issue.

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