Sofi’s Survival Standard: How to save money at school

Sofia Sanchez Salcedo


I know what you are thinking, “what is money?” I’ve got you, because as a college student, you’ve learned to cut out all unnecessary spending, apply for every scholarship and grant you qualify for, and even learned to love ramen. What happens when you are making little money and you know you are going to be relying on your savings in a couple of months before you get a job, when summer starts? Listen, I understand. As an accounting major, I think money (and putting it in a bank to get interest) makes the world go round.

Here’s how to save:

  1. Ignore the bookstore: I know, they have advertising that says that renting from them is cheaper than renting from Amazon or Chegg, but they are either straight-up lying, or they cherry picked their books *very* selectively. Also, Crowder personalizes books, so if you buy an old edition, unless you need a code for your class, you should be able to use it.

    It's a trap!

    It’s a trap!

  2. Keep ignoring the bookstore. Don’t sell them your books back. Assuming that you missed point number one and you bought the book, you’re in for a big disappointment when you go up to the counter to get your money back on that 250 dollar book, only to get 40 dollars back. Ouch.snickers
  3. Don’t be hungry. You’ve seen the Snickers’ commercial: you’re not you when you’re hungry. Let me amend that: you’re not your most financially savvy you when you’re hungry. Go Walmart with a shopping list and have a snack before you Sure, you’re gonna buy crap anyway, but maybe less crap if you’re not lusting over that big bag of Cheetos.
  4. Don’t drink or smoke. Okay, real talk, you shouldn’t be smoking at all, and drinking isn’t healthy either. Did you know, according to, that the average smoker spends $2,555, and the average drinker $1560. That’s almost a Crowder’s semester’s savings you’re throwing out the window.
  5. Go green. By “green” I mean, don’t use your credit card, unless you absolutely have to. Take out cash and have that as your spending money for a month. I notice that I absolutely hate spending money when I have to physically give it away. You don’t usually notice how much dumb stuff you just charge to your account.
  6. Don’t buy a meal plan. If you’re living on campus, you may just think you’re saving money by eating on campus, but think about the meals you’re having. Are the hamburgers worth that much? I’m not talking personal value, because I love them as much as the next gal, but is the food you’re receiving really worth how much you’re paying for it? Probably not.
  7. Go to the library. Full disclosure: the campus library is not only my favorite hangout spot, it’s also one of my jobs. You don’t have to be a nerd to like it there, but let’s be honest, smart people have more fun. Additionally, they have DVD’s and books that are *free* both in the local libraries and the Lee Library. You’d be a fool to spend money at the RedBox or Family Video when you have such resources free and close to home.county library
  8. Go to class. See the point about smart people above. Also, if you don’t go to class, why are you even paying for an education? That’s like paying for a car loan for a car you don’t drive. Dumb.
  9. mintThere’s an app for that. Okay, first of all, you need to have a bank account to put all of that mullah you’re going to be saving. Download that bank’s app so you can see your money add up. Also, get Mint, which is an Android and Apple-compatible app that tracks your spending, so you can see just how much you spend on Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Bonus track: get Digit. It will save money for you, and this free app will put it in your bank account. Win-win.
  10. Move smart. I don’t mean dumpster dive, but you should help people move out of their apartments. After all, they might give you a fridge if they don’t want to move it to their next living space. And what do you know, you need a fridge for your next living space. Just because your housemates are reckless with their money, you might be able to save yours.