Slow the spend: How to save cash in college

If you ask the Champion’s opinion editor Luke Kilker what he spends money on, you would find that he spends most on gelato when visiting Athens. However, if you’re anything like me, a broke college student who sometimes struggles to remember where she spent the last five dollars, let’s talk.

Coffee. Events. Clothing. Snacks. None of these are inherently bad to spend money on, especially as a college student. Take coffee, for instance: Everyone needs that boost of energy once in a while, especially when you have a 10-page paper due at 11:59 p.m.

And let’s be real: Parents would much rather know their children are engaged in a good community attending school events than knowing they’re sitting alone in their dorm room.

I’m no expert, but I think spending money can sometimes be a good thing. However, my suggestion to you is rolling on a budget.

A budget can look like setting aside $20 a week or using your Dining Dollars and Flames Cash as wisely as possible. My advice: spend Dining Dollars when on campus and spend only Flames Cash when you’re out with friends. And if you have a way to cook food in your dorm, do it. The Education Data Initiative said that on average students spend $410 per month eating out even when a dining hall is available.

A few students like to regularly buy clothes depending on the season — if that’s you, try Plato’s! They buy clothes and even give you some money back. It’s a good way to support recycling efforts and update your wardrobe while getting a little bit of cash back.

If it’s coffee, meal swipes are your best friend. Dunkin’, Starbucks, STōK coffee from the Rot (it’s good!) gets the job done, and usually you can pair it with a free pastry, donuts or anything from the Rot when you ask for a to-go box at the entrance.

Budgeting is a college student’s best friend. Enjoy your years, have fun, spend your money — wisely. We ought to carefully balance this spending though, as we remember what budgeting and spending look like biblically.

I say, focus and meditate on this verse, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

And whenever you’re challenged on how to budget or spend your money, seek wise counsel and don’t forget to consult the Lord.

Mella is an intern for the Liberty Champion

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