Being a college student equals being broke. Here at Temple U, some pockets are so empty students have resorted to asking the neighborhood bums for extra change. Most Temple scholars do not have the luxury of mommy and daddy paying for everything, so they create ways to get by. Being pretty broke myself, I’ve experienced a lot of scrounging techniques that are probably very common on this campus. Check out these tips to make life more manageable with a small cash flow.
Get a campus job — for students who have no time for a real job and want to make money while doing nothing but homework. Work at the library where you can listen to your headphones and shelve books for extra beer money. Deliver TVs to classrooms, clean up the University grounds or ask Mel and Lena to hire you at the Bagel Hut. There are so many opportunities to get fast cash.
Don’t spend money you don’t have — cut the budget down to only necessities. Drinking, cigarettes and movie rentals are at the top of my list. Things like washing clothes are a big waste of money and time. Use Fabreeze to get the funk out of your jeans, making them so fresh and so clean. Instead of waiting for the spin cycle, search for an on-campus job.
Diamond Dollars — don’t put money on it. This system is worse than a credit card. You put money on your ID and spend it like crazy. “Oh sure, use my Diamond Dollars, it’s not real money anyway.” And the worst part is the fact that you can use it at Boston Donuts and the Draught Horse for all the necessities on the budget.
Cafeteria Borrowing — it’s really not borrowing because you have a meal plan. Take advantage. Bring a book bag and join the club. You could eat for a week off one caf. trip. Speaking from experience, do not try and take the ice cream barrels. It’s quite obvious and only leads to trouble.
Start a tab with a rich friend — ah, my friends love me for this. Find a friend who gets money from their parents and hit ’em up. Tell them you will just run a tab with them until you get the cash. Then show up at their dorm with a barrel of ice cream and they’ll forget all about it. Trust me on this one — it really works.
Count the days until the tax return check comes — I know many students, who are issued these precious checks, count down. My calendar is marked at the beginning of every semester. “Ten more days until I am rich again. Nine more days until I can pay my bills. Eight more days until I can pay the fine for stealing ice cream from the caf. Seven more days until I can put more money on my diamond dollars. And six more days until I can quit my campus job.
OK, so the real tip is to just wait for the tax return check. But experiencing other Temple survival skills is totally worth it. Have fun and enjoy being broke.
Julie Crist can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org