How to pinch your pennies

Ben Wolford

Students budget money, practice smart shopping when living on own


Credit: DKS Editors

Being in college forces many students to have to think about fiscal responsibility and budgeting for the first time.

Kent State’s Web site offers tips for new students on how to plan a budget, but savvy student penny-pinchers have discovered some more practical ways to save nickels and dimes.

Vibb Schlueter, sophomore fashion merchandising major, offered this advice: “Don’t shop at the bookstore.”

She said toiletries and other items that would normally be a few dollars are twice as much at the University Bookstore.

And then there’s online shopping.

“I really enjoy online shopping,” Schlueter said. “But I can’t do that as much.”

She said the ease of button clicking makes money fly faster.

As for Daniel Nisbett, sophomore exploratory major, he cuts the problem off at the source.

“Lose your credit cards,” he said. “Throw them in your room somewhere and don’t look for them.”

As credit card companies continue to market toward college students, using a card sparingly is a good idea, according to Lucy Lazarony in her article “College students: Prepare for credit card deluge” for

“The best way to avoid having to explain that bill to mom and dad is to learn to get by with one or two low-limit credit cards,” according to Lazarony’s article.

In addition, an article on the university’s Web site gives some things to think about when learning how to budget for college.

It suggests students make a list of all the known college expenses and also the spontaneous expenses such as pizza and concert tickets. Then the student should determine how much income he or she will have, and balance what they want with what they can afford.

But, if money gets tight, there’s always the option of bumming off of parents.

“I’ve had my mom come up and buy groceries for me,” Schlueter said.

That’s one way to save money.

Contact features reporter Ben Wolford at [email protected].