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Money Matters

Going to college and university gives you a vast knowledge of anything you could possibly want to know from industry professionals. You get to meet like-minded people along the way and gain experiences you'll carry with you for the rest of your life. You might also pick up tens of thousands of dollars in crippling student debt but hey, these things don't come cheap. So how do you survive without having to live off of ramen noodles and the occasional home cooked meal when you visit your parents? There are a few things that can ease the blow to your bank account:

There are a few things that can ease the blow to your bak account:

1. For starters, take a look at your expenses. What do you need and what do you want? Sure, electric socks might be nice in the winter but is it really a good idea to spend a hundred dollars on a pair of socks? Try doubling up instead. Food and shelter should be your top priorities, after that keep a tight watch on your spending. Every time you make a purchase, no matter how small, ask yourself “Do I need this?” Everything you buy adds up. It might be a couple bucks for a bag of chips but after a few months you've spent quite a bit with nothing to show for it. (At least the chips were good).

2. Write a monthly or weekly budget. Yes, pick up a pen and paper and actually write it down. You might not think it makes a difference but it's easier to spend frivolously when you don't have specific limits on your spending. Give yourself reasonable amounts for rent, bills, groceries, school supplies, and entertainment based on your income and stick to them. Don't forget to put some into savings. That is, after all, the whole point of this.

3. Speaking of income; have an income. A well thought out budget is useless if you only have money going out the door and none coming in. Whether you're working part-time at a department store or selling lemonade on the front lawn, make the effort to balance work and school. There are plenty of on-campus job opportunities for students to take advantage of.

4. Be efficient wherever you spend. When you go shopping grab those coupons! Who cares how long you make the people behind you wait? Focus on the number of dollars you save not the number of people glaring at you wishing they had coupons too. They're just jealous. The food you choose to buy is equally important. 

5. Sell your organs on the black market... and your pianos too.

-Sam Canonico