The clock just struck 2:30 a.m., The Set is deserted and your dorm mates next door finally decided to put their amateur DJ skills to rest. You lie awake, tossing and turning, stomach growling and in desperate need of some late night munchies.
Unfortunately, the cafe closed hours ago. The vending machine down the hall is only taking quarters, which you ran out of two days ago. And because you ordered takeout every day since Freshman Week, your card is maxed out.
What is a college freshman to do? Think smarter, not harder. Prevention is better than a cure, and this situation is no different. The best ways to keep money in your wallet are all within reach.
If you have a meal plan, USE IT! – It might seem like an obvious solution, but you’d be surprised at how many meals and Flex Bucks go unused by the end of the semester. Unlike excess cellphone minutes, your unused meals do not rollover for the next semester.
Take advantage of on-campus events – There’s something happening on campus at least once a week. The great thing is that many of them won’t leave you empty handed. Find events on campus that interest you, and maybe some that don’t. You might luck up on free refreshments or even prizes.
Stock up before you go out – After partying all night, you may be tempted to order takeout or head to a drive-thru. Fight the temptation and stock your fridge and freezer with your favorite microwaveable appetizers. Two frozen appetizers, which usually have multiple servings, will cost you the same as a single-serving combo at most fast-food restaurants.
Go shopping online or back home – FAMU is a melting pot when it comes to the hometowns of its students. Tallahassee offers a limited selection of clothing and shoe stores compared to other major cities. Try to wait until you’re in a city with better selections. When stores have more competition, their prices tend to be lower and they have sales more often.
Make a budget and stick to it – Set a realistic budget for you. By setting a limit of how much money you’ll spend in a given time, being a broke college student can become less of a reality.