College kids cut corners and coupons

     Life is good. You made it through high school with just a few scratches. You go to a university in a city that people win trips to on game shows. Yet you find yourself with one minor problem: you are broke.

     Immediately after you cross that line from high school to college, you unwillingly enter the world of adulthood. Suddenly, the bank of mom and dad are hesitant to give out loans. Trying to survive as a full time student makes getting a job that fits your schedule difficult. If you try balancing being a full time student and employee, you will soon become a Red Bull chugging zombie. If you become a part time employee, you find that your salary amounts to the allowance of a 12 year old. In the land of college, there are plenty of expenses from textbooks, to clothes, to food, to having a social life. The one and only solution to this problem is to be smart with your money.

     One of the most expensive items on the college student’s itinerary is textbooks. If you sum up the amount of money you spend on books through your whole college career, it adds up to be enough money for a new car. As with everything else, the internet can help with your book purchasing needs. Websites such as,, and buy and sell new and used textbooks. In addition, at the start of each semester, the walls of St. John’s are littered with “books for sale” signs, which are sure to offer low prices on barely-used textbooks.

     Since walking around naked is illegal, we have to tag clothes on to our bill. As a smart shopper, you can get the season’s hottest trends for a price that will not burn a hole in your wallet. Certainly, the girls of “Clueless” would never go near it, but the clearance racks at your favorite stores hold some great treasures. Also, to assist you with savings, consult your local Sunday newspaper. They are filled with advertisements of store sales and coupons. Furthermore, every smart shopper knows, when there is a holiday, there is a sale, so the best time to go shopping is during a holiday weekend. If you are crafty and know how to operate a sewing machine, and still have all your fingers in the end, you can start a hobby and make your clothes. Visit any thrift store and alter the clothes to give them a new, modern look.

     It is a widely known fact that college students generally have huge appetites. Dorm students are lucky to have a meal plan included in their tuition. However, commuter students have to hunt their meals down. For commuter students that are trapped in school the whole day, it is a good idea to pack a lunch. If you get a craving for some fast food, the best thing to do is to yet again call on the coupon section of the Sunday newspaper.

     After all the essentials are paid for, there is only one glaring thing left to worry about: a social life. College is not a prison, and thankfully so, since we live in the middle of the greatest city on Earth. When you get the opportunity to tear yourself away from your books, there are plenty of things to do in the areas surrounding St. John’s.

     Some locations, such as museums, have special student discounts when you present your student ID at the register. Other places such as movie theaters, clubs, and bars tend to have specials for those of us with shallow pockets.

     Follow these simple rules and you will not find yourself locked in your room wearing a potato sack. If all else fails, remember that a guilt trip can always get you into your parent’s wallets.