Just because you are a broke college student, does not mean you need live like one.
87 percent of teenagers do not know how to manage money, according to a 2012 study from Fox Business, ING Direct. The true horror is a lot of us did not fly out of the nest with a realistic budget or an expertise in money management.
Just to brag, I had a decent exposure to budgeting and managing finances growing up.
So do you want that Barbie radio house? Let us see happy faces on your report card.
Oh, do you want that snowboard? Well, save your birthday and Christmas money for it.
In other words, as an adult, I will find a random stash of dollar bills hidden in the glove box of my car because I learned to handle money.
Whether this is the summer before your first year or senior year, use these easy tips to save big bucks while attending Eastern.
1. The dollar menu is your best friend.
I went out with a couple of friends to a late night McDonald's soiree. When someone ordered a large Big Mac meal, I practically inhaled my drink. I know. I am dramatic. Sure, it cost $6, but my meal cost $2. Not only that, but we did this almost every night!
To put this into perspective, they spent about $168 a month compared to my $56 a month.
In the end, the dollar menu keeps your wallet pudgier than your belly.
2. Walk everywhere.
Please do not be the person who drives their car from the Post Office parking lot to the Science Building. If you have not noticed, there are sidewalks and landscaping on campus. Enjoy the little oasis of Portales; you'll save gas money for a trip back home or for an adventure.
The need to drive your car should not exist unless you live across town.
3. Enroll in utility programs.
The majority of utility companies have a program called Budget Billing, which helps you stay on budget using their services. Companies charge a set amount each month depending on how much of the= services you use for the year.
Over the course of five years, the most my gas bill has cost is 38 bucks. Not to mention, my roommates and I often split the bill evenly.
4. Unplug, and limit running water.
If you are not using an appliance or electronic device, unplug it or shut it off. If you try hard, you can take a shower in 10 minutes or less.
In addition, you can survive without the AC blasting or heater going 24/7. Use fans and open windows for summer and layers of blankets and clothing for winter.
Bonus tip: During summer, place the AC temperature higher when you are away from home during the day.
5. Get rid of wants and focus on needs.
I want to have cable and satellite television, but I only watch five channels of 300.
In the end, it costs less to invest money into an unlimited cellphone or internet data plan with subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu.
I want to eat out because I do not have time to cook.
Make time. Food is definitely a need, but it is cheaper and healthier to cook at home anyway.
It does not take 20 minutes to chop a salad as it does waiting for food in a restaurant. Restaurants charge you three times more for an entrée made at home for 1/3 the cost.
Take a stroll through the fresh and frozen sections of Wal-Mart, and tell me which section will cost more to eat for a week. It will shock you how much it costs to live off the frozen food section.
6. Attend ENMU events.
The Associated Student Activities Board is in charge of bringing entertainment to campus. If you are a student, you can attend dances, hypnotists and comedians, movie night and games for free with your ENMU I.D.