Broke in College: Finding a solution to the pocket pinch

Sarah Cooksy, Chattanooga, Tenn. —The summer rays are drying up—along with students’ savings account. Those who choose to live off

 Photos by Mary Gower Savannah Langen, senior from Nashville, thrifts to avoid spending money on clothes that are overly priced.
Photos by Mary Gower
Savannah Langen, senior from Nashville, thrifts to avoid spending money on clothes that are overly priced.

their summer savings are now approaching the status of “poor college student.”

With the six percent increase in tuition at UTC determined this summer, the stretch of the dollar has to go that much further.

“I hope you find this to be an exciting and challenging time,” Gov. Bill Haslam said to the Board of Trustees June 21, 2013, before the vote to increase tuition.

With an approximate 35 percent increase in the past four years, students are forced to save whatever they can.

Emily Walker, a senior from Harrison, Tenn., worked as a waitress at Dockside Cafe in Harrison, knowing she would spend a pretty penny for her nursing supplies and books this semester. Even so, she admitted, “My books are more expensive than I thought they would be.”

Tori Roberts, a sophomore from Maryville, Tenn., was  realistic about her summer savings.

“I expected my money to last through August. Maybe September,” Roberts said.

A simple and cheap way to save summer savings is to think; know your means and budget. That Double Nested ENO is nice, but if you do not pay your rent, the hammock may substitute as your new home.

An easy way to save money is to simply not spend it.

An article by  “This and That” MBA offered the advice to hide your credit cards. Letting your roommate you found from Craigslist hide the plastic may not be the best idea, but allow a trustworthy soul to take it off your hands when the inevitable impulsive occurs.

The article also points the need to stop keeping up with the Joneses. There will always be a cooler iPhone and pair of sneakers. If you instead want to impress your friends with how much money you saved, Goodwill features half-off the entire store the first Saturday of each month.

Obviously deodorant and razors are a need (except during No-Shave-November of course). Check out www.hip2save.com for deals on the basic necessities.

If tuition is your problem, UTC’s Office of Financial Aid partnership with the SALT program offers financial advice. Before your bank account hits the red, they direct students to calculate their cash burn rate. First, you must track expenses. Then you decide how much you will use of your savings before entering into official panic mood. If you have $3,000 and spend $1,000 per month, your account can only help you three months. After that, make sure your phone is still working to call Grammy.

No matter what the financial crunch, chances are, there is something out there to help you get back in black.

 

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