Ballin’ on a budget

Photo Courtesy | Piggy Bank Money via Flickr

By Cristhian Herrera | Staff Reporter

While student loans may help alleviate the urgency of paying back a university, it does not pluck the thorn of financial worry from students’ sides, and many may need to adapt to squeeze dollars when needed.

College students may be strapped for cash because according to the Center for Microeconomic Data, Americans owed more than $1.3 trillion in student loans at the end of the third quarter of 2017. The worry of repaying it lingers.

This is where thriftiness comes into play. Secondhand shopping is not only light on the bank account, but it also offers certain benefits that brand stores cannot afford. The price is a no-brainer. Some of these clothes are marked down anywhere from 20 to 90 percent off.

For example, according to the Palm Beach Post out of Palm Beach, Florida, last summer two Florida students bought five vintage NASA space suits from a thrift shop for $1.20. The suits are each expected to sell for $5,000 or more.

Knowing exactly how much money is allotted to the cost of living is crucial. Justin Blocker, A&M-Commerce student, said the advice giving to him by his parents is to physically take out a certain amount of money from the bank and to prioritize for the week with only that amount.

Besides the clothes on their back, the main necessity that college students are concerned about is food. Macaroni and cheese and ramen noodle soup can only go so far.

“Coupons and meal days is the way to go,” Michael Frazier, a junior and RTV major, said. “You have to play by the week.”

Food chains such as McDonalds, Sonic, and Domino’s separately offer similar promotions which makes eating out a tad more affordable. McDonalds offers most of its coupons through its app and other food chains only offer promotions on certain days.

These simple tricks, applied correctly, can help hack college life.

“You have to be creative,” Brant Parker, a senior and RTV major, said.

Parker said his microwave has helped him make eggs, pasta, and even steak without little to no effort.