Respiratory therapy major Beth Lantz is one student who falls under the “nontraditional” category at Weber State University. She was married last year and has spent that time with her husband adjusting to married life as a student. Even with two incomes, Lantz said that she and her husband still have to be careful with their money.
“It’s important for us to budget, because it’s our livelihood,” Lantz said. “My husband and I are really gung-ho about being debt-free. We want to start having kids eventually, and we want to bring them into the least stressful environment as possible.”
Being a college student seems to be synonymous with not having a lot of money in one’s wallet. An education is an expensive endeavor. But with a little planning and using WSU resources, students can put aside a little extra dough.
One place for students to start when evaluating their budgets is looking at how they spend their money. Students should begin evaluating what spending areas they can cut back in. For example, if a lot of money goes toward eating at restaurants, they take a few extra minutes in the morning to pack a lunch from home. Using student resources can help a student put away some money, too.
One major resource is the free UTA Ed Pass, which can help cut back on gas and car costs. The gym is also offered to students for free; all they need is their student ID card. Also, for when students are sick, the Student Health Center does many medical procedures at no or low cost, and also offers discounts on prescriptions. For more recreational purposes, a bowling alley and pool tables are located in the Shepherd Union Building.
The newest budgeting trend is couponing. Many students might be hesitant to try couponing because it can seem like a time-consuming project. Sammy Hallows, who teaches seminars on couponing, said that it can be done in an hour a week and significantly cut down on grocery bills each month.
“If you do it efficiently, it only takes about an hour a week to coupon,” Hallows said. “Being a student is hectic, but everyone has an hour. It just takes some trial and error.”
Textbooks can take also put a dent in a student’s funds. Websites like Amazon.com, Chegg.com and Bigwords.com can help students find the best deals on the textbooks they need. Many books at the WSU Bookstore also have new and used prices, and many can now be rented as well. Taking a little extra time to shop around can often help students save money on textbooks.
Finally, money can also be saved on entertainment. Sites like Citydeals.com have discounts on events and activities in Utah. There are a lot of entertainment activities at WSU as well.
“I usually look for coupons when we go out,” said nursing major Tiffany Kerr. “We’ll plan our date night around our coupons or even have a date night at home. We’ll go out and buy something cheap and cook it together.”
Many students’ financial plans have room for improvement. If students get in the habit of budgeting and monitoring their spending, it will be one less thing on their plates for fall semester.