Spending smarts for 2017

How to save money when you barely make any

The holidays are a time when most people spend more money than they plan on. We cook big dinners, buy people gifts and buy things for ourselves when we see something on sale. That adds up pretty fast.

Some research recently done by Edvisors.com found that 64 percent of the students who took its survey said they have run out of money before the end of a semester at least one time.


Time magazine reported that the main culprits in students’ lack of funds are the cost of college and unexpected expenses. On top of that, 42 percent of the students in Edvisors’ survey said that they just don’t make enough money.

Many college students work minimum-wage jobs or have an internship that doesn’t pay well (if it pays at all). Sixteen credits alone can be a full-time job, so full-time work often isn’t a possibility.

Time’s article suggests keeping an emergency fund, applying for scholarships and making sure to get FAFSA turned in early because financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. But there are plenty of ways for someone to save cash going into this new year.


This is specific to Oakland. I’ve had professors implore me to apply for scholarships within the journalism department because most people don’t bother applying, so competition is scarce. If you look on your department’s webpage, there are probably several scholarships you can apply for.


I started doing this at the beginning of the academic year, and I find it super helpful. I give myself an allotted amount to spend on things like groceries, clothes and eating out, so that a big chunk of my paycheck gets saved instead of spent. Dave Ramsey is a mastermind with this stuff.

Get your bank’s app

This might sound obvious, but I know so many people who don’t do this. When you can easily see how much money is in your checking account, you can see how much you can or cannot spend.

Work on campus

I’m not telling you to work at The Post, but the main reason I started here was so I could make extra money without having to drive somewhere. This makes the cost of travel exactly zero dollars. There are plenty of jobs on campus if you apply before other people do.

Use your meal plan

I despise cafeteria food just as much as the next gal, but I try to eat it as much as I can. Don’t go buy dinner when you could get a meal from Vandy that you’ve already paid for.

Thrift shop

Let me tell you, I find some nice stuff at Goodwill. I’m not saying you should buy all your clothes at places like this, but I always check a resale store before I head to the mall. For those of you who like to read, these places often have some awesome vintage books.

Free music

Let’s be real, Spotify ads aren’t that irritating. Plus, using the free version of Spotify or Pandora saves a few dollars every month. Those add up.

Well folks, that’s my advice. Happy spending. Let’s try to not run out of money.