For anyone who finds themselves on budget, college life presents a challenge to creating and maintaining a fiscally responsible lifestyle. The first step is to take a look at your bank account and sit down and have a serious conversation with your parent or guardian about what your financial responsibilities are if they are part of the equation. The second step is to write out a plan — what percentage of your money should be allocated towards textbooks, eating out, shopping, etc.?
The skills of budgeting do not just apply to your personal money, but will come in handy for knowing how many food dollars or Old Gold swipes you have per week. Trust me when I say there is no greater joy during finals when you can afford a venti pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks.
A big source of stress for some students is being able to afford the textbooks and course materials required for many Wake Forest courses. While the campus bookstore is convenient and will most definitely have all the books you need, including used and rental books for lower costs, there are definitely cheaper options. Amazon is a popular place for rental textbooks.
However, the best option I have found is Chegg. While Chegg is known by some students for having helpful study guides and detailed solutions to textbook problems, Chegg also offers a textbook rental service. Their prices are ridiculously low and they will give you access to an online version of your textbook until the physical copy arrives in the mail. Even the return shipping is free; you just have to print the label and tape it to the box. This sounds like an advertisement, but I promise, I am simply a satisfied customer.
In terms of activities outside of class, the trick to sticking to a budget in college is finding the deals. There are discounts, promo codes and straight-up free stuff around every college campus corner. To get you through the start of the week, venture off campus: on Mondays get a free cake square at any Dewey’s Bakery location (no purchase necessary — just walk right up to the counter) and on Tuesdays, the Mission Pizza located downtown offers a $10 special on any of their signature pizzas. Both The Grand and a/perture cinemas offer discounted movie tickets to students with a student ID card.
For many students, finding wallet-friendly meals and activities isn’t a big problem, but many struggle with finding a steady source of income that doesn’t take up all their time. Check if you qualify for a work-study position designated and assigned by the school. If not, several offices around campus have applications on their individual websites. Whether you apply to work at the copy center or at the resource desk in the library or at the gym, there are numerous positions all over campus.
I would be remiss not to remind the reader that this very publication, the Old Gold & Black, pays students to write articles and work on the editorial staff.
We send out weekly topic suggestion emails by section, you write what tickles your fancy, and we print.
After three trial articles, we pay $12 an article and $3 for every picture. Go to a campus event? Write about it! Have an opinion about something that must be printed? Write about it! Do you care more about sports than school? Write about it! We’re always looking for new writers and editors.