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Do a little, save big

Money is a nice thing to have. Some people like to have big stacks of money, while other people treat it like an annoying bug that keeps climbing on them (something that must be gotten rid of as soon as possible). Ultimately, the important thing is that you have enough of the cold hard cash when circumstances demand that it must be spent. To this end, here are a few ideas on how to keep at least twenty dollars in your pocket.

1. Room with people
who have things.

With housing selection coming up for next fall, this is an important thing to take into consideration. I have done remarkably well the past four years, with roommates supplying my rooms with everything from refrigerators, to couches, to Netflix accounts. You may think that you and your friend need to start looking for appliances for next year. If this is the case, what you really should be doing is looking for a new friend.

2. Beat Eastern’s
malevolent schemes.

WEPA. The Book Store. Words that strike fear into the hearts of EU students. These institutions are doing all that they can to take your hard-earned cash away from you, and it’s up to you to resist. WEPA is fairly easily dispatched by purchasing your own printer (preferably your roommate should purchase the printer). As for the book store, don’t even think about doing anything besides renting used books there. The school supplies and toiletries in the book store are actually quite convenient, but you’re much better served looking for books online (abebooks.com and half.com are usually good places to start).

3. Don’t go
shopping.

This one is very simple. You probably never need to go to the King of Prussia Mall. Most essentials can be found at a place like Giant or Wegmans, and more specific stuff can be found online. I know that it’s un-American to argue against shopping, but if you’re trying to save, I can’t see a good reason to ever walk into a store without a very specific shopping list.

4. Don’t be an
alcoholic.

This one, though fairly intuitive, is crucial to keep in mind. Being of age is a wonderful thing, and alcohol can add a lot of value to one’s life experience. But speaking in purely financial terms, alcohol consumption opens up an entire avenue of spending that just did not exist before. A couple of nights at Teresa’s or The Landmark can quickly put a dent in your spending money. So, when you go to drink, keep an eye out for deals and specials. Groupon can be quite helpful in this regard. And seriously, don’t be an alcoholic.

5. Be cheap.

This is the overall message that I hope you’ve come away with. A little extra investigation can usually get you a comparable product for a lot less money. And let’s face it – being thrifty has never been more cool. I swore I would only reference Macklemore once in this article. But the guy knows what he’s talking about: “Fifty dollars for a T-shirt – that’s just some ignorant —–, I call that getting swindled and pimped, I call that getting tricked by a business.” I hope I didn’t just ruin Macklemore.

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