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As CU students return to Boulder from all over the country, many local businesses should expect a spike in profits. Armed with the extra couple twenties that mom handed out as she said goodbye, freshmen and seniors alike crowd the bookstores, Target and even King Soopers to stock up on this semester’s necessities.
Wallets must be minded despite extra holiday money. It is very easy to rush to the store and stock up on shiny new folders, fresh binders, and boxes of Pop-Tarts, but these items are not even necessary. Pop-Tarts aren’t going to help you meet your weight loss resolution or get you your spring break bod. Here’s what I propose you do to save some of that cash for some spring break fun.
(Josh Shettler/CU Independent Graphic Illustration)
Any extra money that came from mom or dad should be put into savings. I know it doesn’t sound as fun as buying a round for everybody at the bar, but you will be thankful later.
Survey your stash of food. Consider what you ate last semester and what will keep you awake and focused — not stressed out on sugar. Make a list, and buy enough for the next week or two. Be diligent, and only buy what you really need.
Recycle old binders and folders. Consider if you really used your notebooks last semester. I know the shiny, new folder with that adorable puppy seems like it would be the greatest biology folder in the world, but it’s not. With most professors allowing laptops in the classroom, chances are you won’t even use enough pages in a notebook to justify buying a new one. Do the green thing and reuse what you have. Rip out the used pages from last semester in a notebook you already have, and keep it in your backpack as a supplement to your computer.
Borrow textbooks. Ask if friends took the classes that you are now in and if they even opened the book. In a lot of classes, that $200 textbook isn’t be cracked, and you won’t need to ruin your budget with it. Don’t want to borrow from friends? Many textbooks are on reserve in the library — ask if yours is waiting for you there. Professors often have copies that you can borrow during office hours, or you can bum your classmate’s for a night.
Ditch the tutor. Many tutors charge $40 or more a session, which is a lot of money if you ask me. Utilize the resources around you first before hiring a tutor. All professors and teaching assistants hold office hours, and, most of the time, no one shows up. I suggest emailing your professor or TA the day before you go in and let them know what time you plan on dropping in and what you are looking for help on. They are not going to do your homework for you like a lot of bad tutors do, but you are here to learn anyway. Don’t forget how useful friends can also be for free study help, too.
If you rely on tutoring services, try finding free aid on the university web site or ask the Student Academic Success Center for low-cost options. Dorm-dwellers should consult the Academic Support Assistance Program for tutoring.
It is easy to overspend after returning from break, but following these simple tips can soften the blow of the new semester on your wallet.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Mandi Meek at Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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