Interview with a current student

Do you know any current students? Brainstorm some questions you could ask a current student. Examples might be:

  • How much money did you need for your first year of college/university?
  • Where did you choose to live?
  • What strategies did you use to financially survive your first year?
  • What were your biggest expenses?
  • What assumptions did you go in with, and what happened?

Money saving tips

  • Look through flyers before going out shopping. Phone around. Shop around.
  • If you have storage space, buy large packages of items you use a lot. It’s cheaper to buy in bulk, in the long run.
  • Share meals with friends – maybe they will share with you (like a community kitchen).
  • Buy second-hand clothes, or well-made clothes that won’t go out of fashion too quickly.
  • Organize a clothing exchange with a group of like-minded friends.
  • Re-use things wherever possible.
  • Make gifts rather than buying them. If you have to buy some, decide on a spending limit ahead of time, and stick to it.
  • Decide what you need and what you want. It’s OK to buy some ‘wants’ now and again, but make sure you know they are treats.
  • If you are thinking of buying something, make a note of it and think about it for a couple of weeks or even months.
  • Paying with cash, rather than with a credit card, can save you money at some stores.
  • Always check the sales rack first, you might find exactly what you want.
  • Never let your credit card balance run over the ‘grace period’ so you end up paying interest.
  • Avoid using your credit card for a cash advance, interest is charged on the advance as soon as it is made.
  • Walk or use public transport wherever possible. Consider carpool opportunities.
  • Buy used textbooks and supplies – watch campus bulletin boards for notices.
  • Use the library rather than buying books and magazines.
  • See if you can go on your parent’s medical/dental plan if you are a full-time student under the age of 25.
  • Cook your own meals. Take a bag lunch.
  • Take advantage of free entertainment and recreational opportunities offered on campus or in the community.

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