BSM students on a budget

Alana Profit

Our parents won’t be able to give us money forever, and it’s time we took some responsibility for ourselves; we are in high school now. Now I’m not saying that you should move out of the house at 16, but there’s no reason why we can’t start saving ourselves some money now.

This seems like a big task, but don’t fear; there are three simple ways in which to save some money inside the walls of BSM, and the amount potentially saved is nothing to sniff at.

Bring a Drink

Most, if not all, students purchase a drink with their lunches. Capri Sun purchased from Taher costs 75 cents, but if you were to go buy a 40 count variety pack of the same product from Sam’s Club, costing $7.48. That comes down to an individual cost of a whopping 19 cents, saving a total of $22.40 over 40 pouches.

Propel drinkers will save big as well; a 20 ounce and 16.8 ounce is sold for $1.75, but a 24 variety pack of 16.9 ounce bottles will cost you $8.98, breaking down to 38 cents a piece. Over the life of the case, you will save $33.02 by bringing your own.

This savings not only applies to drinks, but also to snack food. A bag of Frito Lay or SunChips costs $1.00 in the lunch line, but a 30 bag variety pack costs $10.88, translating to 37 cents a bag, and saving $18.90 in the run of a pack.

Ride a Bike
Join the elite group of bike riders if you live close enough to school. This trend has been increasing this year, in part because of the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having.

You will be doing the world a favor by not releasing 6 tons of waste into the air; as a bonus you’ll avoid traffic and get in some light cardio.

The money saved from this is astronomical: gas, insurance, car payment, maintenance, and all those unnecessary stops to Noodles or Chipotle will start to taper off because it is quite difficult to eat and bike at the same time.

Alternative: Carpool
You’ll have to still pay for all the things that come with owning a car, but you’ll cut down on emissions at the least, and the monthly expenditures won’t be quite as high.

Closet Swap
Find a friend of yours that’s the same size as you or has the same taste in jewelry. Swapping her that Homecoming dress from two years ago for your Holiday Ball dress from last year ago can save $80 or more per dance.

Guys, don’t be afraid to do this too; switching up that suit or tie will score big points with the ladies without you having to pay a dime.

It doesn’t really have to be big ticket items either: when you get sick of looking at the clothes in your closet, throw a clothing swap party and acquire some new threads, like that shirt of theirs you’ve secretly been jealous of since Spring Break.

Alternative: Shopping at Consignment Shops
Places like Plato’s Closet, Nu Look, and Turn Style often have quirky clothing and accessories for modest prices that are way less expensive than buying them retail, and most of the time the clothing has barely been worn, so it’s just like new anyway.

Bring Lunch
With entrees costing from four to five dollars, the cost of lunch adds up quickly. Tack on the drinks, chips, cookies to eat during passing time, after school snack, and the figure is staggering, easily topping $130 a month.

Spending that much on lunch for roughly 8 months translates to $1,040 for the entire school year, on top of your tuition, activity fees, apparel, etc.

Alternative: Carry Side Items
Simply bringing your own juice and a bag of chips purchased in bulk can literally save you $40 dollars a month, more if you add in Chewy bars, Pop Tarts, or cereal cups. Just stash them in your locker for easy access.

As a plus, you can bring things not available at school. After all, there’s no law against a high schooler being in possession of non-diet Coke products. Or if you’re looking for more healthy alternatives, like dried mangoes that actually taste like mangoes, you can get those too.

Brew Your Own
Coffee concoctions from the local Caribou cost about three to four dollars for a medium without substitutions or additions, and they seem harmless, but that’s without the substitutions students live for–that extra shot of espresso, no foam, or soy instead of milk.

Add the extras and the tax and you’re looking at a five or six dollar a day drink; the savings from bringing your own brew to school is about that of bringing your own lunch. This is an especially easy change for students that work whose morning stops are coming out of their paycheck.

Alternative: Steep Tea
Not all of us can achieve coffee perfection from our countertop, but tea is pretty hard to mess up. Tea comes in a lot of different varieties, from fruit infused to Earl Grey, so there’s something available to suit everyone’s tastes while still getting the morning caffeine boost.