Western Pie - our cast of characters
The Gazette: covering everything that counts
Laugh, drink, smoke, study, spew...
How to be the best bunk buddies
Bitch List: Five w's of the last great art
Answers to all your UWO FAQs
Money? Kiss it all goodbye
Getting a 'piece' of Western pie
An outsider's guide to becoming a UWO insider
Can you say Operation Massive?
Academics, remember them?
Money? Kiss it all goodbye
By Lindsay Satterthwaite
Money. It is the root of every problem especially in the first year of university.
Your first time away from home may feel like the beginning of financial freedom, but, in a week, you'll be wishing you were back in the place where laundry and food were free and the cash flow seemed endless.
After hours of interviews and research, a short list has been compiled for your benefit, to see where others have gone wrong and to steer you in the right financial direction.
1. Freeze your assets. Fill a Tupperware container with water, place credit cards in water-filled container, place in freezer and leave immediately. This trick is most effective for impulse shoppers, as those gruelling minutes waiting for those little cards to defrost greatly diminishes interest in the purchase. Please note that "nuking" your cards in the microwave will damage your cards terminating their use entirely.
2. Debit cards are not toys. Yes, they are attached to your bank account. But, just because you don't see the money, does not mean you are not spending it. It is always a bad idea to carry your bank card to bars. Only take the amount of cash you are willing to spend, including transportation money. Five dollars will get you home from just about anywhere in London. Plan accordingly.
3. "Pre-drink." Basic rule.
4. Meal cards are dangerous. Eating off-campus on your WesternOne card will diminish your funds quickly and without warning. In addition to simply purchasing an expensive (relatively speaking) meal, you are also spending "overhead" included in the price, which goes to the cafeteria staff, who aren't even preparing the meals you eat in restaurants. When eating out of residence, cash is often the cheaper route.
5. Avoid Centre Spot at all costs. Though Jimmy the Greek and Pizza Pizza may stir up some action among your taste buds for "real" food, the prices are not so real. Take your average fast food combo price and multiply it by two. This is your average Western food court price. If you must get your dose of junk, try the C.L.T. at the Spoke you'll never spend a better three dollars.
6. The Used Book Store is a money saver's heaven. Great discounts can be found here and the experienced bargain shopper may find a next-to-new textbook for a fraction of the cost. There is also great re-sale potential here at the end of the year.
7. The annual poster sale is a great alternative to prints and frames. Adorn your walls any way you choose for a fraction of the cost and a lot more fun. This is not the way your mother would decorate.
8. Set up an arrangement with your bank to extract at least $25 from your account monthly to put into a savings account. This will guarantee you a nice little sum at the end of the year when you really need it.
9. Last but not least, budget, budget, budget. Set an amount of money that you think is reasonable for a monthly budget and divide it by 30. This will give you an appropriate amount to spend each day. Whatever money you don't use during the week can be saved for the weekend. Be realistic, be flexible and be aware of what you are spending, that is the best way to save money.