Save Money, Live Better: Stop Smoking (and Other Things)

[ 0 ] May 3, 2011 |

Whether they’re paying tuition themselves or on their parents’ dime, college students are probably some of the last people on earth who should be spending money willy-nilly.  They are, unfortunately, some of most regular customers of Starbucks, Camel, and Budweiser.  I know—I was a college kid not too long ago.

Coffee: $167 a semester

My vice of choice was coffee—every day of the week excluding weekends (and the occasional Frapp on Saturday mornings).  Had I known that a medium coffee ($1.96) five days a week for a single semester (about 85 weekdays) would cost me over $100, I probably would have invested in a coffee maker that would have paid for itself in two weeks.  In fact, $100 doesn’t cover it:

(Starbucks coffee size) Tall ($1.75) Medium ($1.96) Venti ($2.07)
85 weekdays $149 $167 $176

Smoking: $425 a semester

Smoking is another popular vice among college students.  You practically have to walk through a curtain of cancer every time you leave or enter the library building.  Because prices vary according to both brands and states, let’s assume that a carton of cigarettes costs $5.  Many of my friends went through a pack a day easily, but we’ll give them a little bit of slack and say that they went through a pack a day only on weekdays.  At $5 a carton, that’s still $425 a semester that could have gone to better lodgings during Spring Break.

Beer: $225 a semester

The weekend generally calls for cheap beer, vodka, or (and?) wine.  Let’s say that a student utterly lacking in taste buds opted to buy a case (24) of beer every Friday night.  Even if he or she doesn’t finish the 24 beers him- or herself in two nights, he or she may not be paid back by friends who claim they will, and the excess beer makes up for the alcohol consumed while on Spring or Easter break and before graduation, which is not here calculated.  Assuming that this 24-pack of dirt cheap beer costs $15, that amounts up to $255 spent on vomit-inducing hops over the course of a semester.

No one is saying to stop buying these things (although you might live a little longer if you do).  Still, college students’ money and that of their parents might be better spent elsewhere, like buying better quality food than the cafeteria can offer for late-night snacks.

The above post is a guest post written by the #fabulous Alexis Bonari:

Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and researcher for College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching scholarships from political parties as well as writing on distance education student loans. Whenever she gets some free time, she enjoys watching a funny movie or curling up with a good book.

Category: guest posts

About Shannon: Shannon is a savvy saver and lover of all things fashion and beauty. As a lover of pop-culture, she'll keep you up-to-date on all the hottest news and trends. You can find her tweeting on @FabulousSavings. View author profile.

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