By SARAH SHAW
Late November not only leaves the trees bare, but students wallets as well.
The month before winter break can be difficult for Conestoga attendees. Long hours spent studying for exams and the extra time needed for big projects can take up a lot of one’s schedule. Now is the time students crave a distraction most, even if it is just for one night.
But wait, these things cost money.
All students have experienced the stress of having to pay bills, social life expenses and tuition as well as trying to find money for Christmas presents.
“Around this time of the semester there are more opportunities to do things outside of school that cost money,” said first-year police foundations student Jake Bulley.
Ryan Drury, a first-year television broadcasting student, also feels the pressure.
“I feel slightly stressed around holidays just to make sure I have shopping done before exams because then I can focus my money toward getting school done more than getting gifts,” he said.
However, there are many easy ways to save in order to have some extra cash before heading home the third week of December.
Entertainment — Many hot spots in the Kitchener-Waterloo area offer great deals on select days. Empire Theaters is currently offering a university and college student combo. All you have to do is show your valid student ID, and you get your movie admission, regular popcorn and regular fountain beverage for 33 per cent less than the regular cost. If you plan on going with a friend who isn’t a student, they offer regular priced admission for only $5.50 on Tuesdays.
Cutting out excess partying might be another way to save for many students.
“To save money for Christmas gifts for the family, what we could do is cut down a little on drinking and going out,” Bulley said, “which is easier than it sounds with all the tests around this time of year.”
If that doesn’t fit your social lifestyle there are other options.
Many bars and nightclubs offer cheap drinks on specific nights such as Thursdays and Sundays where you can purchase a beverage for almost half the normal price or score discounted appetizers when ordering after a certain time. To find out where you can save money specifically, call your favourite party zone and ask them what types of deals they offer.
Banking — Saving money through spending isn’t something people often hear about, but simply by changing the way you bank, you could start saving without even knowing it.
TD Canada Trust offers a “Simply Save” account that transfers a set amount of money from your chequing account to a savings account when you use your TD Canada Trust Access Card. You can choose amounts ranging from 50 cents to $5.
Whether buying groceries or paying a bill, saving becomes easy, without even thinking about it.
Transportation — Driving isn’t always the most fun, especially when you’re forced to pay insurance, gas and parking. However, there are great options to help keep a little more money in your wallet.
Co-ordinating with classmates in your area in order to come up with a car pool schedule can save tons of money on gas for everyone involved.
Grand River Transit is also a great way to avoid some costs and offers a way to get in an extra bit of studying before class. For the cost of a cup of coffee ($2.50 to be exact) students can hop on the bus to get to campus. While it may not fit your schedule every day, using it once in a while can save money that is normally spent on parking and gas if living in the KW area.
With these little tricks and tweaks to one’s schedule, students can see big savings not just before the holidays, but also throughout the whole year.