A Back to School Message from Baby Girl
Posted by Gail | Filed under Students
For those of you who don’t already know, I call Alex, my daughter, Baby Girl. This is her first blog posting and I hope to see more. I suggest since this is targeted at her peer group (university students) that if you have one in your life, you pass this along. Enjoy!
Hey cats! It is back to school time, and with all the excitement about schedules and parties and the big wide future comes something far less pleasant: the bill. While anticipating all the things your new school year will bring, you’ve probably also cringed once or twice when remembering the expense. But do we know exactly what that expense is? Do we know what the biggest post-secondary money guzzler is?
You might think it’s food. You might think it’s textbooks. You might think it’s all the macaroni and caffeine pills that get you through the toughest essays on the roughest nights.
Think again bitches. It’s liquor.
Social drinking is part of the student vernacular. Opt out and its sure to be good for your health, your grades and your pocket book, but many people are unlikely to convince their immediate circle that Thursday night can be fun even if we aren’t drunk. And greasing the wheels a bit will always help hijinks ensue – indulging will, if nothing else, leave you with stories you can’t tell your grandkids.
I know more than a couple of older students who, as they wind down, still cringe at the thought of the debt they incurred in first year from drinking. Avoid financial devastation using a combination of moderation and planning.
Following these tips could save you dollars into the thousands and please trust that I do not exaggerate.
1. A less frequent drunk is a cheaper drunk. We’re talking maybe skip the occasional pub night or drink soda at the next party. Not only are you giving your poor, sad liver a break, a lower alcohol tolerance means fewer dollars to that nice buzz.
2. A little planning goes a long way. Pre-drinks for parties or outings are an extremely valid money saver. Every mixed drink is about four dollars cheaper when you mix it yourself than when you buy it at a bar (it’s also safer, ladies). A flask of liquor in a pocket can fancy up a coke at the campus pub and you won’t be footing the bill for all those long island iced teas. You may feel like a vagrant but you won’t be so poor.
3. Buy cheap booze. Cheap champagne is both delicious and available in servings to suit a growing boy; a big bottle of Bambino or Baby Duck will run you about twelve bucks and more than last you through the night (and the bubbles make you so happy). Buy the lonely beers in the basket – they are homeless and as such usually discounted. If you’re attending with friends, go in together on some boxed wine. Once you’ve gotten over the fact that it’s IN A BOX you realize that it’s no worse and waaaay inexpensive.
If you’re in a science program, here’s an experiment. Get together with some friends and some inexpensive drinks. Mix and taste test them together. It makes for a fun evening and you may even find inexpensive substitutes for your current favourites. Bazinga.
4. Drink smart. Again, it’s not just about your livers, people. Overdrinking means overspending – learn your limits and you’ll be both richer and way less embarrassing. Also, water is cheaper than aspirin, so spare yourself the trouble in the morning and drink a glass of water per glass of booze. You’ll be pissing silly all night anyway. Make it work for you.
5. Double triple check your meal plan. Lots of first years have sort of “outdoor dollars” on their meal plans. This is a portion of your balance that may be spent off campus at participating institutions. However, many schools’ plans cannot be used to purchase alcohol. Check your contract so that you don’t believe you’re going out for a night of pre-paid-for drinking and wind up stuck with a surprise $95 bill on Fishbowl Friday. I SEEN IT HAPPEN.
6. Plan your transport. Don’t drink on the street on your way to and from places. It’s not just about looking like a respectable human – cab fare is ALWAYS cheaper than the fine that you could get for an open container. And when you are out someplace, don’t drink your cab fare.
You may have yet more ways of saving drink money, and you’ll discover more along the way. In any case, pull tight your purse strings, be safe and party on Wayne.