Dude, Where’s My Money?

Dude, Where’s My Money?


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As you stand before the glorious Round Table menu in the Bronco Student Center (BSC), you think about how hungry you are. I shouldn’t have skipped breakfast, you think to yourself. You decide what you want, and you order a personal pizza with almost every topping listed. The cashier rings you up and as you open your wallet, you’re devastated… “A nickel is all I have to my name?!”

We’ve all been there, and if you say you haven’t, I know you’re lying. It’s time to face the hard truth: we are financially-challenged college students with tastes too expensive for our bank accounts. It’s easy for our expenses to accumulate over the course of a short month, and with costs of tuition, rent and gas constantly looming over our heads, we just can’t afford life’s simple pleasures!

Johnathan Nguyen, first-year computer science major, makes sure to save as much money as he can.

“I probably spend the majority of my money on food,” Nguyen says. “Whenever I’m out with my friends, it seems like the only thing they ever want to do is eat, and they enjoy going out a lot so that’s where most of my money goes.”

Though he’s spending only $10-$15 a week on average, Nguyen still does his best to save. He says, “Being unemployed, I save money most efficiently by only buying clothes that are on sale and eating as much as I can at home so I don’t have to buy lunch before or after class. That way, I’m not spending on things that are, in the end, unnecessary.”

A student withdraws money from the Credit Union

On the other hand, as an employed Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) student with a steady income, fourth-year business marketing major, Neil Johnson, loses no sleep over a few bills here and there if it means a delicious meal for his lunch break. On average, Johnson is spending about $160 a week!

Like Nguyen, Johnson admits, “Most of my spending is on food because I don’t eat at home often and I don’t have enough time to prepare a meal before I come to school.” It seems as though food is the main culprit burning a hole in our wallets…

At this point, Johnson doesn’t make a huge effort to save money; with a passion for photography, he says, “Most of my extra money goes to camera stuff, so I can invest into my future career.” Always having admirable goals in mind, Johnson says if he were to save his money, he would do so “to travel or buy more photography stuff.”

Though a more carefree spender than Nguyen, Johnson does keep track of his finances responsibly by using an app called Spending Tracker, available in both the Google Play marketplace and the Apple App Store. Think having an app like Johnson’s will help you out? Check out this list of apps designed to help you track your finances; most of them, like Spending Tracker and Mint, are free!

Whether you’re more like Nguyen or Johnson, it goes without saying that money plays quite a big factor in a college student’s life. The art of money management is something we’re still (desperately) trying to master. So here are some tips on how to really crack down on your financial habits.

If these tips aren’t helping and you find yourself needing a job to nourish your piggy bank with, remember: the up-and-coming Bronco Recreation and Intramural Complex (BRIC) will be generating 100+ jobs for CPP students! There is only one more Job Info Session left before the mandatory BRIC Job Fair, Broncos. Get all the details here.

For more information, visit the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI), Human Resources (HR) page, call (909) 869-3546 or stop by our office located in the Bronco Student Center (Bldg. 35-2325).