NIU’s ‘Financial Cents’ helps students save money

By Hailey Kurth

Saving money is a skill students try to acquire during their college years. NIU program Financial Cents offers tips for students to save some dough. Some students also have tried tips of their own also.

By keeping your hands clean, students may avoid medical bills and medicine costs. -Financial Cents

Darling Miranda, sophomore family, consumer and nutrition sciences major, said she leaves her debit card behind when she goes shopping to avoid unnecessary purchases.

“I know how much money I want to spend,” Miranda said.

Financial Cents said students should try generic brands of items they regularly buy; this will save students money that name brand companies add to prices to cover their marketing.

“I sign up for emails from the stores I like,” said Angelica Gallegos, junior textiles, merchandising and apparel major. “Then they usually send me coupons and discounts, sometimes even free stuff, for items I like.”

Students should go over past cell phone bills to check for items they don’t use or to see if they can decrease minutes. -Financial Cents

Go to a matinee. By seeing a movie during the matinee, you can save an average of $2 a ticket. Some theatres also discount for students. -Financial Cents

Miranda said she makes and sticks to pre-made lists when she shops. She said it helps because she might feel like she needs a bag of chips at the store, but if it’s not on the list, she doesn’t actually need it.

Master the 10 second rule: before purchasing an item, students should stop for 10 seconds and question if they need the item. If that question’s not simply and quickly answered, they don’t need it. -Financial Cents

Gallegos said she budgets her money.

“By setting amounts, I know how much money I want to spend on certain things,” Gallegos said.

Students should review their budget to find places they can improve. -Financial Cents

Miranda said she has a coupon envelope at home for coupons she finds in magazines, newspapers and online.

Students should save their loose coins in a jar that their hands can’t easily fit into. That way, it’s harder to get at it for impulse purchases. -Financial Cents

By cleaning the air filter in their car, students can improve their gas mileage and add horsepower. Students can search online to find the steps to clean their air filter. Also, students should avoid speeding, as it’s bad for gas mileage and may result in a ticket. -Financial Cents

Jocelyn Landa, junior family, consumer and nutrition sciences major, said she shops at big stores, like Target, during advertised sales.

Students should fill out the FAFSA every year to receive federal education grants and loans. Financial Cents offers FAFSA help for students during events such as “FAFSA Fridays.” -Financial Cents

Instead of buying your coffee every morning, make your own. By cutting the average cost of buying a cup of coffee a day, students could save over $500 a year and $2,000 in a four-year college career.

Financial Cents said thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, students can receive a free annual credit report from -Financial Cents