Students share ways to stretch dollars
Published: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 17:01
With the economy still in recovery, many students are finding themselves looking at different ways to save money.
Daniel Flynn, a junior nursing major, has decided to use alternative means of transportation to cut his costs. Although he is the proud owner of a 1991 silver Audi A4, these days he lets it collect dust in his garage.
Flynn instead relies on LYNX to get him where he needs to go. He lives in Maitland and takes Link 434 from there to UCF, a trip which he said is four hours each way. He said that the money that he saves is well worth the extended trip.
"You can get all the way across town with two dollars," Flynn said.
Flynn said that he saves $200 a month by not using his car.
Flynn also works two days a week at Piano Distributors, located on South Orange Blossom Trail, and saves money by not driving there. He usually catches a ride with his boss.
Flynn also uses other simple methods that save him money. He cooks his own food and does not eat out. He also enjoys inexpensive activities, such as going to the beach or socializing with friends.
He also sells his textbooks for cash, like many students do.
"I'll sell them back to get as much money back as possible instead of keeping them at the end of the semester," Flynn said. "That gives me money back."
Flynn also takes advantage of Safelink, a free cell phone service supported by the federal government that is available to people who meet certain income eligibility requirements. He said he gets 250 minutes a month through this service.
Another student who uses the bus to save money is Shane Terrell, a freshman biology major. Terrell owns a car, but left it at home in Stuart to save money.
"I don't have to pay for gas," Terrell said. "I don't have to pay for insurance right now."
Terrell estimates that he saves $200 a month on insurance costs, and $30 a week on gas. He lives at the Collegiate Village Inn apartments on University Boulevard, so he normally relies on UCF buses and his skateboard to get him around.
He also finds that using his UCF meal plan helps him to cut costs by providing a nearby dining option.
The UCF meal plan is also a way for Bo Kennedy, a freshman aerospace engineering major, to save money. Kennedy uses the All-Access 7-meal plan, which costs $1,700 a semester. If he is on the go, Kennedy can instead get a to-go box from the Marketplace or Knightro's to take with him.
The plan provides for unlimited meals at Knightro's and the Marketplace, which is a plus for Kennedy's healthy appetite.
"I probably eat six or seven times a day," Kennedy said. "I eat quite a bit."
Kennedy also does not use a car to get himself around; he relies on his skateboard.
"I can try and find a ride from one of my friends if I have to, but I skateboard everywhere," Kennedy said.
The struggling economy may force many students to rethink how they spend their money. Kennedy, Flynn and Terrel are three students that have found different ways to stretch their dollar.