College makes a person independent in lots of ways, especially financially. Here are seven ways to break out of the poor college student stereotype:

1. If you’ve got it, use it. Freshmen are required to get a meal plan for either two or three meals a day. Eat on campus whenever you can and save going out to eat for special occasions.

2. Ride the E for free. The EMTA (short for the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority) is Erie’s bus system. Instead of spending money on gas for a car, you can use your Gannon ID to get on the bus at no cost.

3. Fresh air is free. Stop buying video games and go out outside to play frisbee with some friends. You can also head down to the bayfront or Presque Isle to enjoy Lake Erie.

4. Go green to save some green. Go to One Green World Café instead of your usual coffee shop. One Green World Café works to make environmentally sustainable choices. You’re helping out Gannon students and the environment as well as saving yourself a few bucks.

5. Movie nights. There’s a movie in Zurn 104 every weekend that will cost you $1 as opposed to the $9 you could pay at the movie theatre. Don’t forget about the multitude of movies you can borrow from the library for free!

6. Avoid impulse buys. If you really think you need a Nerf gun in November, first take a lap around the store. If you still remember that you even wanted it, get it. If not, chances are it’s not that important.

7. Be organized. You don’t have to keep every single receipt, but if you know how much you’re spending on snacks and clothes, it will make you think about how much is necessary spending.

In order to save money you have to make it first. Check out this Prep U for GU post on how to make money in college.