College 101: Making It On Nothing

College 101- Making It On Nothing

Many think that if you’re going to College that some how your family is rich or well off.

For many students this maybe true.

For the rest of us, going to college is a true privilege. Maybe your family isn’t well off and you’re parent or parent(s) had to scrape together pennies, nickels and dimes to get you there.

Well if this sounds like you, this post is for you!

My family isn’t well off, either. My father was laid off from his job, when I was a Senior in High School which was a major blow to us financially. We made due and I did go away to College that Fall. But my mom, dad, grandmother, grandfather, auntie’s and uncle all worked together and made sure I got there and got what I needed.

I tell this back story to say I thought I knew how to survive on less prior to leaving home. But I really didn’t quite know how to survive on less until I went away to college and was “on my own”.

I’d like to share with you a few tips on how to make it on less in college

‘Cause let face it, college is expensive in itself, with tuition alone. But, living away from home can be even more of a journey financial and other wise for some us.


Conserve, Conserve, Conserve! – At home mom probably bought enough paper towels, napkins, food, etc for the household for the month right? Right! Mom and Dad hopefully set you up with enough stuff until the next time you come home for break (Thanksgiving probably for many of you). Try and make it last! The less you have to buy of minor little items, the more money you keep in your pocket (The less you have to call mom or dad for money. Trust me they do get tired of it.) If you have a job or unlimited access to funds again this article probably isn’t for you!

Dollar Tree,Walmart or Target is your Best friend! – I think there’s one of these almost in any city. Shop wisely! If you buy stuff, think about it before you purchase. Ask yourself if you really need the brand name of something or could you save by getting the off brand of something. Be a smart shopper! Dollar Tree is great for body wash, paper items and little things that you may run out of also.

Learn To Budget…NOW!– I was horrible at it. I had a job every year from Sophomore year on. I was responsible for my cell phone bill, car insurance and gas. Even though I was on the work study program, it still was a paycheck. I only got paid monthly! Yes every 30 days! It was rough. My parents would send me what they could as well as aunts and uncles but I mean I would blow it…fast! Sadly this transferred into my adult life. It’s better under control now since I am an entrepreneur and was forced to learn how. But I look back and wish I would have learned how to budget better. It’s important to learn it before you get into the “Real World“.

Sharing is caring!– When I was in college, often times my roommates or friends and I would go in together to get food after the party. If someone wanted to get a Pizza we all chipped in. It was fun! It often brought us together and those were great times! If you all want to carpool to a game at another school, why not all chip in on gas? Those are times I really miss!

College is hard.

Not having a lot to work with can be harder.

It’s not impossible! You can do it! Enjoy these times of roughing it…it gets better!

-Nicole Alicia


Published by Nicole Alicia

Nicole Alicia is a fiction writer and blogger from Kansas City, Missouri. You can find her debut novel "Drama University" on!

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