How to Save Money as a Housing Student

Nobody wants to fulfill the college stereotype of being a broke student slurping ramen noodles in their inadequately-furnished residence hall room, but it’s important to learn how to save money in college! With University Housing, there are plenty of ways to save money and make sure you get your money’s worth; here are some tips to help you out!

Use Good2Go Food Containers

Good2Go food containers are to-go containers that you can bring in and out of the dining halls at your convenience. This means that you don’t have to eat in the dining hall—you can simply fill your container with food and eat it whenever and wherever you want. Make the most of your meal swipes with Good2Go—even if you’re not hungry, if you still have a couple of meal swipes left you can use it to just pick up snacks.

How it works: you first purchase a Good2Go food token for $5 (this is a ONE-TIME purchase to help the costs of cleaning the containers), and then you exchange that token for a container at the dining hall entrance. Then, you fill your container with whatever food you desire in the dining hall and leave. When you’re done with your food, you bring your container back (it doesn’t have to be cleaned!) and exchange it for either another container or a token at the entrance swipe machine, and the process repeats!

Simple :)

Avoid Book and Movie Fees

Utilize University Housing libraries! By now, you’re probably aware that University Housing has special libraries just for residents to enjoy. So, if you ever need to read a book or watch a movie for class, check out the library to see if they have it first!

Events with Free Food

Yes, please! Although most dining events cost one meal swipe, there are occasional events that give out free food for no meal swipe! These are usually located not in the dining hall themselves but in other parts of the University Housing buildings and residential halls (for example, in the hallways of ISR or the SDRP). In the past, one example of this is when we gave out free hot chocolate from around the world to show appreciation for our residents.

students use carafe to pour hot chocolate

Work With University Housing

Although this tip isn’t on how to save money, it does show a way for you to make money - by working for University Housing! University Housing has lots of different positions open throughout the year, from working as a front desk clerk to working in the dining halls to working as a University Housing library staff. These jobs offer flexible hours (you get to build your own schedule) and competitive wages, and one of the biggest benefits is that you get to work directly on campus and perhaps near where you live! As a freshman living in Nugent, I worked in Clark Hall for University Housing’s marketing team, which was only a short 3-minute walk from where I lived. Thus, if you live and work with University Housing, you get to work right where you live!

Plus, certain jobs have added perks that you might not know about. By working with dining, for example, you get a free meal with every shift which is a great way to make money. University Housing staff in general also gain early access to free merch and events, and there are a variety of ways to make the most of working with housing. I’d highly recommend it for students because of its flexibility!

Become an RA

This opportunity is open to sophomores and above, but it’s a great way, to save a LOT of money if that’s a big concern. RAs receive free housing and dining, and in turn, they help create a positive and supportive residential hall environment. RA applications open at the end of the fall semester, so be on the lookout for the application if you’re interested! And talk to your RA and other RAs you may know of to learn more about the responsibilities of RAs. All RAs are required to take an RA class and attend different training sessions; they are also required to stay a bit longer on campus during breaks to ensure resident safety. Make sure to stay informed to see if this is the right position for you!

As you can see, there are lots of ways to save money when you live in University Housing. If money is a big concern for you, definitely check out different opportunities, be proactive, and be resourceful to find ways to be financially secure. If you have any questions regarding finances, please reach out for help and University Housing would be more than happy to answer any questions or help with concerns!