Just Ask Jaz: The Advice Column (October 15, 2019)


I’m a College Student and I’m Financially Unstable

Dear Jaz:

I’m a college student and I’m struggling financially. I mean I’m completely broke. My parents have done all that they can for me and I hate calling them to beg for money. I don’t want to be a burden to my parents. I hate getting invites from my friends to go shopping or go on trips because I really don’t have a ton of extra money being a student. All of my extra cash has gone to paying for gallons of gasoline just to get to class throughout the week. Go away to college, they said. It will be fun, they said. Meanwhile, I’m dizzy and anxious with the weight of finding my next meal. I’ve even contemplated sitting out of school for the Spring semester because I can’t afford to stay here. I’m just physically and mentally tired.

Struggling Sister

Dear Struggling Sister:

You aren’t in this alone and so many of us are all too familiar with the 20-year-old broke struggling student lifestyle, I can promise you that. Unfortunately, this can leave you feeling stressed but I have a few helpful tips that you can use. First, I would say look for a part-time job. If you want to be able to provide as much as you need for your own personal expenses, then you’re going to have to search for an on-campus job. Also, look for need based scholarships which are scholarships for students in your particular situation. There is money available for most students with financial needs. Now, I know wings and fries are tempting but instead of eating out try meal prepping. It’s preparing multiple meals all at once, which you either refrigerate or freeze until you’re ready to eat. I saved so much money doing so. Lastly, avoid buying name brand items. Purchase generic items whenever possible. Don’t be ashamed. They are exactly the same item, at a highly reduced price. You can even check the ingredients to make sure. Keep in mind that the key to financial success is being aware of how you’re spending your money and cutting out the bad habits. Stay strong and see it through.