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UMD Home Page Survey:
It appears that UMD students won't have to crack into their nest egg just yet. Students at UMD are finding ways to save extra money in these tough economic times. From cooking their own meals, cutting coupons, reusing bags and containers, and joining friends for potlucks, students are saving money.
The Office of University Relations conducted a survey in February 2009 on student spending habits. Over an 18-day period, individuals could click on a "saving money survey" on the UMD homepage. The respondents included about 100 community members, alumni, and staff, in addition to 136 students. According to the data collected, UMD students are frugal.
Students have figured out that saving money in transportation costs can add up to thousands of dollars. The results indicate that 65% of students ride the bus and car pool. Others live on campus, walk, or bike. One of the comments gathered in the survey urged people to use free transportation, "Walk, bike, or take the bus places," the comment said. Two factors make it possible for students to live in Duluth without a car. The Duluth Transit Authority buses are free for UMD students and inexpensive coach buses connect the UMD campus to the Twin Cities daily.
Senior economics major Casey Gode agrees with 70% of the students surveyed who bring their own beverages with them to UMD. He suggests, "Drink water. I've noticed when I spend money on drinks at restaurants or from vending machines; I go through about ten dollars a week. Bringing a bottle to school and refilling it is a smart way to save some money."
Junior education major David Cummings wasn't surprised to find out that 87% of students surveyed pack a lunch. He said, "I bring leftover dinners for lunch everyday to school, which helps me save money."
"My roommates and I cook meals together to save money," said Corie Korin an art major. Along with 80% of the students surveyed, she cooks nine or more meals at home each month. She said, "It's fun to try different recipes and put a new twist on old ones."
UMD's Sustainability Coordinator, Mindy Granley, notes that many of the money-saving tips offered by UMD students are also sustainable choices. She said, "Sometimes, what we do to save money can also help the environment. Small everyday choices can have a global impact. Refilling your bottle with water from the tap saves energy and water; no petroleum is used to create a plastic bottle or ship it, and no water was wasted in production. Shopping in bulk means less packaging waste. Saving gas by riding the bus reduces your carbon footprint. Borrowing movies or books instead of purchasing them means less items are produced and consumed."
UMD students, like students across the country, are making the connection between saving money and creating a more sustainable world. "My roomates and our neighbors try to walk everywhere we can in order to save money," said Brianna Mellen, a junior international studies major. "That also helps the environment by not putting emissions into the air."
College students across the country are affected by the current economy and are looking for ways to save. NextPath, a newsletter published by NextStudent Inc., has identified 10 ways college students can save money. They are: buy books used, shop in bulk, save on gas, make your own coffee, skip the bottled water, use your student discounts, look for freebies, shop for second-hand items, bring a brown-bag lunch, and rent movies and games from the library.
UMD students report there are local ways to save money. They suggest taking advantage of free movies, concerts, lectures and special events through UMD's Kirby Program Board, using discounted software available through UTools, and using Bulldog Taxi, the $2 per person ride program. They also recommend the Kirby Game Room which offers chess, checkers, cribbage, backgammon, and cards.
In addition to answering survey questions, the respondants were invited to make comments. See their tips below for some great ways to save money and energy.
TIPS GATHERED FROM THE SURVEY
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