By Daniel Cruise —

As a freshman roaming free in a new city with a debit card, you’ve probably already noticed your dwindling bank account. To avoid taking too many unnecessary hits to your wallet, it’s important to set some spending rules.

Dining on a Budget.

If you have a meal plan, take advantage of it as often as possible. The standard plan at U of L includes seven swipes at participating on campus restaurants and unlimited uses at the Ville Grille. If you can get lunch with a meal swipe everyday you’re already saving a lot of extra cash. Every time you dine on campus instead of going out for dinner, you’re saving five to 15 dollars depending on where you choose.

Cutting Costs on Movies.

Seeing a new movie can help you forget the pain of classes, but ten dollar tickets and concessions can easily put your bank account in the negatives.

To get around the high prices, do your research. Baxter Avenue Filmworks has a discounted price of $5.75 on Tuesdays, and Village 8 offers tickets for only $4. On select days, the SAC Floyd Theater offers films for $1.50 with a student ID.

Cheap Transportation.

Uber and Lyft may be your go-to, but rides can cut your bank account by $20 depending on your destination. If you have to go off campus and it’s too far to walk, every U of L student has unlimited access to TARC busses.

Get thrifty.

Goodwill donates proceeds from your purchases to help those who are in need. The clothes are cheap, and you never know when you’ll find the perfect striped sweater that you can wear all the time.

Grocery Shopping.

Buy in bulk and don’t go often. It’s easy to grab snacks and candy when you’re hungy, even though you don’t need it.  If there are food, drink or cooking items you need to indulge in, it’s cheaper in the long term to buy large quantities rather than constantly restocking your pantry. Try to schedule grocery trips once every couple of weeks and cut costs on anything you aren’t using.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr / The Louisville Cardinal