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Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Feb. 13, 2013

How to avoid debt as a Senior

by Stacy Mathew, Online Opinions and Features Editor
While the fundraising packet given to all seniors at the assembly last week sounded promising, the reality is that most people won't buy the overpriced and low quality food that's advertised. As seniors, we are sadly no longer five years old, and thus cannot use our cuteness as a way to bribe people into mindlessly signing our fundraising packet. A lot of us didn't even know that senior year could cost so much, and plenty of us are already broke. With the cost of college applications, SAT/ACT registrations, prom tickets, yearbooks and much more, we often find ourselves left with only enough money to go ham on the dollar menu at McDonalds. Luckily, we have a few tips on ways that you can actually save for the last semester of High School

Are class rings really worth cutting into your prom budget? Courtesy of Graduate Services Ltd.
Are class rings really worth cutting into your prom budget?
Take advantage of inclement weather
While snow hasn't been anything more than an inch, there is still a possibility that we could face another Snowpocalypse. Shoveling snow, especially in neighborhoods filled with elderly people, can get you anywhere from $20-$60 per driveway. No hope for snow? Well, spring is right around the corner and lawns will definitely have to get mowed and taken care of more regularly. Get to it.

Shoveling snow is a great way to come up on some major cash Courtesy of NY Daily News/Getty Images
Shoveling snow is a great way to come up on some major cash
Prioritize
You really want a yearbook, but do you really want a class ring? Lots of senior related products will be thrown at you, especially in the next few months, claiming that the only way you'll ever remember your years in high school is if you buy [insert product]. Keep in mind that you do not need to buy every single item that has “SENIOR” written on it. By not buying an entire pajama set and three different hoodies from the school, you'll have more money left for your prom ticket and outfit, beach week or graduation outfit.

Cut costs wherever you can
Stop spending $6.35 at Chipotle and don't bring cash or credit cards to places where you know you don't need them. Spending money unnecessarily is one of the worst feelings, and you'll feel much better if you knew that money was going towards something you're going to remember for the rest of your life, like oh, I don't know, graduating high school. Also, if you're planning to attend the end of the year field trip, beach week and prom, you may want to consider setting a budget for your prom ensemble so that you'll have more money to spend for a decent beach house.

As seniors, being broke by May might feel inevitable, but it doesn't have to be! If you follow these guidelines and stay conscious of your spending habits, you may even have some money leftover for college.



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