Kyle Prevost and Justin Bouchard, authors of "More Money for Beer and Text Books" (Young and Thrifty Publications)
Brewing your own beer will save you about $338 a year if you were drinking discount beer, and about $560 if you preferred your dad's stuff.
—Kyle Prevost and Justin Bouchard, authors
Anyone who has been a student knows how tough it is to get by. On beer and boxed noodles, that is...
Kyle Prevost and Justin Bouchard have fond memories of their college days, so they decided to write a book to help the next generation of students. More Money for Beer and Textbooks is full of financial advice for university and college kids.
Thinking this book would make a great grad gift, SCENE asked Prevost and Bouchard to share six thrifty tips for post-secondary students, assuming the first tip would be to buy their book:
1. Brew Your Own Beverages
You can buy beer kits online for $30 or so and if you toss
in another $10 for yeast and bottle caps, the input costs for a five-gallon
batch of beer will run you around $40. Five gallons is roughly equivalent to fifty-three bottles of beer,
giving us a per-beer cost of about $0.75.
In Manitoba, even your cheapest discount beers such as my old trusted staple - Lucky Lager - cost at least $1.40 per beer. Your middle-of-the-road beers such as Molson Canadian or Labatt Light will run you about $1.75-$2.00 each. If you prefer to pick your poison in a bar, beers there will cost at least $4.00 each.
If we assume that the average college or university student that consumes alcohol has about 10 drinks per week, this means that brewing your own beer will save you about $338 a year if you were drinking discount beer, and about $560 if you preferred your dad's stuff.
2. Cars are Overrated
Most young adults don't truly understand what the real cost of vehicle ownership is. Rarely do we recognize that the purchase price is only the beginning. Car insurance, parking fees, gas, and possibly a few traffic tickets all need to be taken into consideration when deciding if you should buy a car or not.
In addition to those guaranteed costs, most vehicles that students own are used and will require a fair amount of money for maintenance and repairs. These costs can be unpredictable and can put a serious dent in your bank account at an inconvenient time. finally, the government wants you to use public transit so much that they will even give you money back on your taxes because of it!
3. Don't Buy Your Textbooks at the Campus Bookstore
Campus bookstores have to maintain a certain profit margin, and the product they are selling is going to have a premium attached to it because you are the first owner.
One key consideration that managers of these stores look at is the fact that there is usually no competition for them on campus and subsequently they can usually bank on students' path-of-least-resistance default setting to funnel them in.
Check with any used-book resources available on your campus and then take 10 minutes to scan the Web.
If you can't find a used copy of the book from a reputable source, chances are Amazon can sell you the text you're looking to purchase for at least 30% less that it is listed at in your campus bookstore.
4. Check Out Your School's Sports Teams
As someone who follows American collegiate athletics I am always sort of stunned at the refusal of Canadian students to embrace their school's sports programs. It's not the same for every sport on every campus, but on average, most teams are happy if they get as many fans to games as they used to see when they played in high school.
There are many reasons for this, but teams pricing themselves out of their market certainly isn't one of them. Many colleges and universities allow free admission into sporting events for students, while others will charge a relatively minor fee of $50-$100 for all-access passes to see as many games as you want throughout the year.
In terms of cheap entertainment, there aren't many better deals out there. Where else can you find courtside or front-row tickets to watch elite athletes for a few measly bucks, or even for free?
5. Always Carry Your Student Card With You
Businesses that are located near post-secondary campuses know that attracting student clientele can have a big effect on their bottom line. Consequently, they often have some nice student discounts.
While I was never really organized enough to clip coupons, even I was able to remember to simply ask if there was a student discount available and keep my student card in my wallet. Even now as a master's student I hang on to my student card and use it to save money on sporting events, phone plans, and a dozen other places.
Kyle Prevost and Justin Bouchard are signing and promoting More Money for Beer and Textbooks at Chapters (St. Vital location) on June 8 from 2 to 6 p.m., and on June 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at McNally Robinson. You can also hear them on the Weekend Morning Show with CBC host Ismaila Alfa at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday June 8 on CBC Radio One, 89.3 FM/990 AM/97.9 FM in Brandon.
Winnipeg finance gurus offer tips to keep your spending under control