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Cody Dean's -Tip of the Day- (Compiled from Harvard Q&A) > Tip of the Day

Living On a Budget

posted Jul 24, 2011 00:27:38 by Hub15
Tips, tricks and information on how to get the most for less.
[Last edited Jul 24, 2011 00:33:37]
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4 replies
Hub15 said Jul 24, 2011 00:29:48
Maximum Fun for Minimum Price: Saving Money At Harvard

Cody Dean
‎-Tip of the Day-

So it is the "Day of Friends" here in Argentina and my gift to you all is a completely non-comprehensive list of ways to live it up in Cambridge/Boston (and other places) without breaking the bank. There are many more ways, but there are just the ones that came to my mind over my lunch break today.

1) Use your .edu email address and student ID to your advantage! Cell phone providers (AT&T, Verizon, & Sprint for sure) offer student discounts that are good for your monthly fee. Your Harvard ID is gold in Boston. You get into most of the museums in the city for free (even if they charge the general public). You can also get a 10-15% discount at J.Crew and Banana Republic if that is your thing. Many transportation companies offer student discounts and Dickson's Hardware in Harvard Square offers a student discount. You have to ask, because no one will offer it to you! (p.s. Dickson's is an amazing store. They have every random thing you could ever need. Definitely not your average run of the mill hardware store.)

2) Buy toiletries and other non-perishables in bulk for the entire year at Target (87 bus to Somerville from behind Annenberg, 20 min on bike, or about 40 on foot). Things like toothpaste, body wash, LAUNDRY DETERGENT, etc. are all very expensive in the square. You can certainly get them there, but you will pay a premium at CVS. Take advantage of access to any parents' cars you may have during opening days to make the trip easier or enlist some friends and head on down. Never pay for toilet paper, lightbulbs, or poster gum because DormCrew gives them out for free in the basement of Weld Hall in their office. 

3) Craigslist is actually a pretty nice source of anything random you might want to buy/sell in the area and people use it. There are lots of posts that are within easy walking distance of Harvard and the majority in the city are close to a T or bus stop. Avoid the creeper factor by agreeing to meet in a square in the city or in Cambridge. I never go to anyone's home to buy something unless it is an apartment in a populated part of the city. A little caution and some negotiating skills can get you some cheap treasures!

4) NYC can be a nice way to get out of the Harvard/Cambridge/Boston bubble either alone or with a few friends. Get your tickets on the air conditioned, double story, MegaBus (complete with WiFi and a power outlet) for only $1.50 if you book early. If you decide you want to go the same day, you can always get a ticket for $15 with either FungWah or LuckyStar. Their prices are the same for all trips (except one that is super early in the morning) no matter if you buy 10 minutes or 2 months before you want to travel. The Boston South Station Bus station is accessible right from the red line of the T. (Harvard is on the red line) I always stay in a young hostel for about $20 a night. It is dorm style and perfect for all I need. Breakfast included. You can always just go down early in the morning and come back late at night or hit up some friends at NYU, Columbia, etc!

5) Use the bagged lunches offered by Annenberg! When I take the above mentioned trip to NYC, I always go online and order a bagged lunch from HU Dining Services (HUDS) so I don't have to pay for lunch and can eat right on the bus. You can tell them exactly what you want and when you are going to pick it up. They aren't stingy with the food either. (Two sandwiches if you want) I can't say it is amazing food (it's HUDS we are talking about here), but it is no worse than the normal mediocrity. So what's stopping you from taking a day in Boston or just having a picnic and chilling with friends somewhere on campus?

6) Use your board plus wisely! In case you don't know, you all get $65 each semester in BoardPlus in addition to your meal plan. You can use this at the campus food vendors that are run by HUDS (Greenhouse Café anyone?). Make a plan to spread out your money over the duration of the semester. You can get 3 garlic knots with sauce and a drink for $2.50. That's 26 times a semester! 

7)Tell your PAFs what you are interested in. We (the PAFs) get $ to have events for you all and your entryways! If you have been craving a specific pizza, burger, etc. tell us! We can plan whatever you want for your study breaks, but fresh ideas can be in short order. It is super easy to just grab pizza each week, but throw some new ideas out there for us! Why not suggest a "fast food" study break one week? Italian? Tacos? (You will miss that fast food, I assure you! There are no traditional FF offerings in Harvard Square!)

8) Make money with psych dept. or business school studies! If you don't want a job with commitment or just want to make some cash when you need it, why not sign up to be a test subject? Don't worry, no aliens will be probing your brain (maybe just scientists or students wondering what is going on in there). You get to be part of research and make money. They pay in cash the day of the experiment. The psych ones are usually some sort of mental game or reaction-based exercise. The business school ones often involve consumer choice surveys. Quick ways to make $15-$40 in half an hour or so.

9)Make a food calendar! Tired of HUDS? There are SO MANY clubs on campus and almost all host events with food. I literally have an entire tab in my iCal with events with free food for anyone that comes. Never knew you were interested in middle eastern politics? You are now! Weren't aware that gamma rays and their use in XYZ project were fascinating? Of course they are! ( least until you get the free food that they have waiting for people that come!) Sometimes I stay for the event and other times I don't. It is also a cool way to try some new things and hear some cool people talk. Hint: Learn the event venues in which it is easiest to eat and run! (i.e. an event in Ticknor Lounge is likely to have a big buffet outside the door and the event inside whereas the food in a Sever Hall event is likely to be in the classroom. 

10) Looking for a Halloween Costume? Ladies, is the whole vintage look your thing? The Garmet District in Cambridge (near MIT) has vintage and modern clothes for $1 a pound. (Yes, they sell clothing by the pound) It is scattered all around the floor in a huge pile and you can have at it. This is a PERFECT place to throw together something for Halloween or a theme party. Guys and girls can make something from here work for just about anything. (and cheap too!)

With that, I will leave you all alone! Happy bargaining!

July 20 at 12:39pm
[Last edited Jul 24, 2011 00:35:46]
Hub15 said Jul 24, 2011 00:33:33
Public Events, Harvard Prices

Cody Dean
‎-Tip of the Day-

Harvard Outings & Innings is the university service that is popular among faculty and staff for getting discounts on concerts, baseball games, movie tickets, festivals, etc. They recently opened a limited version of the service for undergrads and graduate students. There are a few listings on there now, but the two that looked the most appealing to me were the discounts at most of the movie theaters in the greater Boston area and the discount on the H&R Block Tax Preparation service. So, if you are a movie buff and are tired of dishing out mad cash for the latest hit or if your taxes are a mess and you want every deduction and credit possible, hit them up. They should be adding more offers throughout the year.

You can go here (HUID/PIN required) to find out more or visit them at their office at 9 Holyoke Street on the left hand side of the Holyoke center between Clover (cool vegan restaurant) and HSA Cleaners.

July 23 7:50 PM
[Last edited Jul 24, 2011 00:34:57]
Hub15 said Jul 27, 2011 18:35:20
Free Amazon shipping for a year! Money saved is money earned.

In case you all don't know: You all qualify for free 2 day shipping with Amazon for a year. You need to set up your .edu email account and associate it with your amazon account. This is pretty sweet because any time you buy books (or whatever) it ships for free if it is eligible for prime. Many times it arrives overnight since we are in a decent sized city.
Hub15 said Jul 27, 2011 18:39:17
Student Events Fund

This is mainly aimed at those of us on financial aid, but read on so you can spread the word! At Harvard, there is a surprising amount of equality in just about everything we do. Many people, such as myself, qualify for a program called the student events fund. You will receive notification from the college if you qualify. However, they do a pretty bad job of explaining just how awesome this opportunity is for those that qualify. In short, there are an endless number of activities, concerts, dances, talks, theatre productions, etc. at Harvard. Some of which require tickets. While the fees are usually modest (in the $5-$15 range), it can add up for people who are supporting themselves completely. The SEF is an online database of most the activities on campus. You can order tickets for free to any of these activities and pick them up just like any other person at the door. Be sure to check to see if you need to pick them up at the box office. No one has to know how you got your ticket because they are the exact same (only with the benefit of Harvard paying for it!) I am not sure if the database is updated yet with your HUIDs, but you can try to log in here and see if you qualify once it has been. It will tell you whether or not you qualify.

Throughout the year, you can check to see what is going down on campus (in case you miss the 600,000
flyers that are always posted for events around campus). Now you have no reason not to get yourself out of your room and hit the dance floor with your friends!
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