As you probably heard twelve times in your tour groups and SOAR sessions, the 2018-19 school year marks the first time the University of Wisconsin-Madison is following peer pressure from other schools and actually making a form of meal plan for its housing residents. While this was met with cries of indignation from the current student body subsisting mainly on cup noodles, I see this as an opportunity to explore budgeting for all of you young and hungry Badgers. Your task is difficult: spend at least $1400 in nine months while constantly being inundated with messages of frugality. Luckily, I have you covered. Here are some easy, guilt free ways to indulge in your mandatory payments to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
I know your SOAR advisor just hyped up how great and convenient the Bean and Creameries are, but we’re talking $1400 here. A $2.50 mocha after the 30% housing discount just isn’t going to cut it on our strict budget here. Instead, pop on over to Peet’s coffee anytime you get a coffee craving for a guaranteed $4 cup of something too extravagant to correctly describe to your friends. Besides, there is a Peet’s Coffee location to fit every student’s personality. There’s the Memorial Union location for your classic Badger who wants to take in the traditional Wisconsin Experience with their bougie coffee, the Union South location for thirsty Badgers who prefer to have their foam exploding from the top of their lids and the Capitol Cafe location in Grainger for lazy Badgers too tired and overworked to walk over to the Memorial Union location literally five minutes away. Add five cups of $4 coffee a week for 30 weeks of school and that is $600 of your budget right there.
Actually Buying Your Textbooks
I know it sounds unconventional, but I’ve heard a rumor on the street that sometimes these things called textbooks might help with your grades or something. Be gone the days of waiting until one has a C in a class to buy the textbook, the new Wiscard budget has you covered! Feel free to indulge in that $250 biology textbook right off the bat, your Wiscard budget allows for it. In fact, you might even want to buy textbooks for other classes just to see what all the fuss is about. If all of your friends are telling you about how hard they are studying for their psych exam, go ahead and put down $113 for the textbook so you can see their struggles first-hand. It all makes too much sense.
Obsessive Amounts of Spiritwear
We’ve all been at the bookstore and spotted an item that intrigued us but cost an absurd amount of money for what it was. Get rid of your FOMO and bring on the $24.99 Bucky ear muffs! Feeling lonely in your first semester and need friends? Purchase a Bucky study buddy stuffed animal for $21.99. Your Wiscard budget will be up to par in no time if you find matching Wisconsin outfits for your entire extended family’s holiday photo, including a $30 sweatshirt for Rover. Plus, the University Bookstore stands as a gate to the rest of State Street, serving as a constant lure to spend “money” on your Wiscard before spending money at the shops downtown.
A Small Fortress of Cup Noodles
You’ve already gotten a stomach bug from your coffee consumption, a full bookshelf of textbooks for classes you aren’t enrolled in, and three pairs of Bucky leggings. However, there’s still a balance on your Wiscard. Take the remainder and keep college traditions alive by converting these yet-to-be-used dollars into a protective lair in your dorm. This fortress will protect you from those times when your roommate decides to watch “Law and Order” at full blast while taking questionable Snapchats when you’re trying to study. When your roommate inevitably builds their own fortress out of Easy Mac, be prepared to use the uneaten blocks of petroleum cemented noodles as cannonballs. Consume one Cup Noodle a day for maximum nutritional benefits.
This fool-proof plan is guaranteed to satisfy even Tier 3 dining plan participants. If you still have money left in your budget after following these steps, be sure to donate Mongolian Grill lunches from Rheta’s to upperclassmen, they will quickly become your friends.