College Connect: Ways to save while interning

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By Annie Dankelson

Like many of my fellow journalism students, I’ve been fortunate enough to land an internship this summer. And, especially with help the prestigious journalism schools out there these days, these internships can really take you anywhere. So while you could very well find a nice newspaper in your hometown and spend the summer at home with Mom and Dad, you also might find yourself miles away in a city you’ve never been to.

The latter is the case for me, at least. And if you’re being relocated to a new city for the summer, that means paying for a lease of some sort (or maybe, like me, paying a college to stay in its dorm for the summer), handling utilities, buying food and so on. And you might have to do so on a relatively small — or maybe nonexistent — internship salary.

Is it possible for you to still have fun this summer?

I think it is. Here are a few things I plan on doing that could help save in small, easy ways this summer:

Keep utility payments down: Even after living in an apartment this school year, I know how badly utility bills can hurt. But there are simple ways of keeping the payments to a minimum, especially in the summer. If possible, keep the AC off. Try opening the windows or just using a fan — you can easily turn it off when you’re not in the room. Keep lights off and use natural light during the day; it’s summer, after all, so days last longer. Time yourself when you’re in the shower. I know from experience that little things like this can really eat away at your monthly utility bills.

Stay fit for less: You probably won’t belong to a gym if you’re moving to a new city for the summer. But you want to stay in shape for the season! Working out, even in unfamiliar places, can be easy and cheap. Scout out your neighborhood and find a safe route for a run. But if time, like money, is limited for you and running isn’t your cup of tea, there are many quick workout videos online that you can follow along with right from your home. One of my personal favorites, the 7-minute workout, even has an app that you can purchase for your smartphone.

Walk wherever you can: This goes along with staying fit. If you’re in a big city this summer, gas, subway trips and taxi rides could add up. But the thing about big cities is that much of what you need is probably within walking distance. Do some research before you run your errands to see if you can avoid taking motor transportation.

Do you really need cable?: In the age of YouTube and Netflix, how often do you really sit down and watch TV shows when they actually air anymore? And especially with a summer internship, watching TV regularly probably won’t even fit in your schedule. Try living without cable for a while. You’ll likely still get local channels if you need them, and you’ll save some extra money each month.

They’re little things here and there, but I’m hoping these tips will help keep our budgets in check while we work on getting valuable experience in our fields.

Annie Dankelson is a junior majoring in magazine journalism at the University of Missouri.

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