Budget your meal plan wisely

Meal plans are great! You definitely appreciate them after you’ve moved off campus and have to use your own money to buy food.

My freshman year, I had the silver custom plan.

This meant that I had a certain amount of swipes each week to get into the all-you-care-to-eat dining halls and a certain amount of Falcon Dollars.

I was extremely cautious with my spending that first semester, and had a lot of money left over at the end of the fall.

I started going to Starbucks more often and spending Falcon Dollars on snacks at Outtakes.

When the spring semester started, I had the same amount of Falcon Dollars and swipes that I did in the beginning of the fall.

However, I spent a lot more at the beginning and ran short toward the end of the year.

I was not so careful in my spending and budgeting and I was very low on money for the last month or so.

To avoid this, the best thing you can do is budget your meal plan.

It doesn’t take a lot! My best advice is to get an average amount to spend daily.

Look at your total amount of Falcon Dollars for the semester, and divide that by the total number of days that you will be on campus.

Your result is a rough average amount to spend on a daily basis, not including swipes you may have or weekends you go home!

It is not meant to be strictly followed, but to help keep you from overspending.

It helped me decide if I should go back to Starbucks for a coffee frappuccino after I already went that morning.

If you give yourself a general range to stay in when it comes to what you spend each day, you’ll save yourself some stress later on in the semester.

Having a daily average is a good place to start in managing your meal plan.

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