A lot of people don't know that in addition to being a writer for CollegeHumor I also give financial advice on the side. And being that most of the people reading this are poor college students who are hard pressed for cash, I thought I'd offer my expertise on penny pinching for the upcoming semester. Conventional wisdom might tell you not to squander your funds on "unnecessary" things like beer or videogames. Other financial gurus might even recommend that you get what they like to call a "job." But, guess what? I'm not like other financial advisors. I'm here to tell you, the average college student, that there are a lot of other ways to save if you're just willing to be a little creative.

Tip 1: You'll have to change your group of friends every two weeks, and tell them you have a birthday coming up this weekend. You will get a boatload of free dinners and drinks from your new buddies. Then once they stop giving you free stuff, immediately abandon them. Change your phone number, move into a new dorm if you have to. You need new friends who have no idea who you are and when your birthday is. At first glance you may consider this a major blow to your social life, but just think of all the new people you never would have met if you weren't scamming unsuspecting students for money.

Tip 2: Condoms are expensive. And don't get me wrong. I am by no means advocating that you practice unsafe sex. But did you know that Health Services actually carries an infinite supply of prophylactics? (Unless you're at a Christian College, sorry) Sure, they're non-lubricated and they only have a 49% success rate. But hey, that's almost a 50/50 chance you won't be a daddy. I like those odds.


Just begging to be robbed
Tip 3: If your college is in an urban setting there are probably a lot of homeless people bumming around campus. And chances are that they carry a cup around with loose change hoping to panhandle for donations. Here's a great way to make some pocket change. Make like you're reaching into your pocket for a big bill and then slip your hand in and grab as much change as you can fit into the palm of your hand. This is great because you can kill two birds with one stone. See, if you're out with a girl you're trying to impress she'll think you're such a charitable soul, and you'll have some extra change to buy her that frozen yogurt she's been yapping about. This is also a method that can be used with a tip cup at various coffee shops. But let's be honest, you can't afford coffee.

Tip 4: Food is extremely overrated. Just ask that girl from California who lives at the end of the hall. She only ate two grapes yesterday and she's completely happy and emotionally balanced. Instead of shelling out five whole dollars for a sandwich you can head over to any Wendy's and pick up as many free packets of Saltines as you can stuff in your backpack. Leave some room for the ketchup packets too, of course.

Tip 5: If you smoke weed and just can't do without it, a lot of dealers are developing alternate methods of payment. No, I'm not talking about sexual favors, but if you're into that sort of thing I'm sure you could work something out. Actually, drug dealers are really busy making "business transactions" so they sometimes look for part time help with deliveries. And if you become the Fed Ex Drug guy for a few months you should have the hook up all semester.

Tip 6: Textbooks are another simple way to cut corners. I mean, if you didn't understand all the material from listening to the professor's lectures, you're pretty much screwed anyway. So why waste hundreds of dollars on books you're never even going to crack open? The bookstore has way cooler stuff to spend your money on anyway, like sweet clever bumper stickers that say "My kid beat up your honor student." Oh man, that one still gets me every time.

If you follow my advice you might be able to just scrape by this semester even after squandering all of your funds on that cool new Spongebob Squarepants Limited Edition Decoder Ring. Don't worry, I'm not judging you. I'm in college too, so of course I know that it's all about priorities.