Talkin’ with Tiki: Money Saving Edition

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team

Ron B.

College Park, MD

Hey Tikiman, I was wondering if you knew how expensive Greek life is on campus? Rush starts the first week of school and I’m not sure I can afford paying dues or other Greek expenses.

As a member of a fraternity myself, I can give you firsthand knowledge about the costs of going Greek. Most Greek organizations will provide information during rush rounds outlying the cost of dues, initiation fees (a onetime fee), and communal house fees (often called parlor fees). Feel free to browse the chapter’s local or national website as usually they will have posted how much it costs to join their organization. Remember, it is in a Greek organizations best interest to be upfront about finances because they want to recruit you to join their group. Most fraternities and sororities offer payment plans as well whereby if you can’t afford the upfront cost, you have the ability to pay off your expenses over a period of time.

Heidi J.

St. Louis, MO

I brought my car to school this year and can’t help but notice how much I am spending on gas! Are there any tips or tricks to avoid spending so much money on my car?

You first need to identify whether your car is a luxury item or a need item. Most people go to college thinking they need a car and then realize how easy it is to move around campus without one. Most universities have a public bus system that can transport you around campus, so it is a good idea to learn and memorize the bus schedule. You would be surprised at how quickly you can move around campus and that most of your classes are really at most a 15 min walk. Plus, how can you enjoy the scenery of your campus if you are looking at it behind a car window?

Kim K.

Carlsbad, CA

I am a notorious exercise buff and I’m worried that I won’t be able to afford the gym that is near my college campus. How can I avoid the freshman 15 without going broke at the same time?

Who said that you had to go off-campus in order to stay in shape? For most schools, as part of your tuition you should have access to the campus gym. This is because the cost of joining your school’s gym is already added into your school bill. Also, you should have access to fitness classes when you sign up for your regular academic classes. Usually these classes only count as one credit and the marginal cost of taking it is incredibly low compared to signing up for an expensive gym membership!

Have a question for Tikiman? Send an email to and he’ll be happy to answer your question in the next Talkin’ with Tiki.

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