Tips for saving summer funds

Summer vacation is less than three weeks away, and the bank account of the average Geneseo student probably boasts a modest two-digit sum. If your wallet seems pretty thin these days, you qualify for poor college student status. But stressing over a silly financial dearth is quite a waste of energy, because The Lamron has done research that could save any empty pink porcelain piggy.

If you live on-campus and are required to purchase the gorge-yourself-daily buffet-style meal plan, or if you are lucky enough to live with a meal plan off-campus, you've hit the jackpot.

Offer to buy lunch or dinner anywhere on campus in return for half the price in cash. They save money (an all-you-can-eat buffet for $2.50? Just be sure to mention that CAS has been really tasty lately), they don't have to travel very far, and you get to add to the summer vacation fund.

At this point in the year, this strategy will not only appeal to the off-campus crew, but to all those who have failed to manage their meal plan as well as you. When your friend has $15 and you have $150, that friend will surely take you up on a two-dollar buffet.

Baby sitting is another great way to get fast cash. Talk to all of your professors, past and present, including your advisor, and find out which ones have kids. Find a student event on campus and convince them that supporting student work is the professor's unspoken obligation. Then, offer to take care of their kids while he or she enjoys the culture and talent of Geneseo students.

Sell yourself. Tell him or her you have four younger siblings whom you practically raised and that you've been babysitting since you were 11. It's your primal instinct to take care of kids. Just be sure to tell them your hourly rate, $10, up front. This is pretty standard nowadays, so don't be shy. When you get there, sit the kids in front of the TV and count your coins to see how close you are to your goal.

Tell your friends that you lost your phone. Simply turn off your cell and put it in your sock drawer in a ziplock bag with a note that says, "Aw, you did nothing over summer?" It will help you remember that delaying gratification for the future sometimes means sacrificing trivial conversations in the present. Then, don't even think about next month's bill while you're enjoying your week off, because it will be the lowest bill you've ever seen.

If you have a car, stop driving. Gas is so expensive, and those rocketing numbers won't settle for a while. Tell your friends that you were inspired to cease driving on Earth Day. It might make you a two-faced liar, but just stick to your story and you won't have to make up another one.

Take the LATS bus from the Union when you need to run to Wegmans and on the ride, calculate how much money you're saving by not using gas. If friends suggest going to Rochester, suggest a barter. Tell them you've got the snacks covered (vending

machine gatorade, pretzels and pop tarts) if they omit your share of gas costs. When you arrive at your destination, tell them you forgot to bring cash.

By this point in the semester, you've probably realized that the textbook you bought for your 150-student lecture class is useless. It's too late to sell it back to Sundance for a decent price, so go instead to Half.com and click on "sell your stuff" at the top of the page. Put that five-pound baby up for sale, and while you're at it, go through the books and CDs scattered throughout your room. Make sure to check your closet and under the bed, too. Save Will Farrell Live and your Rocky collection, but get rid of everything else by selling it online. Summer is more important than having a dense library filled with history and humanities, right? Then, sit back and watch the cash flow in.