Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Secrets of the MTA

In New York, transfers from local bus-to-subway, local bus-to-local bus, and subway-to local bus are free within two hours.

The most useful transfer, from subway-to-subway, isn't free, except with two exceptions:

1) Between the 4/5/6/N/R/W at 59th+Lexington and the F at 63rd+Lexington in Manhattan
2) Between the 7 at 45th Rd-Court House Sq and the E/V at 23rd St-Ely Ave and the G at LIC/Court Sq in Queens.

This Poor College Student has used both!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Poor College Student Defies Tradition

In my family/culture, if you are offered money by a relative, the correct response is not to say "thank you" but "no thank you" and refuse the gift. If you accept the money, you have failed. If you manage to avoid taking the cash, you have won.

Strange right?

I went home last weekend with $19 left in my bank account.

When my grandmother tried to offer my some cash as an early christmas present, I tried the usual tactics:

"No thanks, I have plenty of money already."
"It's ok, you don't have to give me a christmas present this year."
"I already bought myself something earlier this month."
"Why don't you give this to me on actual christmas day?"
"Let's make a compromise, I'll take half now, and half on christmas day."

I didn't try hard enough. I failed. My brother made fun of me. But my bank account has more than $19 now!

Monday, November 30, 2009


Poor college student has $10 to use between Sunday night til Tuesday night. Normally, this wouldn't be the worst problem in the world. Eat bagels, and use the generous charity of friends. However, birthdays completely destroy this plan.

Will poor college student make it? She already promised her friend a half-priced bottle of wine that will be split between 3 people tonight. She has to make lemon bars and cake for a birthday present, but has no lemons nor powdered sugar. She has to eat. She has to take the subway before Tuesday night.

Cast your vote, and let us know if you think this poor college student will defy the above odds, and be the penultimate PCS, or will fall flat and have to beg mommy and daddy for an advance sooner than Tuesday night....or worse, use her credit card (which she seldom ever uses).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Today, I bought a pack of Combos from the vending machine. As I reached in to claim my purchase, I noticed a pack of two beef sticks laying there, probably left there by accident by a previous customer.

Beef sticks became the appetizers to my Combos.
A poor college student's got to eat, right?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Guess which one Poor College Student bought?

This Marc by Marc Jacobs shirt retails for $188.00

This Uniqlo shirt retails for $19.99

Thursday, November 12, 2009

what a nice surprise

I logged on to citibank online because I had to print out a credit card statement in order to receive a reimbursement for a purchase I made a few weeks ago. I knew my account was dwindling because the last time I saw my balance, when I withdrew cash from the ATM I had at least $100... so I expected a hundred-something dollars. Instead, I saw this....

Thoughts running through my head were:
1. Huh?

2. I'm looking at the wrong account

3. Wait, WHAT?

4. Somebody stole my credit card!/I forgot to hit "done" after withdrawing cash and somebody withdrew cash from my account!

Credit card was still in my wallet.
Upon checking account details...

5. Ohhh..... .. . . . . . . . . ok...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Let's split a cab. It'll be cheaper. NOT.

When they raised the subway fare from $2.00 to $2.25 in June, splitting a cab became a slightly better deal.

Starting today, the base cab fare increased from $2.50 to $3.00. NOT OK.

At the rate this is going, Poor College Student soon may not be able to afford the subway nor the cab and will start walking everywhere. At least that will save on gym memberships.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tough Choices

Poor college student sometimes has to make some really tough decisions.

Every few months, I get so broke that I have to choose between eating or buying my birth control pills. Just a few days ago, I had to make that decision.

Can you tell me what a poor college student would choose?

Yeah, I did choose that. But let's be real. A baby would make a poor college student even poorer.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Poor College Student has no money or time to buy a between-class snack.

I wanted to get a snack in between classes from the vending machine because I was hungry.

But I only happen to have about twenty cents in my wallet- a dime and a bunch of pennies. I have a debit card, but even if I get cash out from the nearest ATM near me, I will only get twenty dollar bills.

Vending machines do not accept twenty dollar bills.

The cafe where this ATM is located where I could have used cash is probably closed by now, so I have nowhere nearby to use these bills.
I don't have enough time to go somewhere to break my theoretical twenties.

I guess I'm just going to stay hungry until class is over.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Because we haven't posted in ages / semi-useful procrastination

For all those poor college students thinking of putting Google's AdSense onto their blogs - watch out, it could backfire on you one day:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Poor College Student is mad right now

The price of laundry per wash/dry cycle in my dorm has been raised from $1.00 to $1.25.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Poor College Students should visit Washington DC

All the museums are free! There aren't even any suggested donations!

None of this "Not even some change?" business.

Also, the local buses only cost $1.00 to ride. Plus, services like BoltBus can get you from NYC to DC for $20!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Poor College Student has 99 like-minded bloggers

Apparently Poor College Student is Career-Minded Student too! 100 Best Blogs for Career-Minded Students has 99 other very cool blogs.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Poor College Students Get Tricked By Vendors

Today Epsita and I bought italian ice.

I bought "lemon" and Epsita bought "mango".

I was given lemon-coconut and she was given an orange colored italian ice that had no discernible flavor.

A few days ago, we ordered a cup of sweet corn custard. Excited to try it, we eagerly each tasted a spoonful, but tasted vanilla instead. I brought it back for an exchange.

We tasted the new one. It was still vanilla.

The Number of the Day

Again, I find myself with too much free time. But is this not a blessing? Rather that complaining about my problem, I decided to do something about. And what better thing to do in your free time than make a bit of extra cash using my old vice, online poker. I threw $55 on account and was making money within hours. Here are my day end stats since then:

Friday: $80 Profit: $25
Saturday: $150 Profit: $70
Sunday: $84 Profit: -$66
Monday: $51.45 Profit: -$32.55
Tuesday:$84.45 Profit: $23

Good News. Over the first two days I averaged $47.50/day, but alas my actual earnings per day is today's number of the day.


I will be playing higher stakes from now on.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

First Ikea and now Aveda?!?

On August 16th, 2009, Aveda will stop offering the 10% discount on haircuts if you show a proper student ID.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ikea Hates Poor College Students

Poor College Students will be sad to hear that Ikea will now be charging $5 for each ride on the water taxi unless you spend $10 or more at Ikea on weekdays; weekend water taxi service will still be free.

Sometimes, Poor College Students just take the water taxi for fun because you get to ride along in the ocean and have great views. Not anymore...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why People Don't Rent Books

I read a lot of books in my spare time. When I have a surplus of free time in the Summer, I spend way too much money on books. So much so that I got in the habit of going to the bookstore several times a week to finish just one book (all read while in the store). This seems like a thrifty way of entertaining yourself until you consider some affiliated costs:

It took me roughly 5 trips to finish one book so..
5 * (9.4 mile round-trip/20 miles per gallon) * $2.70 (price of gas) = $6.35

Ok.. so it still seems like I save money on almost any book I would buy, but I could still save a bit more.

When in Singapore, I was elated to be near a bookstore to which you could return books for about the half the price you paid. I took full advantage of this. When I returned to the states however, I realized I could return books for the full price anyway. At this epiphany, I checkout $60 worth of books and was on my way.

The next week, I wanted somewhere air-conditioned and less sweaty to read so I went to the library. Right in the doorway, I see each one of the books I just purchased in their new release section.

I suddenly wondered why anyone would pay for a book.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Poor College Student Will Sleep On The Streets To Get Free Tickets

Even though Poor College Students may not like/understand Shakespeare, they will still wait in line for free tickets to Twelfth Night.

I waited in line four times.

1) I arrived at Central Park at 8:30 AM on a Wednesday, got lost, and got in line at 9:00AM. At 1PM, I discovered that the cut-off point was 30 people in front of me. Had I not gotten lost, I would have gotten a ticket.

2) Two weeks later, I arrived at Central Park at 6:30 AM on a Thursday. The line was so much longer than the one I had waited in at 8:30 AM on Wednesday. I waited 10 minutes and left.

3) Later that day, I arrived at 4:00 PM to wait in the standby line. I was about 50th in line. At 7:00 PM, I discovered that they usually hand out only 5 or so tickets for standby.

4) The third to last day of the show, I went to Central Park at 2:00 AM and waited until 1:00 PM. I waited 11 hours. I finally got tickets :D

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Poor College Student Got Paid Last Week

Somehow he had money again...

but it was never meant to be.

Yoga Classes: $30
Sushi: $25
Repaying loan for a laptop: $480

Poor College Student Has Buyer's Remorse.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Poor College Student likes free samples

Lucy, Epsita and I went to the grocery store to shop for dinner one day. Grocery runs always consist of a two or three course meal because this particular store is wonderfully generous and a genius at luring poor college students. (First course: free soup samples, second course: free crackers and dip samples, cheese course: free cheese samples)

As usual, we made our stop by the crackers-and-dip stand as soon as we entered the store. We were absolutely thrilled because the cracker bowl was filled to the top, not with air-bubbly tasteless rice crackers, but with bagel chips! And the containers of dip were almost entirely full, completely contrary to the days when you practically have to wipe the containers with your cracker to get any dip at all.

On days that the crackers are crap and the dip is almost nonexistent, we will take a few bites and then move on. But this time, we couldn't just make a brief stop and walk away- these were bagel chips! Lots of them! And the containers were full of dip, not containers with a small puddle of dip.

We each sampled three or four kinds of dip and were nowhere near ready to be finished with this glorious feast when a big store worker with an eyepatch came, reached for the bowl of chips and tray of dip and said, "Excuse me, I have to refill this."

He didn't come back with refills.

The chip bowl had been still more than a half full, and we had barely had any of the dip. There are days when the bowl of chips will have nothing but a layer of crumbs but poor college students and hungry housewives alike will still try to pick up the biggest crumb and put a tiny dab of dip on it to eat.

But this day, customer service apparently had to be so good that they had to interrupt our feast to refill the chips to the very very top, didn't they?


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It Was the Cheapest One on Ebay

I hate how they make you extend your contract when you want to replace your phone.

Poor College Student Can Never Pass Up A Good Deal

I was in a shopping mood. (When am I not?)

The library was having a book sale.

I see Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez. It cost $2.

"Hmm, I've heard of this novel before. The author is famous, he won a Nobel Prize. It was featured in Oprah's Book Club. It retails for $14.95."

I bought it.

As I step outside with my purchase in hand, I realize that I don't even like to read.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

You're not supposed to do that

The other day I wanted to make this kind of pasta. As you can see it has like practically no ingredients. Dried chili pepper, garlic, and some basil. People think it's weird that there's no sauce, but this is exactly the kind of dish I want when its hot and gross outside and I still want a substantial meal. It's light, oily, and delicious. Maybe not so delicious when I make it but other times when I've had it it is. Also, one serving probably costs fifty cents. Maybe less.

So I went to the supermarket to pick up chili pepper and spaghetti. The thing about dried chili pepper is that they sell it in large quantities (thus more expensive), but I only needed enough for one meal- one single pepper, or less- so I wanted to buy just one single loose fresh pepper and pretend it was dried... they taste similar enough.

At this particular supermarket, I knew they used to sell loose chili peppers but I went this time and couldn't find them... but spotted pre-packaged chili peppers. Seeing a supermarket guy stack the packs in the shelf, I asked him if they sold loose chili peppers instead of packaged ones.

Huh? Oh. I only need one.

He poked a hole into the saran wrap of a pre-packaged pack and pulled out a single chili pepper.

Whoa. Ok. Thanks!

I happily walk away with my chili pepper and wonder how I'm going to pay for it. When the cash register puts it through the weight/barcode thing and it shows up at 6 cents.
Sweet or what?

A few days later I decided to cook this again because I had leftover garlic and spaghetti. I put 3 dollars in my pocket and went for a run, and then went to the supermarket at the end. I was clever you see- I knew that it would look ridiculous to go to the supermarket and pay 6 cents, so I thought I'd buy a carton of orange juice as well.

Well. Orange juice costs more than three dollars.

So I picked up a carton of milk instead. Then I went back to the chili pepper section and again, there was a supermarket guy standing nearby, but a different one so I ask him too if they sell loose chili peppers.

Ahh no, we used to but, it takes up too much space so we don't anymore.
Why don't you just get these prepackaged ones? They don't cost much.
(They all cost at least $4. I also don't need 20 chili peppers)
Well, I only have three dollars.

He chuckled and shrugged and walked away after deciding there wasn't anything he could do to help me.

I walked away and came back when he was gone. Then I poked a hole in the saran wrap. And I pulled out a chili pepper.

I went up to the cash register and the girl gets confused when she sees my chili pepper.

Where did you get this?
Oh, uhh over there, just like, loose.
Over there where the chili peppers are.

She turns to her supervisor person and asks her how much these cost. She, too, is confused and asks me where I got it.
She walks away toward that section and I get a sinking feeling in my stomach....

I'm stuck waiting there nervously for five minutes after which she comes back and says
It's 7.99 a pound. Did you open up a pack?
Uhhh yeah.
You're not supposed to do that, you know?
Oh sorry. I can just not get it then.

Fortunately they ignored my last comment and let me buy my chili pepper.
And then I walked away as fast as I could.


Poor college student gets scolded by supermarket people just for trying to make an affordable lunch...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Poor College Student tried to avoid the suggested donation and failed

American Museum of Natural History

Hello, welcome to the Museum of Natural History.
Hi. I have a question. How much is admission?
General admission is a suggested donation of $12. Special exhibits cost more.
Does our Columbia ID get us in for free? We don't have any money.
Oh. Well, can we get two tickets for general admission then?
Two tickets at $12 each. That will be $24.
I don't have any money.
Neither do I.
You have nothing? Not even some change?
My wallet is empty. See?
I have one dollar. I can give you that.
... here are two tickets.

Did she really just ask us for change?
Yes. She did.

Next time, we're using the automated kiosk.

Friday, July 3, 2009

They Told Me Not to Take the Motorbikes

When visiting foreign countries, one tends to think in the foreign currency. Pay $20 for a hostel? not likely. Hock up an extra $3 for the air-conditioned room? I'll just sleep with my clothes off. By using budget airlines and eating from street vendors, I managed to have a 5 day extravaganza in Vietnam for less than $250.

I rarely felt at ease when I was walking the streets in Saigon. In passing, my dark-ish complexion and black hair keep the passersby from staring, but my overstuffed backpack betrays my true tourist identity. Vendors present tourists with smiles, but indiscriminately overcharge and haggle. I don't have a huge problem with a little bit of price inflation, but the manner in which it's done is a bit unnerving. On at least four occasions I was charged a higher price even when items had price tags. I reiterate, rich foreigners deserve the inflation, but I nonetheless tire of the constant haggling.

I had been advised by friends in Singapore to stick to the metered taxis when moving around, but having never ridden a motorcycle, I wanted to try it once. I hopped on with a driver to make my way to Chinatown.

"You ride moterbike eh?" the driver said, flashing a huge grin. "How much
you want pay? You tell me. You one doing me favor."

This sounds like an offer for the gullible, but I decided the most I could lose is whatever reasonable sum I offer him. I pull out a crumpled up 20,000 Dong (USD1.5ish) note from my back pocket.

After riding 10 minutes, he turns back to me, "You want girl... Viet girl... to phkkk." I quietly reply no. He asks another 5 or 6 times to which I repeat no though I'm pretty sure we heard each other correctly the first time. Warning sign #2.

He pulls onto a street corner and calls to another motor biker. An English speaker, he promptly tells me that the driver was confused as to where I told him to go and that I owed them another 50,000 Dong. Again, not a huge sacrifice for me, but I step off the bike after my attempt to negotiate is met with hostility. Three strikes is already two too many.

I jump into one of many metered cabs swarming the opposite street corner. He drives in the opposite direction of the way I had been driving. This trip costs 70,000 Dong. Apparently the first asking price was right, but the destination was wrong. I'm afraid to think where I was originally being taken. There are three possibilities:

1. He was taking me to the girls.
2. He was taking me to get robbed somewhere
3. Or perhaps he actually misunderstood me and I overreacted.

After a couple of hours getting lost in Chinatown and asking directions in Mandarin, I take another street bike back to my starting point. This time I only pay 20,000 Dong.

I'm lead to believe it would have been option #1 or #2.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Poor College Student "FML"

Poor college student just wanted Shake Shack today. That was it.

Mike and I left campus at 2pm to walk around the West 70s. I needed to refill a metrocard though. I put in my ATM card, and although prompted for my PIN number, I put in my zip code. Five times. However, banks have a protocol where if you input your PIN wrong three times in a row, your card/acct. are blocked, since in most cases someone is trying to steal your money.

After the five times of putting in my zip code, I realized I was putting in the wrong thing. Mike's reaction was simply "I don't even know what to say to you, Epsita. I really don't know." After correcting myself, I still couldn't get a metrocard since my card was blocked. I put cash on the card, and went to my bank.

The bank people asked me what was wrong, and asked for my info to look up my acct. They laughed at me when they saw that I kept putting in my zip code, over and over again.

They unlocked my account.

This was a 30 to 40 minute ordeal.


Monday, June 29, 2009

The Poor College Student Diet

I woke up this morning looking forward to a typical breakfast but was disappointed to find egg cartons empty and the rest of the fridge barren. This realization became all the more sad when I considered that my first pay check arrives tomorrow and I had $7 in my wallet. I knew getting through the day would take some poor college student ingenuity.

Breakfast: You are sure to lose weight on the fruit for breakfast diet. I was hungry again by the time I arrived to work. Free

Lunch: Junk food at 7-eleven seemed like my quickest and cheapest option but I discovered anywhere they hold large meetings at the office, there will be free food. Free

Snack: High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are the new coolest thing. Protein repairs body cells, provides a source of energy, and controls many of the important processes in the body related to metabolism. $1

Dinner: When I pulled up to the pick-up window at Wendy's for dinner, I gave a two-for-one coupon for the burgers but neglected to notice the coupon also included a free frosty. 3 items for $1.09!

Final cost: $2.09

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Poor College Student doesn't have enough quarters

How to pay for laundry when you have enough money to do laundry in dimes and nickels but not in quarters:

1. Grab handful of dimes/nickels.
2. Go to a vending machine.
3. Put in two dimes and one nickel, or five nickels, or three nickels and one dime, or whatever combination of dimes and nickels that make 25 cents, in the coin slot.
4. Press return.
5. Obtain quarter.
6. If the return button is pressed and nickels and dimes return, move on to the next available vending machine and repeat steps 3-5.

Note: Pennies do not work; collect them in bunches of 25 and take them to the bank to exchange.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Visit Family in Reno or Costa Rica?

I have a couple of options for where I should spend my winter break. The frigid cold or the tropics. Where would you rather go?

Poor College Student saves by going to the beach.

Four apples, two oranges, one orange juice, and a ham sandwich for the price of a ham sandwich

Just now I went to Uris Business School Deli to buy lunch with my complementary Dining Dollars. They don't have much there, but there's only that and the cafe at Butler Library open over the summer so I really had no choice.

So I got there and went to the deli counter and ordered a ham, lettuce and swiss cheese on a baguette. A sandwich costs $7.50 there. Yeah. $7.50 for a pathetic ham sandwich? But then I thought, whatever, I'm getting this for free.

And today's Friday, the last day of the week that on-campus food places are open. My Dining Dollars don't roll over from week to week, so it's always best to get as much free food as I can at the end of the week. So I went to the fridge section and grabbed two apples and a cup of grapes. The last cup of grapes! There were plenty of cups of grapes with cheese but that's EW- I only want grapes. No cheese with grapes, just grapes. So I got the last cup that had just grapes. (You're like, why can't you just go back for dinner instead of going on fruit shopping spree? It's because the stupid deli closes at 3 pm.)

I went to the cash register to check out. I handed the lady my ID. She swiped, and the machine went beepbeepbeep and the screen flashed "TRANSACTION INVALID Insufficient Funds". I'm like Oh, they're Dining Dollars. The lady swiped again and the same thing happened. She said "You have 42 cents and nothing on flex." I was like no, that's wrong. I have Dining Dollars. I have weekly Dining Dollars. I know that I have 42 cents from my regular Dining Dollars account, but I also have free money, goddammit!!! (last sentence omitted from being verbalized)

I tried explaining to her that I DO have money on my card, but she proceeded to stare at me blankly. I wanted to be like, Look. I came here a few days ago. I had $25 that time and I only spent about $10, so I have money on my card. I remember your face, you swiped my card!!

I thought for a few seconds and decided from the blank stare on her face that this wasn't going to get anywhere so I said, fine. I'll pay in cash. (bitch.)

Fruit from on-campus food establishments are too expensive, so I said I'd have to put them away. She said fine. I paid $7.50 out of my wallet for the stupid sandwich. I put the fruit back in the fridge section. I walked to work, confused at what just happened and ready to rant to my co-complementary-Dining Dollar-users about this Insufficient Funds crisis.

But unable to accept the fact that there was supposedly no money in my Dining Dollars account, as soon as I got to work, I sat down at my desk and opened up the Cardholder Transactions page on SSOL.

Flex: 0.00
Dining Dollars: 0.42
Dining Dollars-(the other one): $11.53 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I grabbed my wallet, power walked back to Uris and went to the cash register. The lady who I just bought my lunch from was busy so I went to the next lady. I asked her to swipe my card to see if I had any Dining Dollars. She swiped. $11.53!!

She was very kind and understanding as I explained to her what just happened, and could I get a refund? :)
She asked the lady next to her, who was like No, it was a cash transaction, we can't do anything. (but more bitchily)
I was like that's okay, I'm going to go buy some stuff now anyway.

I got a plastic bag, stuffed in two red apples and two green apples. Sadly, somebody else had taken the last cup of grapes in the ten minutes I was away, so I got two oranges and a bottle of orange juice instead.

I still have about $3 left, but I'm pretty content with all this fruit for now.

Poor college student goes grocery shopping at on-campus food establishments for free in retaliation of incorrect cash transaction.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Poor College Student Literally Couldn't Afford Chipotle

Chipotle, 9:30 PM.

Epsita: I want to get the bean and cheese burrito, but I'm scared.
Mike: I'll get it. I have $1.61 left on this gift card, does anyone have 39 cents?
Claire: I didn't bring any money with me.
Epsita: I have a quarter.
Mike: We still need 14 cents. Let's look on the ground for coins.

We didn't find any coins :(

Free Drinks for Me...and You!

Poor college student loves drinking. A bit too much. A lot, actually. Poor college student also loves going out. A bit too much. A lot, actually. But how can poor college student go out so often?

To go out as often as I do, you must control the bar scene. I'd like to believe I've mastered the "get that dude over there to buy me a drink" skill. I mostly have, I haven't paid for a drink when I've gone out in a few months, unless with friends.

The rules to getting a (read: many) free drink:
- Look hot, look hot, LOOK HOT
- Or alternatively, look cute
- In any case, you have to dress well and look GOOD
- Don't act stupid, engage someone in conversation "HAHA YEAH! I love that too! Blah Blah Blah more talking"
- Ask for a drink very nicely and chill-ly "Hey, are you getting more drinks? Can I get one too?"
- Take out an already drunk friend, and have him/her buy you drinks
- Know your bartender v. well "Hey ___, gimme something on the house please!"
- Flash an adorable, cute smile
- Look pet-able and short

These rules work amazingly for me, so maybe they will for you too! Poor college student loves free drinks!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Poor College Student Can No Longer Afford Chipotle

When I was in high school, the park district in my hometown decided to team up with Chipotle and have a "Great Burrito Hunt". The concept was that they would hide 30 giant styrofoam burritos in the parks in order to encourage kids to get out of the house and into the parks.

How does a giant styrofoam burrito encourage a kid to go to the park you might ask? Well, if you can redeem said giant styrofoam burrito for a deck of 56 Chipotle playing cards, each worth one free burrito (with guacamole!), I count 30*56 = 1680 reasons to go looking for one of these monster burritos.
Fox News even wrote about it
My brother and I woke up early the first morning, and within two hours, had found TWO giant styrofoam burritos (112 free burritos!). We decided to be nice and stop searching for the rest so that other people might have the chance to find one as well.

My favorite moment was when after we found the second burrito and were driving out of the park, we saw another group of people drive into the parking lot, park, run out of their cars and into the woods to search for the burrito we had just found. Suckers!

I enjoyed my free burritos while they lasted. My high school self would usually get a burrito with rice, black beans, carnitas/barbacoa, all four salsas, guacamole, lettuce and cheese (for free!).

Then I found this: the Chipotle Nutrition Facts Calculator.

This was before that one law was instated in which all fast food places have to list the caloric content of their foods and people across the country happily ate their food in peace, without thinking about how many calories they were consuming. Unable to afford to eat all those calories, I switched to burrito bowls, cut out the cheese, green and red tomatillo salsas, saving an estimated 485 calories.

After running out of / gifting away the rest of the free burrito cards and moving to New York, I was frustrated to see that New York prices were much more than Illinois prices. Who pays $2.25 for a scoop of guacamole? Not poor college students.

Still, a burrito bowl with rice, black beans, carnitas/barbacoa, tomatoes, hot salsa and lettuce cost $8.00. That's a lot of money!

Then, I discovered that when ordering tacos, you don't necessarily have to order all three soft tacos or all four crispy tacos; you can order however many you like.

Two soft tacos with rice, black beans, one with carnitas, one with barbacoa, tomatoes, hot salsa and lettuce came to $6.00. Not bad.

I stuck with that order for a long time, and whenever any of my friends protested that Chipotle was too expensive, I responded with "Get two tacos! They only cost six dollars!"

One fateful day, a friend informed me of her order at chipotle: a pinto bean and cheese burrito. 500 calories. Three ingredients. Two dollars.

The conversation between her and the workers at Chipotle went a little something like this:

One bean and cheese burrito please.
Would you like rice in that?
No, beans and cheese only.
Black beans or pinto beans?
Would you like any meat?
Nope, that's it. Beans and cheese.
Would you like any salsa on that?
No thank you. Beans and cheese only.
Guacamole, sour cream or lettuce?
All I want is beans and cheese please.

Of course, there would be the occasional mishap when the cashier tried to ring it up as a vegetarian burrito and charge her $5.25, but after explaining yet again that there were literally only beans and cheese in her burrito and nothing else, she would be allowed to pay the $2.00 and go.

This week, I decided I couldn't pay $6.00 for two tacos anymore. I went into the local Chipotle and ordered a $2.00 pinto bean and cheese burrito. No questions asked - my friend had trained the staff well.

From free burritos with guacamole in high school to two dollar bean and cheese burritos in college. Oh, the life of a Poor College Student...

Poor College Student Hasn't Bought A Pen In Years / Goes Trick or Treating at Conventions

When your family runs a business, sometimes you are expected to go to trade shows, expos and/or conventions with them. While regular college students may protest having to tag along with the family to random places like Anaheim or Brooklyn, Poor College Students relish the opportunity because they know that there will be plenty of free giveaways from all the booths and exhibitors.

This is a sampling of some of the things I've picked up in the past two months:

A Time Inc branded alarm clock

From left to right, AT&T branded: lip balm, hand sanitizer, two regular pens, one broken light up pen and one functioning light up pen

Three non AT&T branded lip balms

A whole bunch of pens from random companies

My personal favorite being the United Dairymen of Arizona one

A UPS branded "Pinky tree". A mini plant in a plastic container that you can wear, water or plant

So I chose to wear it on my phone

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Run-on Sentence

Poor College Student is poorer because he had to take a taxi to work today
because he was running late today
because he tried to put up a Poor College Student Blog post today
that took longer than expected today
so not only is the post not up today
he is down $14.10 today.

I'll post the real post later today.

Today. Isn't that a funny word?

Mugged and...Poor

Mostly empty wallet - I got $2 from Claire for chocochips.

Poor college student sometimes does have some money. But never for long.

Today, I wanted to check out when the new Whole Foods on 96th and Columbus would open, so I got off the bus. Texting and milling around a residential block, I got held at stick point. Before giving the perp my wallet, I took out my cards and important info. I didn't remove any cash. The guy took the cash out, dropped my wallet, and dropped his stick before running away.

He took $80.

And, I haven't gotten any checks in three weeks, due to payroll problems.

Poor college student just wanted to splurge some rare money at the prepared foods section at Whole Foods, and is now out of money for the rest of the week entirely.

Monday, June 22, 2009

How to clean your carpet economically

I'm not one for much cleaning, but when strands of hair and balls of dust stick to the soles of my feet with every step I take, I know it's time to tidy up. It's deceiving with a carpeted floor though- with a hardwood or solid type of flooring, crumbs and hair and all sorts of crap just hang out on the floor and it's outright gross. But with carpet, all the crap sinks in, and with a dark blue carpet that comes with little orange specks you'd never know how gross it really was just by looking.

Last fall I didn't clean the floor all semester, what with the dorm vacuum cleaner only making enough noise to wake up the whole building and just pushing crap further into the carpet by running over it and all. I wasn't about to go buy my own vacuum cleaner, or some sort of cleaning supply just to clean a silly dorm room.

So a dirty carpet and a substantial roll of masking tape make...

an economical way to clean! All you have to do is roll it around your hands and feet sticky side out

and then crawl and walk around the room. Be sure to get all the corners.

Poor college student uses masking tape as a cleaning supply.
I warn you, a semester's worth of dirty carpet will use up a good amount of masking tape.

I have a little duster-sweeper-broom thing with a little dustpan now. It works just as well as masking tape, if not better. It was a good purchase. I can't afford a vacuum cleaner.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Beach Body

The cost of health is skyrocketing. Long gone are the days that a poor college student can afford a gym membership.

St. Mary's Fitness Center: $50/month
Double-Diamond Fitness: $50/month
24-hour fitness: $40 initiation & $30/month

Stay Ball by Gold's Gym: $19 (one-time fee)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Source of Income for the Summer

Poor college student did two behavior studies today and earned $17 but still isn't able to find a summer internship!


P.S. Click the title for the link to the website where you can sign up for behavior studies too

P.P.S. The second study I did today involved pretending to be a hiring manager and quickly reading through about 40 fake resumes in 10 minutes and then selecting 5 fake candidates to fill 5 fake positions and it just made me even sadder because all these not-real people were getting jobs and I wasn't.

Mike: "I clicked on the ad, does that mean we make some money?"

While resubmitting an application for Adsense after being rejected a day after the ads came up, I see a checkbox and the following sentence:

"I agree that I will not click on the Google ads I'm serving through AdSense"


Poor college student wants money so bad he clicks on his own ad to earn money, only to have his plan backfire completely.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Halloween for Cheap

Poor college student saves money on shirts

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Do you have a club card?

Poor college student actually uses Duane Reade club card to save $5.00

Poor College Student and Subway Fares

I can never decide if I like paying one price to get anywhere on the New York subway or paying based on distance traveled like in Tokyo. Paying $2 to get as far as JFK is pretty nice in comparison to the ¥1300 ($13.40) it costs to ride for two hours from the Tokyo airport to the city center. On the other hand, paying the price of what could be a full hot dog dinner from gray's papaya is frustrating. This is why Poor College Student must squeeze two people through one subway turnstile to save metrocard swipes.

It's an absolutely gratifying way to travel, paying half price.

One day last year, my friend Ching from Penn is visiting and we're taking the subway downtown. As I walk down the stairs from the street, I spot a few cops hanging out down by the further turnstiles, but think nothing of it. Ching can't find her metrocard so I'm like, don't worry about it, I'll swipe you in. So we squeeze into one turnstile and I swipe my card we go through and Ching's like, what just happened? I'm like don't worry about it.
We walk toward the stairs to the platform and a cop goes "Young lady. Young lady?"

Ever wished you could glance sideways without anyone knowing that you're looking at them? Well, you can't have everything.

So I do the stupid sideways glance that isn't very discreet and sure enough the stupid cop is telling stupid me to come back out of the stupid turnstile. I act as calm and collectedly pissed as I can while inside I'm really like fuckfuckFUCKCKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They go through the spiel where they make you feel like real dumbass by asking if we realized what we just did was ridiculously retarded or not, in cop language. Then they took down our info. And then they fined us $60. Each.

Poor College Student becomes poorer after paying $60 fine for trying to save a dollar on metrocard swipes.

That's the day I learned that you should really look before you do something that could potentially be really pathetic.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Vietnamese Bookstore

I was in a window shopping mood.

*Store owner hovers over me menacingly as I pick a book off of the shelf*
Store owner: You want that book?
me: eh probably not, how much is it?
Store owner: 6 dollar
me: mm no thank you
Store owner: How much you pay?
me: maybe 4 dollars?
Store owner: 5 dollar then

As I step to the sidwalk with my purchase in hand, I realize I already own Memoirs of a Geisha.

Poor college student never refuses an opportunity to haggle.

Love to haggle, or hate it? Either way you'll have no more worries, after checking out a cash advance online. As college students, we know money isn't easy to come by, but it is if it's care-free!

Wear sunscreen

I clicked on the ad, does that mean we make some money?

In other news, poor college student uses lint roller to remove peeling skin on back due to sunburn.

Also, I thought I'd add an image to add some excitement to the blog, not that peeling skin is terribly exciting.


Poor college student must use simplest layout on blog.