Budgeting Bulldog Bucks this school year

Zags utilize many different techniques to budget Bulldog Bucks spent throughout the semester. 

Endless conversations and seeing all your friends in the COG won’t quite be the same this year.

Due to the limitations brought about by COVID-19 there have been new restrictions placed on the COG’s regular operations. The casual style of grabbing a meal from any of the stations and sitting down with your friends has vanished. 

This leads to the other option coming from Gonzaga meal plans being used more often: Bulldog Bucks.

With Bulldog Bucks being the new prioritized outlet for meals, you may find yourself swiping your student ID more than you’d like to. But budgeting your dollars could save you a lot of trouble throughout the semester.

Bulldog Bucks are needed by all students. Each student needs around 750. And make sure not to spend them all before midterms,” said junior Ben Rossetto.

There are quite a few options to choose from when it comes to Bulldog Bucks. White 175 offers $800 in Bulldog Bucks. For some this may be the best option for the semester as the COG won’t be serving meals the same. For students planning to cook their own meals, Silver 12 also provides $700 for students to spend each semester.

“It’s important for people to know that your Bulldog Bucks roll over between semesters,” said senior Gabriel Carbajal.

If  budgeted correctly, having a few extra Bulldog Bucks could be a game-changer for spring semester, allowing more wiggle room to spend freely. 

“Try to limit your Bulldog Bucks instead of spending them all in the first couple weeks and don’t get used to eating out,” said Nathan Silenzi, a current junior at GU.

It is important to budget your Bulldog Bucks from week to week. The semester is 16 weeks long, but at the beginning of each semester most students spend their Bulldog Bucks in excess for supplies and groceries. This can be prevented with a custom-built budgeting plan.

On the GU website Housing and Dining created a spreadsheet to break down the use of swipes and Bulldog Bucks from week to week, giving students an accurate method to spending and getting meals from the COG.

It is important to prioritize swipes to preserve Bulldog Bucks, swipes are still the most cost-effective option. Visiting the COG for at least a meal a day could be very important because solely relying on Bulldog Bucks may be difficult.

“I recommend using your meal plan as much as possible and using your Bulldog Bucks more as a treat,” said senior Brandon Takahashi.

While using your Bulldog Bucks as a treat may be more difficult this semester it is still good advice. Saving your Bulldog Bucks makes spending money in other semesters much easier, as stated earlier.

“McDonald’s is always a safe bet for budgeting your money,” Silenzi said.

While using your Bulldog Bucks for meals, restaurants with savers menus are very beneficial such as McDonalds and Wendy’s. Another option is URM Cash & Carry, the grocery store located behind Coughlin Hall. Buying groceries in bulk and cooking from your dorm or house offers an attractive method to avoid draining your Bulldog Bucks at overpriced on-campus eateries. 

Bulldog Bucks are not unlimited, so paying attention to where the money goes is important. Eating at expensive restaurants consistently will drain the account in no time, this is exactly why a balance between the COG and spending is necessary for every student this semester.

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