How to keep warm while staying fiscally responsible

(from left) Molly Dunn, freshman in animal science, Mary Eileen Kucera, freshman in mass communications, and Michael Tillhof, freshman in general engineering, chat while walking through campus during a cold snap on Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 11, 2014. (Hannah Hunsinger | The Collegian)

Snow on Monday night was a friendly reminder that winter may be paying an early visit to Manhattan this year. With winter rushing at us so quickly, it is time to talk about preparing for winter.

When in Kansas, there are parts of winter preparation that require a chunk of change. However, there are also ways to prepare and stay warm that don’t require burning your money.

Things to spend on

Winter coat

Investing in a warm and durable winter coat is not only a short-term investment for the season, but it is a long-term investment for many winters to come.

According to the article, “How to Choose the Best Winter Jacket” by Chris Simrell on the website Outdoor Gear Lab, there are many factors that should influence your choice of winter jacket. One such factor is what the coat will be used for.

For example, a winter parka offers more insulation but consequently weighs more than a down jacket. Down jackets, according to Simrell, contain a small amount of insulation and are more lightweight but provide less warmth than a winter parka.

That being said, a ridiculous amount of money does not need to be spent on a winter coat. Get something that is functional and will keep you warm in the snow – an important factor, especially during Kansas winters.

Winter boots

When it snows, you don’t want to be caught with shoes that allow water to seep in. If snow and water can get into your shoes, you’ll be left with cold, wet feet.

This is why it’s important to invest in a solid pair of winter boots.

Another important weather hazard to consider when buying boots is ice. Shoes with traction keep you from slipping and falling on ice. According to an article on the Livestrong website, “The Best Shoes for Walking on Ice” by Lucy Dale, buyers should focus on the bottom of the shoe and its effectiveness on ice, first.

One way to ensure the shoes you buy will work efficiently on ice is to make sure they fit correctly. According to Dale, if shoes are too loose you risk falling, regardless of any kind of shoes you have.

Dale also suggested that winter boot buyers should keep their price range between $80-$120.

This may sound like a lot, but the hope is that in buying nice, solid, winter boots, you’ll have them to keep you warm and safe for a long time.

Things to save on

Hot beverages

Whether it is coffee or hot chocolate, having a warm drink on a cold day can be comforting. However, many students may be paying more than what is necessary.

Rather than buying a hot beverage from a vendor several times a week, invest in a mug or cup that you like and make your own drink. Buying coffee or hot chocolate powder from the store will be less expensive and will last longer than just one day. This way, students can make the beverage in the morning before they leave and not have to agonizingly spend extra money each day when they get cold.

This also means that you have a complimentary hand warmer just by carrying your hot beverage with you through the day.


As far as practicality goes, unless you are planning to work or play in the snow, gloves can be cheaped out on a little bit. As long as your hands don’t come into contact with the snow, then all you are protecting your hands from is the cold air. However, you might be able to get away with not buying any at all.

If you walk campus and your jacket or pants have warm pockets, you can use your pockets instead. However, if you ride a bike around campus, you will probably need gloves to keep your hands warm since you cannot shield your hands from the cold air without them.

Regardless, there should only be two reasons that you need to buy expensive, heavy-duty gloves: if you’re going to be working with or in snow or if you plan to be outside in the cold for a long duration. In just walking to and from classes each day, there should be no need to spend an obscene amount of money on gloves.

Overall, you can be much more prepared this winter without unnecessary spending, it’s just a matter of determining where you can cut back.

My name is Emily Moore and I'm a senior majoring in English and mass communications with a minor in leadership. I love to read, write and edit. During my free time, I enjoy doing crossword puzzles, rock climbing and spending time with my friends.