Even with all the overtime I could get filling vacation vacancies at mills and working extended shifts, I still had to be pretty sharp at buying/selling musical gear to cover the gap. The trick was getting financially set to the point where I could walk around with at least a 1/2 semester's worth of tuition in my pocket so I could jump on the hot deals when they came up. Students can help themselves much more than they know. One guy (who I patronized regularly) was a European immigrant who baked wonderful breads with his parents, and brought a knapsack-full to school every day. He was always sold out by lunch-time so you had to catch him early. Wonderful, toothy, pumpernickels, rye, sourdoughs, etc. I used to pack iced-down vegetables, cheeses, mustards, etc with a large sharp knife so I could make sandwiches at lunch-time. Later, I economized by baking my own whole-wheat bread every weekend. If you are willing to work, you don't have to graduate as a debt-ridden wage-monkey.