Category Archives: Money/Budget

Spring Break On A Budget

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Money/Budget, Seasonal Celebrations, Travel & Abroad - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

Every year, I daydream about a beautiful, warm, tropical place that I can fly away to, but then I remember that I don’t exactly have the money for such a trip. Working full time and going to school is something a lot of us are familiar with – along with not being able to pay for a flight to Miami and a hotel room for five days. However, just because you cannot afford to have a luxurious Spring Break, doesn’t mean you are completely out of luck! Here’s a few ideas to have a memorable Spring Break while on a budget:

1. Alternative Trips

Some universities are awesome and have packages for Spring Break trips. I go to Texas State University and they offer a week long mission trip. I’m considering to go on the trip because they take us around Texas to help out at shelters, and then drive us to Louisiana to help there. Not to mention, our nights are free to do as we please! Free New Orleans trip AND you get to help out so many people in just a few days!

Spring Break Volunteer Homeless Shelter

Photo © St. Francis House

2. Drive Around

Explore your state (or states nearby)! There’s no reason you have to fly to get away. It’s so much cheaper to drive. Grab two or three friends, split the cost, and don’t splurge on fancy hotels. Plan some favorite activities and you’ll realize the company is really what makes a vacation fun.

College Students Driving

Photo © College Marketing

3. Vacation Bundles

Like always, Google can be your best friend. There are a ton of sites that offers packages and plans for college students to go on a trip for spring break! Some of my friends have used Student City because they offer safe, reliable, and convenient vacation packages that have everything included in the price. Oftentimes, the more you can bundle, the more you can save.

Student City Spring Break Vacation Package Bundle

Photo © Student City

4. Plan Ahead Next Year

It may be too late for this year, but if you have some solid friends that you know you’ll still love next year, it’s SO much cheaper to plan ahead and to pull your resources. You’ll get flights way cheaper, along with hotels. I planned a trip to Thailand for next December, and my flight is dramatically cheaper than if I were planning this trip for a few months away!

Spring Break Calendar Plan Ahead

Photo © Houston ISD

So, don’t fret! If you plan ahead and work within your means, I promise you can still have an amazing Spring Break!

Leave a comment below and share with us your plans for Spring Break 2015!

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Starting A New Exercise Routine

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Health & Fitness, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

It’s always difficult to start a new exercise routine. Especially with the pressure of welcoming in a new year. Every year I feel like I say I’m going to start being healthier, and exercise every day, but now that I’m older, I’ve realized more and more than I do not like traditional exercises. It’s very hard for me to be motivated because I don’t like lifting weights, and I definitely do not like running. There are a few ways that I’ve kept myself motivated and on the right track, that are easy to implement into your everyday life!

1. Figure Out What You Like

I got a cheap pass at my local gym that allowed me to try out all of the different kinds of group classes. It was a great experience because I found out some exercises that I never would have thought of that I absolutely love now. My new favorites are hot yoga, spin class, and boxing! This makes it so much easier for me to want to go to the gym because it is so much fun!

Spin Exercise Class Fitness Sprinning Bikes

Photo © Core Fitness Club

2. Get A Gym Buddy

I have a co-worker that has been struggling to lose weight, just like me. We decided to start exercising and start going to the gym together! Not only do we go to group classes together now, but we also split the cost for a personal trainer! This makes it easier on our wallets, and we have each other to make sure we commit to our routine.

Gym Buddy Cat Shrek

Photo © Her Campus

3. Find Discounts

Websites like Groupon and Living Social are my favorite because they have major discounts for awesome activities. I have been using Groupon a lot lately and I’ve been able to go on a lot of adventures, that are a twist on exercise. I’ve gone on a group rock climb, a white water rafting trip, and hot yoga for a month for only $20!

Groupon Website Fitness Coupon

Photo © The Ad Effect

My best advice is to try several different forms of exercise to figure out what you like the best, even if it’s just dancing for an hour every night! You’re burning calories and doing something that you love. It’s not about forcing yourself to exercise, it’s about changing your lifestyle to be more physically active, which you can’t do unless it’s something you enjoy!

Good luck!

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Cheap & Easy Recipes For Students On A Budget

Filed under: Food, Fun Ideas, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger BiographyA college diet can sometimes be a struggle when you’re on a tight budget. The dreaded Ramen meal can sometimes be a nightmare to your taste buds, but have no fear! Here are some cheap and easy recipes that will leave your mouth watering. These recipes consist of five or less ingredients and are quick to make. Try them out!

1. French Bread Pizza

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and cut a loaf of French bread in half and place it on a baking pan. Spread spaghetti sauce onto the bread and then sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Add any toppings you desire (pepperoni, olives, ham, bacon, etc) and add a touch of spices for some extra zest! Bake for 10-15 minutes until the bread has toasted and the cheese has melted. Let it cool for 5 minutes and then cut. Now you have your own homemade French bread pizza!

Cheap Easy New Food Recipe For College Students French Bread Pizza

Photo © life as mom

2. Avocado Egg Bake

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut avocados in half and remove the seed. Use a spoon to gently scoop out enough space for an egg. Crack eggs into the avocado halves, and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Bake the avocados for 15-20 minutes, or until the yolk is cooked to your liking. Toast on the side couldn’t hurt either!

Cheap Easy New Food Recipe For College Students Baked Egg Avocado

Photo © onsugar

3. Garlic Butter Pasta

Cook angel hair pasta for 8-10 minutes and heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a separate pan, on medium-high heat. Once the oil has warmed up, add 3 to 4 crushed garlic cloves. Add ½ a stick of butter as the garlic begins to brown. After the butter has melted, mix in with the pasta. Season to your liking and add any fresh herbs, cooked shrimp, or grilled chicken slices.

Cheap Easy New Food Recipe For College Students Garlic Butter Pasta

Photo © Simply Recipes

So, the next time you are running short on time or cash, give one of these recipes a try. If you have any quick and easy recipes, share with us in the comments below!

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Getting Fit On A Budget

Filed under: College Life, Health & Fitness, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger Biography

Looking to get healthy but don’t know how? Or are you looking to get a good workout in to lose a couple of pounds before the holidays without spending money on DVDs and gym memberships? If you’re looking to shed some weight and tone up, here are some fun, easy, and free workouts you can do!

1. YouTube Videos

Who needs workout DVDs when you can get a great workout from videos on YouTube? Whatever your fitness level is, there are videos that can help you get into shape. Whether you’re looking to shed weight or tone up, the variety of videos are nearly endless.

2. The Prison Workout

These workouts can be done in small spaces such as a dorm room or apartment. Like the conditions of a prison, you have don’t need much room and you only need to use your body to tone up. The workouts are based on repetition and your body’s weight. If you follow this workout, you will definitely get stronger and more toned!

Man Doing Crunches

Photo © Eights and Weights

3. Running Apps

Running is one of the best ways to get into shape! If you’re a beginner and need a push to start running, there are many apps (most are free) that you can download to your phone to help push you. It has set running schedules made to push you into running harder and faster. These apps are like having your own personal trainer. It will tell you when to run, rest, and even push you to run faster. There is a variety of apps ranging from beginner runners to more advanced runners. Whichever level you are at, these apps can definitely give you a great workout.

Runkeeper Running App

Photo © Toms Guide

These are great ways to kick-start getting towards a healthier you! If these workouts aren’t enough, many colleges have gyms included in their student fees and tuitions. If you’re looking to get fit, you can definitely take advantage of working out at your school’s gym. If you need more help or tips in getting fit, you can also inquire about personal training sessions. A great tip I can give is, ask friends who are into fitness for tips on how to get fit. Most times, they’re willing to help whip you into shape for free!

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4 Campus Services You Should Not Pay For

Filed under: College Life, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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By Guest Blogger, Kevin Foor

College is expensive. One year of school at an in-state public institution currently averages $18,391, according to the College Board. If you go out of state, that number bumps up to $31,701. Because of the high costs of tuition and room and board, it’s essential that you cut costs wherever you can. In addition to saving money on textbooks by using a service like BookRenter, there are plenty more ways to conserve cash in college – and they come mainly from avoiding costly campus services. Here are four that you should avoid.

1. College Debit Card

You might think that getting a college debit card is a great idea, especially since many schools can load your financial aid directly onto it. However, these cards are typically chock-full of fees, including swipe fees, usage fees, and inactivity fees. Plus, having all that student loan money on a piece of plastic is only going to tempt you to spend it unnecessarily. Your best bet is to get in on the latest checking account promotions or to open an account at a local bank that offers a fee-free debit card.

Campus Credit Debit Card

Photo © Heartland Payment Options

2. Errand Services

These services run the gamut. You might see signs in your dorm lobby for laundry pick-up, grocery shopping, or meal preparation and delivery. Don’t take the bait. College is tough, there’s no denying it, but if you don’t think you have enough time in the day to take care of these responsibilities yourself, try instituting some time management practices to free up the necessary time. When you’re studying, go to the library or another quiet area so you’re not interrupted. If you’re doing online research for a school project, stick to the matter at hand and avoid surfing the Internet or checking your social media accounts. Free up more time in your day and you can complete these errands on your own and save a bundle.

College Laundry Services

Photo © Gopher Laundry

3. University Health Coverage

Because of the Affordable Care Act you can now stay on your parents’ health insurance plan until you reach the age of 26. Take advantage of that and opt out of campus-based health insurance. This is another unneeded expense and even if your parents ask you to pay for your portion of the coverage, it’s likely to be less than what you would pay through your school plan since many institutions have significantly raised premiums.

College Health Services

Photo © HVCC

4. Dining Meal Plan

I was recently reading a college education website and one student commented that his food plan cost $1,325 for 100 meals. That’s $13.25 per meal. Be sure to run the numbers of a university meal plan before signing on the dotted line. You could save yourself hundreds by eating in your dorm room. Take advantage of cooking facilities and clip coupons to save money on your grocery trips.

College Dining Hall Plan

Photo © Austin College

You may believe some of these services are worth the cost, but don’t lose sight of how important it is to keep your expenses down while in school. Once you graduate and hopefully find work, you’re going to be responsible for personal budgeting. Save money any way you can during school and start paying your loans back as quickly as possible.

What campus services can you eliminate that are unnecessary?

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