5 Things to Know About Savings Accounts

Filed under: Living, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Megan Lehman BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

Learning personal finance and how to take care of your money is extremely important, especially as a college student. Learning how to manage money now will save you time and money in the future. Thanks to these tried and true tips, I am going to graduate with very little student debt!

Here is what you should know about savings accounts:

1. Know the Different Kinds of Accounts

There are multiple forms of savings accounts, some better than others. By that, I mean they allow you to save more by the amount of interest they acquire.  Some of these accounts, however, have very specific requirements and require certain commitments, such as amounts left in the account at all times. Do some research and figure out your best options.

2. Picking An Account

When it comes to picking which account to open, it is important to consider where you are financially at this point in your life. If you work part time hours, like 5-10 hours a week, the basic savings account is for you. If you work full time, without many expenses, and have the ability to put a larger chunk away, open a CD or a MMA. These two accounts give the most interest and are two accounts to pay attention to.

3. CDs vs. Money Markets

These two savings accounts give the account owner the most return with interest. However, they require more of a commitment. CD (certificate of deposit) accounts require a time commitment during which no money can be withdrawn from the account, but can be added. The time commitment can be anywhere from six, twelve, or even twenty four months and require at least $100 to open.  Money market accounts (MMAs) require at least $1,000 to be in the account at all times. The owner can only withdraw from the account six times a month. I know that sounds like a lot of money, but this account will earn you more interest than any other account available at this time. Currently, CDs are not earning much more interest than the basic savings account. I would advise waiting until you can put away $1,000 and start a personal money market account.

4. Be Aware of the Fees

The money market account restricts the owner of the account from withdrawing from the account more than six times in a one month period. There are multiple accounts similar to this and it is important to understand the fees resulting from withdrawing too many times. There may even be regular monthly fees just to have an account, although sometimes there are certain requirements that can be met to waive these fees. Each bank is different.

5. Take Advantage Now

As a college student, I understand the struggle to save money. Currently, as an unpaid intern in Washington D.C., I understand the struggle even more intensely. Right now, no matter where you are in your college career, it is important to start thinking about a budget and savings. Recognize the timing in your life. Imagine what you could retire with if you started a 401k now? I started my 401k when I was 19 and, if I continue at the rate I am at, will be able to retire early.

Also, look at what you’re spending and what you can cut to save some extra cash. I choose to save now so I can graduate with as little debt as possible. By following these tips and learning more about which savings account is right for you, you can too.

Good luck!

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There’s An App For That: College Studying

Filed under: All Things Tech, College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Megan Lehman BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

It is not a secret that technology can be a great resource for studying for any student.  What may be a secret to you, however, is which apps are really worth your time and are helpful.  There is so much out there and it can be extremely time consuming picking out just what works for you.

Check out these tested, tried, and true apps that have worked for me and can definitely work for you too!

1. Quizlet

Quizlet has been my saving grace during the last few semesters.  This app allows you to create flashcards for any topic.  Once your flashcard set is created, you have the option of turning the flashcards into a self-grading quiz or playing games that help you study.  What I love most about this app though, is that you can type the flashcards on your computer, and then open the app and study on your phone or tablet.  I like to have the website open during lecture and discussion so that I can type in the flashcards as I go and study them on the app as I walk to my next class. Did I mention that this app is free?

2. Complete Class Organizer

Complete Class Organizer does not help you study, but what it does is just as important.  Keeping track of everything you have to do between 4 or 5 classes, extracurricular activities, and work is hard enough.  Let this app be your personal organizer.  While I have not used this app personally, 3 of my closest friends swear by it and it is definitely on my list of apps to download for this spring semester.

3. Mindjet

Putting together any research project takes a lot of time.  Trying to figure out how to organize all that information can add even more time on to that. Mindjet (iTunes/Droid) helps you take all that information and organize it in a way that makes sense.  As I wrote my honors thesis last spring semester, I cannot express how valuable I found this app to be. If you are tackling any research papers or projects, this app is for you!

4. RefMe

That research work will most likely need a bibliography or reference sheet as well.  If you need a quick reference, use RefMe (iTunes/Droid). Simply scan the barcode of the book and the app creates the reference for you!  This app is pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself.

5. Grammarly

This amazing tool is both an app and a website.  Do you have a question on whether or not a sentence is grammatically correct? Or would you like to run your essay through a quick grammar check without heading over to the writing center? Grammarly is for you. I recommend this app to all college students at every level of writing. I have been using this for years and it has never let me down once.

As finals are quickly approaching, these apps should help you stay on top of studying and help you ace those exams! Good luck and happy studying!

Share any of your favorite study apps with us in a comment below!

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Celebrating Thanksgiving On Campus

Filed under: College Life, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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Serena Piper BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

Parades, football games, delicious food, and of course seeing family and friends are just a few things that make the holiday season so great. The other great thing is taking a break from school! But what if you live too far from home to visit for Thanksgiving? Or what if you just can’t afford it this time? Don’t assume you’ll be stuck feeling alone on Thanksgiving. It may be easy to give in to that depressed feeling, but you can distract yourself with a multitude of ways to celebrate on campus.

Celebrate Thanksgiving on campus in your own way:

1. Buddy Up

Get together with anyone you know who may also be still on campus for the holiday. You can all go out to eat together, or maybe even collaborate together to put together a home-cooked meal.

2. Volunteer

Local charities and organizations are always looking for volunteers during the holiday season. They usually need help putting together an event or dinner for the community. Reach out and I bet you they will thank you for your service with a nice yummy meal. Don’t forget the side of having accomplished something nice for others (which is what Thanksgiving is all about).

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Eat Alone

It’s okay to have a Thanksgiving dinner to yourself. Sometimes, that can be the most stress-free and relaxing way. Decide if you want to cook or just get takeout! You can take all the time you need to choose a good Netflix movie and enjoy! Don’t forget the dessert too!

4. Go Out, Get Busy

Sometimes a good distraction can take away any loneliness. If you want to get out, go see a movie, go to a park, or start some early holiday shopping! Have some fun and maybe get some things done that you’ve been wanting to do.

5. Ask For Leftovers

There is always enough food to go around. If you can’t get a meal of your own, ask a friend or someone if they can bring you some leftovers so you can at least get a little taste of Thanksgiving. In the meantime – get a head start on homework, make a list of things you’re thankful for, and maybe even Skype with family/friends to distract yourself!

6. Watch TV

Seriously, Thanksgiving is a great time for television. The Macy’s Day parade and football games can fill your entire day! Make it a point to get cozy in your dorm or apartment with some blankets and goodies from the grocery store and watch whatever you want! If you don’t have cable or a television, then try online!

The important thing is to make the most of what you can. Bake your favorite kind of cookies, listen to your favorite music, or even plan what to do with the money you saved by staying on campus! Remember to be thankful for what you DO have.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Fit-Feasting On Thanksgiving

Filed under: Food, Health & Fitness, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

This time of the year is known as the time that ruins your diet. With the holidays, great meals, and colder weather – everyone seems to gain weight. Usually we don’t worry about gaining the weight until bikini body season. For the past couple of years, I’ve learned some tricks to staying as healthy as I can during Thanksgiving and this time of year so that afterwards I don’t feel sluggish and gross.

Here are some suggestions to how to stay healthy during Thanksgiving:

1. Family Fitness Activity

If you’re spending the holiday with family, like most of us do, the easiest way to get a “workout” in is to involve the whole family. For two years, my family and I have participated in the Turkey Trot 5K races the morning of Thanksgiving. If your town doesn’t offer something like that, then do a flag football or volleyball competition. Incorporate some sort of competition or game that gets the family going so you can burn some extra calories and make some holiday memories while doing it!

2. Cook Some Of The Meal

Talk to whoever is “in charge” of Thanksgiving and see what you can make yourself for the meal. I’ve already talked to my grandma about making a pie, and some side dishes this year. This puts you in control of the recipe, so you can use healthier options when cooking!

3. Smaller Plate Trick

So you don’t offend the cook, talk to them beforehand, but instead of using a big plate like everyone else, use a smaller plate. That way you will have a full plate, and smaller portions, so you trick yourself into thinking you’ve eaten a lot. This will help you to prevent all of that gluttonous overeating.

4. Commercial Break

My family watches football on Thanksgiving as a tradition. When there is a commercial break, I use it as an opportunity to get away from the TV and walk around. If you’re in a comfortable family setting, do jumping jacks or push-ups between commercials to get your blood flowing!

5. Don’t Discourage Yourself

Don’t be upset because you ate mash potatoes, or if you ate one too many cookies. IT HAPPENS! If you eat too many cookies, walk around the house and burn some extra calories. Don’t let this celebration with your family turn into you freaking out about calories all day.

Remember to enjoy yourself, and your family’s company. Don’t stress about calories all day, but be try to do some fit-feasting this Thanksgiving to help!

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Studying Strategies For Finals

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

This time of the semester is usually crazy with college classes. Between professors cramming in material at the end of the semester, to team projects, and loads of homework and tests (including finals), it’s no wonder students can be burnt out this time of year. However, this is a very crucial time to stay focused and make sure you carry through the best you can to continue to learn and get good grades.

Have successful studying session for tests and finals with these recommendations:

1. Work In Increments

You should break up your class and homework assignments you’re working on and accomplish them one piece at a time. This makes it easy to track your progress and keep up your morale by accomplishing a series of mini-goals. You should also make sure you take breaks in between each segment. Experts recommend about 15 minutes of break time to every 1 hour of studying to not exhaust your brain power. Whether you decide to eat a quick snack, go outside, or socialize for your break, just make sure you take that time for yourself (and then get back to studying).

2. Stick To A Schedule

You should plan specific times to study and stick to your schedule. This makes you more accountable to actually study. After a few weeks of this, studying will become just another habit in your regular routine.

3. Set Goals

Don’t start studying until you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, such as to learn more about a certain topic. This will keep you focused on the things you need to work the most on as you study and can help you plan out where you are spending your time as you study.

4. Limit Distractions

First, you should find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted much by your surroundings. You should also be wary of digital distractions. You may need your laptop or tablet to study, but limit your social media and web browsing. You can also tell your friends not to bother you when you’re studying, or just turn off the notifications on your phone.

5. Ask For Help

Much of the work you will accomplish “in the real world” will come from collaborating with others. For this reason, and for the sake of your sanity, you should feel comfortable reaching out to other students in the class if you are stuck on a problem or topic. Or you can even reach out to the professor. By communicating your difficulties, not only will you likely receive help, but if a lot of people are also having trouble with the topic, the professor may be willing to alter or review the material to fit the needs of the class.

Remember, everyone studies differently for what works for them. It may take some time to find out the best method for you if you haven’t found it yet. If you have found your ultimate study method, share with us what it is in a comment below!

Good luck studying!

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