Tag Archives: budget

How To Start Saving (And Stop Spending)

Filed under: Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger Biography

Saving money can always be a difficult task. Especially when you are surrounded by things you would like to splurge on: coffees, clothes, etc. Whether you are saving up for a trip, need money for the next semester of college, or would like to start investing towards a savings account, you need to save some money and limit your spending habits.

Here are three ways to start saving and stop spending:

1. Start A Savings Challenge

A savings challenge is the easiest and fastest way to begin saving. It’s very direct and easy to follow. The object of the challenge is to begin saving money in small increments (even as losw as $1) and eventually it will add up to a large sum by the time your challenge is complete. Each week, put more money into your savings than you did the week prior. Save for as long as you can and you will soon be rolling in dough!

2. Download Financial Apps

Mint.com is one of many apps available for download to your smartphone or tablet to help keep track of your spending. Financial applications like these are great to help you become aware of where your money goes, which can help determine where you can cut back and save. The Mint app tracks your entire account activity and will let you know when your account is low and can even alert you of any potential suspicious activity. You also can set up allowances for how much you would like to spend on specific categories and it will alert you when you’ve reached your budget.

3. Jar Method

If you are saving towards a certain item, event, or trip, then get a jar (or container) and label it for your goal. Any time you have any spare change or extra cash (I suggest using cash to reach bigger savings), then stash it inside. Before you know it, the jar will be filled and you will be on your way towards cashing it in for just the thing you had in mind.

It can be hard cutting back on spending and even harder to not spend money you are trying to save, but it is so rewarding when you see your savings grow or when you finally use your savings towards the item you were saving for.

Share your saving secrets with us in a comment below!

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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!

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.

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.

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!

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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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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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3 Inexpensive Recipes for the Starving College Student

Filed under: College Life, Food, Fun Ideas, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

College is one of the best experiences of our lives. However, college food can sometimes be one of the worst. Being on a budget and starving can sometimes be a struggle. Here are three easy recipes that will satisfy your taste buds and save you money!

1. Mexican Hotdogs

Take a flour tortilla and spread a spoonful of beans onto it. Sprinkle on some of your favorite cheese, place a hot dog in the middle, and roll it up. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Afterwards top it off with salsa!

2. Potato Soup

Add peeled and cubed potatoes to a saucepan. Add chopped celery and onions to the mix. Add water to bring the items to a boil, but make sure not to cover the veggies and potatoes fully with the water. Bring to a boil for about 25 minutes and then roughly mash up the potatoes. You want to coarsely mash up the potatoes so that you have chunks of it in the soup. Add 1/4 cup of milk to thicken up the sauce and flavor it with salt/pepper.

3. Peanut Butter Fudge with Vanilla Frosting

Empty a full jar of peanut butter and a whole can of vanilla frosting into a microwave safe bowl. Mix well and microwave for 30 second to 1 minute, watch carefully not to over cook it! Afterwards, pour the mix out onto the bowl and let it set. After letting it cool, cut into squares and enjoy!

What is your go-to meal when you are on a budget?

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