Tag Archives: budget

Penny Pinching Tips For College Students

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

 

Saving money in college is hard, plain and simple.  As a college student and soon to be young professional, I have compiled a list of tried and true experiences and opportunities that I know will help you be successful at saving too!

Try any of these penny pinching techniques:

1. Store Cards

Has the cashier at the store you frequent ever asked if you have the store discount/rewards card? If you don’t have it, sign up! Most grocery stores have store cards that not only offer the opportunity for extra coupons, but also discounts on gas. There are also websites that allow you to download digital coupons on to your card, giving you an extra discount on top of the store or printed coupons that you might already use. This may not make you an extreme couponer, but it will make your bank account a little steadier!

2. Public Transit

Yes, waiting for the bus can be a drag, especially in the rain and snow.  But after driving myself for four years and paying to park in a parking ramp for up to seven hours at least four days of the week, I paid over $700 a year in gas and parking just going to class. All because I didn’t want to wait for the campus bus, which happens to be free! Plan wisely and get a bus schedule and you can save so much money (plus it’s eco-friendly)!

3. Recycle

Do you live in a place that charges a deposit on bottled beverages? Recycle! Upgrading your technology with a new phone, laptop, or tablet? Recycle! Almost everything you have you can recycle to save money.  Laptop stores will often give you a discount on a new piece of tech if you turn in an old version when making your new purchase. Find a re-sale shop and sell some old, lightly used clothing and put the money towards new clothes for the upcoming season. Recycling is not only good for the planet; it’s good for your bank account.

4. Website Discount Sites

There are so many websites out there that exist purely to get you a discount! Ebates and Mr. Rebates will give you money back on almost anything you buy online. Save money on your next haircut by skimming through Groupon before you make an appointment. RetailMeNot always has coupon codes for some cheap pizza and more. SocialLiving is designed to help you save while trying some new experiences! Do some research and you will find discounts online everywhere!

The life of a college student is super busy, but these extra few tasks and planning opportunities will benefit you in so many ways.

Good luck, Penny Pinchers!

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Creative DIY Halloween Costumes

Filed under: College Life, DIY & Crafts, Fashion, Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

If you’ve ever bought a packaged Halloween costume at a store, you know first-hand that it’s usually not worth spending of all that money. It’s like buying a bridal gown: it’s something you’ll only wear once (unless you decided to reuse your gown as a zombie bride costume) and pay a lot of money for (granted, not as much for a costume as a gown, but you get my point). Making your own costume is often much cheaper and it adds a fun creative element, which will instill a sense of pride in your costume that money can’t buy. Besides, college students need every way possibly to save money.

Consider these options and tweak as you see fit:

1. Cardboard Armor

Whether you want to look like a roman centurion, a transformer, or a knight of the round table, you can always make some sweet armor out of cardboard. Get some scissors and some glue, plan out your costume design either by following an online template or freehand, and then get to work! It’s a classic college costume design that saves money and recycles leftover cardboard! Be sure to throw your costume in a recycling bin afterwards too.

2. Thrift Stores

Goodwill, Savers, the Salvation Army… Any and all thrift stores are great options to find cheap clothing that you can alter to look like a costume. One year I dressed up as Charlie Sheen’s character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I found a leather jacket at a local thrift shop as well as some ratty jeans that I could tear up to look like a greaser. In total, it cost me $8 – a steal compared to a store bought greaser costume which can cost upwards of $40! All I needed after that was to style my hair and get some makeup for exaggerated effect; which brings me to my next point…

3. Makeup

Yes, you can even do your own makeup without having to buy actual monster makeup. Now if you’re female, chances are you have some sort of experience with this. However, I am male and therefore have no idea about the world of makeup. So I asked my one of my female friends to do it for me! She did such good work that I was questioned by a police officer as I was on my way to my friend’s apartment that night. The point is: it’s still DIY even if you ask for help and you don’t need to buy anything marketed as a ‘Halloween product’ to have a killer costume.

4. Turn to Pop Culture for Ideas

If you still don’t know what to dress up as, a good bet is to parody something in the media. Some examples include but are not limited to: Donald Trump’s hair, a Californian Astronaut going to Mars in search of water. Or Mad Scientist Bernie Sanders. Group costumes are always great too with a bunch of friends: Power Rangers, a flock of penguins, hair metal band, etc.

Share what you will be dressing up as this Halloween in a comment below! Whatever it is, hope you have fun!

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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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