Tag Archives: money

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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Online Scholarship Search

Filed under: College Life, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Finding and applying for college scholarships and grants can be a lengthy and tiring process. Filling out applications, tracking down personal information, and writing essays can really take up a lot of time.

When I was a college student and looking to receive free aid, I would look for the easiest and quickest ways to do it. One of the best perks to using online applications is that unlike the resources your university usually gives out, they save a lot of time. Through a bit of searching, I found quite a few websites that ended up being some of my favorites:

1. Fastweb

On Fastweb, make an account with all your school info. The more blanks you fill in, the more scholarship applications you’ll be notified about. Most applications I found were a quick five or six question form and most did not require an essay!

Fastweb Scholarship Website Logo

Photo © Fastweb

2. Scholarships.com

This is another website you can make an account with and they will find the scholarships most fitted for you based on the information you supply. Then you can pick and choose what to apply for!

Scholarships.com Logo Find Money For College

Photo © scholarships.com

3. Scholarship Experts

As with the two above, the scholarships found are tailored to meet your qualifications. It is really easy to set up and to find quick and easy scholarships!

Scholarship Experts Logo

Photo © Scholarship Experts

4. College Board

College Board publishes a book of scholarships and now has information available online. Their scholarship database has more than 2,300 scholarship opportunities so this is a great website to definitely look into.

College Board Logo Scholarship

Photo © College Board

5. CollegeNET

With CollegeNET, the winner of a scholarship is determined through voters. Also, students can participate in online communities where the student who is ‘most interesting’ in conversation by the end of the voting cycle every Wednesday, can win $3,000-$5,000 in scholarship money!

CollegeNet Logo Scholarships

Photo © CollegeNet

Scholarships are not easy to get, but at least you can make it easy on yourself to apply!

How do you find your scholarships?

 

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Changing Your Spending Habits

Filed under: Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Loni Gibson Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Have you ever wished that you just had a little bit of extra money? Of course you do, and you’re not the only one who has. Especially as a college student, some extra cash could always come in handy.

Changing your spending habits could help you save any extra bit of money in your pocket. The thought of having a larger paycheck or spending money from Mom and Dad might help too, but with more money and your same spending habits, you may still be left wishing you had more.

Hold on to your money with these money saving tips:

1. Track Your Spending

Write down every penny you spend, either in your phone or a notepad, to help you realize where all of your money is going. Then you can go back and eliminate unnecessary costs to help you spend less.

Writing Down Spending

Photo © blogial

2. Stay In

Who wouldn’t rather go out and have fun than stay inside? Sometimes that is not always an option for your budget. You can have fun staying in too, though. Try having a game night, or inviting some friends over for dinner. Sometimes small gatherings can actually be much better memories – and your wallet will thank you.

Game night inside at home

Photo © digboston

3. Prepare Food

We’ve all fallen victim to just simply not having enough time to make lunch to bring to work or school, and then we end up buying it every day. That can add up! Even if you spent just five minutes before bed, you could easily prepare a meal for the next day. Daily habitual spending is hard to let go of, but think of how much money you could keep in your wallet!

Preparing Lunch

Photo © inhabitat

Hopefully these tips can help you hold on to some cash for just a little bit longer!

What are some helpful ideas you have on how to limit spending?

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Credit Card Craze: Tracking Your Spending

Filed under: College Life, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
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Angelina Bossone Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Now that the holidays are over, hopefully your spending has slowed down or stopped for at least a little while. Now is the time more than ever to remind yourself to be responsible with your money and spending habits. It is so easy, especially as a college student, to habitually buy that morning cup of coffee, that weekly pizza dinner, or those drinks down at the bar with friends. It is easy not to think about how much you are spending when you are swiping a piece of plastic.

Here are a few ideas to help you become aware of your spending:

1. Use Cash – Not Plastic

We live in a world of plastic with debit and credit cards. Debit cards can be dangerous since they are linked directly to your checking account. You may not care about how much you are spending because as long as your spending is below the amount in your account you are good, right? Wrong. Just because you have money in your account doesn’t mean you should spend it. I find that when I use cash instead of plastic, I am more aware of my money. When you physically hand over cash, you can see that it is gone and that it is no longer with you. You can also see that the more you hand over, the more you are spending. And when it’s gone, it’s gone, unlike the plastic which is always there to entice you.

Spending Cash Money Instead of Plastic

Photo © Savvy Sugar

2. Limit Credit Cards

Credit cards can be just as dangerous because you think you have a limit that you can easily pay off later. Credit cards are not the same as debit cards. Credit cards contain no value. I do not use my credit card unless I know I already have that exact amount in my checking account that I can pay off right away. I typically only use my credit card for smaller purchases and use it only once in a while. It is not my first method of payment, and it shouldn’t be yours either.

Credit Card Money Spending

Photo © MSN Money

3. Monthly Budget Sheet

It is a huge benefit to write out your monthly expenses and your monthly income. Write out specific details such as how much you spend per month on groceries, bills, dining, entertainment, saving (yes, this should be included), gas, etc and subtract that total from your monthly income. This helps you become aware of where your money is going each month. You can then see if you spent under or over your monthly limit for each category and determine how well you are managing your income. Tip – use an Excel spreadsheet and put in the calculating formulas so it will automatically do the math for you on what your total expenses and remaining income is.

Excel Spreadsheet Monthly Income Budget

Photo © scio

Money is hard to get these days and can be gone in the blink of an eye! It’s okay to have fun every one in a while, but just be sure you are not getting crazy with those credit cards and are aware of your spending!

What are some ways you track your spending?

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How To Un-Spend From The Holidays

Filed under: Money/Budget, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Angelina Bossone Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

If you are like me, you love to go all out for the holiday season and spoil everyone you love with gifts! Sometimes though, I will admit, I spent much more than I should. I can’t help it though! I want to get things for friends and family that I know they will love. However, there could be a plus side – usually, you can reap on the returns!

Broke empty wallet

Photo © teklic

Cash is always one of the best gifts to give/receive, especially when you are a college student. And I can usually count on getting cash in some form from at least one person, whether it be from my parents, my grandpa, an aunt, or a brother. Of course I don’t expect it and I appreciate it anything I get from anyone.

If I do end up getting cash for the holidays, it instantly goes into my savings. I know Christmas cash usually means instant shopping spree for that thing you have really been wanting, but by saving it I see it as going towards the gifts I purchased for everyone else!

Saving Cash Piggy Bank

Photo © Quizzlewire

I then instantly feel better since I feel as though I spent less initially. Saving money is not easy to do, especially this time of the year. However, if you think of incoming money as paying off money you have spent, you will gladly hold on to it rather than spend it.

How do you deal with overspending on the holidays?

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