Tag Archives: savings

DIY Toiletries & Cleaning Supplies

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

 

 

 

 

College is where we all learn how to live frugally. Students always need to save money. However, that doesn’t mean we always see opportunities to save money. A lot of us spend what we think are small amounts of money on things we use every day (shampoo, soap, shaving cream, etc), not even realizing there is a cheaper way. Have you ever made your own toiletries or cleaning supplies? It might seem like difficult, time-wasting work, but it pays off in the long-run. Here are a few ways to get started:

1. Deodorant

For the solid kind, follow this recipe, which uses coconut oil, baking soda, and cornstarch. Want to try a spray-on? Go for this recipe, which uses only baking soda, water, and a spray bottle. If you want a nice scent to it, try adding an essential oil.

DIY Make Your Own Deodorant Craft From Scratch Supplies

Photo © One Green Planet

2. Shampoo

As the writer of this recipe notes, just a tablespoon of baking soda and a cup of hot water will make an inexpensive, yet effective, shampoo. If you want a shampoo that smells good, buy the Castile soap in the first recipe in a different scent.

DIY Make Your Own Shampoo Craft From Scratch Supplies

Photo © Money Saving Queen

3. Toothpaste

Just 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and 1 ½ teaspoons of salt will make you toothpaste! For a little flavor, add some peppermint essential oil or cinnamon.

DIY Make Your Own Toothpaste Craft From Scratch Supplies

Photo © Thankfully Thrifty

4. Countertop Cleaner

This recipe for a multi-purpose cleaner calls for quite a few ingredients, but you know what they say: a little goes a long way! The maker gave it great reviews too – this might be one I even try!

DIY Make Your Own Counter Cleaner Craft From Scratch Supplies

Photo © Our Semi Organic Life

5. Dish Soap

For liquid dish soap to wash with by hand, try this recipe. Have an automatic dishwasher? Try this one.

DIY Make Your Own Soap Craft From Scratch Supplies

Photo © MadeFromPinterest.com

6. Shower Cleaner

I like this easy recipe for doing one of the most hated household chores. All you need is borax, baking soda, vinegar, liquid soap, and warm water.

DIY Make Your Own Shower Cleaner Craft From Scratch Supplies

Photo © Whole New Mom

As you can see, a lot of these recipes require the same ingredients, so you’ll save time and money on something you can use multiple ways.

Is there anything you make to save money? Let us know in the comments!

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Penny Pinching in a Glitzy Town

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

 

 

 

 

The cost of living always seems to be rising. I just returned from a three month internship in Washington D.C. and realized while living there that I wasn’t properly prepared to be living in such an expensive city. I’m hoping to return there upon graduation and decided to try to decrease my cost of living to save up by making a budget.

How To Build A Budget:

1. Online Websites

There are multiple free websites that help you build a budget and watch your expenses. You can usually input credit cards, bills, and investments so that you have a complete view. I made an account at mint.com and have decreased my spending on groceries on budgeted clothes and restaurant expenses as well. Analyzing my expenses this way was an enlightening experience.

mint.com screenshot pie chart of finances and money budget

Photo © darksidesunny

2. Stay In

It’s easy to overspend on entertainment, especially with how expensive going out to a movie or getting drinks can be. Instead of going out, a stay-in night with friends can be just as fun. Movies are cheaper to rent, board games are always fun, or bottle of wine on sale and some invigorating conversation can keep a budget in check. If you do need/want to go out, than look for happy hours with seriously cheap drinks and maybe even some food options as well. Big cities may have a website listing all the happy hours in the area.

Uno Card Game

Photo © futilidadesdemenina

3. Savings

Coupons and deal websites are helpful in saving some additional costs. Livingsocial and Groupon saved me a lot of money when I wanted to go to sports events or themed parties for holidays. I was even able to save on cooking classes and haircuts.

Pile of coupons and discounts and savings

Photo © Mandy_Jansen

Any little savings will go far in the long run. Saving only $50 a month on groceries will equal $1,200 in 2 years! The budgeting has even helped me when I returned to my last month in college.  Hopefully these tips can help with living costs in any city.

What do you do to save money? Leave a comment below!

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Will Your Savings Hurt Your Financial Aid Chances?

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By Lynn O’Shaughnessy
A nationally recognized higher-ed expert and speaker, who is  the author of The Collor Solution, a bestseller, and the creator of The College Solution blog. The 2nd edition of her book — The College Solution — will be released on Amazon on May 24, 2012.

Many families worry that their college savings accounts will kill their chances for financial aid.

It’s been my experience that it’s usually dads who get stressed out about how colleges will treat their college accounts for financial aid purposes. Some fathers whom I’ve talked are down right bitter. They are especially incensed at the possibility that families that didn’t set aside money for college will hog all the aid.

If that’s what you’re worried about, here’s my advice: Relax!

Families who save for college are rarely ever hurt in student financial aid considerations. In fact, it’s been estimated that fewer than 4% of families who fill out financial aid applications are penalized for their savings.

Why Your Savings Won’t Hurt Financial Aid Chances

Here are the two biggest reasons why saving money shouldn’t hurt your financial aid chances:

1. Colleges don’t care how much you saved for retirement.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which anyone applying for financial aid will complete, doesn’t even inquire about retirement accounts. Private colleges that use the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, will inquire about a family’s retirement accounts, but schools that use the PROFILE very rarely penalize parents for these assets.

2. Parents can also shelter plenty of money outside of retirement accounts.

It might not seem like it, but colleges don’t want to strip you of all of your available cash. The financial aid formulas will also let you shield a big chunk of your non-retirement money through an asset protection allowance.

As you can see from the federal chart below, how much you can shield from the FAFSA formula depends on the age of the oldest parent. The closer the parent is to retirement age, the greater the amount he/she can shield from the financial aid formula.

Let’s say the oldest parent is 52. The family would be able to shield $49,200 in 529 savings plan money, as well as any other cash laying around in taxable accounts such as savings, checking and brokerage accounts. In a two-parent household, a 60-year-old parent could shelter $61,400 from financial aid calculations.

The amount a mom or dad could shelter in a one-parent household is significantly less. A 52-year-old single parent, for instance, could shelter $16,700.

Asset Allowance Illustration

Using an example should make it easier to see how this allowance would work. Let’s assume that a family has $100,000 in non-retirement assets, including $25,000 in a 529 savings plan, and the oldest parent is 55.

The family would get to shield $53,400 from the FAFSA formula, which would leave $46,600 unprotected. In calculating the family’s financial need, the FAFSA methodology wouldn’t expect the parents to sink all of that money into college. Consequently, the $46,600 in assets would be assessed at a parental rate of 5.46%. When you do the math, the child’s eligibility for need-based aid would only drop by $2,628 even though the family had $100,000 in the bank.

Knowing this, would you rather be a family who saved nothing for college or the family who has $100,000 in the bank? Obviously, it’s always better to save money, whether it’s for college or retirement. Do so and you’ll enjoy more options.

For parents who do have money to shelter from the federal aid formulas, 2012 did usher in some bad news. The amount of money that parents can protect has dropped. Last year, for instance, you could shelter $60,200, but the figure dropped to $53,400 this year. You can find the EFC Formula by Googling EFC Formula and 2012. You’ll find the right chart on page 19.

Note:

When I have written about this before, some parents have believed that they subtract their asset protection allowance themselves before reporting their taxable assets on the FAFSA. Do not do this! The federal processing software automatically does this when determining what you EFC is.

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