Hey Students, Don’t Get Duped By Debt

College is the time to make new friends, share in new experiences, and WHAT? . . .establish more DEBT? Yep, like it or not, unless your parents are wealthy you will acquire some debt while in school. The good news is that you can limit the amount that you borrow. Even though you are borrowing money to create more wealth for the future, debt management is crucial for future success. Here are some tips to be smart about borrowing and not be duped by debt!

  • More expensive does not always equal better. Pick a school which best fits into the family budget. There are many public colleges which are ranked as some of the best colleges in the country. State funded schools provide a high quality education with a much lower price tag than a private college. Also, there is nothing wrong with starting at a community college and transferring credits. The only thing you miss out on is the higher loan payments- what a pity! Read up on college rankings, best values for the money, etc, and always consider finanaces when picking your college.

 

  • Spend less on textbooks. Renting textbooks is a no-brainer when it comes to reducing debt. Review our site to learn about the best places to rent textbooks and save boat loads of money.

 

  • Be creative about borrowing. If you can borrow money for school from a family member or outside source (interest-free) go for it!

 

  • Be smart about credit. Credit cards are a huge culprit of future debt- so use responsibly. Ideally, only use it in cases of emergencies. Keep the limit to a low amount such as $500. This will save the future aggravation of playing catch-up with soaring interest rates.

 

  • Make you major count. Use logic when choosing a major. Though we all like to romanticize the concept of learning for its own sake, the practical fact is that the primary goal of attending college is to gain future employment. With that being said, if you must major in liberal studies, pick a minor which is specialized to afford you a competitive edge. Otherwise you will be moving back in with mom and dad after graduation.

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Buy Into Impulse Buying!

Do you have a shopping habit? Are you finding ways to justify buying yet another pair of shoes or purchasing something you don’t need simply because it’s on sale? If so, join the club! Impulse shopping or purchases that are not planned, are common and dangerous. If you aren’t careful, impulse buying will sabotage all of your budgeting efforts. Since college is no time to give into unplanned sprees, here are some tips to curb that unnecessary spending.

Ditch the credit cards. When you go out, carry only a limited amount of cash and leave the plastic behind. This keeps you on track and establishes an absolute budget. When the cash is gone, that’s it.

Track your spending. Keep a small notebook handy and track your daily spending. We oftentimes lose track of where our money goes. This is a great tool to analyze spending patterns. The daily latte habit can really add up- Trust me, I know!

Do not make shopping a pastime. Next time you are bored and find yourself charging to the mall, stop, and switch gears. Exercise, cook, hang out with friends, or watch a movie instead.

Grocery store tips. If we didn’t have to eat, we would all be rich (and thin!) Food, however, is a necessity so we need to hit the grocery store on a regular basis. Always make a list before you go food shopping and always stick that list. Also, NEVER go food shopping on an empty stomach; you’ll only end up with a slim wallet and a nauseating Ben & Jerry’s hangover.

Ask before you buy. Here are some important questions to ponder before you plunk down funds: Do I REALLY need this? Can I borrow this item from somebody? Can I find it cheaper elsewhere?

Cheaper does not equal better. Sale signs are to impulse buyers what a flame is to a moth. Avoid them! Do not be swayed by the price tag; if you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

Establish long-term goals. Instead of spending wastefully, focus on saving. Picture a debt-free life.

Walk away. Whether it’s a new Nintendo game, latest CD, or new pair of shoes, if you see something you must have, walk away and wait a few days. If you are still daydreaming about how great you’ll look in those heels after a few days, then you can re-evaluate. But most of the time, the feeling will pass and you will lose the urge to buy.

 

eCampus.com - Rent or Buy Textbooks Biggerbooks.com Great alternative to textbook rentals, saves students a lot of money

Student Jobs That DON’T Suck!

Fall is here and colleges are back in session. Now that you are living on your own and juggling expenses, in addition to saving money in college, you could surely use some extra cash. If you shudder at the thought of flipping burgers, though, do not fret. Here are some job ideas that are both flexible and convenient- but more importantly- these jobs DON’T SUCK!

Tutor. If your grades are relatively high, and you enjoy helping others, tutoring is a perfect job for you! Not only does tutoring pay well, it allows for a flexible schedule. Sign up through your college to become a tutor or post an ad in the local paper. Don’t limit yourself to fellow college students. . . high schoolers need help too, and, to them, you’re a wise elder.

Babysitting. Many local families in college towns are in hot pursuit of babysitters. This gig is golden. You get paid well to have fun with the kiddos. You can also work on homework after the kids go to sleep.

College Fitness Center. Are you a gym rat who works out seven days a week? Why not get a job at the gym and get paid to do what you love? College Fitness Centers are always in need of Front Desk Workers and qualified aerobics instructors.

College Computer Lab. If you are a tech-savvy trouble shooter, this one is for you! You can even play on the Internet (or “study”) in your down time.

Resident Advisor. The best perk of this job is that most universities offer free room and board for RA’s. Talk about saving money!

Library Services. A great choice for those who want peace and quiet.; this job allows you to assist your fellow students while having plenty of time to study.

Freelance Writing. Did your English SAT scores outshine your math powers? Scour the Web for writing positions. Many of these time-flexible gigs are perfect for students and allow a great way to build a  portfolio!

Be Creative (Work For Yourself). Does that $400 designer purse you purchased pre-college now seem like a bad idea? Sell it on EBay! It is a free and easy way to earn some money for your old stuff. Also, if you aren’t too attached to your college textbooks, be sure to sell them back at the end of each semester for some extra cash!

eCampus.com - Rent or Buy Textbooks Biggerbooks.com Great alternative to textbook rentals, saves students a lot of money

Beat The Freshman Fifteen- Cut the Fat on Spending!

Everyone knows that a college education is one of the best investments a person can make. That investment, however, requires an awful lot of up-front capital. So, what’s a college student to do? Try following these tips for cutting spending and living large on a lean budget.

  • Take it easy on eating out.  Spending money on restaurants, take-out, and mid-night pizza is a sure-fire way to burn through cash. Prepare meals at home, pack snacks, or invest in a campus meal plan.

 

  • Enjoy free Activities. Colleges offer a variety of free AND fun activities for students. These include movies, game nights, socials, and more. These activities are the perfect way to relax without breaking the bank! More importantly, you’ll make new friends and grow your social network in ways that will prove invaluable later in life.

 

  • Choose local banks that cater to students. Open a free checking and savings account to avoid extra fees and service charges.

 

  • If you must drink, drink cheaply (and, of course, legally!). The mark-up on alcohol is outrageous and is a fast way to make your money disappear. Instead of splurging on top-shelf stuff, seek out local joints. There will be plenty of time later in life to enjoy fine wines and craft brews.

 

  • Buy Used Textbooks. New textbooks are one of a college student’s biggest budget-busting burdens. Every student NEEDS books, of course, but the words in the used versions are the same as in the fresh new books. Buy used and save a load of cash!

 

  • Frugal living is chic. Resist, I repeat, resist the temptation to buy useless clutter.

 

  • Keep reminding yourself that you are a student.  This is the time in your life which everyone expects to live the Bohemian lifestyle. Embrace that!

 

  • Budget wisely. Build a realistic and practical budget at the beginning of each semester and LIVE BY IT.

 

  • Avoid ATM fees. . . the banks are already rich enough and there’s no need to pay them for the privilege of getting your own money. ATM fees rack up quickly and cost you a lot of money. Keep enough cash on hand for needed expenses to avoid this trap.

 

  • Get a bike. A bike is not only a great way to save money on gas; you will get plenty of exercise so you can skip the pricey gym membership while helping Mother Earth AND your wallet.
eCampus.com - Rent or Buy Textbooks Biggerbooks.com Great alternative to textbook rentals, saves students a lot of money