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Archive | January, 2015

The Dollars and Sense of Library Science Degrees

The Dollars and Sense of Library Science Degrees

collegedegree1If you are like most college students, you spend every waking moment at the library when you are not in class (just kidding… but I imagine your professors are hopeful that you see the inside of a library at least once during your educational career!). A library doesn’t run itself and it is amazing how technology has been woven into the framework of our more contemporary libraries. Next time you are passing through a library (or just accessing their online electronic databases from the comfort of your dorm room), give some thought to whether you would like to be part of that information delivery highway. If you think it is for you, check out the following infographic to give you some insight on how to maximize your earning potential in that field of work!


Infographic Source: USC Library Science

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4 Sensible Ways to Save Money on Technology in 2015

4 Sensible Ways to Save Money on Technology in 2015

technologysavingsAs a college student, you are probably well-aware of how expensive it is to go to school. Between paying for tuition, books, rent, gas for your car and necessities like late night pizzas, you probably have more month left than money most of the time.

While you might be tempted to get a second job or ask for as much overtime as possible, there’s a lot to be said for spending less money rather than always looking for ways to earn more. With that in mind, the following four tips can help you save some serious money in 2015, and they all share one thing in common — technology:

Cut Back on Cable

Yes, you love watching TV and you don’t want to miss any of your favorite shows or ball teams’ big games. But when you signed up for your cable service, chances are good that you ended up with a much bigger package than you really need. Most households pay close to $90 a month for cable, an amount that is predicted to rise, according to Consumer Reports. The next time your bill arrives in the mail, don’t just pay it, study it. Take a look at what you are paying for and what channels you can eliminate to save money. A classic and common example is premium movie channels; when you signed up for cable you might have been promised a certain number of months for free. Those months have probably passed and you might unwittingly be paying big bucks for channels you never watch. Once you determine what you can cut from the bill, call the company and cancel any unneeded perks, and ask them if they can cut your bill any further to save money. It definitely doesn’t hurt to ask.

Downgrade Your Smartphone

While the iPhone 6 with all of its bells and whistles is definitely amazing, it is also a pretty spendy little device. If you are in the market for a new smartphone, there are plenty of other choices that feature all of the options you could ever want or need, but at a fraction of the price. For example, the ZTE ZMAX from T-Mobile is priced right around $250, which is significantly less than many other models like the iPhone or Galaxy. But don’t think that the lower price means lesser quality — the ZTE ZMAX features a nice 5.7 inch HD screen, powerful battery and Snapdragon Quad Core processor that makes the phone a breeze to use.

Trim Down the Cell Bill

Now that you have a lower-priced-but-still-cool smartphone, why not take it a step further and see about reducing the amount you pay for monthly service? As Dave Ramsey notes, there are plenty of ways to cut back on your cellphone bill. For example, your bill should indicate how many minutes you are using. If you are paying for 4,000 minutes a month but use an average of 2,000, ask to change your contract. Insurance is another common monthly fee that you might be able to eliminate and save some hard-earned money.

Limit Your Streaming Services

Netflix and Hulu are great ways to watch your favorite shows, when you want them. If you have both of streaming services, consider getting rid of one service; it will save you some money and chances are you won’t be missing out on many shows. In fact, depending on how much TV you watch, you might be able to get by with just the free, bare bones service from Hulu, or by watching shows online on the TV network websites.

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Semester Sequester: 3 Tips To Stretch Your Dollars

Semester Sequester: 3 Tips To Stretch Your Dollars

Nearly 80 percent of college students are employed part-time, working at least 19 hours per week, according to a 2013 survey conducted by Seventeen magazine and Citigroup. And it looks like most parents are no longer giving their kids a free ride to college; only 22 percent footed the entire bill that year.

Workers age 16-24 represent the highest proportion of minimum wage employees in the United States, Pew Research reports. That means most working college students are making less than $500 per month after taxes to cover their entertainment, late night meals and other expenses—including books and tuition for some. When money is this tight, you’ll need to be both disciplined and cautious when it comes to your social life. These three tips will help:

Use a Budget App

The 2014 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey by Harris Interactive and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 61 percent of American adults do not use a budget. It’s safe to assume college students help boost that number.

Mint.com is one of the most popular and easy-to-use personal finance apps available. It syncs all of your bank and credit card accounts and tracks all expenditures. Mint organizes spending in categories such as entertainment, transportation and groceries. It then paints an intuitive picture of your financial situation today and in the long run based on spending practices. You’ll see where money is being wasted and how you can free up more funds by eliminating bad habits. Mint is free and compatible with both Android and iOS devices.

Moneywiz and HomeBudget are two other options, although they aren’t free—they cost $4.99 each.

Make Use of Student Discounts

Business owners build their companies near college campuses because of the guarantee of loose-pocketed customers eight months out of the year. Many students fail to realize their college IDs are like perpetual discount cards that are good at most of these establishments.

Buffalo Wild Wings, Chick-fil-A and Chipotle restaurants offer 10 percent discounts with a student ID. The discounts vary by location however. For instance, the Buffalo Wild Wings in Grand Forks, North Dakota, offers a 50 percent discount on Sunday nights to college students, and the AMC theaters have a Student Day promotion which offers discounted tickets on Thursday nights. Banana Republic, J. Crew and The Limited all offer 15 percent discounts to students.

Make sure you know what discounts are available in your city.

Get Creative

Let’s face it: Car trouble, medical emergencies and other unforeseen events happen, and they can throw your budget completely off. At times like this, you’ll have to figure ways to come up with emergency cash.

Many college financial aid offices have emergency short-term loan programs. Stop in and speak to a counselor about all available options. Students receiving monthly stipends from annuities or structured settlements should consider selling their future payments for a lump of cash upfront. The Dreamkeepers program by Scholarship America offers emergency college funds for students experiencing financial hardship during the semester.

College years are supposed to be memorable, educational and eventful all at the same time. Don’t let financial irresponsibility derail those goals.

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