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Archive | April, 2015

4 Ways to Move on a College Budget

4 Ways to Move on a College Budget

Young men moving houseWhen it comes to moving at the end of a spring semester, whether it be out of a dorm, back home for the summer, or into a shared space with roommates for a few months, you can rest assured that it’s going to be one of the less enjoyable tasks you have to take on as the events of the semester draw to a temporary close.

Luckily, there are a variety of ways to hit the ground running when it comes to moving as a student, many without even breaking the bank if you take the right approach. A critical factor in moving successfully on a tight budget will be to plan ahead as soon as you can—read ahead for a rundown of tips on everything from packing wisely to planning out your itinerary.

Plan in Advance

The first thing you will want to do when planning a move is to assess a rundown of the essential supplies and preparations you’ll need. For starters, you’ll want to properly assess the total amount of goods you’ll be moving—this will determine everything from the amount of boxes and packing supplies you’ll need, to the type of moving services and equipment your move will require. Many moving sites offer packing calculators and similar tools to help you get an approximate idea of what to expect.

Assess Your Move

The size of your moving truck, fleet, etc. could vary based on how much you have, so you’ll want to know as soon as possible whether or not a moving company’s entry level truck works for you. College movers will often opt for a do it yourself moving approach with the hope of saving money—whether or not this is a good idea will largely come down to the size and distance of your move, so take the time to do some careful research beforehand.

Save Money on the Essentials

A key factor in budgeting your move will be to save money whenever you can. This won’t come naturally, so it might take some practice to strive for discounted or free supplies where applicable. Don’t underestimate the amount you can save by scoring free cardboard boxes—many department stores, warehouses, or similar places tend to throw out cardboard boxes in droves, and will be happy to part ways with huge numbers of them in exchange for you lugging them yourself. Buying boxes from your moving company might not break your bank, but you’ll appreciate the savings a lot more after it’s all said and done.

Recruit Plenty of Help

Along similar lines, recruiting help from any available friends and family can be a highly effective way to save on extra costs along the way, whether it be an extra hand helping you haul your goods, or an additional friend to make your road trip home into a buddy system effort—this can end up being the critical factor in a situation where you would otherwise have to pay for a full service moving package, special transportation interests, or more –having just a few extra friends on board to help you along the way can save you a surprising amount of money, in addition to saving you a great deal of stress and worry.

About The Author

Brian Wilson is a contributing writer and media specialist for the North American Moving Blog. He regularly produces content for a variety of lifestyle and home blogs, based around the transitional challenges which comes with migrating, settling into new homes, and more.

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3 “Easy” Steps to Student Financial Literacy on Your Campus

3 “Easy” Steps to Student Financial Literacy on Your Campus

For those that don’t know, April is National Financial Literacy Month.  This represents the time of year when there is a concerted effort to help increase the financial acumen of people representing all generations. Student financial literacy efforts on campuses have been gaining momentum in the higher education industry as colleges and universities attempt to equip their students for success by helping them feel more comfortable and knowledgeable about their personal finances. Most universities and colleges have been successfully weaving small components of financial literacy into their programmatic endeavors for the past couple of years. However, there is no better time than the present to start ramping up those efforts exponentially.

financialliteracyIn an attempt to help you work through the process of implementing a successful financial literacy initiative on your campus, I have devised this “quick and easy” three-step approach.

1.     Identify The Need

Before you even begin contemplating a financial literacy program on your campus, you first have to justify that your student population needs help in the area of personal finance. And trust me, the more effort you put into this task on the front end, the better your chances of securing resources (time and money) on the back end.

The good news is that white papers from the industry (COHEAO) reflect that financial literacy initiatives on a campus can improve student financial behaviors and, in some cases, make the difference on whether a student successfully achieves their education goals or makes the decision to leave school entirely.  We all know that it is more cost effective to retain a current student versus trying to recruit a new one.

If you need additional justification for starting a financial literacy program on your campus, I would encourage you to refer to the recently released Money Matters on Campus Survey Report sponsored by EverFi and HigherOne.  This survey provides some very sobering statistics about the financial acumen of first-year college students.

2.     Discern Your Target Market

Some may think that financial literacy is just for currently enrolled traditional college students but I would encourage you to think outside of the box and ponder the many different populations that interact with your campus community. The following represents many of the different groups in which you could promote your Financial Literacy Programming (FLP).

  • Prospective/Deposited Students – Incorporate your FLP as a value-added service that your school provides for interested students – could be extremely timely when paired with the delivery of financial aid packages. Also helps to distinguish you from other schools…
  • Incoming/First Year Students – If you have a first year experience program, this could be the gateway to implementing a FLP component into your curriculum.
  • Current Traditional Students– Your FLP can serve as an ongoing resource for students as they move through their educational career
  • Upward Bound/TRIO Students – The Federal TRIO program has a requirement for student financial literacy in its funding stipulations – your FLP could satisfy that mandate.
  • Adult Students – Regardless of what phase of life your students are enjoying, a refresher on financial literacy can never hurt.
  • Parents – Your FLP is mostly focused on students but I see no reason why parents can’t have access (and possibly utilize it with any high-school age siblings)
  • Faculty/Staff – Similar to the same reasoning referenced above for Adult Students and Parents
  • Alums – Your FLP could be a useful tool as your alums are embarking upon real-world financial challenges and need some guidance.

3.     Find The Best Approach For Delivery

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet concept when it comes to promoting financial literacy at your college. Every campus community is different and each individual student (or target group identified above) is unique in what will grab their attention and spur them to engage your resources. So, the best approach to delivery usually incorporates multiple channels and varied mediums. The following represent a few approaches for your consideration.

  • Email Campaigns
  • Events/Presentations/Workshops
  • Classroom Curriculum
  • Social Media
  • Posters/Flyers/Table Tents
  • Interactive Games (Financial Football)
  • Free Online Resources (CashCourse.org among others)
  • Custom Email Signatures Highlighting Your Online Resources
  • 3rd Party Financial Literacy Providers (iGrad.com, SaltMoney.org & GradReady)
  • Individual Counseling

As you can see from the information provided above, student financial literacy programming on your campus can be as simple or complex as you make it – ultimately, the choice is yours.  However, at the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are doing something to help encourage the financial success of your student population. Remember, financially prepared students = happy students.  And happy students = retained students. And retained students = graduated students. And graduated students = donating alumni. It’s hard to argue with that…

About The Author

Doug Schantz currently serves as the director for the Office of Student Accounts at Wittenberg University and thoroughly enjoys topics related to paying for college, saving for college, financial literacy, scholarships, financial aid, education loans and just about any subject matter that you can think of related to college expenses. Feel free to connect with Doug on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

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