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Archive | August, 2016

A Student’s Guide to Adulting: 4 Tips to Save Cash During Your Move

A Student’s Guide to Adulting: 4 Tips to Save Cash During Your Move

Whether you are a recent college grad starting out on your own or a student transferring to a larger school, moving to a big city can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to cope with the stress of leaving all that is familiar behind, but you also have to deal with the arduous and expensive task of moving to an ultra-urban area. Don’t let your first time living in a bustling metropolis break your spirit and your bank. You are on your way to bigger and better things, and with a few tips and a little planning, you will reach your new home with high spirits and a few bucks left in the bank. Here are four tips that can help you save money while moving:

Lighten Your Load

Sell anything you can do without. As you pack, set aside non-essentials that you may have accumulated over the years. Anything you have not used in the past year is eligible for the chopping block. This goes for clothing, books, CDs, smaller belongings and under-utilized furniture. Furniture will be the most difficult and expensive items to move, so if you can ditch the second-hand sofa that’s been serving as a hamper for the past year, do it.

Post items on Craigslist or host a yard sale to help you downsize and earn enough money to purchase a new futon when you arrive in your new city. The less you have to drag along with you, the easier your move will be.

Haul It, Don’t Store It

Storage facility costs add up quickly, so if there is any way to avoid renting a place just for your stuff, go that route. Rental truck companies charge based on the size of the truck, so if you have sufficiently downsized, you’ll already be saving money. Many rental places also offer deals during the slow season in winter months, so timing your move appropriately could also save you some cash.

Do It Yourself

Hiring a moving company to come in and do all the heavy lifting for you is a fantastic luxury, but also likely one you cannot afford. It’s difficult work and it shows in the price. Consider what is manageable on your own, and enlist the assistance of friends for the rest. This is the perfect time to call in some favors, or offer to bribe them with food and drinks. If you combine your moving day with your bon voyage party, you could say your goodbyes while soliciting help with the loading. If you are moving to a nearby city, load up your friends’ cars and have a tailgate party from your old pad to your new one.

Get Help Online

Moving to a big city might mean you won’t be able to do a walk-through of an apartment on your own, but there are online search tools that can help you when you’re looking for apartments in mega-cities like NYC. Particularly in areas like this, square-footage is worth its weight in gold, so give yourself time to research and find the apartment that’s right for you.

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Creating a College Budget: How to Save and Cut Costs

Creating a College Budget: How to Save and Cut Costs

collegebudgetpigNo money and no time to make money may be the hardest college equation you’re asked to solve in the next four years. How are you supposed to pay for tuition, living expenses, entertainment, travel and more when you’re in class, studying for exams, or trying to find and complete an internship? It’s hard, but it can be done.

Indeed, the best way for college students to make money is to save the money they have already earned — whether from part-time jobs or student loans — by practicing smart spending habits and using student discounts. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Choose a Money Management Tool

Whether it’s pen and paper, a simple spreadsheet or an app, you must come up with a way to track your spending. Mint, a free app, helps you create a customized budget, track your spending, pay your bills, and even learn about how to improve your credit score. When creating your budget, set goals for your spending, but be realistic. If you’re a foodie, don’t cut eating out completely — just limit yourself to a certain dollar amount each month. The same goes for gamers, sports enthusiasts, shopaholics and adventurers. To save money and stick to your budget, you don’t have to live a boring life — you just have to plan ahead.

Save and Splurge

When money management is on the mind, every activity, cup of coffee and weekend get together all of a sudden looks like dollar signs to you. These things, as well as fixed costs and unexpected expenses, are part of life. Figure out a balance of when to save and when to splurge — and recognize when doing either will benefit or break your budget in the future.

When it comes to insurance, for example, you don’t want to skimp now and then find yourself paying big bills later. The same goes for car maintenance. If you can avoid choosing cheap repair options now, they won’t keep popping up in the future. So, the next time your car gets a blowout, see it as an opportunity to invest in high-quality tires, which will save you money in the long run.

Discounts: Use, Don’t Abuse

Whether they advertise it or not, tons of businesses offer student discounts if you just ask. From technology and travel to entertainment, food and clothing, simply flashing your college ID can save you anywhere from 5 percent to 25 percent at many retail stores. For example:

  • If you join or renew as a Sam’s Savings member, you’ll receive a $15 gift card with your student ID. In addition to groceries, varying Sam’s Club locations also offer members-only discounts on tire service, an optical center, pharmacy and more.
  • Students can earn discounts on Adobe Creative Cloud by choosing between the All Apps plan (giving you access to the latest versions of every Adobe creative tool) or Photography plan (which includes Photoshop and Lightroom).
  • The Student Advantage Discount Card from Greyhound will save you 20 percent on walk-up fares and online tickets. It also saves you 40 percent on package shipments sent through the company’s Package Express offering.

While these are all awesome discounts, remember, there’s a reason businesses offer student discounts: It’s because students usually don’t have a lot of money to spend. Don’t let yourself jump on the “But it’s such a good deal!” train. The key to saving money with coupons or student discounts is to only use them on products and services you already planned to buy.

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