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Tag Archive | "On Campus Savings"

How To Save By Carpooling To Campus! – Infographic


Saving a buck or two in college seems like a pretty easy task but students are riddled with many challenges and hurdles along the way. On CheapScholar.org we have received a number of suggestions from students on how they make college cheaper on their campus. One of the recurring topics that surfaces quite frequently is that of transportation. The following infographic (provided by 21st.com Car Insurance Resources) shares a lot of good information and statistics related to carpooling to campus. Most importantly, it reflects the amount of savings that can be garnered from a student depending on their transportation preferences. Enjoy!

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Four Tips For Stretching Your Student Loan Dollars


As if the tuition wasn’t enough, you soon discover all of the associated expenses for college: room and board, books, fees for sports and labs, your computer, your cell phone bill, transportation costs, etc. Now, the good news is that when you take out a student loan, you can use those dollars for any education-related expenses, including all of the above. It’s still in your best interest to find savings on college expenses wherever you can so that your student loan can work its hardest for you. After all, anything not covered by federal loans, private student loans, grants, and scholarships will be up to you.

Here are some easy ways to save on college expenses:

1. Buy used and electronic books or share books with classmates

This is probably the most well-known tip for saving money while in school. There are certainly times when buying a new edition makes sense. But you can also find huge savings if you purchase a used copy or split the cost by sharing a book with a fellow student. Your bookstore will sell used books, but you can find them even cheaper if you buy from students who’ve previously taken the course. Sharing books works best if you have back-to-back classes and can easily hand the book off; have complimentary study habits and you trust each other.

You can also find discounts by buying electronic books. If you carry a tablet, e-reader or laptop, this can be a great option for you. Electronic books aren’t always cheaper, but in some cases, they cost significantly less than printed editions.

2. Look for student discount programs

While you can generally find a variety of savings opportunities on textbooks more so than any other expenses for college, you can also look for discounts at shops and restaurants around campus. Some college towns and cities have a big emphasis on attracting students to stay after graduation. So, they rally local business owners to offer discounts to college students. It’s worth asking around or visiting the city’s website to see if such a program exists. It could mean saving money on food, clothes, entertainment and more.

3. Buy supplies in bulk – and not at the bookstore!

Finally, stock up on pens, binders, paper, notebooks, highlighters and other supplies before you hit campus. The bookstore tends to have a substantial mark-up on those items since they don’t deal in the volume that big box stores, office supply stores and online retailers do.

4. Consider off-campus housing

College expenses like living in the dorms and paying for meal plans can add up quickly. One possible way to save on costs is to look for off-campus housing. You may find that the costs of renting an apartment or house with friends are less than the costs associated with living in the dorms. In addition, you may be able to save on food expenses by shopping for your own groceries and cooking your own meals. Talk to upperclassmen who live off-campus to find out what their monthly expenses are and compare that to the monthly costs of living in a dorm and having a meal plan.

Keep your eyes peeled for other cost savings

You can find other ways to save on college expenses by splitting costs for food and utilities with roommates, for example. Or, carpool to campus, into the city or to the airport to save on gas. While the savings realized may not always be as substantial as they are on textbooks, every little bit helps.

Sponsored content was created and provided by RBS Citizens Financial Group.


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13 Ways to Save Money in College by Going Green


You don’t have to drive a Prius or go into debt donating to the Sierra Club to be green.  Being eco-friendly is just as much, if not more, about what we choose to give up as it is about what we acquire.  It can even lead to leaner spending and heftier savings accounts.  Start being green and saving money with these tips.

Cleaning

  1. Use less detergent.  Most laundry loads—barring items with pet waste—only need a little bit of detergent in cold water.
  2. Hang your laundry in the summer.  You can buy a clothesline for about $5 at the local hardware store and burn a few calories hoisting damp clothes over your head.
  3. Replace the fabric softener with white distilled vinegar.  It works better than fabric softener, which is often loaded with chemicals that pollute lungs, cause mild allergies, and covers smells just by adding synthetic ones.  Buy a huge jug of white vinegar and add a few drops of vanilla extract and lavender essential oil.  You’ll smell just as good for less.  Lavender oil is great for DIY face and body washes, shampoo, and cleaning sprays, so it won’t collect dust in your bathroom cabinet, guaranteed.
  4. Make your own cleaning sprays with these tutorials.  Usually, one spray does it all: 1 part liquid soap, 4 parts water, a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil (which has been proven to be as effective as conventional antibacterials against dreaded ickies, like the swine flu).

Food

  1. Cook.  I’m not kidding.  Just do it.  Students living off-campus with access to a kitchen and a grocery store will save money by pooling money with house-mates and sharing cooking and cleaning chores in the kitchen.  Less food goes a longer way than eating out or fast food, and you can better control what goes in your body if you’re watching the bathroom scale.
  2. Shop local.  Green eating is thought to be reserved for the elite few who can afford it—and that’s right in many cases.  Our household, however, has saved money by cycling to the local farmers’ market, where organic produce harvested by humble families is often cheaper than that shipped from across the world by some mega-corporation.  Getting to personally know the farmers will also guarantee you a friendly face at the market and up your chances of getting a discount.
  3. Look for CSAs, or community supported agriculture.  Many farms will drive boxes of their produce to your doorstep for a significantly cheaper price than any you’ll find in a store.  This also cuts down on car emissions!
  4. Stop throwing away leftovers.  Swing by the thrift store for Pyrex, glass, and ceramic containers (which are better for you than phthalate-laden plastic ones) in which to store leftovers.  Microwave.  Done.  Alternatively, freeze leftovers to eat later in the week if you’re afraid they’ll go bad.  You can also get creative and turn salad scraps into green smoothies or soups.

Outdoors

  1. Start a hassle-free garden.  Rather than buying herbs at the store, grow them in your yard.  Rosemary, thyme, and sage are especially easy to start with, while basil is reserved mostly for the summer months.  You can also grow herbal tea ingredients, like calming chamomile, healthy nettles and yarrow, and yummy mint.  Upgrade to root vegetables and tomatoes when you’re ready for the next step.  Plant in the ground or hunt down free clay pots on Craigslist.
  2. Compost.  We bought our compost bin for $50 from the city, but you can make your own with these video tutorials.  Compost bins will save you money in the long run because, if you’re a gardener, there will be no need to buying nutrients foryour soil.  If you’re not into gardening, you can sell your compost to those who are.  The environment wins too, since food scraps thrown into landfills don’t actually biodegrade and instead produce methane, a gas more harmful to our ozone than carbon.
  3. Get a used bicycle off of Craigslist.  You’ll save money on the car—both gas and repairs for wear and tear—and produce zero emissions on the way to class and the grocery store.  Check out Jeff Yeager’s Green Cheapskate’s Guide to Buying Used Bikes.

Buy used and sell

  1. Sell.  Whenever you move out of the dorms or off-campus housing, consider posting your most valuable unwanted items on Craigslist or organizing a yard sale.  You’ll get some of the money you spent back—to pay off loans or figure out where to live after graduating.
  2. Buy from thrift stores and Craigslist whenever possible.  Even trend-conscious wardrobes will be fulfilled by consignment and vintage stores, not to mention nationwide chains like Plato’s Closet, which buys and sells gently used clothes in trending brands.

Today’s guest article is provided by Carmen Brettel. She is a writer and manager for Studentgrants.org, where she has recently been doing research for school grants. In her spare time, Carmen enjoys gardening and volunteering at animal shelters.

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Coupon Chief – Offering Savings For College Students


With more than half a million visitors per month, $100,000+ in coupons and 30,000 stores represented, CouponChief.com makes saving money just as fun as spending it. From books and travel to shopping and dining, college-age students can find significant savings on the items they need with just a quick click.

Take every college student’s need for textbooks, for example. Within seconds of searching on Coupon Chief, more than 10 coupon codes fill the screen, advertising everything from free shipping to 50% cash back at Textbooks.com, home to more than 10 million textbooks. Users simply select the coupon that best suits them and then are immediately connected to Textbooks.com, where they can easily apply the coupon code to receive instant savings.

Following the purchase, users then have the option of giving a “yay” or a “nay” on the Coupon Chief website to indicate whether the coupon worked for them, which in turn assists others interested in making a similar purchase. The company’s “coupon pulse” feature also gives instant feedback about the cost-cutting experience, as does an icon displaying the success rate of the process among users.

Want to make a quick trip home or, better yet, book a trip to a favorite Spring Break spot?  Coupon Chief has that covered, too. Simply type in airfare, and a $30 off coupon appears for use on Airfare.com, along with other company deals.  Scroll down a bit to see that Coupon Chief also lists related coupons for such sites as CheapTickets.com, Expedia.com and Orbitz.com, making travel on a student budget that much more possible.

For students looking for some dorm-room style, Coupon Chief also provides a cost-cutting conduit to major retail outlets such as Target, where free shipping on orders of $50 or more can be found on the Nate Berkus Collection. Other valuable coupons for Land’s End and L.L. Bean apparel are also available through Coupon Chief as part of the site’s comprehensive listing of stores, which ensures that users have access to coupons for items matching every personality and taste.

And speaking of taste, college students can also discover coupons for a number of food chains, including Wal-Mart, thanks to Coupon Chief, as well as dining savings with deals tied to Restaurant.com.

What’s more, just by signing up through the site, users can upload their own coupons through the Pays-2-Share program and then track their progress through a personal account. According to the company, “every time someone uses a coupon you’ve uploaded, Coupon Chief will give you 2% of the sales.”

“Our Pays-2-Share program, where we pay users to submit codes, ensures that our site has every coupon available,” said Coupon Chief’s Amanda Fouts.

To underscore this effort, Coupon Chief lists the week’s top coupon contributors on its homepage, with the top spot recently claimed by a user who has uploaded 1,413 coupons.

Coupon Chief’s success clearly reflects the uptick in digital coupon use via the Web, social media and mobile devices.

“A major advantage to online coupon services for consumers is the ability to search for specific products and stores,” according to Denise Ferreria of Top TenREVIEWS. “Another advantage is time saved by avoiding lengthy sessions clipping coupons by hand.”

“Many people don’t realize that you can save on just about anything online from children’s items and clothing, to services and gift cards,” adds Babes and Kids Review.

Judging by Coupon Chief’s 100,000-plus fans on Facebook, the site will continue to help college kids on campuses across the country keep their costs down.

About the Author:

Today’s guest article comes from Karen Gerboth. She serves as the Executive Director of University Communications at Wittenberg University where she enjoys covering a wide array of higher education topics.

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Buying a Car in College: Is This the Right Time For You?


If you choose to buy or lease a car during your college years it could easily be the biggest expense you incur following your tuition, room and board. Owning a car on campus offers a sense of luxury, convenience, and also makes running errands or visiting family easy. However, owning a car on campus can also be expensive, time consuming, and somewhat risky should your campus not provide parking lot security. Is the expense of owning and maintaining a car outweighed by the clear advantages? Are you ready to make this large purchase? There are several things to consider when shopping for a car while in college: 

Check your School’s Policies Carefully

Before investing in a car, look into your school’s car policy. Some schools prohibit cars to underclassmen students. Additionally, most campuses are designed for students to walk easily from place to place. To make sure that investing in a car will not add time to your morning commute, try timing your commute time by foot first.

Car Maintenance and Additional Costs

Along with the obvious costs of the purchase or lease itself, you must consider maintenance and additional costs associated with car ownership. Routine maintenance can be costly, as can necessary repairs if routine maintenance is not performed correctly. Car insurance, registration fees and license plate renewal fees are additional costs associated with car ownership.

Parking on a College Campus

Consider your campus and parking availability. Are there adequate, secure parking spaces in areas you would like to drive? There may also be additional fees to consider, such as parking meters and required parking permits to keep your car on campus.

If you decide to purchase a vehicle, there are several ways to cut the costs of car ownership. The following are all suggestions for lowering the cost of car ownership for college students.

Lease vs. Buy
Have you considered leasing a car instead of purchasing? If you are planning to make monthly payments toward this purchase, leasing a vehicle could significantly reduce that payment. Of course the idea of leasing a vehicle is more of a rental agreement; you will be making payments towards this vehicle for years without owning it outright at the end of the term. Many lease agreements also include mileage restrictions and prohibit excessive wear and tear on the vehicle. Leased vehicles are still your responsibility to maintain, insure, and register, and you must also maintain current license plates for leased vehicles.

New vs. Used
New and used vehicles each hold their own advantages and disadvantages. While obviously the more expensive choice, new cars may offer a strong sense of security as the more dependable option over a previously owned vehicle. New cars typically include technological advancements which may offer additional savings in gas mileage or maintenance fees. However, new vehicles are usually more expensive to insure. Purchasing a used car may be more cost-effective, but be prepared should you encounter breakdowns or problems with that vehicle. Used cars may also lack the technology of increased gas mileage, making the vehicle more expensive to drive or maintain.

Study Hard and Drive Carefully!
Car insurance rates are not concrete. If you do well in college and receive high grades you may qualify for a “good student” discounted rate. If you drive safely without accident or traffic violation you may qualify for a “good driver” discount. Pay your bills on time—a higher credit rating may qualify you for additional discounts. Additional discounts may be offered for limited driving, lower-risk car models, carrying multiple insurance plans from the same company, or reaching a “milestone” age or life-changing event (marriage, the birth of a child, etc.).

Routine Maintenance
College life is full of responsibilities and it can be easy to forget that extra oil change or tire rotation. However, staying on top of your car’s routine maintenance needs can avoid expensive problems later on. Take good care of your vehicle and it will take care of you.

Carpooling
If you are preparing to make a trip back home for the weekend, ask around. Is there anyone else on campus that lives close to you and would need a ride? It is common for college students to car pool and share the expense of gas on longer trips. You could also run errands together with friends and share the expense of gas used for trips to the post office, laundry mat or grocery store.

Purchasing a vehicle is a big decision and one that should not be taken lightly. College students encounter a great amount of stress as the demands of education, work and social life can feel overwhelming. If you are deciding whether or not to purchase a vehicle while in college, be sure you are ready for the commitment of ownership before signing on the dotted line.

Today’s guest article comes from Ryan Devereux on behalf Rasmussen College, whose human resources degree can help you launch a career in a promising arena.

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The Best (Free) Wi-Fi Locator Apps for College Students


With tuition on the rise, the cost of living becoming your responsibility and the predicament of bills and other expenses, the last thing college students want to worry about is where they are going to get their Wi-Fi. Most have grown up having access to wireless Internet at all times. Thankfully, smartphones have evolved in tandem with Wi-Fi and as have apps designed to help the wandering student locate the best places to get free Internet on the go. So get out of the library and study in a more relaxed atmosphere with the help of these free Wi-Fi locator apps:

Free Wi-Fi Finder
Free Wi-Fi Finder works on all iOS mobile devices. The hotspots are plotted out on a map and can be found either via GPS or by address. Additionally, an offline map can be generated to help you search while you are away from a Wi-Fi connection.

4sqwifi
4sqwifi is a Wi-Fi locator app made to connect with Foursquare’s API by searching for venues using keywords like “Wi-Fi” and “password.” Co-creator Apostolos Papadopoulous explains: “Tips are user-generated, and the best thing is that 4sqwifi works immediately with and in Foursquare’s community — worldwide.”

Wi-Fi Crowd
The service is intended to help people find the nearest public Wi-Fi hotspots. Users can store hotspots privately or share them in common databases so that other people can access them. There isn’t much to distinguish this app from the others in this field, except that it’s free and comes with an easy-to-use interface. The sharing aspect of Wi-Fi Crowd can be especially valuable if traveling through unfamiliar territory as it allows you to tap into the knowledge of locals.

Offline Wi-Fi Finder
While Offline Wi-Fi Finder is not a network scanner app, it offers a free and comprehensive directory of more than 35,000 hotspots across the United States. It lists hotspots in more than 8,000 cities and can help you find Internet access in any of the 50 states. Best of all, you do not need Internet to use it; it’s designed specifically with the offline traveler in mind, as it stores its database on your phone, enabling you to access the data and even determine your location by using a simple search function. Online users can also add hotspots to the database.

About the Author

Today’s guest article is provided by Logan Harper, community manager at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s online Masters in Public Administration degree. He is currently working on a project to create a web resource to find MPA jobs for UNC graduates. Outside of work, Logan enjoys movies, traveling and learning new languages.

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Coupon Apps That Every College Student Should Use


There’s no denying the immense expense of college these days. With students and recent grads drowning in debt, it’s clear a higher education comes with a hefty price tag. However, there are things you can do throughout your time as a student—like utilizing often overlooked coupons—to help soften the financial blow and cut down on expenses.

Thankfully, there are a few smartphone apps that help facilitate this process, making it easier than ever to save a buck or two. Consider trying one, or all, of the applications listed below to start saving on everything from food to clothes and more TODAY!

The Coupons App

First up is The Coupons App. With so many great features, it’s hard to know where to even start describing this handy application. Offering users real-time updates for great deals on everything from gas to goods, it’s a wonder everyone with a smartphone isn’t already using this—plus it’s FREE. Available for both Android and Apple, this application offers people the opportunity to share deals they find with others through text messages, emails and even social media—so if you find a good deal on textbooks or pizza, you can alert the masses!

Offering a widget option, users can see updates the instant they become available. Plus, it even has the ability to sync with your current location, making it even easier to get to the best deals in town. So, save yourself some trouble and money and install the Coupons App now!

Coupon Clipper

Similar to the Coupons App, Coupon Clipper offers users deals and discounts on a myriad of things ranging from health and beauty products to automotive services and more. Priding itself on supporting and promoting LOCAL, small businesses, Coupon Clipper covers more than half of the United States, with hopes of expanding.

Available for free to people on both the Apple and Android networks, this app is perfect for college students. You never know what deals you’ll find next.

Fast Food Deals and Coupons

Offering a bit more of a limited selection than the previous two apps, Fast Food Deals and Coupons still makes a great addition to any student’s smartphone applications menu.

While not the best for your diet, it’s almost a fact of life that college students will OCCASIONALLY partake in fast food fare—so might as well make it affordable, right? No sense in putting the hurt on both your wallet and waistline—cut back where you can. Allowing users the opportunity to browse by category or company, the app is user-friendly and easy to navigate. They even post their top, recommended deals for the day and alert you of discounts and offers that will soon expire. So, when your hectic class schedule forces you to eat on the run, check this app first to save some change.

The fact that these apps aren’t already being used by everyone from MBA candidates to first-year freshmen baffles me. They are an easy way to budget your money and save at a time your income is less than stellar. Plus, it helps prepare you for the future, as it starts a good habit early on. So, even after you graduate and have a real salary, the thrifty ways of your past can help you manage your money. Coupon clipping, like so many other things, has evolved over time with technology. It’s not just for soccer moms anymore.

Today’s guest article comes from Amanda Watson. She is a freelancer blogger who writes about online mba programs and other topics pertaining to online higher education. You can reach Amanda at watsonamanda.48@gmail.com.

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Gas Prices Getting you Down? 4 Ways to Save on Transportation in College


Whenever we consider college expenses, we usually think of only the most obvious things like food, books, and tuition. What many students and their families don’t take into account is that the totality of college expenses are the big things, yes, but also a lot of the little things. Transportation is one cost that students often don’t take into account. It’s possible to completely eliminate or heavily downsize your transportation costs with just a little planning. Here are some ideas:

1. If you live on campus, leave the car at home.

It’s very tempting to want to take your car that you may have used in high school up with you to college. After all, college in many ways represents personal freedom, and you want to have that freedom to get around town when you start university. If you’re living on campus, it’s really a much better idea to leave your car at home. Most university campuses are set up such that all your needs are either on-campus or in close proximity. By leaving your car at home, you’ll save tremendously on gas, and, more importantly, parking, which can run up to hundreds of dollars per semester.

2. Find out if your campus has a Zip Car program.

A very interesting program being offered at many college campuses is the Zip Car program. Zip Car is essentially a car-sharing service in which you pay a small fee to have access to a car for a day. The cars are available on-campus 24/7 and they’re usually very efficient, environmentally-friendly, fun-to-ride cars. This way, if you need to take a day to run errands like grocery-shopping, you can have access to a car without having all the headaches of having your own car on campus.

3. Consider alternative modes of transportation.

If you’ve driven a car ever since you were legally able, it may be difficult to think of actually using different modes of transportation. I grew up in a small town with absolutely no public transportation, so it seemed strange to me to use the bus/rail system available in the city I moved to when I began attending college. If your college city has safe and efficient public transportation, learn how to use it, even if it seems confusing at first. Also consider trading in that car for a scooter, or consider getting a bike. Bikes are great ways to stay in shape, too!

4. Set up a carpool program with friends.

Carpooling is perhaps one of the most underused ways of saving on transportation. If you have many friends who have cars, talk to them about carpooling to school (if you live off-campus) or sharing rides on errands trips or nights out.

At the end of the day, college is going to be expensive, no matter which way you look at it. At the same time, however, if you stay aware of all the little expenses that stack up over time, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself in college living a comfortable lifestyle that allows you to succeed personally and academically. Good luck!

Today’s guest article is provided by Pepper Givens. She is an online blogger and freelance writer who focuses much of her content on promoting online colleges in Texas, as that is her home state. She also covers other educational topic and welcomes your questions and comments at melissamiller831@gmail.com.

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