Budget

7 Things To Do When You’re Broke

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Let’s face it, many college students are usually a little short on cash. Not because they don’t work or have money, but because they use their money on important items, like textbooks and food, which could be a bit pricey. Luckily, there are plenty of fun things to do with friends or alone that will cost next to nothing.

Piggie bank

1. Go for a Hike or Walk

Put on those walking shoes and put in those ear buds because this fresh air will make you feel amazing.

2. Have a Picnic

In the mood to dine out but don’t have the money? Having a picnic changings your regular routine, making it feel fresh and exciting, similar to dining out.

3. Meet at the Nearest Coffee Shop

Bring friends and a few dollars for coffee or tea.

4. Read a Book

Visit your school or public library and immerse yourself in a good mystery novel.

5. Rent a movie

Renting a movie only costs a few dollars and if you’re with friends, they can help front the cost. Better yet, if you frequently want to watch movies and TV shows, Netflix is even better than renting.

6. Play a Board Game

If you or a friend has board games, now would be a great time to play them. Not only is it free but you can spend time with another person or with many.

7.  Make Something

DIY projects sometimes require items you no longer use either around your house or in your dorm. Search the internet or your own imagination and create items into something useful again.

If all else fails, catch up on some school work or if your professors have given you an itinerary for the full semester, start completing work for the following week.

How To Prepare for Fall Semester in College

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With summer in full swing, it’s difficult to think about returning to school and spending hours in lecture halls. However, there are a few things we can do to take advantage of the summer months in order to stay ahead of the game and be prepared for the upcoming fall semester.

1. Apply for Scholarships

6-13 cap-diploma-moneyMost college students are far too busy worrying about their vacation plans to bother with scholarship applications. This lower competition makes it a bit easier to win scholarships that are offered during the summer months.

2. Find a Job

6-13 bigstock-Waitress-Serving-Food-To-Senio-47117440Use your spare time in the summer to save money from working. Extra earnings can be used for books or to pay on interest on your student loans. Every little bit counts!


3. Intern

6-13 photodune-202599-smart-business-man-with-a-laptop-and-colleagues-at-the-back-mThere are many internship programs offered during the summer. It’s easier to focus on your internship when you don’t also have to commit time to your regular classes.  One simple way to get started is by visiting sites like this one.

4. Register for Classes

6-12 stack of books2The last thing you want to deal with is trying to register for a class for the fall semester only to find it has already been filled. Especially since sometimes certain classes are only offered one semester a year. Avoid all of the inconvenience by registering as early as possible.

How do you stay ahead of the game for upcoming semesters? Let us know in the comments below!

6 Thrifty Ways to Enjoy Summer Break

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With May came graduations, the end of final exams, packing up, and moving on to the next chapter of this year: summer break. There is finally time to relax and spend time with family and friends, but as a college student or recent graduate, many of us are still on tight budgets. Here are some low cost (or free!) ways to enjoy this summer without breaking the bank.

1. Go to a public beach Beach_Public

If you live on a coast or by the Great Lakes, this can be a perfect option for you! Many beaches are free and have free parking for residents. You can also pack your own lunch and bring things to do such as a Frisbee or a volleyball.

 

 

Picnic2. Have a Picnic

If you don’t have any beaches nearby, find a park in your area and have a picnic. Bring a few friends and make it a potluck and you’ll cut costs even more.

 

 

Hiking3. Go Hiking

Take advantage of the sunshine and head out on a hiking trail in your area. The best part about it is it’s absolutely free! Spending time outdoors can really make you appreciate the beauty around you: no wifi required.

 

 

Museum4. Visit a Museum on a Free Day

During the summer months, many museums and aquariums have free days on the weekends. These places will usually advertise events such as these on their websites and in local newspapers.

 

 

Movies5. Go to the movies

When summer heat gets too intense, take advantage of air conditioning and catch a movie. After all, it’s time for summer blockbusters!

 

 

Concert6. Catch a Free Concert or Theatre Production

Keep an eye out for advertisements for local free concerts. Many parks and small theatres have shows for upcoming bands or community theatre productions. These ticket prices are usually very low (or free!) and you can support local artists at the same time. It’s a win-win!

 

 

Share your thrifty summer plans in the comments below!

How to Earn Extra Money During College

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Earn Extra Moneyimage source

Let’s face it: you’re busy. But this doesn’t change the fact that your textbooks cost an arm and a leg, tuition is rising constantly, and you still need to buy groceries this week. How are you supposed to keep up with your studies as well as your expenses? Here are a few ways to make extra money without letting your grades suffer.

1. Work Study Programs

Most colleges have employment opportunities specifically for students. Work study programs usually subtract your pay from your tuition bill. A few hours a week working at minimum wage doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up quickly. The best part is this work can usually be scheduled around your class schedule so it won’t interfere with your studies. Check with your financial aid office to see if your school offers programs like this.

Work Studyimage source

2. Sell Unwanted Items

Whether it’s clothes that you don’t wear anymore or your old guitar that, let’s face it, you haven’t picked up in years. There are usually plenty of things lying around your dorm that you have no use for anymore. Like the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Snap a few clear, well lit pics of your unwanted items and list them on eBay for a small fee (this fee is so small, you probably have enough change under your couch cushion to cover it). Another wonderful platform for selling clothing is an app called Twice available here. With this app you can sell your gently used nice clothing.

Sell the Clothes You Dont Wear Anymoreimage source

3. Start a Side Business

Okay so maybe this one is a bit more time consuming but with the right work ethic, you’d be surprised how easy this can be. This doesn’t have to be a full- fledged business venture. You can make a decent amount of money mowing lawns or painting houses over the summer. If you have a knack for crafts, you could also make and sell handmade items such as jewelry or paintings at craft fairs or with online marketplaces such as Etsy.com. Similar to eBay, with Etsy you can pay a very small fee to list your handmade treasures for others to purchase.

Start a Side Businessimage source

Whether you choose work study or cleaning out your closet, there are simple ways to earn some extra cash while also taking some of the strain off your parents to cover your tuition bill. What other ways do you make extra money for college? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

How to Make Your Own Infused Waters

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Healthy Waterimage source 

It’s no surprise that my Pinterest feed these past few weeks have consisted of colorful bikinis, floral prints, pastel colors, and spring décor. But my favorite trend of the season? Infused water.

For the longest time I couldn’t bring myself to drink water, it was just so bland compared to my favorite fizzy soda pop flavors. However, last semester a friend of mine introduced me to infused water, and I was instantly hooked. Infused water helps make staying hydrated fun, offers a dose of essential vitamins, gently cleanses your body and works as a natural skin care. But, the best part about it all? It’s such a quick and easy process, it takes just under 5 minutes to prepare!

Making your own infused water is quick and simple! Here’s how to make your own infused water:

Step 1: Fill a pitcher with water,

Step 2: add thinly sliced fruits, herbs or spices and ice

Step 3: chill in the refrigerator.

For stronger flavored water, prepare it a day ahead and keep it in the fridge overnight before drinking, The fruit should stay fresh as long as you keep your water refrigerated, and should be consumed in 3-5 days. That’s it! No fancy gadgets or confusing recipe cards, it’s simple as 1,2,3.

Here are a some infused water recipes that make will make your taste buds sing…

 - Raspberry +  lemon  +  mint

 - Strawberry  +  Kiwi

- Lemon  +  cucumber  +  mint

 - Blackberry  +  cherry  +  lime

 - Orange  +  lemon  +  lime

 - Strawberry + Lime + Mint

We’re always on the hunt for new flavor combinations, so snap a photo of your beautiful beverage on Instagram or tweet us your favorite recipe on twitter by using #tastebuddanceparty

 

Cheers!

Fruit Infused Waterimage source

Real World Experience: Why You Should Intern In College

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College may be little more than a four-year party to some, but for many it’s a time to learn new things, meet new people, and live independently. Students tend to hold their undergraduate years in such high esteem that they often end up calling them the best four years of their lives. Yet upon graduation, many still feel surprisingly ill prepared to venture out into the “real world”. Even those students who graduate with a high GPA can feel overwhelmed by the pressures of the professional world, making them wonder if their academic accomplishments were ever worthwhile.

 If you’re looking for a manual on how to succeed in the real world, you have come to the wrong place. However, here’s one valuable piece of advice that may alleviate some stress once you graduate: find an internship.

Intern

  Interning in college is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for your future.  An internship can open up a variety of networking opportunities and can provide you with valuable work experience in your intended field. It may also help you in determining whether the field you’ve chosen is right for you. Sure, the typical life of an intern may not be the professional life you imagined, but for what it’s worth, you could be taking a small step towards landing the job of your dreams.

Getting a taste of the real world while you’re still in school may seriously pay off in the long run.

Whether it’s mastering a certain skill, learning how to interact with coworkers, or finding ways to score points with your boss, an internship is a great way to break into the occupation of your choice without dealing with the crippling pressure of a year-round job. As college students, our summer and winter breaks provide great opportunities to work full-time. While you may be tempted to sit at home and lounge around during your time off, do yourself a favor and go find an internship. You’ll be glad you did it.

The Art of Gift Giving for College Students

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I love giving gifts, but as a college student with very little free time during the year, I come across many issues related to gift giving. Having no free time keeps me unemployed, and so I end up with little or no money at all. Almost every time a birthday or anniversary comes around, I spend very large amounts of time planning out a gift, only to find that it is too expensive for my budget!

handmade gifts

It seems that many other students are experiencing the same problems that I am, so here are several ideas to keep your presents (somewhat) cheap, but memorable:

  • If you have the ability, or the interest, take the time to sit down and write the gift receiver a poem, letter, or maybe even paint them a picture.
  • Take them out for a nice, romantic picnic. All you really need are a few sandwiches, a blanket, and a warm, sunny day.
  • Buy tickets to their favorite artist’s concert, or their favorite comedian’s show. I mean, who doesn’t love Louis C. K?
  • Try simulating your first date. The old memories will definitely make it a great gift. Or, to make it even better, at the end of your date, add something new, such as ice skating. On top of your first date, this will create even more cherished memories.
  • The ideal present is one that does not fade, but grows and changes as time goes on. However, not many examples of this exist. Luckily, a great gift that WILL last is a charm bracelet. Each holiday, or special occasion, try adding a new charm that really means something to you. Soon, there will not only be a bracelet, but also a collection of memories that is one of a kind.

I will warn you that some of these suggestions can become quite expensive, so keep that in mind as you make an attempt to give a truly special present. For more unique gift ideas at every price point, I recommend online shopping at etsy.com (they’ve got it all)! If you have some gift-giving ideas that I didn’t mention don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments below!

Gifts Your Dad Does NOT Want for Father’s Day

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Father's Day

So the semester is over and you may have some extra cash from selling your used textbooks, but you probably don’t want to spend it all on Dad, which is understandable. There are plenty of good gifts that you can find within your budget, but let me start by telling you what NOT to get your dad for Father’s Day:

Another tie. Just because it’s on the $5 rack doesn’t mean you should buy it.

Tools. He’s already got more screw drivers than Bob the Builder. Besides, buying your dad tools is like buying your mom a new vacuum for Mother’s Day (which you should never do).

A cheesy coffee mug. There are better ways to tell him he’s the “Best Dad in the World”. Does he even drink coffee at home?!

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about what you should buy for Father’s Day. Everyone knows that men are hard to shop for, but it’s not impossible. The first step to finding the perfect gift is simply thinking about what interests your dad. Does he love to cook/grill? Is there a TV show or movie he is always talking about? Is he the kind of dad that would like to go to a MLB game or another sporting event? The point here is to find something personalized, rather than the generic set of golf balls for someone who has never golfed a day in his life. Here are a few other suggestions for more unique Father’s Day gifts:

A sincere card. Chances are your dad has done a lot for you and asked for very little in return. Sure you’re grateful, but do you ever take the time to put into words how much you truly appreciate his support? You could even include it in a nice frame with his favorite picture of the two of you.

Home beer kit (for those of us that are 21). If you dad enjoys an occasional cold beer then he would probably enjoy learning the craft, too! Nothing brings a family together like brewing beer, right?

A new phone case. If your dad is anything like mine, then he has been using the same outdated, belt-clip phone case for years. There are lots of new cases online and I’m sure you could find am inexpensive, trendy case that would fit his style.

If all else fails, spend time instead of money. The older we get the busier our lives become. Whether you’re out on your own or still living at home, you probably spend most of your days in class, working, or hanging out with friends. Let your dad know how much you love him by simply spending the afternoon together. The key on this one is to really be present, and not spend the afternoon texting your friends while sitting on the same couch as your dad.

For more fantastic gift ideas be sure to check out our Father’s Day inspired board on Pinterest!