Budget Down to Your Belly

Many college students have a limited budget. They are not able to spend money on things they may want, simply because they don’t have it. Instead, many result to the less expensive, next best thing.

According to an article by Investopedia, there are many industries that are benefiting from broke college students, for this reason. One industry that obviously benefits from college students is the alcohol industry. This would apply to all liquor stores, bars and beer/alcohol companies. Other companies that this article says are benefiting from college students are discount furniture stores, the automotive industry for economy cars and big box stores such as Target and Walmart. A major industry that is benefiting is fast food chains such as McDonalds, Taco Bell and Burger King. These are restaurants where students can quickly pay for food and almost instantly receive their meal. It’s simple and cheap.

Food is a main component that people spend money on. It’s a big expense in any household. I mean, after all, everyone has to eat! Whether you’re cooking in or eating out, you’re spending money for that meal. You either need to buy your meal from a restaurant or buy the ingredients to cook.  Eating out adds up, and although it’s nicer and easier than cooking, you should limit yourself to how much you go out. Buying groceries will last longer and be cheaper. With a little prior planning, you can lower spending more than you probably think.

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There are several things you can do as a buyer to lower the amount you spend while grocery shopping. First, you should always go with a list and stick to it. You should check what you already have in your kitchen so you don’t buy food you don’t need. Have a budget right off the bat of the amount you’re able to spend on groceries. Another good tip would be to keep your receipts. This is a good way to compare different shopping trips or food stores to find the best one. When shopping, it’s also helpful to buy things that can be frozen. This way, you can save food you don’t eat right away, and save it for later so it doesn’t go bad. Look for specials, sales and coupons. Stocking up on sales and buying in bulk will definitely help save! If you must go out, try and find coupons online or go when there are special deals at a restaurant. Happy eating!

May 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

Being Transportation Savvy Can Go a Long Way

This blog has been about how students today may have a difficult time budgeting their money. An article in USA Today expresses how young people in America struggle with financial literacy.  It states that financial literacy tests given in high schools, has had decreasing tests results within the last decade. One main factor of budgeting money that is spent, starts in high school and follows all through adulthood, with driving.

I’m sure a lot of money that students earn goes toward putting gas in their car. I know mine personally does. Gas prices have sky rocketed and before you know it, you need to fill your tank up again. Between driving to and from school, work, running errands and other events you may take part in, gas in your car is just burning away.

According to The Coupon Bible, one of the main ways you can save money on gas is being frugal when running around. I’m sure when you go out on your shopping trips you don’t consider the amount you’re driving, because you have to go there anyways. If you have to go to more than one store or make a few errands, go all at once. Make a list of what you have to do and hit all those stores in one day. However, within that list, you should obviously plan out the most beneficial traveling routes for you to spend the least amount of miles driving.

You shouldn’t drive if you don’t have to. If your destination is near by, you should choose to walk or ride a bike. Not only will you be saving gas, but hey, it’s also good exercise! In addition to this, it’s beneficial to your bank account if you start calculating the miles per week you drive. I’ve realized that I drive close to 150 miles a week, going back and forth to where I need, but also want to go. I’ve started limiting the number of miles I drive in a week just two weeks ago and can tell my gas is already lasting longer.

Also, if you have a friend or co-worker going to the same place, it’s always a smart idea to carpool. Ride with someone or even take turns driving. Either way this will reduce the money you spend on gas and is also in the best interest of the environment.

Here are a few other tips dealing with your car that can ultimately save money. First, you can apply for gas station credit cards, which provide discounts on gas. Keep your car well maintained, such as on time oil changes and properly inflated tires. And obviously buy the cheapest gas you can find because every cent counts!

May 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm Leave a comment

Start Thinking to the Future!

Even if you’re making enough money and are well off now, it’s never too early to start saving. Although you may be covering all your expenses just fine at the time, what about the future? The new hype issue in the campaign has been all about student loans.

According to Andrea Bulfinch at Foster’s Daily Democrat, student loans interest rate may double from 3.4% to 6.8%. This is a main reason why students need to start balancing their life and college loans now. President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney have apparently spoken this past week in agreement, strongly requesting Congress to halt the increase in student loans.

As a result of this, parents and students should start paying attention to the amount they spend, in addition, to the cost they will pay when selecting a college. According to an article by NBC, investors can control their college savings plan fees. The Coalition of Mutual Fund Investors have found that plans sold through brokers and financial advisors, charge more than twice in annual fees, as opposed to those who choose directly through states or manage their own finances. The advisor sold plans were on average 2.15 times higher.

In rebuttal, this isn’t to say that students or families paying for professional advice aren’t getting their money’s worth. According to the article, if people are new to investing or already have a financial planner they trust, the outcome could be worth the benefits.

In addition to saving for student loan expenses, students must also conserve money for credit card and car loans, along with all the costs of living and extras they want to participate in. It’s never too early to start budgeting now and keeping it under control.

The first thing you should always do is apply for financial aid. You should also apply for as many college scholarships as possible, even during the time you’re attending college. Billions of dollars each year are given to students and anything helps! It could be you. Another good tip is to make sure you’re signing up for classes you need and want to take. Dropping classes will only waste your money and time, which could then ultimately delay your graduation. Paying for an additional semester or years of college will only increase your tuition expenses during that time and the loans you’ll have to pay off later. Be smart and plan ahead now!

April 29, 2012 at 9:03 pm Leave a comment

Shopping on a Budget

Most people like to shop. Realistically, no one is going to stop doing things they like to do unless it’s absolutely necessary, but shopping can and will add up and lower the value of your bank account. However, shopping doesn’t have to break your bank account. There are definitely ways to lower the amount you spend when you’re shopping. You shouldn’t buy what you don’t need!

The first thing to lower your spending while shopping would be to create a realistic budget. Figure out how much you can really spend and stick to it! According to the Budget Fashionista, sixty to seventy percent of your budget should go towards the perfect ten, the list of everything that people should have in their closet. She says you should get items that fit your body type and personal style but avoid buying items you know you don’t like or don’t look good. Then, the other thirty or forty percent should go towards undergarments and accessories. It’s a good way to start budgeting what you need to spend on.

Another good way to use this method would be let the price tags lead your shopping. If you know you can’t afford to buy something, why even try it out. Be creative on the specific item you want to buy. So don’t fixate on a certain color or cut of something, try to keep your mind open.

There are also many other places you can go to shop other than the designer stores in the mall. Sure you can attempt to go to their sale racks, but a lot of the time those clearance or sale items can still be expensive. Instead, you can and get something similar in less expensive but still stylish stores, such as Forever 21 and H & M.

Another good idea to spend less in a mall would be to shop in the department stores, such as JC Penney, Macy’s, Target and Kohl’s. These stores have a wide selection and are usually less expensive than the individual stores in the mall. The clearance and sale racks there are even less expensive! Other great stores that have cheaper great finds on clothing, shoes and accessories would be Marshalls and TJ Maxx.

I’ve found that shopping in outlet malls is usually a good find. They have great stores, some brand name and designer, which have items for great prices and many items that are on sale. Consignment shops and yard or garage sales are also good ways to find cheap items for bargain prices. Finally, thrift stores are an awesome way to shop for less. You can look for the stores near you and figure out which stores fit your style. Good luck and happy shopping!

April 23, 2012 at 3:46 am Leave a comment

You can’t spend money you don’t have: Get a Job!

Think of everything you spend money on at this point in your life. Between housing expenses, food/alcohol, personal hygiene, entertainment, shopping, transportation, books for school and whatever else you do in your free time, it’s never ending. It’s never too early to start saving money. You’re always gonna need it.

A lot of students complain about having no money. Yet, these same people are spending their ‘non existent’ money on things they can’t afford and don’t need. You’re probably living on your own now and instead of asking your parents for money, you should take the responsibility upon yourself! Obviously everyone has a busy schedule, including myself. You have school, clubs or meetings to attend and probably still want to maintain a social life. A lot of these fun things cost money though!

Becoming an employee and making your own income definitely has its own rewards and can be very gratifying. Earning your own money will make you appreciate the money you have and will also make you more aware of the money you’re spending. You’ll be more hesitant to spend your money that you just worked so hard to earn, which can definitely lead to saving your money! I know it’s already worked for me.

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Getting a job will absolutely help you start saving money AND give you money to spend your own way. According to the Save Money Blog, getting a job and budgeting your money you have will help you stay out of debt and build up your savings. You can’t afford to spend money that you don’t have in the first place.

APPLY TO NUMEROUS PLACES

Applying to several different types of jobs will keep your options open and give you a better chance of receiving a job.

NETWORKING
            Talk to friends, family, anyone and everyone who could lead you to a possible employer. In a lot of cases, it’s not necessarily what you know, but who you know. Making contacts can absolutely increase your chances of future employment. There are many social networks we use today that could help, such as, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, this very wordpress and so many others!

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Living on-campus can definitely complicate finding a job, especially if you don’t have a form of transportation. However, there are jobs available on-campus that pay and you can apply today!

If you have trouble finding a job there are options you can do on your own that could ultimately bring in revenue. For example, making apps for cells is a cheap and great way to make money. For example, there are already money saving apps out such as gas stations with cheaper prices and where it’s free to park. Another job you can do right from home is making your own website.

I don’t see why students wouldn’t get a job. There are so many things we spend money on and need to save up for. Everyone has a full plate, you just need to learn how to manage your schedule and make things happen!

April 15, 2012 at 10:22 pm Leave a comment

Unethical Commercial!

To Whom it May Concern,

I am deeply concerned with why you decided to create a commercial that has such an offensive and unethical message. Even though it says “If you wouldn’t get away with it here, then you shouldn’t get away with it at home,” the man does get away with it in the restaurant because no one is stopping him. So I do firmly believe that this sends the wrong message and does not get the point of the commercial across clearly.

You should definitely decide not to air this commercial on TV because of its unethical message that is shown. I’m sure that many parents would not want their children to see such vile language or actions. This commercial could be very scary for children and women and could cause serious problems within a family. Also, for a women who possibly already was or is being abused, this could bring back terrible images, hurting them even more mentally. It would just be a better idea to not show such images on a public viewing in order to ensure that your audience would not be upset or disturbed by this commercial.

There is definitely a better way that you could advertise this hotline and clinic to viewers without showing such harmful actions and vulgar language. You could take a serious approach as you have done in the previous commercials, but you should seriously consider taking out the harmful and scary actions that have been shown. Instead, you could change you slogan to something more meaningful so that you would not have to use such language and violence.

November 25, 2009 at 1:15 am Leave a comment

Oh, Towson Basketball!

The public event that I attended was an entertaining one right here on Towson’s campus, the basketball game. While riding the shuttle to Towson Center, there are many people along the way you see either on the bus or walking that are dressed up in Towson’s colors. Some students even go all out and paint their faces or get dressed up.

At the event, numerous things are going on all at once. You have the players in the game, the cheerleaders and pom squad cheering on the sideline, fraternities and sororities dressed up, the opponent and adult sections, and then you have the more enthusiastic section of the students. It is a very hectic scene because all of this is going on at once, as well as various loud noises all around you.

The cheerleaders and pom squad are trying to pump up and the crowd as much as they can and get the crowd involved in the game. They want to convince everyone that Towson is the best and they are going to win. In hope of that, it should pep the crowd up to cheer on the basketball team and help them to victory! 🙂  By trying to get the crowd excited they do stunts, dances and cheers throughout the game, as well as give away prizes. Along with the cheerleaders, they have the Battle of the Greeks, Doc’s Army, the appearance of Doc, and special guests in the center of the court. For example, at the previous basketball game they gave away full pizzas. They stood in front of the crowd and held the boxes up shaking them, and as they did that the crowd of course went wild hoping they would get the pizza box to get the pizza.

I do think that the cheerleaders and pom squad performing and doing cheers peps up the crowd which encourages the basketball team to play even harder. Them along with everyone that dresses up does make the games more interesting and exciting for everyone. However, I do not believe that this solely makes the basketball team win or lose, I only think that this helps them be pumped up and want to win more.

November 24, 2009 at 12:34 am Leave a comment

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