August 24, 2017



Using The Internet To Both Save And Earn Money

Woman with ComputerThe Internet has revolutionized life for many people and college students are no exception.  Nowadays you can use the Internet to both save money and also to earn some extra cash while you are studying.

Tip 1. Don’t pay for an Internet connection before first checking to see whether or not you can get free Wi-Fi access on campus.

Tip 2. Don’t pay for those expensive calls home on your cell phone but instead use of the many free or very inexpensive Internet calling services (Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP) such as Skype, SightSpeed or Jajah. Alternatively, rather than calling home regularly, send an email instead.

Tip 3. Use the Internet to make money by offering information of services online for a fee. If you have good grades then you could even think about offering such things as study tips for fellow students.

Tip 4. Earn money through affiliate programs. There are literally thousands of online marketers who are only too happy to offer you a share of their profits for promoting their products or services and this is a very easy way for even the complete novice to make some extra money.

Tip 5. Offer your skills online. If you have any web design skills or graphic skills then you can earn good money by offering website or graphic design services to webmasters. Alternatively, many webmasters are looking for content and, if your written English is reasonable, then you will find that it is very easy to earn money part-time by writing content on just about any subject you can think of.

Tip 6. Build websites and then flip them. The secret here is to pick a popular topic, build a website and get some traffic coming to it and then, rather than maintain it yourself, simply sell it on.

Tip 7. Sell items on eBay. eBay is the world’s largest auction site and it is very easy to make money selling new or used items on a regular basic through eBay.

These are just a few of the many ways in which you can use the Internet to help to fund your way through college and this is certainly something which every college student should be exploring today.



Opportunities To Earn Extra Money In College

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Opportunities Await While Attending College

While we provide some tips for using the Internet to earn extra cash in college elsewhere, here we look at some ideas for earning some extra money.

Tip 1. Work as a departmental assistant. In some colleges you will find that departments hire undergraduates for a variety of departmental jobs.

Tip 2. Work as a tutor. If you are particularly good at a particular subject then you can offer your services as a tutor.

Tip 3. Work as a painter and decorator or landscaper. Here you should not of course simply limit yourself to painting and decorating or landscaping, but there are a whole variety of similar jobs which you can do in your spare time ranging from jobs that will take just a couple of days to those that could take up an entire day or a weekend.

Tip 4. Sell computers. Does this sound like a crazy idea? Well, you will certainly have heard of Dell computers but did you know that Michael Dell starting out by building computers in college and selling them to fellow students. Of course you do not have to go this far but you could offer services such as computer upgrades or software installation to other students. Or how about offering training in particular software packages?

Tip 5. Work part-time in the college library. Many college libraries hire undergraduates as junior librarians or as book collectors and stackers.

You will probably have noticed that these tips do not include flipping hamburgers in a local fast food outlet or similar jobs. These are of course a old favorite and can certainly be considered but they should be at the bottom of your list and not at the top of the list. There are many much better ways to make money nowadays, especially for an undergraduate who undoubtedly has a number of far better skills which can be tapped into.



Saving Money On Food And Grocery Shopping

TheStudentLoansCenter.comFood can be a major expense for any college student but with a little bit of thought you can cut your food bill substantially and still eat very well. Here are a few tips to get the thought process working.

Tip 1. Get into the habit of taking a bag lunch. College food courts are a convenient place to eat lunch but they are also extremely expensive if you use them on a regular basis, so try to get into the habit of packing yourself a lunch whenever you can.

Tip 2. Skip the coffee and soft drinks machines. Coffee and soft drinks are expensive when purchased in a cafeteria or from a vending machine and so you should give these a miss. One excellent alternative is to make your coffee at home and then pop a thermos into your school bag.

Tip 3. Plan your meals. You will find that if you plan your meals in advance and make shopping lists you will not end up buying things which you do not need and will waste a lot less food.

Tip 4. Share meals. If you have one or two willing friends then you can share the shopping and cooking and will find that you can save quite a bit of money by doing so, rather than simply cooking for one.

Tip 5. Shop in bulk. There are many occasions on which you can buy food items in bulk and this will often produce quite a saving. Also look out for offers such as ‘buy 2 get 1 free’.

Tip 6. Buy generic rather than branded foods. You will find that more often than not when you buy a branded item you are paying through the nose simply for the brand name. Most ‘own brand’ grocery items are just as good and, in the vast majority of cases, you won’t even notice the difference.

Tip 7. Reduce the amount of meat your are eating. Meat is generally the most expensive item on your shopping list and you can make a considerably saving by reducing the amount of meat which you eat and, at the same, by considering cheaper cuts when you do buy meat.



Saving Money On College Books

tall stack of booksBalancing the budget while you are attending college is not always easy but you will certainly find that it is a lot easier if you can cut down on some of your expenditure. Here we look at ways of reducing the cost of such things as books which are not only vital but also some of the most expensive items you will need to buy.

Tip 1. Look for used rather than new books. For some reason many students seem to feel that they have to have shiny new text books but there is absolutely no reason for this apart from fashion. You will find that it is generally quite easy to pick up used books at a fraction of the cost of new ones and they will serve you just as well.

Tip 2. Use the library. The college library is not only an excellent place to get hold of many of the books that you need, but is also often an excellent place to work without and distractions.

Tip 3. Use neighboring libraries. You are not confined to using only your own college library and, if it does not have a book which you are looking for, then try other academic libraries in your area.

Tip 4. Borrow books. If one of your professors or another student has a book that you need for a short time then you could always simply ask if you could borrow it. You’ll be surprised how often people are only to happy to lend you a book and all you have to do is ask.

Tip 5. Sell your old books. Just as you yourself should be looking to buy used books, it is also a good idea to sell on your own books once you have finished with them to fund further purchases.



Saving Money On Clothing, Furniture And General Expenses

pink wallet with American moneyOne of the great things about college is that it gives you an opportunity to express yourself and that can extend to such things as your clothes and the way in which you furnish your rooms. So, here are a few tips that might just help to save you a little money.

Tip 1. Set the trend rather than follow the fashion. This is one occasion on which you really do not have to follow the latest expensive designer trend and you can dress to suit yourself or indeed start your own fashion trend.

Tip 2. Look for budding designers. If you do decide that you need to follow the latest fashion then, instead of spending a fortune on store bought clothes, find yourself a budding young designer who is studying at your college and see if they can make a cheaper one off version of their own for you.

Tip 3. Make your own clothes. If you are at all handy with a sewing machine then you can of course make your own clothes and perhaps even earn a bit of extra money by making clothes for some of your fellow students.

Tip 4. Do not overlook the Army surplus store. Surplus stores sell a good range of clothing at discounted prices including a lot of outdoor wear, bags and boots.

Tip 5. Do not buy from catalogues. Buying from catalogues can be simple but you invariably find that things look better on the catalogue model than they do on you and that you are tempted to buy things which you do not really need. You can also run up a large debt to the catalogue company very quickly. If you have a catalogue then the best place for it is in the garbage.

Tip 6. Shop at the flea markets. Flea markets are a great place to pick up things that you need at a bargain price and are particularly handy for picking up bits of furniture.

Tip 7. Keep an eye out for garage and yard sales. Just like the flea markets garage and yard sales can provide some excellent bargains.

Tip 8. Buy things on sale. It might seem obvious but sales are often overlooked. For example, who ever thinks of buying Christmas cards in January and yet you can very often pick them up then at half price or less and simply pop them away in a drawer ready for later in the year.

Tip 9. Buy in bulk. There are many items which you use regularly such as toothpaste, soap and toilet paper which are invariably cheaper if you buy them in bulk. For example, a 12 pack of toilet rolls is a lot cheaper than 6 double roll packs.

Tip 10. Avoid buying on credit. Credit cards make shopping very easy but also very expensive. You will save a lot of money if instead of buying something today and paying for it next month you simply save up now and buy it next month.



Tips On How To Save Money In College

Money for collegeMost of us are aware that money plays an important role in all our lives and few of us can have grown up without being aware of our parents worrying about paying the rent or mortgage, utility bills, food bills, clothing bills and having enough money left over for holidays and entertainment.

But, while you will almost certainly have been aware of this, it wasn’t really your problem and you probably didn’t get involved in any of the details of your parents’ financial planning. It can be quite a shock therefore to arrive at college and suddenly find that you have to manage all of your own finances.

Managing money is not too difficult but it is an art which you need to learn and the secret is to avoid having to learn it the hard way as so many students do. So, below we are going to look at a few things you can do to manage your college finances and will then move on to look at a number of tips on how to save money in college.

Here first then are 5 essentials to ensure the proper management of your money.

1. Know How Much Things Cost.

Before you do anything else you must know what you are going to have to pay out every month so start by making a list of all your known expenses. This list will vary from one student to the next but might include such things as rent, utilities, school supplies, activity fees, transport cost, parking, groceries and possible repayment of any existing debt.

2. Set Yourself A Budget.

Once you have set aside money to meet all of your known expenses you next need to draw up a budget for your remaining money. For example, decide how much you are going to allow yourself for such things as clothes, eating out and entertainment. Also try to include some savings in your budget so that you begin to build up an emergency fund or money which can be used to those very special and infrequent purchases. Most important of all, having set yourself a budget, stick to it!

3. Keep Track Of Your Expenditure.

Even the best laid plans will come to nothing if you do not then monitor them to make sure that you are on track and so you will need to keep all of your bills, receipts and bank statements safely in one place and preferably organized into categories. Once a month you should then go through your paperwork and check to see that everything is in order and progressing according to your plan.

4. Keep A Close Eye On The Amount Of Debt You Are Carrying.

Apart from your student loans you may well have other forms of debt such as a car loan or one or more credit cards and you need to keep very careful track of these. Having a credit card is a good idea to meet emergencies but all too often students have two or three credit cards and run these up to their limit in no time at all. Credit cards can be very dangerous and run you into trouble faster than just about anything else you imagine if they are not managed correctly.

5. Beware Of Identity Theft.

Identify theft is on the rise at the moment and college students are prime targets for this particular crime. Protect your identity by keeping such things as credit cards and other financial documents and records under lock and key and taking care to remove such things as ATM slips from the machine and filing them with your financial papers rather than simply dropping them into the waste bin next to the machine. Also be careful when it comes to giving out information about yourself, especially on the Internet. Social networking sites are easy pickings for identity thieves and so be careful never to give anything more than very basic information such as your name, gender and very general details of your location.

If you follow these five principles then you will be well on your way to ensuring your financial health while you are in college.

However, things are still likely to be very tight and so one further thing you will need to do is to look for ways to save money. We’ve broken this down into a few separate areas to consider as follows:

Saving money on college books

Saving money on clothing, furniture and general expenses

Saving money on food and grocery shopping

Using the Internet to both save and earn money

Opportunities to earn extra money in college



How Do I Pay For College Without Loans

Pay for college without loansFor many youngsters student loans are simply an inevitable part of attending college but, with a little bit of thought and planning, it is possible to attend college without loans, or perhaps with just a very small amount of loan debt.

Of course if you have plenty of time before you start college then you can begin putting money away now into a ‘college fund’ and, if you are lucky, your parents or other relatives might already be doing this for you. It is unlikely that this fund will meet all of your needs, but it can make a very good start.

The next step is to look for ‘free’ money in the form of grants and scholarships. Start by asking your college about grants and scholarships as many colleges will have sources available which are specific to the college. Then widen your search and try searching online at sites such as FastWeb.com and others. You will find that there are literally hundreds of grants and scholarships available and it is simply a matter of narrowing the field down to those for which you are eligible. Remember too that you can often get grant and scholarship funding from more than one source.

Having dipped into your savings and obtained some scholarship or grant money, the next best source of income will be to get a job. Now many people will tell you that working your way through college is a bad idea because you need to be using your time to study rather than to work. This is sheer nonsense and you will often find that students who have a job in college end up with better grades than those who do not work.

A part-time job will force you to organize your time more efficiently and, rather than eating into your study time, tends to keep you away from activities which simply waste your time and often cost you money. A job will also give you a true appreciation of the value of money and you will find yourself thinking twice about spending that $5 on something frivolous when it has just taken you an hour to earn it.

When it comes to finding a job take a look at your skills and try to find a good job that pays well. You can of course flip burgers in a local fast food restaurant but, if you have some skill, you might be better getting a job doing some computer programming or auto repair work.

Don’t forget too that there are many companies that provide places for college students and your college will often be able to provide you with a list to help you to start your search.

Finally, don’t forget the Internet. The web provides a great place to look for work and webmasters for example are often looking to outsource much of their work from content creation to graphic design and much more.

One final point is to look at just how much it is going to cost you to attend your chosen college and to consider cheaper alternatives. Although there is much talk about whether or not one college education is better than another the truth is that generally your success in life has much more to do with how much work you put in at college rather than which college you attend. And, on this note, do not overlook community colleges. You might be surprised to find that the standard of lecturing is just as good, and frequently better, at many community colleges.



How NOT To Pay For College

pay for college without loansWe spend a lot of time thinking about how to pay our way through college but it is just as important sometimes to stop for a moment and think about how not to pay for college.

There are all sorts of things which you should avoid when it comes to getting together the money you need for college and here we are going to look at four in particular – two which affect you directly as a student and two which may affect some mature students but which are primarily aimed at parents.

1. Excessive student loans.

Most students will need to take at least one loan (and frequently several loans) to get them through college and, since a good college education is likely to land you a higher paying job so that you can repay these loans, this is normally fine. Loans should however be kept to an absolute minimum and only be taken out to meet essential expenditure. In the case of federal loans you cannot of course borrow more than you need as this is one requirement of granting you a loan. However, when it comes to private loans, it is very easy to borrow a bit more than you need to cope with ‘unexpected’ expenditure. This little bit extra on each loan over several years can quickly add up however and run you into serious financial trouble.

2. Credit cards.

Today it is the easiest thing in the world to get a credit card (or indeed several credit cards) and no matter how good our intentions at the outset we always seem to end up maxing them all out and running into problems making even the minimum monthly payments required. Credit card do have a valuable role to play in our lives but while you are attending college you are probably better to simply stick with a debit card and leave the credit cards until you are out of college and have a well paying job.

3. IRA Withdrawals.

Parents are sometimes tempted to make withdrawals from their IRA accounts to help pay college fees but this is very rarely a good idea. Despite the fact that you are permitted to make withdrawals and will not have to pay a withdrawal penalty (normally 10%) if a withdrawal is made to meet higher education expenses, you will have to pay tax on any withdrawal at your highest tax rate. More importantly however you IRA is designed to allow you to build up a retirement fund in a tax efficient manner and even a modest withdrawal in the relatively early life of your IRA can reduce your retirement fund considerably. For example, a withdrawal of $10,000 today could easily result in a drop of $70,000 to $80,000 in the size of your retirement fund in twenty years time.

4. Borrowing From Your 401k.

If you have a 401k which allows you to borrow against it then this is also a tempting way for parents to borrow money to help their children through college. However, although in some ways this is a better alternative than taking money from an IRA, it nevertheless has the same effect on future earnings within the account and should be avoided if at all possible. Perhaps the one exception here is when you need to borrow money on a very short term basis and will be able to pay it back into your 401k reasonably quickly.

Naturally these are just a few of the ways that you should avoid when it comes to funding a college education and you can probably think of many your yourself. The secret is not to saddle yourself with debt which you are going to have difficulty repaying or to take money from any existing investment vehicle where you will suffer tax penalties and/or a significant loss in future earnings.



The Cost Of College Education

Cost of College EducationHigher education is not cheap and, like everything else, college costs are rising year on year and it is becoming increasingly difficult for many students to find the money needed to pay both their college tuition fees and room and board each year.

In the past year the average total cost of college education has increased by about 6% and average costs now vary widely from under $3,000 a year to in excess of $30,000 a year depending on where you are studying (in or out of state) and whether you are following a full-time or part-time two-year or four-year course at a public university or at a private college.

This picture is not however as frightening as it looks when you examine the breakdown of the actual costs which students are faced with and the fees which they are paying.

For example, only about 9% of students are paying more than $30,000 and about 56% of students are paying tuition and fees of less than $9,000. Indeed about a third of all students are paying less than $6,000.

These figures do not of course take into account financial aid which is currently being paid to students and their families and which now totals more than $132 billion a year.

Today about two-thirds of all undergraduate students are receiving grant aid and, together with tax benefits, this averages about $2,000 per year for students on two-year courses at public universities to over $9,000 a year for students enrolled on four-year courses at private colleges.

Now this may still sound expensive even after you take into account any grants and scholarships you can get and Federal aid, while welcome, is limited. Meeting these costs is no easy matter and for the vast majority of students getting a college degree means taking on a raft of Federal and private loans which they can be saddled with for many years. So, is it worth it?

Well, think of it this way. It is currently estimated that individuals with a bachelor’s degree can earn about 60% more than their contemporaries with only a high school diploma. This is no small difference and over a normal working lifetime represents well over three quarters of a million dollars! Yes, you may have to make some sacrifices to attend college but this is one investment which will be more than adequately repaid in the long term.