Tips To More Effectively Manage Money For Students

By: Jeremy Housewright

While college students are often criticized for their careless spending, most students generally do a better job managing money than they are given credit for.

A typical college student may have a college loan, a checking account, a savings account, a credit card, an ATM card, a debit card, a pre-paid phone card and a valuable student identification card.

It is easy for many college students to mess their finances up, considering most students are new at paying bills and managing expenses. However, 3 out of 5 college students manage to pay credit cards monthly, according to the Student Monitor survey. Most college students also work at a part-time job during the school year.

The Student Monitor survey also found that only 30 percent of college students like to by things on sale and most admit to buying on impulse.

“If I want something, like a CD or DVD, I’m going to buy it right away,” sophomore Chad Mueller said.

There are some easy tips that will help college students better manage their money.

Have only one credit card. More than one card just gives students the opportunity to get into more debt. Parents need to remind their children that credit cards are for convienence and emergency, not a loan.

College students need to learn to balance their checkbooks. The habit of writing a withdrawal down immediately is good.

Students should keep better track of spending. According to Student Monitor survey, the average student spends $200 a month on casual items, such as clothing and movies.

Sharing items will also save money. Try to share or trade clothing with friends. Selling back textbooks is also a good way to save money. For those who live in an apartment, sharing a vaccum cleaner or a grill is an easy way to save.

Investing is the ultimate way for a college student to preserve money. If a 20-year old manages to put money away in stock or mutual funds, their finances will look great in 10 years.

Tips On How To Save Money While Traveling

You can enjoy your travels without having to spend more than what you can afford. Besides, traveling doesn’t have to be very expensive, especially if you are miles away from home. Doing so can put a great impact on your finances and can drain your money even before you are scheduled to fly back home.

Here are some economical tips to keep you on track and enjoy your travel with more money in your pocket.

1. Try to make a budget first

Before you start your travel or after arriving at your destination, it is best to have a good budget with you. Try to set a budget for the week. In this way, you get to keep your expenses and finances tightly intact. For instance, if your budget for the week is only $100, try to stick to it.

Without a budget, you will be tempted to buy this and that.

2. Have a map

To save more money on your transportation expenses, always have a map with you. In this way, you can anticipate the best and the most economical way to your destination. You get to avoid taking cabs or special trips just to get to your destination.

3. Bring your own gadgets

To save more while traveling, it is best that you have brought every gadget or item that you will need. In this way, you can cut back on the cost of having to rent some of the gadgets that you might use.

For example, try to bring your own camera instead of getting your pictures taken by a local photographer. With a good camera, you can take pictures you want without having to worry about extra charges.

4. Do your homework

Before you head to your destination, it is best that you know something about the place. This will allow you to steer clear from unnecessary spending while on travel. Places may differ depending on the area’s pattern of living.

For example, if the place you are about to visit has a luxurious type of living, it is best to keep track of your expenses to save more money. Try not to spend on things that aren’t necessary to avoid going overboard on your budget.

Things like these can be very helpful to save more money even if you travel to places were the standard of living is expensive. It only takes a smart traveler to do so.

Saving Guide On Clothing

Clothes can be really costly, especially when all the fads and trends come and go as the seasons. It is very possible to save money when buying your clothes. You just need to have the strategies and tactics on how you can save your money.

Here are some tips on how to save when buying your clothes:

  • Don’t buy in Season clothes – different line of clothes come every season. And more often than not, they normally release new clothes at very high prices and normally they go down after a few months. Key is just patience to wait.

For example, when winter comes, coats and sweaters are released, however, after a month, normal sale or bargain prices will now be tagged on these clothes. If you were smart enough to wait, you can still wear these clothes during the remaining days of winter and the coming fall.

  • Wait for Factory Sales – when Factories put out their sale season, clothes can be cut from 40%-90% off the original price. Imagine how big this saving is! Also, going directly to the Manufacturer’s store is a helpful tip on getting a good deal on clothes.

  • Garage Sales – these are very popular stores and places where you can get your clothes at really, really low prices. Find garage sales that are put up by families, in this way, chances of getting quality clothes are much higher than those garage sales that have been put up for commercial purposes already.

However, it is important to remember and avoid buying clothes just because the prices are really low, you might not even wear the clothes, and the concept of saving is put to waste.

  • Bargain – always visit your favorite store and befriend the sales people there. You can then ask for the possible dates of SALE and bargain wherein you can save at a minimum of 20% off the original price of your desired clothes.

  • Buy two different sizes and two different colors – If you have kids, it is very advisable to actually get two sizes, since children grow up really fast. Also, buying two colors to have variety, only if the clothes are already at their reduced rates.

  • Shop Online – nowadays, there are many clothing stores online. And, most of the clothing lines have their own websites where you can online shop.

Like the regular stores, the online shops have their season for SALE and BARGAINS as well. Just make a habit of checking regularly your favorite clothing line to wait for these awaited bargains.

  • Sign up for your Favorite Boutique’s mailing list – be sure to sign up for your favorite clothing store’s mailing list, newsletter and catalogs. In this way, you will be updated and be the first one to know of the upcoming On Sale Items and the new releases of the trendy clothes as well.

  • Coupon Codes and Coupon Cards – if shopping online is your thing, there are many coupon codes that can be found online that could give you a cut off of the original price of your favorite online store. Some of the coupon code sites are the www.couponcabin.com and www.keycode.com.

All you have to do is look for the “apparel” category code and you will be given your choices of retailers. You can also put the “online coupon” or “coupon code” in your favorite search engines such as Google and you will be given a list of sites that could provide you best deals for your retailers.

  • In-Store Credit Cards – many boutiques nowadays, offer in-store credit cards. All you need to do is apply for a credit card of your own, especially if you have a favorite store where you frequently buy your clothes. Normally, these credit cards give good discounts on clothes being sold in that particular boutique.

Also, the card holders normally get special coupons, birthday discounts and other relative discounts every holiday, you can get a minimum of 5% up to 15% discounts.

Another benefit of these is free shipping, being updated of the new arrival of clothes and rebates. However, this tactic only is beneficial if you plan to pay your credit card bill a day after you have purchased the product. This is because credit card companies charge an awful lot of finance fees and interests. It may not even counterbalance the savings you intentionally wanted in applying for the credit card.

  • Get a part-time job at your favorite store – a lot of shoppers apply and get part time jobs on their favorite boutique. This will give them extra money for their job and employee’s discounts on the clothes being sold in that particular store.

Money Saving Tips When Buying A Car

Going to the car dealer and buying one of the vehicles is something a person is unable to do every day. It’s not because the customer can’t fit this into the daily schedule but because it costs a lot of money.

The average price for most cars in the United States is from $15,000 – $18,000 and this will be more expensive when choosing to get an SUV or a van for the home.

Given the high cost of fuel, is it still worth it to get one? Yes, because it is more convenient to go to work, do some shopping activities that the family may have during weekends and holidays.

The price of a car is something many Americans won’t be able to earn in six months. By following these tips, the customer may be able to get right vehicle that is really value for money.

1. The individual should decide what kind of car is suitable for the home. How many people live in the house and who will be using it? Will it be used to carry anything heavy? These are just a few factors that the owner must put into consideration.

2. After answering all these questions, it is now time to visit the various dealers to check the models that fit the criteria of the person.

Some things to focus on are the price, miles per gallon and safety features. The customer must remember not all the brands offer the same amenities as the other.

3. The information given by the sales agent is just one side of the story. Reading some material from automobile magazines that review the model’s performance over others available on the market will be better.

4. It will be a good idea to park the current vehicle a block or two away from the dealer. Agents who see the type of car driven in can gage the price range that will be offered to the customer. This may not give the buyer some leeway when it is time for the negotiations.

5. There are ways to save money even when thinking of buying a new car. Some companies give discounts if a bigger down payment is paid up front. Others throw in freebies and other things if a car is traded in.

By doing some research and playing it smart, the person will be able to save money and drive off the dealer’s lot with a new car.

Find Your Hidden Money

When you sign up for loans, you pay them within a year, five years at most. Individual credit unions offer special loan rates that are beneficial to the borrower. A number of people consider signing up for credit union loans.

The features of a credit union loan are:

· The insurance of the loan isn’t a direct cost to the eligible borrower

· There is an offer of a repayment protection insurance

· There are no hidden fees or transaction charges whatsoever

· Repayments are calculated depending on the reducing balance of the total loan. Smaller interest repayments are relative on how frequent you repay your loan.

· There is a variety of repayment loans to choose from, depending on the livelihood of the borrower.

· It is so flexible that the borrower can repay the loan before the due or he can make large repayments than what had been agreed on without any penalty whatsoever.

· The additional lump sum repayments the borrower has paid will be accepted without penalty.

Credit Unions are like banks but the former has some unique characteristics. It is often mistaken as banks when in fact , an educated customer would take advantage of the best deal that is offered at Credit Unions and not at banks.

First and foremost, credit unions are owned by the customers. This is as opposed to banks where the possible clients are the customers. Banks prioritize profit and the shareholders usually own the bank.

On the other hand, credit unions are organizations that are non-profit. Their goal is to provide service over profitability.

One might ask, if the bank has shareholders who run the management of the institute, then who runs the credit union?

The upper management is composed of board directors deciding on the operations of the credit union. These are elected volunteers. They don’t do it for the salary. They are the members who want their opinion to be heard on how the institute should be run.

One can be a Credit Union member if they share a common bond. These are people of the same geographic community, a workplace or a religion.

That’s why credit unions are different to banks. That’s because their offer is limited to their members. But it’s harder for them to achieve credibility because if a credit union isn’t able to limit membership, then they lose their status as a credit union.

That’s why there’s hidden money to credit unions. Credit unions offer the same services and products as the larger banks do but the credit unions don’t have the same amount of volume as the banks.

Small credit unions can challenge banks when it comes to the income they generate. Credit unions have the tendency to focus on service over profit, that’s why the rate is always better at the credit union.

Don’t worry. Your money will be as safe in credit unions as it will be in bank deposits. As explained above, because of the cheaper down payment a member gives to a credit union, compared to the bank, there is hidden money for him.

Another direction you could look at is hidden money on home equity loans. As a homeowner, home equity loans allow to use your equity as the collateral. Equity is the funds you have that you could use to the property in order to invest it.

The hidden money here is that since it is a debt on your property that is in your possession which secures your debt loan. If the creditor wants his money back, then it can be sold. A home equity loan can either have a fixed rate mortgage or an adjustable rate mortgage.

The expenses that make a home equity loan useful are medical bills, debt consolidation and home repairs. The tax benefit for families who have home equity loans can enjoy a home equity rate loan that is charged as tax deductible. It’s because the loan is used for primary functions. All these means lower monthly payment rate – making you save more.

It’s always practical to save on your expenses. That is why as much as possible we suggest that you look up credit unions as opposed to banks and you sign up for home equity loan than the home mortgage. If you write it on a piece of paper, you’ll discover that you can actually save more with credit unions and home equity rates.

A Rough Guide To Saving Money On Clothes

In your effort to save money in everything that you do, it is important that you learn how to shop for clothes properly. Furthermore, by shopping for clothes properly, you could decrease your overall expenditures from as little as 10% to as much as 30%.

Saving money on clothing is simple, all you need to his follow a few tips and live them out in your experience. Here are some of these tips which will help you reduce your expenditures on clothes shopping.

1. What you want and what you need. There is a big difference between what you want and what you need. When it comes to clothes, you will need to balance both to keep yourself happy. If you look beneath the labels, you will find that many clothes are basically of the same make, quality, and style. The only difference is the inexplicable price bump due to its label.

If you are one that shops for labels you may consider slashing the number of branded clothes in your wardrobe by half. This way you still get to enjoy those branded clothes while getting equal quality clothes from generic brands. These brands could be just as good or even better then ones with expensive labels. So do consider them.

2. Look out for sales. Mark your calendars and find out when the season sales hit. The sales can save you as much as 70% off retail prices. This is a great way to get chic clothes at lower prices. You could schedule your shopping sprees on these periods. And knowing in advance when the sales are held will help you prepare enough money for these seasons.

You could contact your local department store to find out when they have sales schedule. They would be more than happy to let you know when they have events scheduled. You can also ask from store to store so that you have a complete list of shopping options during sales season.

3. Buy out of season. One of the best ways to get cheap clothes is to buy out of season. This means you should buy your summer wear during the winter when prices for summer wears are rock-bottom. Conversely, you could choose to buy winter wear during summer sales when these clothes are also rock-bottom in price.

By buying out the season he could stand to save as much as 60% from normal prices. This way you can get great clothes at a lower price without having to sacrifice quality or even brand name. It is a great way to indulge in good clothes without having to break the bank.

How To Save Money On Your Phone Service?

According to the Cellular Telephone and Internet Association otherwise known as the CITA, there are more than 100 companies providing different forms of phone services all over the United States.

These include land based telephones, wireless communication and broadband Internet. The top 5 firms are Cingular Wireless, T-Mobile USA, Sprint Nextel Corporation, Verizon Wireless, and Alltel.

The competition is so fierce that some offer free calls after 9PM daily while others offer affordable rates by the minute or by the second. But there are other things that the customer has to pay for in order to become a subscriber.

In order to know which plan is best, it will be a good idea to do some research.

  • People need to budget the monthly expenses. The individual can do this by reviewing the phone bill over the last 3 months. This will tell the time and frequency of most calls made and the location.
  • In the middle or lower part of the bill, the customer might notice there is something called miscellaneous charges. This could be taxes or something else so it will really help to ask someone from the phone company for clarifications.
  • There are many service providers in the area where one may reside in. Since it is hard to inquire from each by speaking to someone on the phone, the subscriber can use the computer to compare the rates to see if the existing plan is still the best among the rest.
  • Some carriers announce special rates on certain months for new subscribers. It wouldn’t hurt to call the company to ask. Tie-ups between phone and credit card companies happen often. The customer can earn points, discounts or prizes if payment is made using this method.
  • The person should always ask if there are other charges that will come out in the bill. This will avoid any problems later on when the bill is sent to the home.
  • The charges are different for local and long distance calls. If the rates are too expensive, perhaps getting one that honors prepaid cards can save the person money in the long term.

The individual may have been a loyal customer for a number of years. If the plan given isn’t as good as it used to, perhaps it is time to switch to another phone service to able to save money in the future.

How To Save On Phone Service

Since its inception, long distance calls have created a niche in the telecommunications industry in the United States. In fact, reports from the Federal Communications Commission have attested that more than 1.75% of consumers’ general expenses are attributed to phone services such as long distance calls.

No wonder why many Americans are squanderers when it comes to phone services. In 1992, reports show that the average amount that the Americans spend on long distance calls amount to $10.3 billion.

Now, the question lies on whether these expenses are maintained and paid by the phone companies’ subscribers. Come to think of it, the utilization of phone services has increased to a level where consumers can no longer pay their dues.

What happens next is that some phone companies were required to make some cutbacks on their operating expenses.

But to some, cutbacks aren’t the ultimate solution. Most of the phone companies have come up with revolutionary added features that are more functional and multidimensional. These items seek to entice people to subscribe to phone services once more and gain back the popularity that the phone companies used to have.

With these phone companies have created different choices for long distance calls. Each feature is designed to suit the needs of every customer or subscriber.

The usual phone service options are the bundled, traditional, VoIP, wireless, and calling cards. Each service has its own pros and cons, but all of them were catered to provide optimum phone services to their subscribers.

Sounds good enough? Think again.

With the high prices of commodities nowadays, it pays a lot to save on your phone services and earn that extra money you will need in the near future.

But how?

First, keep in mind that not all phone services were created equal. And even if they may vary according to their rates and charges, consumers can find ways on how to save on phone services, regardless of their classification and the type of service that they provide.

Here are some few good tips:

1. Select a good plan

To save more on your phone services, it is best to choose a good plan first. You can do this by checking on the phone companies available on the market today. Compare their rates and choose the best plan.

However, experts say that it would be better if you choose from the three leading phone companies in the industry. Statistical reports show that you can save by as much as 50% or more as compared to other phone companies.

2. Identify your “calling pattern”

Try to identify your calling pattern based on the latest three bills. Analyze the flow of calls and pinpoint those that create particular patterns.

Once you have identified them, you can easily detect which areas you call frequently, at what time, and for how long.

So if you have clearly identified your calling pattern, it will be easier for you to save more on your bills.

3. Flexibility

Choose a phone service that gives you the flexibility to adapt to your needs. This will guarantee optimum communication service because you can alter or modify any feature that will correspond to your needs.

For example, if you have been previously subscribed to a post-paid long distance phone service and you wish to convert your phone service into prepaid, it is best to choose a long distance carrier that will allow you to do such thing without the extra charges.

In this way, you can save on the service fees (for the conversion) as well as on the long distance charges. With prepaid, you can now control your long distance activities.

4. Be wary on the promotions

Not all freebies and promotions can be good for you. There are some promotions that may only lure to try a particular phone service, only to find out that you get double charges in return after the promotion is over.

With this, you not only passed the chance of saving more money on your phone services, but you also missed the chance to enjoy real savings without having to spend more than what you can afford.

Indeed, saving on phone services can trim down your expenses in a month. It is best to remember these pointers very well as they may come in handy sometime in the future.

Your Guide To Saving On Major Appliances

Saving is one of the most important things to consider in budgeting. Whether you are a parent of two or three or a student or a independent planning to move to a different place, saving should always be put as a number one priority.

For example, moving into a new area requires basic household appliances such as fridge, washing machine, stove, and heater. Normally, these appliances would cost you thousands of dollars if one would not consider some of the cost-effective tips in buying major appliances.

With that being said, below are just some of the cost-effective and saving tips in purchasing new appliances for your new abode.

a. Evaluate your Wants and Needs.Appliances will always be part of our daily lives but with a starter, one would have to evaluate and think about the most important household appliances to buy.

First, think about the things that you should need when moving to a new house. Would you prefer buying a fridge in favor of a new sofa? A convenient icemaking machine against a reasonable fridge?

While these add-ons are important, this should also require a lot of thinking in order to keep all those that are important and set aside those that will provide luxury. Worth mentioning is the amount of electricity that one has to consume when using these add-on products.

b. Size – accommodating your newly purchased electrical appliances can be fun if you have enough or available space. It isn’t wise to purchase a huge refrigerator when you only have few square inches of space available for your immediate kitchen needs.

For families, parents should also take into consideration the type of appliances, which will be able to supply all the needs for the family. A 5.0-kilogram washer would definitely not suffice in a family of 5. In such cases, one would have to consider purchasing those that are of heavy-duty type of major appliances.

You will considerably save more on buying in bulk and heavy-duty type than one which won’t accommodate most of the clothing used for a week by a single person alone. Moreover, the amount of electricity used will also be cut by half.

c. Consult with Comparison Shops. The 1999 Consumer Literacy Consortium report provides enough reason for consumers to compare price around before they do the actual purchasing on major appliances.

Basically, for people who are determined to make the purchase, they would usually shop on a single appliance center and don’t bother to shop around and compare prices at nearby stores.

The consumer report provided information about the benefits of comparing prices on the market before doing the actual buying and the importance of shopping online for auctions and sales.

More often than not, leveraging on secondhand appliances is better than procuring a new one specially when one would look into similar features and durability standard. This intelligent buying will save you hundreds of dollars as expected and allot savings to other home stuffs which in turn provides additional luxury in your part.

d. Annual Buying Guide – Local libraries today keep some records of buying guides and ratings and prices on some of the major appliances nationwide. These buying guides and consumer literacy reports provides exclusive and substantial information on performance (durability), price, and quality among other things.

The report also maintain a database where you can compare prices from coast to coast and details on handling and packaging of merchandises should one would interest on buying them.

e. Where to Buy – Sometimes, it isn’t about the name of the merchandiser that matters when stuffing your home with major appliances. Its about how you would search the local market and the net to find shopping exclusives and sales of appliance items whose features and performance match specifically to the needs and wants of your family.

These buying techniques won’t only free you on your budget but provides you additional leverage on saving for future appliance need.

f. Negotiate – In almost every part of the selling process, negotiation takes place when you would interest on purchasing the item after making a careful review of its features. Getting the best bet lies in your ability to making compromises.

Most stores would drop prices when needed and when the customer asks for it and when one is purchasing refurbished items.

Lifestyle Changes You Need For A Debt-Free Life

Too many temptations in this world lead to being piled with insurmountable debts. Advertisements tell us that with credit cards, nothing’s impossible. Salespeople and credit businessmen tell us that it won’t hurt to have a debt here and some debts there. Little do we know that debt could actually lead to death! It’s POSSIBLE to DIE from DEBTS.

How, you may ask. Ever heard of suicides committed just because one has too much debt that that person could not think of any other solution but to get out of his debt-laden world through killing himself? No? You’re not reading enough news, I’m telling you.

So, how do you avoid being victimized by debts? Learn a thing or two from the following bits of advice on how to manage a debt-free life:

Get the Drift of Being Thrifty

One major way to avoid having debts is to have enough money for your needs and even for your wants! How? Aside from landing a high-paying job, being a savings-savvy person at the same time is the solution. But what if you don’t have a quite well-paying job? Knowing how to save up will still help you in your goal. Here are some simple tips:

Budgeting well whatever amount of money lands in your wallet every payday should be one of the major goals of a debt-free life advocate. You have to evaluate yourself to know what type of budgeting will suit your tolerance and lifestyle. Do you need a daily budget scheme? How about a weekly or a monthly one? Your cash flow will be better monitored if you list all of the your expenditures and actual expenses.

Brown bagging should become a common practice if you are to make yourself debt-free soon. Now if you haven’t fallen for the culprit yet and you are just so not into the food you prepare yourself, consider compromising. Instead of bringing a lunch box of some sort, learn to drink your office coffee so that you have enough moolah for your lunch.

Coupon clipping is a good move, too. This will not only make you help save but can earn you some friends too that may support you in your debt-free life campaign. How? Look for other coupon-clippers and trade.

Do you know how to save on phone services? If you need to make long distance calls, don’t be sweet-talked by the smooth operator. Asking for help from the operator means having to spend more. If you use phone cards, check the expiration date and know if there are any hidden charges.

Club memberships that are rarely used should be dumped, too. What could be more stupid that wasting money on things that don’t get used, right? Speaking of rarely used things, how about stopping credit card use all at once? Learn to afford not swiping that evil card if you want a debt-free life. It’s one of the biggest temptations in this world!

Distinguish the Evil Forms of Debt

There are two kinds of debt. The good one is that kind of debt with which the item that caused your debt could be sold and the proceeds could help you repay the debt. The bad one is a loan that has a diminishing value.

An example of a good debt is a home loan that is if such home loan, particularly a home equity loan will add value to your home but if you will acquire such loan for unnecessary items, you’re doomed. An example of a bad debt is clothes, unless you’re a celebrity of course, wherein you can auction off your clothes when you get tired of them. School loans aren’t advisable because it will most likely be hard for someone to pay off his or her debt even after landing a good job since there are various expenses that will come when working life starts.

So, how do you stay debt-free or at least be able to manage well your debts through the abovementioned information? Avoid bad debts!

None of this would be possible without taking the first step. Start tracking your spending habits today and tailor your moves to your debt-free life goals. Self-discipline will help you breeze through it all.