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Lifestyle

Don’t Let Your Credit Get Out Of Control

College Credit_1

College time is the time to get your life on track and under control, which means you don’t want to mess up your credit. Once you are out of college you want to be able to get a good job so you can pay back your college loans, and then you want to buy your first home, and if your credit is whack that’s not going to happen.

The key, as a college student, to staying away from debt is ensuring, aside from your college tuition, you aren’t spending money you don’t have. If you want to get out of college without any debt, here are some things you should probably try to do.

Get Help

If you’re already in over your head, get help. There is help out there to repair your credit, no matter what the status of your debt is (a lot or a little). Even if you can only make small payments some payments are definitely better than none.

Consider borrowing money from your parents, if you need to. The money they loan you won’t give you bad credit, and you can usually take longer to pay them back. Of course, they may still prefer to charge you some interest (depending on what type of parents you have).

Don’t Abuse Credit Cards

Do not get any credit cards unless you have the steady income coming in to allow you to pay them off on a regular basis. Credit cards are not free cash, and due to the interest rates on them you end up paying more back the more you spend, and the longer you take to pay them off.

Credit cards can be helpful to increase your credit rating, but if you’re not going to be able to keep them paid off on a regular basis they will get you into trouble. It may be a better bet, as a college student that may not have a steady income, to get a debit card from your bank so that you can only spend money you already do have (but more conveniently).

Start Paying Off Your Loans Immediately

It can be in your best interest to start paying your college loans off as soon as possible. Interest being the operative word since those rates can get out of control the more you borrow. At least make interest payments so that your loan amount is growing larger continually.

Your loans could start off something like forty-five thousand and if you don’t interest payments they could quickly (within a few years) be over sixty thousand. Make payments whenever you can, even using your tax refund each year to get a chunk taken care of, above the interest payments you’ve been making.

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Lifestyle

Tips For Keeping Your Expenses Low During College

saving money in college

College can be an extremely busy time when you are focused completely on just trying to keep your head above water and take care of passing all of your classes.  Since you don’t have time to work full time and make a full salary while focusing on all of your credits, it is important to try to keep your expenses low.

The last thing you want to do is get out of school only to find yourself in loads of debt and spend your first 5 years of paychecks on paying off those debts.  Instead, live modestly and remember that this is a time of focusing on your studies, not living lavishly. Here are some of the best tips for keeping your expenses low.

Don’t Go Crazy On Your Credit Cards

Your credit cards aren’t magic squares that you should use to get whatever you want at whatever time you want it.  They are tools which should be used for emergencies or for establishing your credit score in order to build a solid financial future for yourself and be able to do things like buy cars and property.

Instead of running your credit card bills high, try to live with only what you have.  This means spending only the money that you have instead of the invisible money provided with a credit card which only adds instant gratification and a whole lot of interest.

Live With Family If You Can

Try to stay with your parents and live rent free if you can.  This way you can eliminate the biggest expense of all: rent!  Just make sure that all of you feel comfortable with this situation and it will be a good living space for all of you.

If it is a place where you don’t think you will be able to get your homework done or be able to get proper sleep for your classes the next day, then you may want to re-think a better place even if it costs a little bit of money.

Cook At Home

Eating out in restaurants starts to add up quickly.  Eliminate this expense altogether and cook at home when you can.  If culinary skills just aren’t your thing, try buying frozen prepared foods from places like Trader Joe’s.

Often these places have frozen vegetables or re-heatable items which aren’t processed or full of terrible ingredients.

Create a Budget

The most effective way to keep your finances in check is to create a guideline for yourself which creates boundaries for your spending habits.  This means giving yourself a specific amount of money for your bills and expenses as well as leisurely expenses like self-care or clothing.

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Lifestyle

Using College To Plan Your Future

future after college

Your time in college should be spent doing more than just partying and experimenting. You should be doing more than just gluing your nose into books too. College is the time when you should be determining what you want to do with your future.

You chose your college major because it was something you wanted to do or were passionate about, so use your time in college to determine how to use that in the real world. College won’t last forever, and once you’re out you need to get a career and get on with your life.

Start Saving

Start saving money while you’re in college. Learn how to control your spending while you’re in college so that you can have money once you’re out. You want to be able to own a home once you graduate college, right? You might not have a lot of use for a vehicle while you’re in college, but once you graduate and start working full-time at your career of choice, you’re going to want one.

You should have a savings account. Find one that has interest so you can earn money on the money you deposit. Leave that money alone until you graduate from college and then use it to get on with your career and your adult life.

Find Your Career

Your college career should be about your future career. Spend time learning what it is you want to do for the rest of your life. Maybe you will be content to work for someone else, or maybe you’ll be inspired to be an entrepreneur. Either way, your career should be able to span out from what you’re learning in school.

When you do internships later in your college career you will be able to get a feel of the jobs you are interested in.

Enjoy Hobbies

Spend some time on hobbies while you’re in college as well. Your future career could have more to do with a hobby you have as opposed to the degree you are going for. It’s good to have multiple options.

There are plenty of people out there making livings as professional musicians, freelance writers, and commissioned artists. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back from successfully doing something you love as your permanent career.

Look For Love

While you want to be focusing on your career and learning in college, and saving money so that you can chase that American dream, you also want to keep your heart open. Love and relationships are important parts of life.

There’s nothing wrong with planning a wedding right out of college. College romance will allow you a chance to find someone with similar interests as you. You might meet them in class or during your jam session at the local coffee shop.

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Lifestyle

Tips For Living With Your Parents While Going To School

living with your parents

Going to school is a time when you have to focus all of your energy on your studies and building a future for yourself.  Therefore it is not the easiest of times to have a full-time job which affords you the luxury of being able to cover costs like rent and living expenses. Therefore, living with your parents is something that a lot of students opt for.  Some of these people may have fantastic relationships with their parents while others aren’t so great.

For those of you that may not be best of friends with your parents, it is essential to try to maintain a peaceful atmosphere while you are living with them while you go to school.  It may be humbling and they may drive you crazy, but remember that it is a lot better than living in a shack with no groceries.  Many people would love to be in your position having to pay no rent and have a warm place to sleep and a full belly.  Here are some of the best tips for being able to make living with your parents work.

Be Respectful

Remember that your relationship with your parents has changed now that you are past the age of 18 That means no more expecting them to clean your room or do your laundry.  This also means you can’t fall into the same habits of expecting them to say yes when you want to borrow money or demand things from them.  You are no longer a child you are a legal adult.  Your parents should be seen as your gracious roommates rather than adults who are there to take care of you.

Remember to appreciate them and say thank you often.  This will go a long way and create a peaceful atmosphere rather than everyone feeling inconvenienced by the other.

Maintain Strong Communication

Try to make sure that you are all communicating your needs.  This means that you need, to be honest about what you are feeling and keep the lines of communication open about it.  Conversely, you also need to make sure that you are being receptive to their needs as well.

Contribute To The Household

Make sure that you aren’t just being a bum roommate.  Remember, since you aren’t a child anymore it should be expected of you to clean up after yourself and contribute to household duties like taking out the trash, cleaning bathrooms, or doing dishes.

By being an active member of things getting done you will be much less likely to create waves and won’t wear out your welcome sooner than later.  As long as you are an active and helpful member of the household you will be seen as an asset rather than a burden.

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Lifestyle

Money For All Things College

college money

College is not a cheap endeavor, but it’s worth your investment. If you make wise decisions when it comes to where you go to college and what you go for you can guarantee yourself a degree that will help you get places. You need this if you want to be able to pay off your college loans.

Paying for your classes is only one cost you’ll face. There are charges for living space, you need to buy your books, and you’ll need all those things it takes to survive (like food and toilet paper). Here are some ways to get the money you need for college, without causing your parents to go broke.

Get Loans

There are all different types of loans out there, some specifically made for college, and some that are for whatever you want them to be for. You got your loans to cover your classes, but you may need some extra money for rent or for food. That’s where a personal loan comes in handy.

Before you get too many loans you want to be sure that you’re going to be able to pay them off. Look for low-interest rates. And make sure you can have a little leeway on when you need to start paying your loans back.

Get Grants

When it comes to saving money for college, grants are something that can be a huge help. This is money you don’t need to pay back. You’ll have to apply for grants, which will mean good grades in high school and lots of essay writing.

Do Some Work

You definitely want to do some work while you’re in college. Not only will it help you start paying your loans back faster, but you might be able to find some work-study programs that can help you save some money on your courses and help you learn even more (and faster).

Internships will be something you get a good deal of experience with while you’re in college, however, these don’t always pay. You can find some that will pay a little bit of a stipend, you just have to do your research.

Get Creative

If you want to have fun making money while you’re in college you can take a creative angle to making money. There are websites online that will pay you for your college papers (why not make some money on something you have to write anyway?). You could become a professional blogger as well.

You could start making homemade items, like knitting hats and selling them on campus. You could create art and sell it online (just make sure it’s convenient to get to the post office). There are many options for selling what you create, take advantage!

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Lifestyle

Five Creative Things To Explore While You’re In College

creative in college

College is a time for learning and exploring, but it doesn’t always have to be about exploring drugs and alcohol or the opposite sex. While it may be your first time away from home, you want to do what you can to get the most out of your experience. That may mean you want to learn some new things, even things that might not be along the lines of your degree plan.

Use college as a time to learn and explore all of the creative and amazing things life has to offer. Instead of going to a party after class, start a sewing project. Instead of going on your third date of the week, stay home and work on some poetry.

Learn To Play An Instrument

Spend your time between classes working on guitar or ukulele lessons. These are both instruments that are very portable. Even if you aren’t going to school for music you can great benefit from learning to play.

Not only does music give you something creative to focus on, keeping your brain happy and active and not on thoughts of drugs and alcohol, but learning to play an instrument can even make you smarter. You might even do better in college!

Start Writing Creatively

You could take some time to hone your writing skills. You are going to be doing a lot of writing (or typing) for classes, so being good at it can be extremely beneficial. If you enjoy creative writing you may find yourself submitted poetry to literary magazines or working on the next best novel.

You could also use a love of writing as a way to make some extra money. There are plenty of websites online that pay writers, to write articles of all kinds.

Take An Art Class

Consider taking an art class, whether it’s offered through your college or it’s at a local gallery or library. You may find a love for a new medium even if you’re already into art. You could also learn some art techniques on your own. All you need is a laptop, YouTube, and some art supplies.

Start Taking Pictures

You could get into photography. If you’re like millions of other college students, you have a thing for taking selfies. Go beyond that and use your smartphone to take pictures of the quad. Get creative with anything, from nature to the stuff in your dorm room. You could make money on stock photographs if you really enjoy taking pictures.

Pick Up A Craft

You could start doing some crafting. If you get good at it, you could start selling your crafts, to fellow college students or even online. Pick up sewing, knitting, or even crocheting. You could even make your own clothes and be the talk of the campus!

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Lifestyle

4 Tips For Being a Better Student

better student

Being a good student is something that seems to come naturally to some people.  It is easy to look at our peers who have 4.0-grade averages and wonder how they magically came out of the womb as a perfect genius.

The truth is, however, that intelligence doesn’t mean you are a good student.  In fact, sometimes it is the most intelligent people that seem to fall behind the most in classes as they get bored and easily distracted by the world around them.

Being a good student is a skill which involves putting your best foot forward and applying yourself to broaden your mind and take on new concepts.  People who succeed in school succeed because they work hard.  Here are some of the best tips you can apply to becoming a good student yourself.

Study Things You Care About

One of the biggest mistakes students make is forcing themselves to study things that do not interest them.  Sometimes this can be unavoidable when you have certain classes are that required for your degree. Nursing Students at Maryville University, for example, are required to have certain prerequisite classes.  While not all of these prerequisites are exactly your dream subjects, it is part of the path that you have chosen in order to attain your bigger goal.

By devoting your life and time to something you truly have an interest in, it will make the work much more easier to get through.

Listen In Class

Make sure that you are actively listening in your courses.  If you are focusing on other things while your teacher is lecturing, then you will not retain the information and you will find yourself working much harder after class to get your hands on the information.

Instead, listen closely and take notes.  Of course eating a gelato in Rome or laughing on a yacht would be more fun, but that isn’t the point.  Sacrifice this moment of your time to truly be present in where you are and commit to it.

Talk To Your Teacher More

Try to interact with your teacher before, during, and after class.  If your teacher is a good one, you will start to build a rapport and the lessons they give will be that much more interesting.

Always Try Your Hardest

If you are always trying your hardest to do the best you can very do, then if you are aiming for the moon, you may not hit it, but you’ll at least hit the stars.  And that is a heck of a lot better than a cloud. Constantly striving to do our best doesn’t mean that we are aiming to be perfect.  It means that we are putting our best forward which will always yield positive results.

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Lifestyle

5 Tips For a Safer Freshman College Experience

fun college

Your freshman year at college can be one of the most exciting times of your life, but there’s also a lot of uncertainty involved, especially if you’re younger. It can potentially be the first time you’ve been living out on your own, the first time you’re financially responsible for yourself, and the first time you’re completely on your own schedule and on your own merit.

And this means, to a degree, you should be thinking about safety first when it comes to things like alcohol, drugs, sleep schedules, the rules of the road in the college experience, and even things as basic as copyright issues (don’t plagiarize!).

Watch Out For Alcohol

Struggling with alcohol is a perpetual problem for people fresh onto the college scene. It can be such a draw because if feels good and exciting, is a way to bond with other people, is a way to get rid of some of those early inhibitions. But, too much of a good thing, especially when you mix it with concerns about legal drinking age, can lead to extremely unsafe college experiences that you hear about all the time on the news. Having to go to rehab can really adjust your college timeline.

Be Aware of Drug Laws

For many people, drugs are available to them for the first time when they hit a college campus. This is a natural result of lots of different types of people coming together, especially because college towns are more concerned with academic pursuits than physical work more often than not, so taking drugs doesn’t have as many immediate consequences. But getting caught with a scheduled drug can quickly mean the end of your college experience, so be safe and be careful.

Get Some Sleep

One thing that lots of freshman in college tend to do is to stop sleeping as much as they should. There are so many things to do, so much noise, and so much studying they want to accomplish, that their sleep patterns take a hit. The thing about this is that losing sleep makes the rest of your life more hazy and unclear.

Talk To Upperclassmen

Though it might be scary to talk to people who seem older, bigger, and more experienced than you, if you want the safest possible freshman experience, make it a point to talk to upperclassmen. They’ll be able to fill you in on some of the pitfalls that others have experienced that you can avoid.

Don’t Copy and Paste

Want to safely keep yourself out of academic trouble? The absolute best way to do that is to never plagiarize anything. Don’t copy and paste. Don’t borrow. Make sure every single thing that you write is completely your own set of words, and you’ll be fine with your reports.

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Lifestyle

7 Things Every New College Student Needs

college freshman

Transitioning to college life is easier for some students than for others, but a bit of comfort is always welcomed.  College is about more than what is taught from books.  College teaches kids to become adults by providing a chance to manage finances and time as well as school work and a social life.

Life is a balancing act, and college is the first step to learning to manage that act.  Being well prepared is important.  Check out a few essentials necessary for a smooth transition to college life.

Bed risers with additional outlets are a must.

There are never enough outlets in a college dorm room.  Laptops, cell phones, and many other helpful gadgets all seem to die at the same time.  With bed risers that have additional outlets built into them, there will be no shortage of power and a little extra storage space underneath the bed.

Clip on lamp light will help illuminate any situation.

Roommates need sleep and sometimes studying keeps a student up all night.  With a flexible clip on lamp, illuminate a dark situation and get through those eight thousand chapters of English Literature.

Comfortable clothing for studying.

A flexible wardrobe is an essential part of being a freshman.  Stock up on comfortable pajama pants and extra long hoodies to stay warm when the dorm is freezing.  Also, make sure to bring plenty of under clothes to make it through the week without doing laundry.

A donut is warming coffee mug for breakfast on the go.

The most brilliant coffee mug design ever offers a nice little spot for a donut on top.  There are a couple of holes in the top for drinking and to evenly distribute the warmth of the coffee to the day old donut sitting in the Krispy Kreme box.

Wireless alarm clock to wake up.

Every college student needs an alarm clock to wake up for a class in the morning.  Late nights are inescapable in college, and it will be a challenge to wake up at times.  A wireless alarm clock will free up an extra outlet.  There are also alarm clocks that will shake the bed if the sound is not very effective.

A large jar of coconut oil is useful for many things.

Now, do not let the mind wander.  Coconut oil is perfect for dry and unruly hair, dry or itchy skin, cooking, growing healthy fingernails, moisturizing dry and cracked cuticles, and a million other things.  Coconut oil is the world’s best-kept secret.

Keurig coffee maker is perfect for a morning brew.

Even if a person is not a big coffee drinker, a Keurig can still offer enrichment.  Brew only a single cup of tea, hot chocolate, or coffee with this genius little machine.

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Lifestyle

Signs To Look For If You Think Your Roommate Has A Drug Addiction

roommate

The great thing about being in college is the freedom and self-discovery it can bring.  You are meeting new people and trying new things.  Often times a college roommate can quickly become a best friend or at least someone you get to know really well.

Unfortunately, college is an experimental time too, and some college students can take their partying ways too far or start to use drugs.  So when do you know if your roommate is simply basking in the fun of college or when they have a legitimate drug addiction?  If you suspect that your college roommate has a drug addiction, here are some signs to look for.

Excessive Partying

Obviously, the most blatant sign is excessive alcohol or drug use.  There is a huge difference participating in weekend festivities versus drinking every day or daily drug use.  According to Jen Rini, contributor of The News Journal, it can be very hard to tell when college partying becomes a problem considering how many college students do engage in alcohol and marijuana use.  If your roommate’s drinking comes to the point where they start blacking out or making bad decisions, you may want to voice your concerns.

Skipping Classes

When people are battling drug addiction it soon starts to consume their entire lives.  They sleep more, drop all other responsibilities and soon center their whole world around their addiction.  If you start to notice your roommate skipping classes and sleeping more, they may have an issue with drugs.

Money Or Personal Property Of Yours Goes Missing

One of the signs of using is that they will do anything to get their next fix, including stealing whatever they can in order to get ahold of their drug of choice.  If you are noticing that money or items that can be pawned (jewelry, tech devices, etc.) is missing from your dorm room or apartment and are suspecting your once reliable roommate stole them, it may be a sign that they have a drug addiction.

Change In Physical Appearance

One of the most telling signs of drug use and abusing drugs is the change in physical appearance. Drugs can wreak havoc on both skin and hair.  Some drug addicts even start to smell, drop weight and stop taking care of their physical appearance.  If you notice that your once well kept roomie now looks disheveled and you notice a vast difference in their appearance, it may be time to talk with them about your concerns.

If you see any of these signs, your college roommate may be suffering from addiction.  It may then be the time to confront them about your concerns or stage an intervention with other friends to get them the help they need.

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