Be Frugal in 12 Unorthodox Ways

Be Frugal in 12 Unorthodox Ways

Let your pockets rest.
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Summer spending is a weakness for most students. Actually, let’s face it, it doesn’t have to be summertime. College life is a strain on the wallet! Use some of these tips to save money while your focus is on school. These suggestions may also save you time and effort, which is rare with budget-friendly hacks. But here we go:

1. Use Quizlet, Not Notecards

“But it helps me to write it down!”

Listen, I get this completely. It’s true for me, too. However, this is a major lifesaver if you don’t have time to make 70 flashcards in one night. People will have made your study material into flashcards already… and then some. Quizlet is a website that makes it possible for you to access it. If you want to save Study Sets for later, you can just log in with your Facebook account so the website knows it’s you. So much time saved, trust me. And money.

It helps that there are options to not only use the flashcard interaction, but you can play games to help you remember custom content that you need to learn quickly. If you can’t take yourself seriously playing games, they have practice tests as well. There are so many options to adjust the study sets to be exactly what you need. For example, if there are words you don’t yet have definitions/translations for, there’s a little option to see the suggested answer based on other users’ flashcards. I could go on about how great the text-to-speech and practice activity customization is, but I’ll spare you my inner-nerd. Quizlet is so great that it’s used globally by students, guys.

2. Stock up on non-perishable food items

Things will not always go as planned, so it helps to have a constant supply of snacks. Also, this will stop you from buying from various places with different price ranges as opposed to from one affordable location. Besides, you know what you like. And your friends will appreciate it, too.

3. Get a cheap book bag… or two

The tiny amount of things you have to carry around at all times is refreshing. It separates high school from college. Another difference is that you will have different classes on different days, so if you want to make things easier on yourself, get two super cheap book bags. Have them ready for today and tomorrow. It may still save you money to have two bags vs. one overpriced bag. Bonus: You don’t have to use the second one for school supplies! Or at least, you can hope.

4. Know your meal plan choices

Recently, I had to make a schedule for myself so that I was at each dining location at the right times on the right days to get my “free” meals. I was honestly concerned I would spiral into debt otherwise. Credit cards are a necessary evil, sometimes.

5. Get some sleep

I would be lying if I said I was proud of my sleep/wake times. I have an app on my phone that reminds me in the morning what they were (Samsung Health). If you save yourself some sleep, you won’t need so much caffeine. Then, you’ll save money on drinks or, if you’re like me, caffeinated chocolate. Yum.

6. Look for freebies everywhere

They will have them at the post office, the grocery store, almost anywhere if you look hard enough. Don’t be afraid to stock up on food or supplies.

7. Get friendly

Money can’t buy you friendship, but friendship can get you money and favors. Be nice and resourceful at the same time. Just be sure you can help them out, too.

8. Know your library/health office resources

My university’s counseling office has things in the lobby for free use like adult coloring pages, period supplies, health bars, and sometimes even dry shampoo samples. They smell great, too! The library can have de-stressing material.

9. Look through old stuff and find cool new uses

I have an old black pillowcase that I don’t need right now, but let me tell you how helpful it can be for covering the window next to my bed for naps. I just tuck it into my blinds near where I lay my head and I’m good to go!

10. Invest in good supplies to go in the cheap bag

You want them to last, because replacements cost money over time. Plus, if you love the stuff inside that cheap bag, you’ll look forward to using it more often. Then maybe you’ll work harder… fail less classes… and save money again!

11. Find a monthly mail gift program

If you are someone who tends to treat yourself to fun things on a regular basis, this is a great way to satisfy this habit without being impulsive. The price should be consistent each month, and you won’t be as likely to go out and buy a bunch of extra things for yourself. Decide what you tend to spend money on impulsively most often. Look for a monthly gift box to subscribe to which serves that niche.

12. Convert all your coins to dollar bills

It will now be easier for you to put it in the bank to save!

Was some of this relevant to your college life? How do you save money at your university?

Cover Image Credit: Corbeil Blog

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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11 Dorm Essentials You'll Also NEED For Your Apartment Checklist

10. Whiteboard

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The time has come for many college students to make their grand transition to a first apartment/house. However, thanks to a very tight budget, getting all those cool and new Pinterest-worthy decor is probably nearly impossible without breaking the bank. Who has the money for that when college loans are looming over every student's head? Here are 11 things you can totally take with you from your old dorm that will cross out some items on your apartment checklist:

1. Tapestry

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If you had a tapestry anywhere in your dorm, take it with you! Hang it above a bed, couch, or use it as a rug! Cut it up, braid it, Pinterest it, and you're good to go.

2. Broom

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Brooms aren't too expensive but why not save money where you can? Get some cute printed tape at a craft store and wrap it around the handle to make something that makes cleaning a little more fun.

3. Rubbermaid Containers

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What once held school supplies can now hold wrapping paper, extra clothes, cleaning supplies... The options are endless.

4. Wall Art

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If you have some you like, why not continue their legacy in your new space? Keep the color scheme going so you don't have to buy completely new stuff.

5. Shower Curtains

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Your shower is bound to be bigger than the one you had in your dorm (thank God). To make your new bathroom look a little fancier, get a second shower curtain of the same pattern and have them open in the middle.

6. Shelves

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Instead of using these for printers, books, etc, you can now put them up in your closet or bathroom and use them for shoes, towels, or whatever else.

7. Plants/Succulents

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Instead of getting rid of them, keep your green thumb, get some new pots, and use them as coffee table/end table decor! Not only are they cute, but bring in a little color and overall make things a little brighter.

8. Books and Bookends

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If you can't return or sell some of your old school books, consider keeping them and putting them in a bookshelf. They will make it look fuller, not to mention make you look more cultured. Then, keep your eyes peeled for some adorable bookends - cultured AND cute.

9. School Spirit Shirts

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If you never plan on wearing your college spirit shirts ever again but DON'T want to get rid of them (sentimental value - I get it), send them into Project Repat that turns them into a quilt. Now you'll have something to remember your old college days without them taking up a ton of space with clutter.

10. Whiteboard

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Don't ditch your whiteboard just yet! Instead of deadlines and assignments, use it to write down a shopping list, important phone numbers, or a new and inspiring quote every week.

11. Command Hooks

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The sacred item that every college student NEEDS to have. There are awesome ways to reuse your command hooks: holding keys, dishtowels, jewelry, and so much more! You can even paint them to make them pop.

As you can see, there are so many amazing ways to transform your college dorm essentials into adorable must-haves that will transfer over to your next big move. Consider your apartment checklist completed!

Cover Image Credit:

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