Be Frugal in 12 Unorthodox Ways

Be Frugal in 12 Unorthodox Ways

Let your pockets rest.

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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Appreciate Teachers, Respect Teachers, Value Teachers

They really don't just sit around and do nothing!

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “teacher?” Pure hatred? The memories of your evil 5th-grade math teacher who was completely out to watch you fail? Or do you smile, reminiscing about that one teacher who made you feel appreciated, talented, and loved?

Whatever it is, we all need to remind ourselves of the havoc teachers must deal with every single day.

From kids coming into class late and asking for papers that were given out an hour ago to kids being absent for a week and then coming into their teachers’ office to ask for all their missed work, teachers certainly don’t have it easy. Though we may have had them for one class a day, we often forget that that’s not all they teach. That teacher who you had for geography may very well also teach 3 sections of algebra and 2 sections of history, all while coaching the softball team every day after school. On top of their insane workload and having to adapt to changing situations, teachers also put in just as much work at home as we do.

Yeah, so we have extracurriculars, rehearsals, etc, and can’t always get our work done in a timely fashion, but the immense amount of work teachers have is just as substantial. Many teachers have a family to feed, groceries to buy, and 100 tests to grade by the next day before getting angry emails from parents about their kids' grades not being up yet. And parents, they’re a whole different story!

The constant emails and appointment requests are enough to fuel another full-time job. Imagine teaching your students everything you possibly knew, racking your brain to re-educate yourself on these topics, and purging yourself of every detail you could possibly give, only to get a phone call from an angry parent that their child didn’t pass the test you gave.

Immediately, the fault is on you. How dare you fail to educate that child well enough? You try to explain that the child should have studied, that failure is not always due to teachers, but no luck. The parent still blames the teacher. It’s plain blasphemy! But it’s all part of the job. Not getting out nearly as much as you put in. In short, teachers are the miracle workers of our generation's future. Without them, children wouldn’t know how to form sentences, to read, or receive valuable life lessons.

And though some classes seemed as though they dragged on for 2 days, our teachers really did put their heart and soul into their class, and I don’t think that deserves any complaints.

Cover Image Credit: workingword / Flickr

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The Problems Of Online Classes

If you aren't able to take a class in school, in order to get the required credit your only option is to take the class online. But how hard are online classes compared to real ones?

Many students have heard over and over how many credits they will need in order to graduate, and they also all know the struggle of juggling your schedule to make sure that you have everything. Students are required to have four credits of literature, science and math.

Three credits for social studies and then it's optional to have three credits of a foreign language. That leaves two slots open to fill with what that student wants to do. In the state of Georgia, students are required to have a credit of P.E. and a credit of health. But the problem is this: what about students who are unable to fit this into their schedule? Well they have the option of paying to take the class online for a specific amount of weeks that they choose.

For those who go to Lambert High School, their schedule might include a pathway, whether it be business, culinary or healthcare. They might also be in band, chorus, or musical theater. Maybe their freshmen year, instead of taking a social studies class, they took AP Human Geography which is for some odd reason not a credit for social studies. Say this same student is also in band, in the healthcare pathway and does not plan on quitting either during their high school career. This specific student now has to take P.E. and Health online. The thing is, P.E. online is not the same as P.E. in an actual high school.

In P.E. at an actual school, students take quizzes with their notes and may occasionally have to participate in actual physical activities. If you dress out and participate when asked and do the Fitnessgram tests when the time comes, PE is a relatively easy course. Not online though. Depending on whether you are taking the summer course or spring/fall course affects when you have to turn things in. People who take this course in the summer have to turn something in every single day while those taking it during the school year have to turn things in every Wednesday. So, for the purpose of continuity, let's say that the student we used as an example is taking the online spring course for P.E. After having read the syllabus and schedule, they are required to fill out a fitness log each week which consists of the normal "which activity did you do" and "how long," but also consists of your resting heart rate, heart rate after exercising and the amount of calories burned. For those who don't have something that can monitor their heart rate, this can be a struggle even though they tell you how to calculate it. Other than just the fitness log, students have to participate in a discussion by writing a post and replying to one, and they have to complete multiple assignments online. In both the syllabus and actual real time, all of this takes three hours a day to complete. Not only this, but the school hours are 8-4 which for a high school student is not very doable. This student, gets to school at around 7:45 and is unable to get home until 4:30 so they will be unable to take part in the live online lessons which are extremely helpful when confused on something or if there is a project that makes more sense explained verbally. These are also the times that the instructor responds to emails. Because of these time hours, it's almost like online learning was made only for the summer or students who are homeschooled.

Online school, while a great advantage for students unable to take certain classes in school, is also not always the most convient use for students, especially when it comes to the hours the teacher is online and the extreme amount of hours that they have to put into the class, especially when this is coupled with all of the other work that they have from the actual school.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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