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Six Financial Tricks for Getting Out of College Debt-Free

Posted on Dec 1, 2016 with No comments
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to get through college with no debt. That means no student loans, no credit cards, and no signature loans. 

Most people opt for the easy way out and get student loans. However, if you utilize the following tips, you can get through your undergrad and get your graduate degree with no debt. Be smart and do your research before jumping into any future financial decisions.

Grants and Scholarships


Pell grants, scholarships, and other types of grants are out there for the taking. Pell grants are easy to get and you can apply to get these when you go through the traditional student aid process and file your FAFSA. 

Scholarships and other grants take a lot of hard work. You have to complete applications, write essays, and pay attention to deadlines. If you are willing to put in the work, you can get a lot of money from these sources. 



Even your school might offer academic scholarships, so see what you can do to improve your grades and application process.

Work Part-Time


Most full-time students choose not to work full-time so they can concentrate on their studies. This is great, but you aren't going to be able to get through school with no debt unless you pick up some kind of part-time employment. 

Just keep a close watch on your schedule so you don't miss a shift at work or blow off an exam or paper. Work-study opportunities are available at most universities as well. These mean you work for the university and instead of getting a paycheck that work goes toward your tuition in some way.

Online Classes


Online classes are a great option if you need a flexible schedule so you can work. You can work on your online coursework at night, on your lunch break, or on the weekends. Plus, you don't have to buy gas for the commute or coffee at the cafeteria to wake you up, so you save money there.

Evening Classes


If you have to work full-time, pick up a few evening classes so you can finish your degree faster without interfering with your work schedule. 

You can go straight from work to school, and use any extra time before class starts to study in a quiet area. It can be tiring, but it will be totally worth it once you have that degree in hand.

Military ROTC


If you are a good fit for the structure and rigors of military life, talk to the ROTC recruiter at your school. ROTC will give you a full scholarship to pay your tuition, plus you get a monthly stipend to help cover some living expenses. 



All you have to do is commit to a few years of active military service after you graduate. Plus, a military career as an officer has options for you to finish a Master's in a military history degree, business administration, or other disciplines with no debt.

National Guard


Interested in the military but want to fulfill your military service obligation while you are in school? The Army National Guard or Air National Guard is your best bet. 

You are given free tuition in most states at select schools, plus a Montgomery GI Bill monthly stipend so you graduate debt-free. In addition, you earn a monthly paycheck for attending monthly Unit Training Assemblies and an even bigger check in the summer for attending annual training. 

You can also take advantage of extremely low cost medical and dental insurance options through Tricare Reserve Select and the Tricare Dental Program. And your enlistment will end when you graduate school in many cases. Contact your local Army or Air National Guard recruiter for more details.

Getting a degree can be done without going into debt. Just use a few of these ideas to help you make a smarter financial decision as you prepare for college. With the right tools and experience, you can get through your schooling without a cloud of debt following you.

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5 Benefits of Earning a Degree in Finance

Posted on Nov 16, 2016 with No comments
It takes time and money to earn a degree, but you are investing in your future. There are always advantages when you gain more knowledge in a specific field. Here are five benefits of continuing your education to earn a master's degree in finance.

Learn from Experts


Within a master's degree program for finance you will learn valuable skills and make contacts with others working towards a similar degree, as well as experts within the field.

Most likely, you will have internships or externships where you will gain knowledge from financial gurus who know the ins and outs. They can guide and mentor you on your journey towards earning your degree and potentially help you start a career within the financial sector.

Variety of Jobs


There are numerous jobs and places to work within the field of finance. You could choose to work at credit unions or private banks, insurance companies, brokerage firms, financial planning, investment services, and other financial institutions. 



If you are more of the entrepreneurial type, you can be your own boss and be a personal finance coach. There are many career choices within the financial arena.

Personal Knowledge


There is no denying that people in every walk of life must deal with personal finances. Working towards a degree in finance will give you classes and training that provides you with knowledge that others may have to learn through trial and error. 

Taking control of your personal finances to build wealth and financial security is something you should be able to apply from your courses.

High Salary


Another benefit of a master's degree in finance is the potential to earn a higher salary. With a finance degree, you could earn between $60,000 to more than 100,000 depending on the job you choose. 



According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015, the median annual salary for personal financial advisors was $89,160 annually, and financial managers made $117,990.

Job Growth


Pursuing a degree in finance will help you to work in a field that is expected to grow in the future. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 632,400 new jobs will be added to business and financial operations between 2014 and 2024. 

You should be able to find a job where you can use your skills and knowledge from your finance degree.

By putting in time, energy, and money, you will set yourself up for a lucrative career in finance where you will have many options. Not to mention, your resume will show potential employers the accomplishments and dedication you gave towards furthering your education by earning a master's degree in finance. Furthermore, you will learn skills that you can apply within your personal finances.

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Getting Through Your College Years: How the Best Technology Can Help You Succeed

Posted on Nov 10, 2016 with No comments
College work shouldn’t be more stressful than it has to be. The right tech gear makes all of the difference. It is important to consider ease of use, portability, and the speed of the technology that will help you to succeed in college. 

Who knows technology like this may help you take up an interest in the technology field. You could even become a technical expert you could be working with businesses such as Ottawa IT Support to help you find the best possible success. Here are just a few devices will make the difference between success and failure in college.

Microsoft Surface Book


The Surface Laptop is a light, portable device that comes in a small package, but packs a powerful punch with 2GB memory and i5 or i7 Intel Core processors. It offers up to 1TB SSD storage for all of your audio, video, and school files. 



The Surface Book weighs a mere 3.34 pounds and it has up to 16 hours of battery life, helping it to last through all of your classes during the day and well into the night on a single charge.


Logitech K380 Bluetooth Keyboard


A keyboard is a keyboard, right? Not quite. The Logitech K380 keyboard connects via Bluetooth to any device. If you are on the go and need to write a paper, connect this keyboard to your tablet, computer, or cell phone via Bluetooth. 

It’s very useful for students who use a variety of devices to draft their school work.

SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.0 Flash Drive


This tiny USB flash drive is easy to carry along and stays out of the way. It can be password protected, for your security, and is extremely fast, moving files at a rate of 150 MB/s. 

As a bonus, it comes with a 1-year subscription to RescuePRO software to help you recover data that may be lost by accident.

Glyph Blackbox Plus


When you want all of your files on hand, but don’t want to carry your laptop around, the Glyph Blackbox Plus is the perfect solution. 



It can hold up to 2TB of data and features a rugged design that will provide great protection for your files. Included are USB-C and USB 3.0 cables for quick file transfer.

Having the right technology on your side is the key to success. These devices are sure to make your life much easier. 

Whether you are carrying them to class, a friend’s dorm, or working in the library, they will ensure you succeed throughout your collegiate career.

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Financing Education: 5 Ways to Help Pay for College

Posted on Nov 5, 2016 with No comments
Whether you’re an undergraduate or working on a master’s in computer networking, a college education is an important aspect of one's life. It dictates career opportunities and personal capacities. 

Over the years, however, the rising costs of college education have brought upon billions of dollars’ worth of debt and millions of students scrambling to get a job to repay the loans before it gets insurmountable due to interest. 

Luckily, a college education isn't just reserved for those born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Students on a shoestring budget can still finance their way to higher education and, subsequently, a better life.

Work


Working part time in college and still passing your classes is more than possible. Ideally, you could get a job on or within walking distance of campus, like driving your campus school bus or giving prospects a premier tour. 



Regardless of what you pick, getting part-time work is a simple way to finance your college education. It also teaches you how to manage time wisely since you'll often need to tailor your part-time work schedule with classes. 

Having work experience also gives you competitive edge in the workforce against other fresh college graduates.

Apply for Aid


To be considered for financial aid, you'll need to secure and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. 

Depending on where you plan on enrolling, additional requirements may be applied, such as CSS or Financial Aid Profile. Completing the FAFSA gives you eligibility for the highest amount of financial aid possible for your given circumstances and chosen college.

Get Good Grades


Getting good grades in high school is a prerequisite to grabbing some grants and scholarships for your college education. Common options for grants include the National SMART grant and Pell grant. 



Each grant program has its respective set of requisites, which you'll find on their websites. Top grades can land you a full-ride scholarship, some of which can pay for everything from books to food.


Get Local Help


There are many local institutions that provide scholarships for students who are enrolling in a local college/university. 

Civic and religious organizations alike have awarded significant sums of money to their students' education. You can find many legitimate websites providing a list of grants and scholarships within your local area.

Capitalize on 529 Plans


For high school students who have enough time before they start applying for college, a 529 plan can be an attractive tool for you. 

The plan basically enables students to choose from a set of funds in which to invest. The investments range from money market funds to residential and commercial properties.

Financing your way through college can be tough at times, whether you're the parent or the student. With these five techniques, however, you'll be able to cushion the financial blow and put yourself at a better position after college.


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Budget Buster: 4 Tips To Help You Stay Out Of The Red in College

Posted on Oct 27, 2016 with No comments
It’s never easy making ends meet. But if you’re consistently finding yourself running out of money, you need to find a way to fix it before you max out your credit cards purchasing things you cannot afford. Here are 4 tips to keep you out of the red.

Make a Budget


If you’re wanting to stay out of the red, the most important thing you can do is know where your money is going. 

Track your expenses for a month, and divide everything up into categories. This will help you get a realistic picture of how you’re spending your money each month. This helps to identify areas where you can cut back. 


You might notice that you spent $400 on fast food last month. Track your expenses and use that knowledge to create a budget, or a goal for how much you’d like to spend in each category. Then, most importantly, stick to your budget.

Cut Expenses


If you’re wanting to save money, look for areas in your budget where you can cut back, or eliminate altogether. Evaluate each payment you make, and decide whether or not it’s essential. Do you really need those extra cable channels, or that monthly magazine subscription? 

Can you reduce your cell phone plan for additional savings? Cutting back on monthly fees can help out your bottom line tremendously.


Avoid “Good Deal Syndrome”


Don’t buy something simply because it’s a good deal. Yes, you might have just saved 50%, but you weren’t planning on buying that item originally. So technically, you just spent extra money that you hadn’t planned on. 

Getting trapped into the ‘good deal’ mindset is so easy to do, but should be avoided. Splurging on items just because they’re a good deal is a great way to spend your budget and not on the things you actually need. Only buy what you need, not what is on sale.

Shop Around For Deals


If you’re wanting to stay out of the red, you must make every dollar count. Maximize your purchasing potential by shopping around for deals. While it can be tempting to buy name-brand items, typically you’re just paying for the label. 


To save money, try lower-cost, generic items instead. Not everything is better just because it costs more. Check for online coupons on your phone before you complete a purchase, as you may be able to save 15% simply by doing a Google search in the checkout line. You may also change where you shop. 

For expensive but necessary items like tires, consider going to Discount Tire Centers to find quality products for a lower price. You can also shop second hand stores or stores with significantly discounted items that may be ‘last season’, but are still fully functional and could work for what you need.

No matter how much money you make, you will always find more ways to spend it. The key to a successful financial future is knowing your own limitations, and finding the best way to live within those limits.


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Safety Sense: 4 Emergency Essentials For Your Vehicle

Posted on Oct 11, 2016 with No comments
Flat tires, dead batteries, burnt out fuses and low fluids are some of the most common causes of breakdowns. Install a metal toolbox or sturdy plastic crate in your vehicle filled with a variety of tools that at least include screwdrivers, wrenches, a tire gauge, a flat tire fix-it product, a battery charger, replacement fuses and bottles of fluids that help make your vehicle run smoothly. 

When it comes to emergency essentials for your vehicle, it’s better to plan ahead so that you have everything you need when the situation arises.

Nutritional Food


Many drivers forget the importance of having non-perishable snacks and water in their vehicles. You never know when you might find yourself suddenly dealing with low sugar, dehydration or a lengthy wait for a tow truck around meal time. 

You might also find another driver on the side of the road who needs nutritional help during a breakdown. If you have room in the trunk, consider installing an insulated cooler to store and organize this food. 

Keep in mind that a cooler and frozen bottles of water are also great for preventing spoiling of perishable foods and important medications during a long road trip or hot weather.

Medical Kit


Emergency medical concerns go beyond personal and roadside collision- and DIY repair-related injuries. Many drivers and passengers deal with sudden onset health problems like allergic reactions, heart attacks and choking. 

Make sure that your kit includes instructions for dealing with the most common injuries and ailments and medical supplies such as bandages, antibiotic ointment, burn cream, cold and heat packs, nausea, pain and antihistamine medicines, tweezers and safety scissors. 

Having a medical kit on hand will ensure that you can handle most emergency situations right then instead of waiting for medical supplies to arrive. In more serious situations, it can help you do what you need to do until EMS personnel arrive and take over the scene. However serious the medical situation, it is always a good idea to have a basic medical kit with you in your vehicle.

Contact Details


It is extremely important that you always keep emergency contact information in your vehicle, including employer contact information for those times when first responders can't reach your "in case of emergency" or "ICE" contacts. 

It also never hurts to have the contact information for trusted mechanics and automotive shops like Discount Tire Centers. You will want to have this information available to help ease the stress of a broken down car or flat tire.

These four essentials can help you handle most vehicle- and driving-related safety and emergency situations. Add them to your vehicle today.
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6 Ways to Avoid Money Emergencies in College

Posted on Oct 9, 2016 with No comments
So, you're new to the college scene. Quite possibly you have never really lived on your own. You probably still are getting some support from your parents, but there's just no way to be ready for all of life's little emergencies. 

Things are going to happen, but there are things that you can do to avoid getting yourself in a real financial pickle in college.

Plan Ahead


Preparing for the future is what college is all about, so why not start by building a little safety cushion for hard times. Stow away a little cash for when unexpected situations arise. 

Maybe you work a part-time job, or maybe you pick up odd jobs on the side. In any case, always pay yourself first as the saying goes. Establish an emergency fund and no emergency will be that big of a deal for you.

Be Frugal


Most college students aren't into coupon-clipping and comparison shopping, but why not? This may be the time in your life where money is the biggest problem, so start trying to save every penny you can right away. 

There is just no sense in paying more than you have to for the things that you were going to buy anyway. Be on the lookout in the local paper, sales ads, and all around for the best deals.

Be Preventive


Look ahead at those things that might happen that can be prevented. For example, most people don't fix anything on their car until they get stranded somewhere. Look ahead. Maybe it's time to change that battery before winter sets in. Maybe you want to get those brakes looked at before you wear down the rotors. 



Preventive maintenance means cheaper repair bills in the future. The car is only one example. Your body is another. Be preventive with your health as well. Have regular check-ups both in the medical and dental department to avoid that big bill when something really goes wrong.

Live Within Your Means


There's going to be times when the people around you are going to do something and you just don't have the money to go along. Don't let them talk you into it. There are plenty of ways to spend your time. Watch a movie. Listen to some music. 

Take a walk. Don't spend money that you don't have, and you'll be much less likely to raid the emergency fund before an actual emergency arises.

Get a Bicycle


Biking around campus doesn't take gasoline, just good old-fashioned willpower. Not only will you save money on fuel and wear-and-tear on a vehicle, but you'll also be getting some exercise as well. 

Make sure you invest in a good titanium lock though, because bicycle thefts are a huge problem on college campuses.

Get a Cash Loan


Despite all of your good intentions, you still may find yourself in a situation that your emergency fund just can't handle. If you really can't get the money any other way, try to get a personal loan from a company like Nine Tails Inc. By using something as collateral, you can get quick cash. Just make sure to pay it back to avoid interest costs!

These are just a few ways you can make sure you are ready when money emergencies strike in college. Living out on your own can be a challenge for sure, but it doesn't mean you have to be caught by surprise when the unexpected comes along.

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