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Dorm Life: Why Moving out for College Is Worth Saving For

Posted on Dec 10, 2018 with No comments
Paying for college requires strategic planning and significant saving efforts in many cases. Many people who save for college often research tuition costs and plan ahead for meal plans, books and other related expenses.

However, they usually fail to consider the actual costs associated with moving out of the house and into a dorm. With a closer look, you will see why you should financially prepare for this aspect of your college experience.

The Need for Professional Movers

Moving out and getting settled into a dorm can be stressful on many levels. Many students may be moving into the dorm at the same time. Parking is inevitably a concern, and you may need to park a long distance from the dorm and haul all of your items into your room while maneuvering through crowded sidewalks, up narrow staircases and through busy hallways.

By hiring professional movers, you can decrease the stress and fatigue associated with this process. You may also complete the task faster and protect your items in the process.

The Cost of Moving

You can see that hiring a moving company to facilitate your move into a dorm is essential. The cost of moving services will vary based on numerous factors, such as distance, how close the movers can park, how many items you are moving into the dorm and more. In addition to moving expenses, there are also expenses associated boxes, packing supplies and more.

The Need to Move Frequently

Keep in mind that college students do not remain in the same dorm room throughout their college experience. Commonly, college students remain in the same room for the fall and spring semesters, and they may relocate back home for the summer. By doing so, they will need to move all of their items back home, and they will need to relocate once again to a new dorm room in the fall.

Even if a student plans to remain on campus during the summer, they may be forced to relocate to a different dorm room during the summer semester. You can see that this expense may be repeated at least twice a year throughout the student’s college years.

By planning and saving for college expenses, you understandably are hoping to decrease financial stress during these years. In order to accomplish this goal, it is necessary to account for all expenses as much as possible. Moving expenses are easy to overlook, but you can see that they can add up to a sizable amount from year to year and should be budgeted for.


Why Your College Student Needs Both Budget and Credit Education

Posted on Dec 9, 2018 with No comments
Teenagers rarely receive solid financial education in public high schools, so this responsibility falls on parents to complete. Unfortunately, some teenagers venture out on their own with little understanding about budgeting, the importance of saving, how credit works and more.

While learning the ropes of personal financial management is one option, this can be a stressful and potentially detrimental road for your children to walk down. As your teenager prepares to leave home and head off to college, consider these important reasons why you should provide effective financial management lessons to your teenager.

Living within Your Means

For most teenagers, living on their own in college is their first experience with living within their means and determining how their funds will be spent. This may be funds from a part-time job, from student loans or from other sources.

Without basic knowledge about budgeting and how to live within their means, many college students will face extreme stress. They may turn to you repeatedly for extra cash to pay bills because they have carelessly spent their money from month to month. An alternative is that they may charge up credit cards and bury themselves in debt.

Avoiding Debt

College students often receive multiple credit card offers. They may view credit cards as an excellent way to pay for luxuries and experiences now and to worry about paying for those things at a later date. This unfortunately can lead to high credit card debt balances spread over several accounts by their graduation date.

This credit card debt may be combined with student loans and a car loan to create intense financial stress. It’s also worth mentioning that, in the digital age, it’s easy for lenders to find up to 96% accurate financial risk analysis to base their decisions on. When teens understand how to use credit responsibly, they may take on much less debt during their college years and protect their future.

Building Credit

While debt from credit cards can be detrimental, it also can be advantageous when managed responsibly. Mortgage companies, apartment rental companies, utilities companies and others often complete a credit risk analysis on new applicants to determine their creditworthiness.

College students who use a single credit card responsibly to build a positive credit history may be at a strategic advantage after graduating than many of their peers. This means if they plan on something like starting a business, a good report from and similar agencies can help them get the money they need.

Personal financial management is unfortunately not something that comes naturally to many young adults. The concepts of budgeting, building credit, managing debt and more can be confusing. As a parent of a teenager who will soon be leaving the house, consider spending the next few months providing your child with a sound financial education and preparing your child for smart money management decisions going forward.


Student Loans: How to Manage Funds for Education

Posted on Nov 26, 2018 with No comments
Depending on your circumstances, student loans can be used to help you to pay for other types of living expenses. This should be done with caution because you’ll have to pay these funds back once you’ve completed your education. Here are some tips on how to manage your funds for your educational expenses.

Budget High

Over budgeting is a successful strategy when it comes to making sure that you have enough money to pay for items. In terms of budgeting high for educational expenses, you’ll need to take the worst case scenario of what it will cost you to pay for your tuition, books, and other types of educational expenses.

This figure should be what you put into your budget on a monthly basis to ensure that you have enough money left over for your living expenses.

Save for Unusual Expenses

The additional money that you save on your educational expenses each month should be saved for any unusual or unexpected expense. This could come in the form of an added fee for a class that falls outside of your normal expenses.

Your student loans can be used for your living expenses, but it isn’t the best use of them. This is because you should have another source of income when it comes to your living expenses if at all possible. Student loans tend to have higher interest rates and could end up costing you more money.

Find Cheaper Educational Means

One means to reduce the total cost of your education is to find a cheaper means of obtaining it. Enrolling in an online university for military veterans, like the University of Maryland University College, could be one route that you can take to help to reduce your educational expenses and keep your day job.

There are numerous online universities that allow you to go to school on your own time so that you don’t have to worry so much about your financial situation.

Keep Track

Track your spending habits when it comes to your education. This will allow you to keep better tabs on where your money is going. You may find that some of your expenses aren’t worth it. If this is the case, you can make your money stretch a little farther by eliminating these unnecessary items. Managing your loans may save you from having to pay them back for years to come.

Managing your funds will help you to prepare for the future. Student loans aren’t free so you should use them wisely in order to fund your education.


Video Game Business: How Owners Create a Financial Plan for Success in College

Posted on Nov 14, 2018 with No comments
The video game business can be a pretty competitive and fierce one. If you own any kind of business that specializes in video games, then you need to focus on achievement. Establishing a smart and effective financial strategy can help you do so as well. Rock-solid financial plans can help take video game companies to the next level.

Look into Any and All Funding Avenues

Video game business owners sometimes make the mistake of assuming that credit cards, saving accounts, family members and close buddies are their sole funding avenues. That isn’t the truth at all. If you want to establish a financial plan that can get you on the right track, you should look into available loans. It can also help to consider equity that you can use in conjunction with services or products.

Make Asset Diversification a Priority

Strong asset diversification practices can be priceless for video game businesses that are looking for achievement. It can be wise to put together an investment strategy. It can be even better to orchestrate the strategy in a manner that’s both efficient and organized. This can pave the way for business owners who wish to put their energy into in-depth leadership and beyond.

Emulate Fellow Video Game Businesses

It can help to have a strong role model in your life. If you have video game business competitors that are doing well, you should use them as role models of sorts. Think about aspects of their financial plans that are clear and apparent to you. 

Figure out what you can emulate in your own business as well. It can even be a wonderful idea to see if you can improve and expand upon their existing methods. What works for them may work just as well for you. If you notice a business like Xsolla, that offers online payment options to customers, research the situation.

Concentrate on All Liquidity Matters

There are businesses that seem to be doing well from a distance. That doesn’t mean that their assets are highly liquid, though. Enhancing the flow of cash can be excellent for businesses that wish to expand greatly. It can assist businesses that want to get attention from possible investors as well.

If you want to soar in the massive world of video games, you have to have a good financial plan of action in place. There are numerous options that can make video game field achievement a lot more realistic for companies. Look into them all now.


Cash and Credit: What to Do When Your Pocketbook Needs a Little Polishing in College

Posted on Nov 6, 2018 with No comments

There are lots of reasons that you may want to improve your financial situation. If you want to be able to make a large purchase, such as a house, you have to be able to qualify for a home loan. Here are some of the ways that you can polish up your pocketbook.

Evaluate Your Status

Your financial health involves more than just your checking account. Credit scores, employment status, and other sources of income also need to be factored into the equation. Another thing that you’ll need to take into consideration is your debt load.

This includes student loans, outstanding credit card balances, car payments, and mortgages. All of these factors work together to determine your overall financial health.

Limit Credit Purchases

Some credit can work to your advantage in order to build up your credit score. The caution with taking out too much credit is that you might not be able to pay it back right away.

This can lead to a decline in your credit score or even cause you to accumulate bad debt. The best rule of thumb is to only spend the amount of money on credit that you can pay back within the same credit cycle. This will work to build up your credit score.

Seek Financial Assistance

There may be times in which you don’t know where to start in order to repair your financial situation. Work with a credit repair company that offers fast credit score repair services so that you can get off to the right start.

Another solution is to sit down with a financial planner so that you can start the process of preparing for the future. It’s not a failing on your part to ask for help. Many people need a little bit of guidance when it comes to maintaining the health of their financial situation.

Establish a Workable Budget

You may have heard that having a budget will help you to stay on track for your financial goals. There is no one way to develop your budget. The basic outline is that you have to be able to pay all of your monthly expenses with the income that you’re generating.

Setting aside some extra income for a savings account each month will also help you for those larger unexpected expenses. You may need to cut back in some areas in order to get back on track.

Taking the time to polish your pocketbook now will help you in the future. Use these tips so that you can reach your financial goals.


Managing Your Strategies For 529 Plan Withdrawals

Posted on Oct 24, 2018 with No comments
Perhaps you have a daughter or son going off to college and have actually started paying the costs. Hopefully you have been saving for a long period of time for this moment and are just deciding the very best method to pay for college. One of the very best ways to save is a  529 plan.

There are rules for withdrawals from these strategies that you need to understand. Because the funds inside the plan were accumulated tax-free, distributions from the plan are also tax-free if they are used for certified expenditures. This indicates that they are completely totally free from federal income tax and may also be exempt from state income tax.

Qualified costs include tuition, fees, required books and supplies, and room and board (presuming the student is attending at least half-time).

Computers and associated equipment and the additional costs of a "unique requirements" recipient are likewise thought about. Qualified institutions include any college or graduate school in the United States or abroad that is recognized by the Department of Education. Moreover, as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as much as $10,000 annually can be utilized for K-12 tuition expenditures.

Some costs that a person might believe are certified in fact aren't. Here is a list of a few of those expenses:

  • Fees for athletics, sports clubs, or school-sponsored groups
  • Transportation expenses to and from school
  • Payment of student loans
  • Medical insurance

Room and board is a classification that requires more description. The costs in excess of the amount the school consists of in its "cost of attendance" figure for federal help purposes are not qualified. If the student is living off campus, the school's cost of attendance ends up being the maximum quantity eligible to be withdrawn tax-free for rent and groceries.

If you are not sure of an expense, check with your plan administrator.

Read the guidelines thoroughly. A nonqualified withdrawal is any withdrawal not used to pay the certified education expenditures detailed above. If you take money from the account to pay for medical bills, you are making a nonqualified withdrawal.

The earnings portion of any nonqualified withdrawal is subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty. There might be a state penalty and income tax, also. The primary portion of your 529 plan withdrawal is exempt to federal tax or charge.

To make the most of the usage of 529 plan funds, it is very important to collaborate your withdrawals with the education tax credits (American Opportunity credit and Lifetime Learning credit). The reason why is because the tuition costs utilized to get approved for a credit can't be the same tuition expenditures spent for with tax-free 529 funds. This would be, in impact, double-dipping.

Also, remember that if you accidentally take too much money out, you can still put the excess back into a various 529 plan so that the quantity is no longer treated as a distribution. There is a 60-day rollover window to do so - just make certain you have actually not rolled over that child's 529 plan account within the prior 12 months. If you have done so, this strategy will not work. If you are outside the 60-day window but within the very same fiscal year, you may have the ability to prepay next semester's expenditures.

While the IRS's publications and tax forms don't state that the withdrawals drawn from a 529 account must match the payment of certified costs within the very same tax year, it is best if the expenses are the same. The IRS has actually suggested it will make proposals to adopt this rule.

When thinking about the complicated nature of 529 plan rules, we recommend you check with your personal tax preparer prior to making your 529 plan withdrawals.


Financial Advice for the New College Freshman

Posted on Oct 14, 2018 with No comments
All across this wonderful country, college campuses have welcomed a new class of freshman. These students arrived with a lot of things, but money literacy was probably not one of them.

If I could devote a little time with these awesome students, this is what I would try to squeeze into their heads and then pray that it gets in their hearts:

A budget plan is your friend

That shows you 1) have a written projection for how you are planning to allocate your hard earned cash 2) you use that written strategy like you would a road map, referring to it often, and 3) you use a site like or a pencil and paper to record how you spend every nickel.

Sallie Mae has a monthly spending plan worksheet you can print out to help you approximate your costs and keep costs in control. Do not try to do this keeping-track matter in your head. You are amazing, however don't push it!

Get a totally free checking account

It's not easy nowadays to get free checking accounts with no strings attached-- no monthly service charge, no minimum balance requirement and no minimum deposit. But lots of banks like U.S. Bank offer free student accounts that match these criteria.

Explore banking options in the city where you will be going to school, or find out if the bank or credit union that your parents currently use offers free college student accounts and has a branch near the university.

Credit card debt

Do not be ridiculous. Credit card personal debt-- a balance owing that you roll over from one month to the next, paying just the minimum required plus interest-- has the capacity to sink your ship. Think of it like cancer. In the beginning it's simply a small thing that's not that huge of a deal. But then it begins to increase, and if it's not dealt with promptly, it will do horrible things in your future.

Deal with cash

Your age group has been somewhat brainwashed to think that plastic is the only safe method to pay for things. That may be true if you purchase things online, but in general it is just not correct. I do not have the time or space to enter into a long commentary on the subject.

Simply believe me when I advise you that using cash-- currency, greenbacks, dollars, coins-- will simplify your life and keep you from spending too much.

Eat your food plan

If you or your parents have paid for the school meal plan, you need to know how many dinners are covered and after that do something remarkable: essentially eat those meals. If you're enjoying pizza in your dormitory or driving through Burger King as a substitute, you're just tossing away hard earned cash. It might feel cool to spend your money like that now, but you will regret it later on.

Don't end up being a Starbucks regular

I want to say not ever, but I'll compromise a bit on this one. Honestly, the coffee at Starbucks or Coffee Bean or any other fashionable coffee house is so high priced it almost makes me choke.

Allow your grandparents and others understand just how much you enjoy Starbucks gift cards. They are anxious to find out what they can send to you while you're away. Then use the gift cards instead of your money.

Imagine it: If you shell out $3 a day at Starbucks, that's $90 a month. On coffee. Multiply by nine to see just how much you'll purchase in an academic year ($ 810). You don't want to spend your cash that way. Buy an economical coffee machine as an alternative, and make it on your own in your apartment.

Buy used course books

The expense of brand-new books is going to be so shocking it will make you want to chew your hair. Anyone can cut that cost in half at least by purchasing used books on the internet or maybe renting them.

Keep searching

Students who could not secure a scholarship for the fall term shouldn't give up. Many scholarships have spring deadlines, so continue your search throughout this academic year and next year. Simply keep applying.

Take these fundamental money concepts and apply them to your daily life starting now. You will not ever regret it.


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