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4 Ways to Lower the Cost of Your Home Renovation in College

Posted on Sep 6, 2018 with No comments
Completing a major home renovation project doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. There are ways that you can work to get your total costs down without having to spend your life doing it. Here are some tips that you can use to lower the costs of your home renovation.

Shop Smarter

There are lots of finishes that look very similar to those more expensive ones. You may be able to find something that looks exactly the same, but costs a significant amount less. Another thing to consider is the time of year that you’re shopping.

Look for additional discounts and savings on the items that you want to purchase. Closeout shops and second hand construction supply stores may also work to your benefit.

Tackle It Yourself

While there are some projects that you might want to leave to the professionals, you may be able to take on some of the tasks to lower the costs. Painting is one of the projects that you may be able to complete on your own. 

The amount of other projects that you decide to tackle will depend on your skill and comfort level. Make sure to do your research first so that you can get the quality of finish that you want and expect out of the job.

Assist with Demolition

It doesn’t take much skill to demolish things. This could be one area that you can work on in order to lower your costs. You might want to think about dumpster rental so that you have some place to put all of the items that will be discarded. 

Cleanup costs can be another big hit when it comes to the overall costs of your renovation project. By agreeing to tackle this portion of it, you may be able to save several hundred, to several thousand dollars.

Schedule during the off-Season

Certain times of the year are slower when it comes to construction. You may be able to get a discounted rate if you’re willing to wait on your renovation project during this timeframe. Another thing to consider is finding a contractor or construction business that’s just starting out. 

They may be willing to offer you incentive to do a little bit of marketing for them. Having satisfied customers is in their best interests as well as your own.

There are tons of other ways that you can lower your renovation costs. Consider what’s important to you in the job, and work backwards from that point.


3 Life Changing Situations You Can and Should Avoid in College

Posted on Aug 30, 2018 with No comments
Your college years are transformational in many ways. This is a time in your life when you will enjoy many incredible experiences, establish who you are as an adult and take steps to proceed down a desired career path.

However, many people make poor decisions in college that have serious lifelong implications. Some of these situations are rather common, but they all can be avoided if you understand the likely consequences that they may have on the rest of your life.

Poor Classroom Performance

When you are preparing for a big test that you need to pass and that you seemingly will fail because of your confusion or lack of knowledge on the subject matter, it is understandably that you may be inclined to cheat in some way.

This may even be a rather minor form of cheating, but all forms of cheating may get you kicked out of school. In addition, too much partying and failure to devote ample time to your classes can also result in poor grades that eventually cause you to be kicked out. These events can have a detrimental impact on your career opportunities and income potential for the rest of your life.

High Debt Balances

Credit card debt and student loan debt are common for college students. Many college students graduate with tens of thousands of dollars in various forms of debt, and some graduates have significantly higher debt balances than that. It may take years or decades of hard work and maintaining a frugal lifestyle to pay for poor financial decisions in college.

A DWI Conviction

Partying in college is common, and it usually involves heavy drinking and even some drug use at times. When your senses and abilities are impaired, you are likely to make poor decisions. This could include getting behind the wheel while you are intoxicated rather than paying for a ride home. 

If you intend to drink while you are out, it may be better to leave your car at home. Use a ridesharing service to get to and from the event or venue so that the possibility of driving is off the table. 

Hiring a DWI lawyer may be essential after this kind of arrest, and this may be an experience that you can ruin many future prospects even with a light sentence.

Each of these situations are realistic, and they have potentially serious implications on your life. Now that you are aware of the impact that they can have on your life, you can take solid steps to avoid them in the years ahead.


4 Unique Ways to Set Aside Money for Unexpected Expenses in College

Posted on Aug 7, 2018 with No comments
Even the most prepared people can sometimes be hit with unexpected expenses. There are ways that you can ensure that when these expenses occur that you have an avenue to help you pay them.

Here are some of the more unique ways that you can set aside money for any unforeseen expenses that come your way.

Create a Slush Fund

This type of fund has many different names depending on where you live in the country. You may consider opening up a savings account and putting aside a little bit of money each month as a part of your standard budgeting scheme. 

Some people will leave this additional money in their checking account for those unforeseen expenses. There is no wrong way to create an emergency fund as long as it fits within your monthly budgeting plans.

Have an Insurance Policy

Home owners insurance or even insurance policies for large ticket items around your home may be the way to go. For example, you might want to insure your HVAC unit. This could save you on an unexpected HVAC repair during a crucial weather event.

The point of these types of insurance policies is to minimize the amount of money that has to come out of your pocket at an unexpected time.

Overbudget on Items

Round up all of your monthly expenses in your budget. This includes your utility bills as well as any other type of expense that you have around your home. When you have a surplus for these items, you can put that extra cask into your slush fund. 

This method will also allow you to never be hit with a higher than expected monthly bill. You’ll already have this contingency built into your monthly budget.

Open a Health Savings Account

Medical expenses are some of the highest and most unexpected costs that you may experience in your life. Having a HSA account can help to minimize some of the costs that are associated with these types of expenses. 

Some employers will offer you an incentive to open up a HSA account. This could mean that free money is deposited into an account for you to use on your medical expenses.

Being prepared sometimes means that you’ll need to find creative ways to build up your reserves. There are lots of options that you can consider in order to set aside some money for those unexpected expenses in life.


Stay Safe With Good Passwords in College

Posted on Aug 5, 2018 with No comments
The majority of people should know they're supposed to create strong, unique passwords for each one of their accounts, however not everyone does this. So, the high-profile hacks as well as the thefts of customer data keep on piling up, acting as powerful reminder of the significant need of strong passwords.

Here are some ideas for setting good passwords as well as securing them. Go long and complicated is a good rule of thumb. Though "Password123" could be very easy to recall, it's a disaster when it comes to security. Hackers usually try the obvious choices to start with.

If at all possible, a password ought to be made up of a long string of seemingly arbitrary uppercase as well as lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, says Dan Wiggins, vice president of digital risk for the cyber security firm CyberCo. "The easier it is for you, the simpler it is for the bad guys," Wiggins states. Do not recycle or reuse passwords from your other accounts.

Indeed a tech minimalist has numerous passwords nowadays for every thing from bank accounts to FaceBook. That's a lot to remember, but do not all for the habit using the same password for multiple accounts or to reuse an old fave.

Try a Password Manager

Consider a password manager. If coming up with distinct login credentials for each account is way too difficult, think about using a password manager, Wiggins points out. Services like LastPass, IPassword, and Dashlane will generate long, efficient passwords for all of your accounts, and enter them for you as required automatically so you do not have to remember them.

You'll need to download a software program to your notebook or computer and, if you choose, an app to your smart device. Then swap out your old passwords as quickly or gradually as you like. Activate two-factor authentication. Many sites allow you to activate this setting, which calls for users to enter a second form of identification, like a code texted to a smartphone or a bio-metric identifier such as a thumbprint.

This makes it a great deal tougher for hackers. to access your account, even if they have. the password. Yes, this will slow you down. a bit, yet it simply may be enough to make hackers look for another target. Though good passwords are important,. turning on multi-factor is a must, Wiggins. explains. "Inevitably, that's heading to be the thing that's going to save you."


Debt Defense: Why Even a Small College Fund Makes a Huge Difference

Posted on Jul 25, 2018 with No comments
The cost of a college education is substantial. While it is unaffordable for some individuals, it is only attainable through the use of student loans for other individuals. Some parents take the initiative to create and fund a college savings account for their children.

If you have taken this step, you may feel discouraged by your limited ability to fully fund the account as desired. Even if your fund’s balance is not at a desirable level, find peace in the fact that even a small college fund can make a huge difference in your child’s future.

Reducing the Impact of Student Loan Debt

Even if you have only managed to save a few thousand dollars over the years toward your child’s college education, be aware that this directly offsets the amount of loans that your student needs to take out.

When you analyze a credit risk monitor, you will see that outstanding debt balances and higher monthly payments are a detriment to your child’s adult life. Your effort to save money toward college keeps the impact of these factors as low as possible.

Mitigating the Cost of Living Expenses

When your student is enrolled in college, he or she will need to pay for living expenses. Some students will take on a part-time job, and this can make it much more difficult to earn good grades while in school.

With money from your small savings fund, living expenses may at least partially be covered. This means that your student may be able to work less and devote more time to college courses and studying.

Improving Your Student’s Life after Graduation

Between the combination of keeping your student’s personal debt levels as low as possible and helping your child to allocate more time toward school work and studying, you are setting your child up for a better chance of success.

Without a college fund, it may seem like life is working against your child. You can see that a college savings fund makes a huge difference in your child’s opportunities and overall life after graduation.

It is easy to get dismayed that your child’s college fund does not have tens of thousands of dollars in it and that it is not sufficient to pay for the full cost of education. However, when it comes to paying for college, every little bit helps. Regardless of how many years are left until your child enters college, now is a wonderful time to focus on funding a college savings account.


3 Simple Changes that Can Help You Get More from College

Posted on Jul 23, 2018 with No comments
Your college years prepare you for your professional life. The education that you receive as well as your many experiences in college can transform you and may play a critical role in your ability to achieve great things in the decades to come. You may not realize it, but there are a few relatively small steps that you can take to help you maximize the benefits of college.

Improve Your Eyesight

Vision can get progressively worse, and there are times when the progression may be swift. When you strain your eyes by spending many long hours reading books and staring at a computer screen, there is a good chance that your vision will be affected.

Getting regular eye exams throughout college will help you to ensure that you can clearly see written instruction that is provided to you in your classes and when you are at home studying. Be sure to wear your glasses or contacts regularly as needed, and continue this practice in your career after graduation.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a practice of being aware of the world around you. In college, you may feel so swamped with study activities that you simply go through the motions without actually putting premeditated thought into your actions.

Reacting to life rather than controlling your life can be detrimental over time. When you practice mindfulness regularly in college, it will become a lifelong practice that serves you well throughout your career.

Choose Your Friends Carefully

The people who you choose to spend your free time with can also directly affect your success in college and beyond. Some individuals may be toxic in different ways. They may drain your time and not be supportive of your goals.

They may have bad habits, such as drug use, that can affect you. On the other hand, some individuals may be a positive influence with their habits and behaviors. They may be focused on staying healthy and improving themselves regularly, and you may be inspired when you spend time with them regularly.

When you think about success in college, you understandably may think about taking the right classes, getting good grades and taking advantage of various research or internship opportunities.

Each of these factors will play a role in how productive your college years are, but you can see that other factors are also important. As you proceed through college, pay attention to how these factors can affect your success now and in the future.


How to Ready Yourself for Unexpected Expenses in College

Posted on Jul 15, 2018 with No comments
While situations might catch you off guard, they don’t have to throw your whole life into a tailspin if you plan correctly. Consider these four ways you can plan for unexpected situations.

Stick to a Budget

One of the best ways you can manage your finances involves making a budget. Unfortunately, most people are used to living paycheck to paycheck and don’t utilize the beauty of a budget. Every single month, you should know where all of your money is going. Sit down and take a timeout to allocate money for different expenses.

Deposit Money into an Emergency Fund

Many financial experts strongly encourage the use of an emergency fund. You can start that fund with $1,000. As you get yourself out of debt, you should put more into that fund. Ideally, it’d be great to have a year’s worth of expenses saved. If you ever lose your job or experience health challenges, you’ll be able to have the funds to cover yourself for a year.

Take Preventative Measures

You can shore your finances up against whatever life has to throw at you. For instance, if you have a car that breaks down, you should study your insurance plan to learn if towing expenses will be covered through your insurance provider. Preventative measures also include upkeep and maintenance.

You should know how much oil your car needs and how often it needs to be changed. You also need to know when your tires are old and if they need to be replaced. Don’t wait until you’re on the side of the road with a flat tire to decide to get your tires replaced. Stay on top of your maintenance ahead of time and you won’t get caught off guard.

Live Below Your Means

You get to decide what your means are. It’s important to live below them though. Things will happen in life and you don’t want to be in a position where you don’t have enough to cover your required expenses. When you live below your means, you’re able to set some money aside in a savings account. Rainy days will happen.

Just because you get a raise at work doesn’t mean you need to spend all of the money you earn. Take the money that you earn from your raise and put it into a separate account. Put it in an investment account and allow that money to grow. You’d be amazed at how much you didn’t miss it. Plus, it can come in handy when you really need it.

It’s important to note that you don’t want to live a life where you’re constantly looking over your shoulder. No one is out to get you. Don’t live life with the mindset that something will always go wrong. Still, when you set these different plans into motion, you’ll be able to breathe a little deeper. This is because you know that no matter what happens in life, you’ll be covered.


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