Posts Tagged "money"

Money | 6 Critical Rules About Affording “It”

Dear Kid,

In the show Cabaret, there is a song called “Money.”

The theme song for The Apprentice was “For the Love of Money.”

And Pink Floyd has a song called “Money.”

All of which proves that money and music go together like almost any other two things you can think of.

Also that I like a wide variety of music. There are lots of other money songs, but I have to move on and get to the point.

We also learn money doesn’t grow on trees. The songs don’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure we can start with No Currency-Growing Flora as a given.

Which brings us to Mom’s 6 Critical Rules for Money (whether or not you’re in college).

Save up. Not every penny you encounter needs to be spent immediately. Or even intermittently. Money likes to cozy up and take long naps just like the rest of us. That way it can work hard for you when you really need it.

If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. That may seem simple enough, but the amount of debt in our society suggests that not everyone has embraced the notion.

Spend less than you earn. Not always easy. But always important. There is “affording it” and “affording it.” Just because you happen to have a few dollars in the bank does not directly mean you can afford something. It may be that you’re saving up for the aforementioned monetary cushion. It may be that you’re saving for books or food or rent or the utility bill. It may be that you’re saving for graduate school.

Having a credit card does not necessarily mean you can “afford it.” Rebuilding bad credit is more painful than an anatomy lecture (and lasts longer). Use credit judiciously and only when you know you can pay off the entire balance promptly. Unless there is an Extreme Emergency or a really good shoe sale. (I joke. Do not blow your credit on shoes.)

Passions fade. Impulse purchases (when you have the money) are fine for things like a pack of gum or a side of French fries. But think long and hard about bigger purchases. While a super amazing guitar might be nice to have, it probably isn’t a necessity. Heat is. Be careful about giving in to today’s cravings—something even better is liable to show up tomorrow (you should pass on that one too). (I may have to remind myself of this the next time I go shoes shopping.)

Create a money plan. You have a study plan (at least I hope you do). You have a summer plan. You have plans for all sorts of things. Make one of those things a money plan (also called a budget).

Leftover money is not the same as leftover pizza. When companies end the year with extra money it’s called profit. When you end the year with extra money it’s called being smart. When you forget to eat the leftover pizza promptly it’s called salmonella.

(Please throw out the pizza.)

Love, Mom

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Tips for Successfully Managing Student Loans | Guest Contributor Zyana Morris

Dear Kid,

Paying for college is even more painful when you, the lucky student, have the great joy of footing some or all of the bill.  DearKidLoveMom.comAs you may be aware, college is expensive. Not expensive like “Oh, look! The price of gas at this station is 5 cents more than across the street!” No, expensive as in “WHAT!!!??!!” Turns out, it’s even more expensive when you, the lucky student, have the great joy of footing some or all of the bill. Scholarships are dandy things, but they are often insufficient (if they even bother to show up).

Which means finding money.

Earning it is generally the best option, but as the average annual college cost is “WHAT??!!” and the average earning ability of students is generally about enough to buy lunch one day a week, student loans often become an important way to cover the cost of an education.

Today’s guest blogger, Zyana Morris, shares some great advice for dealing with student debt….

Tips for Successfully Managing Student Loans | Guest Contributor Zyana Morris

The best approach to oversee debt is well, to be free of any type of debt, but we all know how that is easier said than done since the economic situation is a wee bit unfriendly. In any case, paying for your university education, or getting money or student loans to take care of the cost of education, is something unavoidable for many.

In order to pay back your student loan successfully, there are several things you ought to do. If you want to be away from the recovery demons, you should plan a payback route even before you sign the principal promissory note. While we are all aware that such should be the case, most students don’t worry about paying back student loans until after they have graduated.

Here are some tips to help you make arrangements to manage your student loans successfully to guarantee repayment success.

You Do the Leg Work
All loans are not equal. A few loans offer payback incentives while you are at school; this reward can often be extended to even after you have graduated. Some loans do not provide any such benefits and repayments are expected soon after you have graduated school. For instance, the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loan charges a 3% advance start expense, adding pressure to the already overburdened student. The student thus has to save more to bear the burden of not only interest but also the necessities such as books, school supplies, and everyday costs.

Read Your Mail
Ordinarily, student borrowers get a considerable amount of information regarding their student loans. You’ll probably get mail at the beginning, throughout the loan term, and after graduation from school. While it may seem like junk to you, it is very important that you sift through each piece as it could contain crucial information regarding your student loan. In the event that you do not understand something within the documents, you can call up your lender and have the issue resolved in a timely manner. It is important that you do not disregard the mail or you may pass up a major opportunity for a basic due date or essential data you have to follow up on concerning the loans. Lenders often mail regarding incentives, benefits, offers, and repayment plans.

Organize that Mountain of Paperwork

Save the greater part of your student loan research material and correspondences. That way, you are going to know exactly what you consented to, what is expected from you at the time of repayment, and how much debt you have acquired. It is intriguing how marking the promissory note for your loan is so motivating while repaying the same loan is the exact opposite. Four years of school go by faster than you think, and before you know it you are graduating and the student debt repayment is glaring you in the face.

Being able to put your fingertips on all your printed loan material will help a lot in the student loan frenzy. To make things simple for you, start by setting up a decent, simple to use, record-keeping framework in which you can keep your student loan research material and correspondence. The book shops and libraries have books and programming items on personal finance and budgeting that will offer you some assistance. Regardless of what filing system you pick, whether archive organizers, fasteners, portfolios, or envelopes, make one document for every loan or record you have, and keep your things organized properly. Also, while sorting out your record keeping framework, ensure that it is protected. The record-keeping framework ought to be kept protected from burglars and fires. Various experts likewise prescribe that you have to keep your student debt records and correspondences until they are all completely paid off.

Here is a list of things that you should keep with you until you’ve paid off all your student loans.

  • Essential research material like your student loan applications, promissory notes, dispensing and exposure articulations, and advance exchange takes note.
  • Copies of all correspondences concerning your understudy advance organization and/or adjusting organization, for example, your school’s money related guide office.
  • Contact and telephone number of the credit supplier.

Zyana Morris is a passionate blogger who loves to write on trending Life Style topics. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for the great advice, Zyana.

Love, Mom

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Staying On Budget when You Live Off-Campus

Dear Kid,

Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia. It is a happy, convivial place (I know this because My Friend The Internet told me so), and if you go to Servia you should definitely add Novi Sad to your list of Places to Go, Things to See.

Today’s blog is a guest post from Kate Flannery, an Australian (with—I’m assuming—a fabulous accent) living in Novi Sad. Seeing as she was once a college student and is now a writer, she is as expertly positioned as one can possibly be to contribute to DearKidLoveMom. She also included Helpful Links which is more than you can sometimes say about what I write.

Say hello politely, please.


Tips for staying on budget when you live off campus. DearKidLoveMom.comStudying is supposed to be the most exciting part of your life. It is a period when young people leave their homes, most of them for the first time, to start living on their own. The question is how to organize your life once you have flown from the family nest and, above all, how to stay within your budget – both on campus and off campus.


Strict Budget Rules

The hardest thing for freshmen living on their own for the first time is to stick to their own budget rules. When you live with your parents, you do have some limitations, but they are usually imposed and managed by your parents. Even if you exceed your budget and splurge your pocket money on video games, you will always have food to eat in your family home. However, students who do not learn how to strictly stick to their budget rules will soon have to start borrowing money; been there, done that. It took me three months to get back on the track of normal living and studying, because I had to borrow money during my first year, and paying back is hard when you don’t even have a regular income, and can barely support yourself. The rule of thumb is that you set your monthly budget and never spend a cent more. Perhaps this worksheet for off-campus student dwellers might help you achieve that.


Economical Meal Planning

Tips for staying on budget when you live off campus. DearKidLoveMom.comIn order to make your budget last all month long, the first thing you need to take care of when you are choosing your off-campus apartment are your household appliances. To be more precise, you have to buy an energy efficient cooktop. The equation is quite simple – if you live outside the campus, you will have to cook more. If you do not get proper cooking appliances, energy-wise, you will waste hundreds of dollars more on your electricity bills.

Also, when it comes to preparing food, I realized during my studies that home-made meals, such as rice, beans, zucchini, and vegetable-based dishes in general will leave more money in your pocket. But beware of the yummiest of recipes! You will have to edit the quantities of most ingredients most of the time, because college is no time to eat a “serves four” dish by yourself.

Not every meal is cheaper than a restaurant meal, and some places treat students particularly generously. Keep in mind, as well, that eating fast food too often is the main reason most people put on serious weight in college, that vain time when living your life for the perfect Instagram shot is not frowned upon. Eating home-cooked food is the best way to stay on top of your budget and health.


Privacy Settings

As people differ in everything they do, their approaches to studying also vary significantly. While some students like being surrounded by dozens of their fellow students, others prefer living and studying alone. Whatever you do, bear in mind that you have come to university to become a highly educated professional. So, if you want your own peace of mind, renting a room for a single person is the best solution. I tried sharing a room with a friend of mine, not just an acquaintance, but someone I could trust, and it was not practical at all. Probably the best option is having your own room in an apartment populated with one or two additional students, too. Such an arrangement will give you a chance to combine both private and social features of your life within the same place.


Rent Issues

When I was a student, I often changed apartments. This strategy can also save a lot of money, annually speaking. Basically, whenever I realized that my roommates – well, flatmates at least– were going to leave our place, I also moved. The biggest issue with living with other people is trusting them to stay on top of their rent. Staying alone in an apartment meant to be shared by two or three people is impossible, even for a month. This is why you should always ask your roommates how long they are planning to stay and include that in your housing contract. You can further improve your financial situation regarding rent by agreeing with your landlord to use a rent payment program – we settled for Rental Rewards. It motivated both my landlord, one of my flatmates, and myself to be mindful of rent payment dates.

I firmly believe my university years formed me as a person more than high school ever could. The most important lesson I learned there was how to live on my own with the assets I have at my disposal. I hope my experience will help new students make their first independent steps with more ease than I ever did.


Kate Flannery is a lifestyle blogger a long way from home. She moved from Perth to Novi Sad as part of a student exchange program for literature majors, and has stayed in Europe since, as an ESL and creative writing teacher. She spends her time connecting with fellow expats, looking for the next great adventure, and pining for the Australian boating scene. You can keep up with her on HighStyleLife.

Thanks Kate! Have a great day, kiddo.

Love, Mom

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Discounts for College Kids (Yes, Seriously)

Dear Kid,

It turns out there are advantages to being a college student. In addition to getting to study interesting things and making new friends and drinking too much coffee and doing cool clinicals and having all summer off and going to college sports events and having other people pay for your expenses.

Yeah. In addition to all that.

I think I might have to go back to college…

There are are companies interested in giving you discounts!

You, yes you. Right there. With a verifiable .edu email. And a student ID.

If you’re going to spend money, do it with a discount.

Here’s the link. Have a good time.

Love, Mom

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The Fitness Closet and Some Things Are Too Much

Dear Kid,

I love The Skimm. Love, love, love (and thank you to Auntie C to who introduced us to The Skimm).

My fitness closet does not compare to Khloe Kardashian's. I think that's a good thing. DearKidLoveMom.comBut it’s thanks to The Skimm that I now know The World Has Gone Too Far. Khloe Kardashian has a fitness closet.

Not sure I should know anything about Khloe. Not sure I should know she has a fitness closet. But now I do and it has given rise to Some Thoughts.

First of all, how many pairs of fitness shoes can one person have? (Did I really write that?) Even for me, it seems excessive when one individual has more pairs of shoes than DSW. At some point, you just can’t even wear that many in year.

And how many different closets does one person need? What’s more to the point, how do you remember which closet something is in? Hmmm….are my red pants in the red closet or the pants closet?

And how many black sweatshirts does one human need? I counted 18 or so in the picture. Really? Even Pi doesn’t have that many and she seems to have accumulated a ridiculous number of sweatshirts in recent years. Is it possible that Khloe has multiple clothes closets but not one single washing machine? Seems unlikely.

It’s not that I begrudge her excesses (well, not exactly). She can afford it and the sports clothing and closet building industries are grateful for her desire to accumulate and organize. I’m just sort of stunned by it.

I aspire to get to the financial point in life where I have the wherewithal to be able to build and fill such a closet. And I hope that if I ever get to that point I choose to spend my money elsewhere.

Love, Mom

Who do you know that would enjoy Share! It’s a nice way to start the day.

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