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Do you ever wonder how you are doing when it comes to your finances? Are you worried that you are spending more than you should on entertainment? Not sure if you can afford higher rent and utility costs?

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 SavvyMoney will pinpoint where your money is going and recommend how to best utilize your spending for a healthy future. It’ll review your housing costs, utilities, personal spending and other debts and show where small adjustments can help you save more or pay off debt faster.

 Get started. Simply answer a few questions about your debt to income ratio, credit score, loans and how much you save. In just a few minutes, you will be looking at your personalized financial snapshot. 

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Investing Cheat Sheet

Don’t let the thought of investing intimidate you. Here’s a cheat sheet to help you become familiar with the different types of investment opportunities available.

What is investing?
When you break it down, investing is just having your money work for you or really just another way for you to make money (though yes, sometimes you can lose, so invest wisely; Apple can help). It goes further than just the hours we put into our jobs because after all, there are so many hours in a day and we cannot clone ourselves. Investing is nothing more than taking the money we have put aside and placing it elsewhere to make more money. This is accomplished through stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.

Concept of Compounding
Compounding (or sometime called compound interest) transforms your money into an income-generating tool and is the process of generating earnings on an asset’s reinvested earning. It takes two things to work: earnings and time to accomplish the most of your investment.

Example Time! If you were to invest $1,000 at an interest rate of 6%, in a year you will have $1060 in your account. If you were to take the money that you have earned through interest and invest that for another year, you will have $1,123.60. It continues growing the longer you have it in the account. That is without even having to do anything with your account while you’re away in class or studying. Think of the money you could earn if you add a little bit of cash here and there to raise that end number.

Types of Investments:

Bonds: A bond is an interest-bearing security that obligates the issuer to pay the bondholder a specified sum of money, usually at specific intervals (known as a coupon), and to repay the principal amount of the loan at maturity. Zero-coupon bonds pay both the imputed interest and the principal at maturity.

Stocks: Plain and simple, stock is a share in the ownership of a company. Stock represents a claim on the company’s assets and earnings. As you acquire more stock, your ownership stake in the company becomes greater. Whether you say shares, equity, or stock, it all means the same thing.

Mutual Funds: A mutual fund is nothing more than a collection of stocks and/or bonds. You can think of a mutual fund as a company that brings together a group of people and invests their money in stocks, bonds, and other securities. Each investor owns shares, which represent a portion of the holdings of the fund.

In the end, if you are willing to put funds aside and earn interest investing is the best way to get the most out of you money. Take a look into different options out there and feel free to diversify your accounts to get variety on your incomes.

Source: http://www.investopedia.com/university/beginner/

Making the Cut: Groceries on the College Budget

It is just a fact of life, we need food to survive.  With a busy schedule of classes, studying, writing papers, or whatever your plate holds, it can be easy to grab some fast food and go. Consider making some cuts to your eating habits daily. Here are some ideas on how to bank some bucks.

  • Trying to eat on 12 cents? Two words: Ramen® Noodles.
  • If you live on campus and pay for a meal plan, then use it. Some programs don’t restrict you from taking food to go or eating as many meals as you wish.
  • If you’re like many college students ducking into the corner coffeehouse every morning for your daily cup of Joe, then you are wasting money. An average latte, cappuccino, or mocha costs about $3.50 depending on the size you need. Seven days of that routine costs you $17.50 per week, $70 per month and around $280 per semester. That’s over $500 a year! Make your own. By the time you graduate from a four-year degree, you’ve saved over $2000 in coffee costs. Even if you buy numberswiki.com a decent coffee maker or small espresso/cappuccino machine for your dorm room or apartment, you’ll still save hundreds of dollars.
  • Oatmeal is fast, filling and affordable.
  • Peanut Butter Rocks.
  • Skip the fast food forays and late night take-out. Make sure you keep healthy, affordable options in your room or apartment. Yogurt, cottage cheese, string cheese, bagels, peanut butter are all affordable, convenient and much more healthy than a late night burger and fries.
  • Collect coupons and follow the weekly sales at the grocery store. Avoid high-end markets like Whole Foods. These are nice, but most products cost much more. Once you’re out of school and have a good job you can shop the upscale markets.
  • Kick the bottled water habit; support your local tap water and drink for free. If you’re freaked out by unfiltered water, consider buying a convenient travel-size filtered cup.

Think of the many ways you can cut costs while doing day to day budget checks. What are some of your favorite tips for saving money on food?

 

Source:
“118 Ways to Save Money in College” College Scholarships. 04 Dec 2013 <http://www.collegescholarships.org/student-living/save-money.htm>.

4 Ways to Save Money in College

Turn your pennies into dollars without touching a single package of Ramen Noodles®.

Make a budget and stick to it

Determine what you need to cover the necessities – rent, education expenses, loans, etc.  Create a budget.  Even a simple budget can help you avoid overspending on a night out when you needed money for a new textbook.

Consider cheap text book options

Did you know you can rent textbooks? Rent a book for as long as you need it and return it when you are done. Check out sites like BookRenter, TextBooks.com, eCampus and CampusBooks. Selling your used textbooks is a great option too. It never hurts to get a little bit of cash back to put toward your next semester.

Different living options

Sometimes room and board can be more expensive than tuition.  So how can you try and lower the cost if you need a place to stay? If you work as a Resident Advisor (RA) you can get significantly reduced costs on room and board and in some cases RA’s rooms are free. If you’re rarely near your own room, look into dorms with fewer amenities.  Even though staying on campus may be a bit pricey, it is nothing compared to staying off site. Yes, you may have a cheaper rent, but when you add utilities, internet, transportation, etc., it can actually be more expensive.

Use your student ID for discounts… EVERYWHERE

Make the most of your student status; take advantage of your student discounts. Save on electronics, enjoy discounts for clothing/shoes, movies, printer ink, fast food/pizza, gym memberships and even traveling.

If you put all of the money you saved into your savings account and didn’t touch it, how much do you think you could really save in a month or even a year? I challenge you to put that money away and see what you can reward yourself with at the end of a month or even a year.

Next week, “Making the Cut: Groceries on the College Budget.”

 

Source:
“24 Ways to Save Money in College” shmoop. College 101. 04 Dec 2013 <http://www.shmoop.com/college/save-money-in-college.html>.