Best of 2007

Everyone is writing the best of their blog for 2007, and I will do that eventually, but right now I want to sum up some of the best posts from around the blog-o-sphere from 2007.

J.D. over at Get Rich Slowly has had a lot of great articles this year. His summary is here, but I picked out the ones that are most useful for college students.

How to Feed Yourself for $15/week:
The Power of Yes: A great article about how saying "yes" can change your life
List of good personal finance books: If you like to read these books can help transform your finances!
If Personal Finance is easy, why isn't everyone rich?
The Road to Wealth is Paved with Goals: Kind of long but has some really good points in it.

Jay at Dumb Little Man has had so many great posts this year I can't list them all! All I can say is go to the site and browse through it!

Grad Money Matters has a page devoted to top posts here. They are not all 2007, but they're useful so I'm including them anyway.

Hustlerama has had the best bank and credit card bonuses on its site, and many are still available. So if you are looking for a credit card or bank account or anything related check out Hustlerama.

Money Smart Life has a list of best posts here, but I have picked out some of the best of the best and here they are in no particular order:

How 5 minutes can save you $120. This is about how to reduce your monthly bills like cable, phone, etc.
10 ways to cut your resturaunt bill.
10 ways to ask for a lower price or better deal.
How to ace a job interview.
How to get the promotion you deserve.
How to use leverage to make money on eBay. This is about how to make money on eBay without taking losses. It's a really good idea, I highly recommend this!

These are some of the best articles around the Blog-O-Sphere. I know there are more out there, but I can't include them all. You may want to bookmark this page so you can read some of these later, because there is no way you can retain everything at one time.

Happy New Year!!!
Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


4 things to look forward to/ Browsing Archives

As this year comes to an end, I have been looking through the archives for my best posts, as well as doing some remodeling on the site. As I looked through the archives, I realized that I have some pretty good stuff in there!

Scroll down this page a little bit and the archives are in the right sidebar. Look through them for a post that interest you, there is some good stuff in there!

Also, 4 things to look forward to:

1) Summary of the best posts this year
2) Recap of the year
3) Plans for next year/ New Years Resolutions
4) Links to some great posts around the Blogosphere

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


What do you think?

I've changed the site template a lot as you can tell. Please either email me or leave a comment on what you do and don't like about it so I can improve it.
It is much more simple, which I think is better, but I want to know what you think. I am not writing this blog for me, but for you, so it matters more what you think than what I think. So please let me know, because I'm not a mind reader and don't know what you think unless you tell me!

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


We're on Facebook!

Tips From a College Student has just entered Facebook! Check out the page here! An event was also created to help spread the word, because why pay for advertising when we can get it for free?

Check it out and send it to all your friends! If you find something useful here, then your friends will probably find it useful too, so join the event and invite lots of people.
Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


What I learned being homeless

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had to stay at school for part of Christmas break because of work. I was not able to stay in my dorm because they were doing maintenance on it, so I had to find another place to stay. I used this as an experiment to see how cheap I could live for a week.

*Note: This was only a week. It would not be possible to maintain this lifestyle permanently*

I was able to get 3 offers from people for me to stay at their house for free. This was big, because if it weren't for them I would have been paying big bucks for a hotel. So I got housing for free.

I figured out how to eat for free or cheap every meal. The way I got food for free was to a) get someone else to take me out, b) get someone to invite me over for dinner, c) get free food at work.
I got food for really cheap at sheetz and McDonald's. You can get a double cheeseburger and a 32 oz Sweet Tea for $2 + tax at McDonald's. Sheetz, just eat off the cheap menu posted above the screen. You can also eat for cheap by buying stuff like frozen fish sticks at Walmart or Sams and then cooking them later. I drink all water, so I didn't have to pay for that (except when I get tea at McDonalds).

Since I didn't have anything else to do, I picked up extra shifts at work and made even more money, thus easily clearing as much if not more as I usually make during school without living on dining hall food and dorms.

The main thing I learned through all of this is that the most important thing is who you know. By knowing lots of people and letting them know my problem, I get free housing and several free meals. I also have friends in high places that I use to pull strings sometimes when I need something.

When you have a friend helping you out, make sure you don't take advantage of them. If you take advantage of your friends, you won't have many friends. If they scratch your back, make sure you scratch their's later, in other words, always help out a friend in need and when you need something you will be taken care of.

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


Pay off your Christmas debt with eBay

Make sure you read this great article from Money Smart Life about how to pay for all the junk you buy at Christmas. Its about buying stuff on ebay and how you can make some good money at this time of the year.

Selling on eBay after the holidays

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


Around the internet 12/19/07

Here are some good articles from some other blogs in the past week:

Budgeting for a Better 2008 - Money Smart Life

10 Ways to Make It Look a Lot More Like Christmas - Punny Money

Banana Republic 30% off coupon - My Deals Blog

Don't Be a Puppet, Make Your Own Choices - Dumb Little Man

Have fun reading!

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


Some good upcoming posts

This week I am having to find places to stay for free, as I cannot stay on campus over the break but have to stay in town to work. I am trying to get buy with spending as little as possible this week, so we will see how it goes. My post count will be down because I'm not in a regular environment and it is difficult to find quiet time to write.

Keep a look out for the analysis of how I get buy without spending much money for a week without living on campus, and what I learn from this experience!

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


ING rate drops again, check these high yield accounts

Fire Finance posted an article about ING dropping their rate again, and the best high yield online savings accounts. Their list includes the highest three accounts by interest rate and the highest three with a Bankrate rating of 4 or better.

Check it out here

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


5 important things to be successful

J.D. over at Get Rich Slowly has a post you need to check out. It has some very important things you need know in order to be successful in life. I'm not going to write a long review, just go check it out!

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


scholarships = free money

I have been sitting here thinking about ways to get money to pay for college, and then I thought, "duh. apply for scholarships." So I went to the old fastweb site and updated my profile I had created in high school, then started searching. I am eligible for 43 scholarships listed on that site.

This takes some time to search through all of these, but after being in college for a year and a half I have realized how hard it is to get money, so even if I spend 10 hours searching for scholarships, if I can get one then it will be worth it. My ultimate goal is to graduate from college debt-free, and even though my parents are helping I am not on track to meet that goal. Even though working at my job 20 hours a week on top of school is helping, it isn't quite getting me there. This is where the scholarship search comes in. I am trying to take every possible angle on earning money for college, and this is the most obvious.

I would like to encourage any of you who are still in college to check out fastweb, as it is a great time saving database of scholarships that is recognized as the best one to use. You just put your info in and it tells you what to apply for. Scholarships are an easy way to get free money, and they aren't that hard if you can write a decent essay telling why you need money so bad.

Good luck on paying for college and getting those scholarships!

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


Free XM christmas music with AIM

I've been looking for a while for Christmas music, because listening to the same Cd's over and over gets old fast. And I hate the radio because I don't get good reception with my stereo. I had been using Itunes and listening to shared music on my college network, which is a good option, but I now have found my favorite solution: free XM radio on AIM.

If you are logged into AIM then you can look at the bottom of your buddy list and see the headphones button. If you click that you have access to a lot of radio stations, I know some of them are XM, I'm not sure if they all are or not. These stations are commercial free and good quality, much better than over the air radio.

What I have done is hook my computer into my stereo through the front input on my stereo and a cord I bought at Radioshack out the headphones jack on my computer. With this setup I can hear whatever is coming out of my computer speakers through my surround sound system.

I liked listening to the shared network on my Itunes, but that is only available on campus, it takes a long time to load, and Itunes seems to slow down my computer. I normally have AIM running in the background anyway, so this doesn't hog any more system resources. I also don't have to download the music, so it saves me a lot of hard drive space.

I don't know how long AIM has had this feature, but I'd be willing to bet that not many people use it. It is a good service though, as it is free XM radio. So if you are looking for some holiday music or any other kind of music, give it a shot and see what you think. If you don't have AIM, you can go to and download it. I don't know many people who don't have it though.

Have fun listening to your music!

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


funny but useful things learned at college

Check out this list of 101 things learned at college from College and Finance. Some of them are pretty funny, but from my experience and observations they are all true. Read them, especially if you are a freshman, and try to avoid problems that everyone else incurs.

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


Good deals for the Christmas presents

Before buying any presents for Christmas this year, always look online for a coupon first. There are coupons available for almost every major retailer. I recommend reading
This is a good website with some really good coupons and good deals on it. I have recently started reading it, and he has some really good stuff there.

Once again, buying Christmas presents can break the bank, so you need to be careful when you buy them. Check out this post for more on saving money over the holidays.

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


Limit your spending over the holidays

Almost everyone falls into the trap of spending a ton of money around Christmas time. You always have that struggle inside of you to decide who to buy a gift for and who to leave off your list. Many times that list can be very long, which equals very expensive. There is an easy solution to this problem though: just remember its the thought that counts!

Just because you feel obligated to get someone a gift (which is stupid anyway) doesn't mean that you have to buy them an expensive one. They will appreciate much more a gift that actually means something than just something that is expensive. Try to buy gifts that either remind someone of a good time you had together or of a special occasion. You could also give them something you made, and you can be as creative as your brain lets you be with that one. It could be as simple as several desktop backgrounds you made in photoshop all the way to handmade furniture. Another good option is to listen closely to what they say and figure out the things they really want besides the obvious things, because if you give them something they didn't specifically ask for then they will appreciate it much more and know that you care enough to listen and figure out what they want.

Some tips for choosing the right gift:

-Think about your relationship you've had with that person and make a list of all the memorable times you've had together, then try to think of something that will always remind them of that time.

-Think of a way to solve one of their needs by making something yourself instead of buying it. They will know you put a lot of time into it and appreciate it more.

-Don't give junk. No one needs anymore stuff to put in their attic or garage.

-Be creative. Don't go to Wal-Mart and buy the first thing you see. Be creative with your gift and if it doesn't have any meaning make up something that makes it seem special.

-Always remember, its the thought that counts

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


cyber monday from generation x finance

Generation X Finance has posted a good article on some major retailers running Cyber monday deals. If you weren't able to find what you were looking for from what I wrote then check out his post. There are some great deals, so if you haven't finished your Christmas shopping then today is the time to do it!

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


Cyber Monday Deals

There are many deals this coming monday which has been named "Cyber Monday." It is basically Black Friday online. You can check out this site for a good list of merchants participating in Cyber Monday.
You can also google "company cyber monday" and replace "company" with whatever store you want to see. This should bring up some good deals also.
Another idea for shopping on this day is to use coupons. These are deals in the stores, but you can still use coupons. So search online for coupons before making a purchase. By doing this you can get some really really great deals.

Here are some great deals from our affiliates! By shopping through them you get great deals and also support this site!

From Office Depot:

Seagate 250GB FreeAgent External 3.5 Hard Drive - $79.99 After $20 Instant Savings!
D7460  Photosmart  Printer - $144.99 After $35 Instant Savings!
HP R742 Digital Camera - $149.99 Before $20 Instant Savings!
HP A526 Photo Printer - $79.99 After $20 Instant Savings!
SanDisk 1GB CF Ultra II Card - $24.99 After $10 Instant Savings!
Linksys® WRT54G Wireless-G Router - $89.99 After $10 Instant Savings!

Overstock is having a huge sale this weekend, including Cyber Monday. It is free shipping plus huge discounts on everything. Check it out through the following link.

10% Off O-Day Sale plus Free Shipping at! Offer valid 11.23.07 to 11.28.07 Only

Then my favorite store, Wal-Mart, is also doing the Cyber Monday thing here:

Huge Cyber Monday Savings at

I hope you are able to get the deals you want through these links! There are some really good deals on here, and once again I encourage you to try using coupons on top of these promotions! You may get deals so good you can resell on Ebay and make a profit!
Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


Cyber Monday = Black Friday Online!

Almost every major retail store this year is participating in Cyber Monday, which is basically Black Friday online. There will be a ton of great deals you can get without ever leaving your recliner. There are a ton of reasons why this is great.

*Don't have to fight crowds

*Don't have to go store to store, or even leave your house

*Don't have to waste time in line

*Shop all your favorite stores in the time it takes to go to their website

*Save a ton of money and do all your Christmas shopping in one day

Check back soon for a list of great Cyber Monday promotions!

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


Black Friday Deals

Here is a list I have made from our affiliates of good deals for Black Friday, so you don't have to waste your time searching for them I put them all in one place! A lot of these are online deals, so you don't have to deal with all the confusion and getting up early. I highly recommend doing all of your Black Friday shopping online. Anyway, here's the list.

Champs Holiday Sale! Take 20% off $100. Use Code LKS17N6B. Valid through 12.1.

Take $15 off $90 at  Use Code LKSP7N59. Valid 11.1-11.30.

Footlocker Black Friday Sale! Take 20% off $100.  Use Code LKS17VCP.  Valid through 12.1.

Take $15 off $90 at! Use Code LKS17CN5. Valid 11.1-11.30.

Save up to 50% on Last Minute Fares at Hotwire!

Save up to 90% + Free Shipping and No Tax at! Shop Now!

Netflix - Only $4.99 a month. No Late Fees. Try it for Free!

HP Pavilion dv6628us 15.4 Widescreen Notebook Computer With Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core Processor T2310 $499.99 - After $100 Instant Savings & $200 in (2) Mail-in Savings!

Maxx Digital PN3000 Portable GPS Navigation System $99.99 - After $100 Mail-in Savings!

Motorola® Bluetooth® Enabled Headset H300 $9.99 - After $30 Mail-in Rebate!

Save $50 After Mail-in Savings on Select Cameras of $199.99 and Over!

Westinghouse 42 HD LCD TV $799.99 - After $250 Mail-in and Instant Savings

Black Friday Product Deals from! Valid 11.22.07 to 11.25.07

Get all your holiday shopping done at Prep Sportswear! SHOP NOW>>

Save Big this Friday at

I hope you get some really great deals, but remember, be frugal! Don't waste your money on junk you don't need!
Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Now get away from your computer and eat some turkey and tell your mom you love her!

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


college and finance carnival

College and Finance blog has just released the Fifth Carnival of College and Finance. Cheap Dates for College Students was featured in this carnival.

This is a really good carnival. There are a lot of useful and relevant articles, and I encourage you to check it out here.

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


Wachovia transfer fee

I just realized that to transfer money out of Wachovia online into a different bank there is a $3 fee. That is absurd. There is no reason for them to charge a fee for that, they are just trying to screw their customers out of money. I have news for them, I'm doing them a favor by letting them store my money, I don't have to leave it with them. And this fee isn't helping my decision to keep it there. I have several bank accounts with other banks, and there are no fees for anything on them, including transfers. I am going to contact Wachovia and issue a complaint.

If you have a Wachovia checking account, please contact them and complain about this fee. Let's try to get it taken away, because there is no reason for them to impose it on us. Until they take it away, I will continue to take money out through paypal, which is a free way to do it.

You can contact Wachovia by logging in online and clicking on customer service, then clicking to contact them and send a secure message. Hopefully if they recieve enough feedback, they will remove this fee. Please comment on your feelings about this fee and any ideas you have for getting it removed.

Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


Wachovia free checking online is good

I have had some issues with Wachovia in the past, but this post is going to be positive. Wachovia now has their online banking set up where you can transfer money between other banks and Wachovia. This was one of my biggest complaints before, and I'm not sure when they added this but it upgraded Wachovia in my book from unusable to usable. With that in mind, here is a list of the top 5 reasons Wachovia is a good bank to use for checking.

1. Wachovia is big. There are branches across the country from the West Coast to the East Coast. This is important because you have access to your money for free whereever you go.

2. Good online services. Free bill pay is one feature that can be really handy. Also as I mentioned earlier, you can transfer money easily between Wachovia and your other banks online. The only problem with this is there is a $3 outbound fee when you transfer money out. I think that is ridiculous. The only other thing I don't like about the online services is they charge you to download your info into Quicken.

3. Checking is free. No fees, no minimums, nothing. This is my minimum requirement for opening any type of banking account. Why should they charge me for me to let them have my money? That would be dumb.

4. Services. Wachovia is a big bank, so they offer many services. Everything from business options, loans, financial planning, insurance, investing, you name it they can help. The only thing I use is checking, so the other stuff I cannot endorse because I haven't tried it.

5. View transactions online and in monthly statements. I like to be able to go online and find out what I've spent money on and keep up with my finances, because I hate waiting until the end of the month to see everything. Wachovia makes this possible.

Wachovia is a pretty good bank with many options and it is pretty useful, although I still prefer my credit union checking account. I'm not sure why, maybe I'm just really loyal. I have to have this Wachovia though because when I leave the state I don't have access to my credit union. I would recommend Wachovia because it's good enough for free checking, is easy to transfer money between it and your high-yield savings account, and it is big so you have access to your money no matter where you go.
Don't forget to bookmark this site and sign up for the RSS feed so you can stay up-to-date on new posts!


HD DVD vs Bluray: buy HD DVD

For some time now the hot news in the technology market has been HD DVD movies. Everyone is speculating which format will win, Blu ray or HD DVD. It is like the vhs vs beta max debate of the 80's. The Blu ray format is made by Sony and is incorporated into the new PS3, so they have an advantage there. HD DVD is made by Toshiba, and is much cheaper than Blu ray. I believe that this will ultimately make the HD DVD the standard for high definition movies.

Many stores are dropping the prices on the Toshiba HD DVD for the holidays, and while some are just having black friday sales on them many stores such as walmart are dropping the price permanently. The trend is to drop the price right under $200, which is a very good price for technology this new. Because of the big difference in price between the two formats, I believe that after the holidays the HD DVD will slowly pull away from Blu ray in sales. Once a lot of the players have sold on black friday and other holiday promotions, people will begin to buy the movies in that format, which will be the deciding factor ultimatly. The more movies that are bought in one format or the other, the better the chance that that format will win the battle.

So watch for these sales near you, as they will probably be selling out quickly, and I would stay away from wasting money on a Blu ray player unless you are buying the PS3, in which case the price isn't that bad for what you get. Also, for those interested in stocks, watch for Toshiba. I'm not a big stock person, but I think there is a good chance that the Toshiba stock will take off during and right after the holdiay shopping season. Also, if you are watching for a good deal on these keep your eye on Ebay, Amazon, Overstock, and other discount websites. You can sometimes get some great deals on these websites. Also, watch for coupons and promotional coupons from office depot, best buy, and other major retailers. Especially this time of year you can get some really good deals if you are willing to shop around a little bit.
Office Depot, Inc, Inc. USA, LLC

Don't forget to bookmark this site! Also sign up for the RSS feed so you can get instant updates when new articles are posted.


making changes

I'm sure you've noticed I have made some major changes to the site. Please comment if there is anything not working well or that you think doesn't look good. I appreciate feedback and will try to respond to all of it.


7 ways to make money

Everyone needs a little extra money. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, you still want more. Hey, I’m just being honest, I mean its true isn’t it? Don’t you want some more money?

Anyway, I’ve compiled a list of things to do to get a little extra money on the side. All of these are useful in college, most are useful to anyone. So, here’s the list.

#1. Sell stuff on eBay.

-Everyone has junk somewhere that they could get rid of. In your home, you have your attic and your garage, 2 places that normally have all kinds of stuff you don’t need. If your in college, you should realize every time you move into or out of a dorm room that you have too much stuff and need to sell it.

#2. Check college career center for work.

-Most colleges have a career center place on their website where local businesses can list work they need done. This is a good place to get some work, whether it is a weekend job or a full-time job.

#3. Classified ads.

-Many times people list stuff in classified ads in local newspapers/Craigslist/Facebook that they need done, such as mowing yards or helping move them into a new house, or help paint their house. . Many times you can make some decent money just by responding to these ads.

#4. Sell your books.

-Amazon and are great. You can sell pretty much any book on there, whether it is a textbook or just a random book someone gave you. You can create space and make money by selling books you don’t need. And for future reference, try checking out books from the library instead of buying them.

#5. Free money.

-Get free money by taking advantage of promotions, such as the ING Direct $25 promotion going on right now. Also, you can get a lot of free money by taking advantage of credit card offers, but you have to be careful with those or you can get yourself in trouble.

#6. Get freebies and sell them.

-There are many ways to get freebies, which I will address in a different post. You can either save money by getting useful stuff such as deodorant, toothpaste, and other random stuff, or you can get freebies like laptops and microwaves and sell them. This is pure profit.

#7. Do something you like and make money for it.

-If you have a hobby making stuff, sell stuff you make. Blog about whatever you love. Figure out what you spend most of your time doing or thinking about, and then create a blog about it. Put Google ad words on there and get some passive income rolling in. Sign up for affiliate links. I've heard some great success stories about people doing this.


Finally got my Wachovia $50 promotion money

Evidently the response I received in this post was wrong, because I just checked my Wachovia Checking account and the money from the promotion was deposited into my account on 10/4/07.

It shows up as 2 separate deposits, one for opening the account with $100 and the other for making a direct deposit of $100.

I haven't been that happy with Wachovia, and probably won't keep the account open, but I am going to read first and make sure that I am allowed to close the account without any fees or losing the bonus. For more on why I'm not happy with Wachovia, click here.

I guess that even though I would never use Wachovia as my primary checking account because of simply not being able to transfer money easily online, it did accomplish it's purpose of getting me $50 for free. So I should be satisfied with the results, as I now have my money.

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


Big banks rip you off

I believe that big banks rip people off. I get much better features from small banks than I do big ones, but the big ones generate a ton more money for themselves. I do not own a business or take out huge loans, so I cannot speak from experience on that, but coming from investing in savings accounts, cds, money markets, checking, IRA's, etc., big banks are not the best deal.

Many times smaller banks have good deals because they are trying to take customers away from big banks like Wachovia, Suntrust, BOA, etc. I'm sure that these big banks are more useful for businesses or big loans or something, but I can say from experience they are no good for personal accounts.

These banks rip you off many ways.

1. They give you a tiny interest rate, then charge a really high one on loans. I know they have to make some money, but they are making wayyyy too much.

2. Fees. It seems like these big banks have fees for everything. Especially if you have a checking account. They tell you it is free, but you have to read the fine print. Sometimes it will say something like you have to have 10,000 dollars in your savings, your house and your car financed through them, and been customer for 25 years. On the other hand, you can go to a smaller bank or credit union and just get a free no questions asked checking account. Many will even pay interest, something a big bank would never do.

3. Lack of features. I signed up for Wachovia because of the $50 promotion, but was very disappointed when I discovered that I could not easily transfer money between my online accounts at ING and Wachovia. Is it too much to ask for a bank as big as Wachovia to institute some kind of ACH transfer system?

After having Wachovia for about 3 months, I am very disappointed and will close my account as soon as I get my money for the promotion.

I recommend getting an online account such as ING or FNBO Direct. If you like to have a local brick and mortar bank you can visit, get a credit union. I am not even sure if it's worth the hassle to get a promotion at the big banks, I guess that depends on how hard up you are.

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


Still waiting for your Wachovia bonus?

It has been about a month and a half now since I opened up my Wachovia checking account so I could get the $50 bonus. I was wondering when this bonus was going to appear in my account, so I decided to sent them a message. In the reply they said that it doesn't show up until 60 days after the promotion ends, which is the end of the year! I think that is a little long, but I guess I should have read the fine print.

I have been getting annoyed with Wachovia because they do not have good online features, the main one being I'm not able to transfer money from other banks to them online. Maybe I've been using too many online banks, but I just expected a bank as big as Wachovia to be able to have a decent online system. I mean, my small credit union does!

Anyway, I am done with that rant now. If you are wondering what promotion that I am talking about, click here for a link to my earlier post on the promotion.

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


FNBO rate change

I just received an email from my FNBO account saying that the rate is changing on September 29th from 6% to 5.05%. I am not sure yet how that stacks up against all of the others, but I do know that my ING account just lowered their rates also. This is a large step down, but I believe that FNBO will still be among the highest interest rates in the country. I plan on keeping my account their open, and only transferring money out if I find a higher one.

As I have posted before, if you do not have your money in a high-yield savings account, you are crazy. Regular banks have rates between 1 and 3%, but with the high-yield accounts you can almost double your interest earned. Why would you not want to do that? If you are interested in signing up for a ING account, you get a 25$ bonus for signing up if you ask me for a referral link and I get a 10$ bonus. So feel free to contact me and ask for an ING referral link if you are interested in signing up for that one. It doesn't have the best rate, but it is one of the better-known online banks, and some people feel more secure with that.

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


How to get job security

There is no such thing as job security. I hate to bust your bubble, but no one has 100% job security. I once heard someone say that the closest thing to job security you can get is overworked and underpaid.

One of the biggest problems with people today is that they are not hard workers. This is not completely their fault, though, as they have it ingrained in them to be lazy. Think about it, most kids these days are spoiled and all they do is watch tv and sit around and waste a lot of time. They are never taught to work hard, and this also contributes to the problem of obesity in America, but that's another post for another time.

So back to job security, the best way to obtain job security is to teach yourself to be a hard worker. You can do this by working hard at everything you do, not just at work. When you work out at the gym, focus and give 100%. Try to not waste time in anything you do, but always try to be efficient. Once you have instilled these qualities in yourself, you will naturally work harder and waste less time without even thinking about it. This will make you more valuable to your employer, thus giving you more job security.

As most of the readers of this blog are college students, you can apply this by being efficient in your studying and getting your homework done quickly and effectively. After all, employers look at your grades to judge how good of a worker you will be, because if you don't work hard in school then what would make them think you would change when you get a job? If you are efficient in your studies you will not only have more time to do other things but your grades will be better and you will have developed a better work ethic, which will eventually lead to job security down the road.

So basically, work hard and don't waste time and you will make yourself so valuable to your employer that they cannot afford to fire you.

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site


What to do when emergency comes?

I was driving down the highway yesterday and my truck started making a really loud clicking noise, then it turned into a clanking noise. It got really bad so I pulled over and got it towed. I opened the hood while I was waiting and realized that a spark plug was blown out of the engine. I don't know what happened, as today is Labor Day and the mechanic is closed, but I know this will be expensive.

I have spent so much time saving money and being frugal, and now I just feel like it's all for nothing because something like this happens. I am trying to be optimistic and bring out the good in this though, so I'm going to try to write about the good that can come out of a major catastrophe in your life.

This is when you need to have an emergency fund. Luckily I have one, but it will most likely be depleted after this. I don't have much income as most college students normally don't, and what I get goes to school, so this month is going to be rough. Actually, these next few months will be. My hours at work are cut back now that classes have started, and I don't have near as much free time, so I don't know where the income will come from but I will probably beg my parents for money and cut back my spending drastically.

Problems like this can happen to anyone, and the more you have, ie car, house, pets, kids, etc., the more can go wrong. It is very important to have an emergency fund in times like this so that you don't have to go into debt. You don't want to be stuck paying for years down the road for an emergency that happened just because you were not saving your money properly.

There are many different opinions on how much you should have in your emergency fund, but for me I just have savings. It is my emergency/retirement/downpayment for a future house account. It gets really good interest and is FDIC insured so there is no risk. I don't have enough money to designate it to different areas such as retirement, and I know many people probably disagree with me on this, but I'm just happy to have some savings. Most of my friends have less than $1000 in the bank, and if something like this happened to them they would have to sell the vehicle and everything they own. I'm not saying I won't sell it, because I don't know what will happen, but my point is you need an emergency fund now. I recommend enough to live for one month off of. Then once you get that make it 2 months, then 6 months. I'd say once you have that much you can start retirement and just make sure you maintain the emergency fund.

So basically, create an emergency fund and pray you don't have to use it. You know the old saying, "prepare for the worst and pray for the best."

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


College Football

Tomorrow is the first game for most schools football team. I don't know about you, but I love football. Even if you don't, it is a great place to hang out for free with friends and meet new people. Most schools you can get in for free with a college ID.

One of the main aspects of a college football game is tailgating before the game. For those who don't know, tailgating is basically a huge party in or around a truck before a game. You should try to find some people to tailgate with before the game, because that completes the atmosphere.

Just be careful to eat before the game because food in games costs a fortune and is a ripoff. I normally try to take some drinks in with me, at least a bottle of water if nothing else. If I don't then after about 3 hours of yelling I have no voice left.

College football is one of the biggest sports in America, and millions of people are either at games or watching on tv across the country. Take advantage of being in college and go to your games for free while you can, have fun and make some lasting memories.

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


Why you should dress up instead of being a slob!

My buddy and I were discussing today how much different we are treated when we dress up instead of just being normal. In college, it seems like no one really dresses up or cares what they look like, and everyone looks like they are walking around asleep. But when dressing up, we have discovered that we are treated differently.

My buddy mainly focused his results on women, and while I have definitely had better results with dressed up, I have observed more how I am treated by everyone. If I am talking to a professor, in general they will listen more intently and be more focused on what I am saying if I look nice, where if I am dressed more casual the professor is just like whatever and acts like they don't care about what I'm saying. My buddy got several numbers from girls today and said that he had girls hitting on him all day. Many of the changes I noticed were little things, but in my opinion they matter and I'll explain why.

I have noticed a difference in how many greetings I get from people. For instance, if I'm walking down a hall or getting on a bus, normally people would just dart their eyes away so there wouldn't be an awkward situation but when I'm dressed up people seem to make eye connection and say hi and introduce themselves. It is as if me dressing up is the difference between people noticing me or not. I consider this a big deal, because I don't want to be invisible. I think that everyone likes to be noticed, and chances are you will meet many more people if people notice that you are present instead of you being just another person.

Let me clarify what I consider dressed up. Most people in college walk around in t-shirts and shorts or sweat pants. To class they will wear jeans and maybe dress up a little bit more. In my opinion, dressing up is just going a level higher than everyone else is. My buddy wore pinstripe pants and a dress shirt, but I just started fixing my hair and wearing stylish jeans and shirts instead of a hat and the first clothes that I saw that morning.

So try dressing up the next time you go somewhere and pay attention to the way people act around you. Do the same thing we did, you and a friend dress up and then discuss your results later. I think you will be surprised at how much a little change like clothing or fixing your hair instead of a hat can make.

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


Places to meet people in college

Most colleges have a student life or student activities department that arranges free or really cheap events on campus for students to attend. These are great places to meet new people and make friends. Most of the time there are events set up the first week or weekend for the sole purpose of students just hanging out and meeting people.

If you have problems meeting people, or just need something cheap to do, these events are the place for you. Check your school website and bulletin boards around campus for times and dates of activities put on by the school. Hey, even if you're not really interested in what's going on, you can still have fun just hanging out with people!

By the way, most of this can be applied to athletic events too, so when football season comes around watch out for a tailgate party! Kickoff for most schools is next weekend, so you better find some people to tailgate with now!

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


How to read a blog

Many people are still unaware of what a blog is, and how to navigate one. I am going to address how to navigate a blog in this post so if you are not familiar with blogs hopefully you will be more clear after reading this.

To start off, there is a lot of content that isn't on the front page. You can access this by clicking the labels on the right sidebar for different categories that posts are under. Another way to access them is by clicking in the archives, also in the right sidebar. Some of the most valuable content on this site is probably archived, so check out the archives for some more posts!

If you read the blog frequently, you should consider subscribing. You can subscribe by clicking on the orange box in the address bar or by choosing one of the subscribe links on the right side bar. If you put in your email address, posts will be emailed to you. If you subscribe through RSS, you can view it in a reader or in your favorites folder. I subscribe to many different blogs, because by doing this I can click on the RSS feed and see the title of all of the most recent posts. This way I can decide what I want to read without actually going to all of the different websites. This method helps me be more efficient in my time online.

Another option is to just bookmark this site. You can do that by either hitting "ctrl" and "D" at the same time, or clicking bookmarks and bookmark this page (Mozilla, may be different in other browsers).

One of the awesome things about blogs is you can respond to the posts through comments. This makes the articles interactive, and makes you feel more in touch between the author and the readers. Feel free to comment on all of the posts on this blog, just please don't spam the site.

Blogs are cool because they are free to access. Bloggers make money mainly off of ads, so if you wanted to support a particular blogger one good way would be by clicking on his ads. I don't like having ads all over the site, but I have put a few ads on here. I hope that they aren't intrusive or take away from the site as I have done my best to make them unobtrusive.

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


The secret to making new friends

We all know a person who seems to know tons of people and has no trouble making friends. You probably have thought to yourself before that you wish you could be like that person and meet people with no problem, but you are introverted and are not good at meeting people. When going off to college for the first time, everyone is nervous because they are leaving their old friends behind and are worried about meeting new people. But this is one of the greatest things about college, you meet all different types of people and establish relationships that will last a lifetime. There are some secrets to meeting people that many people don't realize, and even people who are good at making friends probably don't realize why they are.

First and most obvious, you have to talk to new people in order to make new friends. If all you do is sit in your dorm room all day, you will not meet new people. You need to get out and interact with people on campus, whether at sporting events or just the computer lab. Start random conversations, it's not hard. If you're waiting in a long line, start talking to the people in line with you about how long the line is, then introduce yourself and roll from there. If you're at a sporting event, that's one of the easiest ways to meet people. Just talk about the teams to people around you, because they are obviously interested in them or they wouldn't be there!

A very easy way to start a conversation is with a question. When you ask it, don't act scared or nervous, because that will make the person feel nervous and awkward. Be confident and make eye contact. Listen to what the person says, and continue the conversation from there.

Don't have a really shallow conversation, like, "hi my names jon, have a good day!" Find out about them, where they're from, where they go to school, what they want to do when the graduate, common friends, etc.

An important point is that you must try to initiate conversations and take advantage of every opportunity you have to talk to new people. Always introduce yourself, and go beyond your name and the obvious. Listen to what the other persons says, don't just let one person do all the talking. If you feel like you're doing all the talking, stop and give them a chance to talk, and continue the conversation from what they say.

Soon you will have a large network of friends, which is a very good thing to have. The saying "it's not what you know, it's who you know" is very true. Obviously you can't be a complete idiot and go far in life, unless you're a professional athlete or something, but you can be the most educated person in the world and not be successful if you don't know people. The easiest way to get jobs, favors, etc is through friends. I have never gotten a job that I just went out and applied for. Every job I've ever had I have been set up with through a friend.

Friends are a very important part of life, and are crucial to your happiness in college and success after college. So why are you still reading this? Go meet some new people and create some new friendships!

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


Move in day part II

Yesterday's move-in went pretty well. I have discovered a few more tips for moving into your dorm.
Don't forget to bring a lockable container. I brought a filing cabinet, because I like to have a lot of space to lock up food and dishes. They can also be useful for locking other things, such as bank statements, valuables, or anything else you don't want other people using or seeing.
Bring lots of stuff to put on the walls, because its better to have too much than too little. Make sure you talk to your roommate first before you hang stuff all over the walls, because you don't want to have any conflicts. Hanging stuff on the walls helps make you feel at home at college, and individualizes your dorm room to show a little bit of you. Personally, I hang up a lot of posters of bands and sports teams, as I have a lot of them and they take up a lot of space. I don't really like the colors of the walls, so I like to take up as much space as possible. Me and my roommate are both big Duke fans, so naturally we have a lot of Duke stuff in our room.
Another tip for move in day is don't get stressed about having stuff everywhere at first, because you will eventually find somewhere to put it, and will probably change the location 5 times before you decide where you will permanently keep it. I just throw my stuff in drawers all over the room, because I know that in the future I will be bored and have time to go through and organize everything, but at the time of move in I was more interested in meeting some new people than organizing my room.
And that reminds me, make sure you bring some storage containers. We have them all over our room, from pull out drawers to filing cabinets to bookshelfs. You will be surprised at how much junk you accumulate, and how much you can cram into a small dorm room with good use of storage containers.
You will probably also want to bring a fan, as it is hard for everyone to be comfortable at one temperature. It is also useful for drowning out noise at night when you are trying to sleep and everyone else is wanting to stay up partying. I run an air purifier and a fan to drown out noise, because I have trouble sleeping when hearing noises from people yelling or other random stuff.
Another very useful thing is either a curtain or a blanket to hang over a window. When you want to sleep in until early afternoon, and trust me sometimes you will, it is much easier if the light from the window is blocked.

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


Move in day

Today I am moving into my dorm, and thought I would share some tips for moving in. Because of the size of the typical dorm room in college, you have to be very organized and creative to get everything in. The first thing to do is move all the furniture around to where you want it before you move your junk in. I have discovered this the hard way, as it is very difficult to move furniture when there are boxes and junk sitting every where. Also, don't move in alone. If your parents aren't helping you, get some random people on the hall to help. There are normally people sitting around wasting time that wouldn't mind helping, and you can also use this opportunity to meet new people. My goal this year is to meet as many people as I can, because I believe that networking is one of the biggest advantages of going to college.

One big issue in moving in is your roommate. My roommate and I try to help when the other one moves in, because you need to coordinate with them about who gets which desk, dresser, closet, etc., and you don't want to start on the wrong foot with a new roommate. One of the biggest problems in college is roommate conflict, so it is best to try to avoid this from the start and try to keep things going smoothly.

I will be back either tonight or tomorrow with more information about moving into the dorm at college.

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


Where is the money you made this summer?

So you've been home from college all summer, working a ton of hours and making lots of money, right? Well, even if all of that isn't true, hopefully you made at least a little bit of money this summer. The question is, what did you do with this money? Have you blown it all already, is it sitting in the bank, or is it in a dirty sock under your bed? Why not let it make money for you?

Instead of holding onto your money in cash or putting it in a low interest savings account, why not save it and let it work for you at the same time? With an online high yield savings account, if you invest $2,000 you can earn over $100 a year in interest. The highest interest one right now is FNBO Direct at 6% APY. It doesn't have the greatest features, but it is FDIC insured and has a great interest rate. You should use this account if you want to put your money away for a while without having immediate access to it, as it takes several days for transactions to clear. If you want a high yield account that's easier to access, check out ING. You can open an online checking account (called Electric Orange) with an APY of 4%, and with this account you can get a debit card so you can have instant access to it. ING's Orange Savings account has a higher interest rate at 4.5% APY, and you can set it up with your Electric Orange account to move money from one to the other and have instant access.

These accounts have no minimum requirements, and no annual fees. They are a great deal, and if you sign up for ING you can get a $25 referral bonus if you email me for the link to sign up through.

So why are you still holding onto your money? Get online and sign up for one of these accounts! Seriously, its free money without you doing any work. Who doesn't want that?

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


5 best places to buy textbooks

Every time I buy my books for the upcoming semester, I feel like I'm getting ripped off by the bookstore. So I have decided that I am going to try to not buy any books there this semester, but find better deals other places. Here is a list of the 5 best places to buy used textbooks besides the bookstore.

#1. Ebay
What can't you get there?
Ebay's textbook website. You don't bid, you just buy it on there. It is competition to Amazon.
#4. Friends.
Often the best deal, because there is no middle man so you both get the best deal.
#5. Facebook marketplace.
I have recently discovered this. Go to your school's network page and click on it, there are great deals on everything from housing to textbooks on there.

Like this post? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


Avoiding the freshman 15

I'm sure you've all heard of the freshman 15. Supposedly most people gain about 15 pounds in their first year at college. This happens for various reasons, mainly unhealthy eating and not enough exercise. It is not that hard to avoid this, though, and you should definitely try to avoid it since it is bad for your health to gain that much weight so fast.

Many freshman in college are overwhelmed by how many options they have for eating when they get to school. Most schools have a dining hall thats unlimited buffet, along with many fast food joints and other places on campus. It is their first time out on their own without their parents holding their hand, and they eat whatever they want to. This may sound good, but if it equals pizza, hamburgers and ice cream all the time it is not good, and you will not only get fat but also take years off your life. I have found that if you look hard enough there are healthy or at least semi-healthy food options available on campus. When I go to the dining hall (rarely) I get a salad and I try to find something healthy like a sandwich or a classic meal like pork chops and green beans. Only eat one serving. I have heard people say to only put on your plate about half as much food as you want, and while this probably works for some people it doesn't for me. I just try to not go back for more and eat healthy.

Another reason for gaining weight is not getting enough exercise. Many campuses have a bus system that kids use instead of walking, so they lose out on that exercise. Then they sit in class for a few hours, then go back to the dorm where they sit the rest of the night. Most campuses have a gym that students can use for free, and obviously it would be good if you used that. I find that it is out of the way for me to go there, and I am not motivated enough to make myself go on a regular basis. If you don't want to go to the gym, there are other ways to get exercise. Leave early for class and walk instead of taking the bus. Join an intermural sports team, that is a good way to get exercise on a regular basis. Take the steps instead of the elevator, and park further back in the parking lot than usual. This has 2 benefits: you get exercise walking further and your car doesn't get as many dents in it.

Another reason for the freshman fifteen is the college lifestyle. Staying up until 3a.m. and snacking and eating junk is a sure way to make you gain weight. If you have to eat late at night you need to eat something healthy, such as fruit or a smoothie, or a bowl of cereal. Eating chips and ice cream and pizza every night will catch up with you, and one way is by gaining weight. Another bad thing about staying up late is you are tired in the morning. You cannot think as clearly when you are tired, which means your grades are probably not as good. If you think about it, most people are not very productive after midnight. Instead of staying up late every night, only stay up if you are doing work or its the weekend. I have started to do this and went from mediocre grades to dean's list in one semester. Another useful tip is try getting up earlier in the morning. I have found that I am most productive in the morning, and am least productive in the late afternoon. Try going to bed earlier and getting up earlier and doing some work and stuff in the mornings. But do not push your homework until the night before or the morning it is due. Trust me, this makes life to stressful. You will enjoy college more if you do your work ahead of time.

For more on not being lazy and being more time efficient, read this post.

Like this article? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


Are you too lazy?

I think that most college students are lazy. I know that I can be at times, but I try to force myself to do stuff, even if its just get up and wash clothes or something. Many students just sit around and watch tv or play video games during all of their free time. I'm not trying to sound like your mom, but that is a waste of time. By wasting time you are training yourself to be lazy, and you will create a habit that will be hard to break later on down the road.

Every successful person that I know is a hard worker and doesn't waste a lot of time. Watching tv and playing video games is not bad if it is done in moderation, but like many other things it becomes bad when you do it in excess. You name a successful person, whether it is Bill Gates, Donald Trump, a professional athlete, or someone else, and I can guarantee that they don't sit around all day and watch tv. Bill Gates would be sitting at home trying to develop a new software, Donald Trump would be trying to tweak his business strategy or buy a new business, and your athletes would be practicing to get better. The fact is, lazy people don't go far in life.

Now, I know that most college students would say that they don't have anything else to do, but this isn't true. You can always find something to do that is productive. Wash your car, clean your house, wash clothes, mow the yard, exercise, start a new project, or do some homework in advance for a change. Or, if you really want to do something worthwhile, start your own business!

Don't train yourself to be lazy, train yourself to always stay busy and work hard. That way when you finally get a life and have a job, you will be a valuable worker and will be able to move up through the company faster. The better your work ethic is, the more successful you will be in life.

Also read 5 ways to be more efficient.
Like this article? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


Remember to subscribe and tell your friends!

I just want to remind everyone to subscribe to the RSS feed or email by clicking the link on the right. By doing this you will be able to know when the blog is updated without visiting the site. Thank you to everyone who is already a subscriber.

Also, tell all your friends about this site, email your favorite articles, and spread the word. The best publicity is word of mouth! It will help them and it will help me if your friends and family start reading the site also.

Thank you for visiting the site and supporting me. If you have any suggestions for the site or ideas for stories, feel free to email me at

Like this article? Make sure to tell your friends about the site. Spread the word, and if you really like it leave a donation to help support the site!


10 things every student needs to bring to college

#1. Febreeze

#2. Duct tape

#3. Thumbtacks (put stuff on walls)

#4. Screw driver

#5. Extra car key

#6. Extra contact lenses

#7. Disposable forks and plates

#8. Medicine (ibuprofen, benadryl, neosporin, cold medicine)

#9. Rolls of quarters

#10 Surge protector



Have you ever signed up for a class and ended up with a terrible professor? I know I have. That was before I discovered One of my friends told me about it, and I have used it diligently since then.

What this site does is let students rate professors online in different categories, and also give a brief description of their experience with the professor. I have found this extremely useful when signing up for classes, because I cross-reference every professor before I sign up for their class. It's great because you know what you're getting into when you sign up for a particular class.

Since I have been using this site, I have not gotten a bad professor. Different people have different preferences for classes, which is why I like to use this site instead of just asking friends. You can see a greater variety of opinions on the professors by using this site, and after reading several you have a general idea of how the professor is. Personally, I don't mind writing essays, but I don't like long ones. I try to avoid any professor that consistently gives longer that 6 page essays. I know that this won't happen once I get further into my major, but for now thats one of my goals in signing up for classes.

Also, if you use the site remember to post your opinion of your professors at the end of the semester to help out other people later. I try to always rate my professors, but sometimes I forget.


Ready to quit getting so much spyware?

Have you ever run a spy ware detector on your computer? I hope you have, because I can guarantee you that it is full of spy ware. I have discovered that most spy ware/viruses/trojans/whatever else bad gets on computers gets there through internet explorer. I have started instead using Mozilla Firefox, which is an alternative to Internet Explorer. When using this program, I get about 10% of the junk on my computer that I was getting before.

I also like the layout of Firefox better than Internet Explorer. I find it difficult to use Internet Explorer, and confusing to change settings. Firefox has had many features for a while that IE is just incorporating into their newest release, IE7. My favorite is tabbed browsing, where instead of opening a new window from a link you just open a new tab. This is now becoming a common feature in all browsers, but Firefox has had it for awhile.

Another feature that I like is the bookmarks toolbar. I have my favorite bookmarks to the right of my menu (file, edit, view, etc), so I can easily access them without having to open up the favorites folder and navigate to them. I have my favorite RSS feeds in the bookmarks toolbar too, so I can view them with one click while I am on any webpage.
I encourage you to download Firefox, as it is in my opinion the best browser available right now.


Should you ditch the landline?

I've been reading a lot on different blogs about whether or not it is a good idea to ditch your land line phone and just use a cell phone. I don't have a land line personally, I just use my cell phone. I move around too much to use a land line. I would have to change my number wayyyy too often, but with my cell I always have it with me, so my friends can reach me no matter where I am on the same number, whether at home or work or vacation or wherever. Another reason I don't have use for a land line is I'm not at home very much during the day. It would only be useful for an answering machine but my cell has an answering machine in voice mail, so that eliminates that too.

To me a land line just isn't practical. Its a waste of money every month when my cell has free nights and weekends, and I'm at work or in class during the day so I don't talk very much. And I text way more than I talk, so I don't really need a whole lot of money. If you're worried about the battery wearing out, get a decent phone, and when you think the battery is getting old buy a new battery. That's a lot cheaper than a new phone.

I charge my phone about once every 3 nights, and it's over a year old and still works fine. The battery seems to last forever. One secret to keeping your battery healthy is to not charge it with it on. I never charge mine with it on, never have and never will. My friends and I have experimented with this, and have discovered that it makes a big difference in the life of the battery. Charging the phone with it on is one of the fastest ways to kill a battery.

When you sign up for a cell phone, just make sure you read the fine print and know what you're getting. Make sure you get enough minutes and texts, because they will stack up the fees if you're not careful. Do you still have a land line? If so, you may want to consider ditching it to save a little money every month.


5 ways to be more efficient

Do you feel like you‘re not efficient with your time, or that you waste a lot of time every day. I know I do. So I have started searching for ways to be more efficient and get more done every day.

#1. Pre-plan your day.

-When you get up in the morning, think about everything you want to accomplish that day and write it down. Then make a schedule of what you have to do that day and work in everything you want to accomplish so that you have almost your entire day planned out. By sticking to a schedule, you won’t waste time by trying to think what you need to do and by doing stuff that doesn’t need done.

#2. Schedule in time for yourself during the day.

-Take a break from your work, do something you enjoy for a few minutes. Read a book, take a walk, call your mom, meditate, do something besides work.

#3. Reward yourself.

-If you have something big to do like an essay for a class or a project at work, don’t try to tackle it all at one time. Plan out different steps that you can do to work towards finishing the project, like making an outline for an essay, research, etc. Then start early on these, and reward yourself after each step by taking some time for yourself. By doing this you won’t get stressed trying to do it all at once, and you’ll finish it without being under pressure.

#4. Recap your day.

-At the end of the day, think back over your day and what you can improve upon for the next day. Write down mistakes you made, such as checking your email 500 times, and write it down and what you will do to correct it. Review this in the morning when you make your plan for the day. By doing this, you will be constantly developing into a more efficient person.

#5. Eliminate time-wasters.

-Figure out what you do that wastes time every day. For me, it’s checking my email too often and reading message boards. Once you figure out what you do to waste time, fix it. Instead of checking email every few minutes, schedule times into your day to check it. I recommend replying to all the email 2 or 3 times per day, and if you are worried about not replying soon enough, make an auto-response for your email that says something like, “I check my email at 4:30. If there is something that needs dealt with before then, please call ….”. By doing this the person sending the email knows when to expect a response, and you don’t have to waste time checking your email non stop. If you waste time doing other things like reading message boards, use reading message boards as one of your rewards. When you complete a task, reward yourself by reading the message board. Or during your break do it. But don’t constantly be reading them, because they can be very time consuming. Whatever you waste time on, fix it, and you will be more efficient with your time.


8 ways to lower your cost of living

#1. Get rid of your cable/satellite.

-Instead of wasting a ton of money every month this, just buy seasons of the shows you watch when they come out on DVD. If you watch a lot of movies, get a Netflix subscription or blockbuster. This will save you a lot of money in the long run

#2. Get a small car that cost under $8,000 and gets good gas mileage.

-Calculate how much you spend in gas every year. I don’t drive very much, and I spend about $1400 every year on gas. Getting a smaller car can reduce this cost, and you can also make money if you sell your expensive SUV or whatever you have.

#3. Get a gas rewards card.

-I recommend either the Discover Open Road card or the BP gas card. If you only buy BP gas, get that card, but if you buy different types then get the Discover card. You can save several hundred dollars a year by getting the rewards from these cards.

#4. Buy everything either used or generic.

-Almost everything you buy can be bought on eBay. Most of the time you can save a ton of money on there. For food and other household items, buy the generic brands. It’s the same product, but you get more for your money.

#5. Pay off your credit cards.

-Almost everyone has credit card debt these days, but most people don’t realize that the card companies are sucking money out of their wallets through interest. Credit cards are not a bad thing if you pay them off every month when you get your statement. If you can’t do this, don’t get a credit card.

#6. Don’t drink or smoke or dip or chew or anything else addicting.

-This includes coffee, alcohol, soft drinks, any tobacco products, or anything else you may be addicted to. Drink only water. Its healthier and cheaper. Don’t drink bottled water, drink tap water. If it taste bad get a filter, it’s still cheaper. You can save a ton of money by doing this.

#7. Make your house more energy efficient.

-Do you have high electric bills? If you do a search online, you can find many things to make your home more energy efficient, from power saving lights to solar panels. Think of this as an investment that will add up in the long run.

#8. Stop eating fast food, and eat out for cheap.

-fast food is terrible for you, and its cost adds up quick. Instead of dropping $7 on a fast food meal every day at work, pack a sandwich or something healthy. Try to eat fruit also. When you go to restaurants, eat cheap and healthy stuff like salad and water.

Also check out How to have fun while living frugally.


The Danger of Credit Cards

When using credit, you have to be careful. If you have a tendency to just spend freely, and overspend more than you want too, then I would advise that you get a debit card that you use on every day transactions instead of a credit card.

With a debit card, you can only spend money that you have in your checking account, where a credit card you can spend up to your credit limit, which is a number that the card company decides. Many people don’t keep up with how much they spend and end up accumulating massive credit card debt. You won’t do this with a debit card. A good place to get a debit card is Wachovia, especially with their $50 bonus promotion **edit- promotion ended** going on right now.

While credit cards are not bad, they can be if you do not use them properly. Most Americans today have credit card debt, and many college students do as well. When you are in college, you have enough debt without credit card debt. You need to know when to stop spending money because you don’t have anymore, and how to save money to make it last longer. Hopefully this site will help you make your money go further and if you’re in college graduate with less debt.

Of course, the best way to avoid debt is to pay cash for everything, but I don't like to do that because I can't keep track of how much I spend. I like using a debit card because I can see online what I spend money on and how much I spend, and then I can develop a more accurate budget based on that. By analyzing how much money you spend in different areas, you can decide if you need to cut back on how much you spend on different things. Many times I will start to spend a lot of money on something, like eating out, and not even realize it. But when I see my account online, I realize that I have been eating out too much and need to cut back.

The key to using credit or even debit is to just be responsible. Keep track of how much money you spend, and do not go into debt.


Discover Open Road Card

Are you looking for a credit card? I’ve never owned one until recently, but I decided that it would be good if I got one. I read a lot of blogs and reviews about different cards, and finally settled on the Discover Open Road Card for Students.

This card gives you 5% cash back on gas and auto maintenance purchases, and 1% on everything else. I applied for it and was approved quickly, and I got it in the mail a couple weeks ago and everything seems to be going good. I only use it for gas normally, unless something comes up and I don’t have enough money.

With this card you can view all your transactions online, and can get e-statements online instead of in the mail. I like this feature, because when I’m away at college it doesn’t do me much good for my bills to go to my parent’s house. I would recommend this card to college students with little or no credit, as they approve you on the basis that you’re enrolled in school, not how much money you have.

Click here for a link to sign up for this card



The author of this site is not a financial planner. Everything on this site is for informational purposes only. What you do with it is your own business, and I am not liable for what you do.


$50 promotion with Wachovia checking

Wachovia is running a promotion right now where if you open a new checking account and fund it with $100, they'll give you $25. If you direct deposit another $100 within 90 days, you get another free $25. Thus, $50 free from Wachovia.
Click here for offer
**edit-promotion is now over**


FNBO Direct 6% Online Savings

FNBO Direct, which is the online version of First National Bank of Omaha, has an offer going right now for an online savings account with 6% interest guaranteed not to change until after September 28 **rate change 10/1/07 to 5.05% APY**. Even after then it will probably have a competitive rate. The minimum deposit is only $1. You can link up to 3 banks to your account. The only downside is it takes about 3 business days for any deposits to clear, but thats not a big deal to me. This is a great account to stash money in that you don't need to use anytime soon. It would also be a good account to use as an extremely low-risk investment. Oh yeah, it's FDIC insured also. Here's the link