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The Ability to Customize Your Car
Originally posted 2015-10-28 10:00:23.
Originally posted 2015-10-28 10:00:23.
Glossy college brochures show students hanging out on the quad, playing Frisbee, and staying up all night to watch movies with friends. It seems like college students have endless free time, right? Nope! With 80% of students working while attending school, and school course loads taking up approximately 12-15 hours a week, free time is rare. Add in labs, homework, and student organizations, and you start to realize college doesn't offer up as much freedom as you may think.
However, there are certain ways a busy college student can stay organized and get everything done. With a little organizational skills, you can set up your schedule to work efficiently for you. Who knows... maybe you'll even get some time for Frisbee!
Your primary focus in college is to graduate. Therefore, studying is your number one priority. This doesn’t mean you have to spend all day studying. Think of studying in terms of quality, not quantity.
Keep your study time efficiently organized by using a planner. That may sound nerdy but nerds get good grades. A planner can be physical or digital. Make sure to keep it up-to-date.
If you’re most alert in the morning, create an early morning study block. If you’re a night owl, dedicate some late night time for studying. Listen to your body and study when it's most alert.
Studying is your number one priority. It leads to graduation. Graduation leads to a job. A job leads to fulfillment (and money!).
A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. A messy room is a stressful room. A busy college student doesn’t have time for wading through clutter. At the beginning of the school year, set up your room to maximize space:
If you share a room, it will be harder to control your roommate’s mess. However, by keeping your own space clean, you’ll be able to get what you need done. Maybe your roommate will adopt your time-saving methods.
The best way to stay organized as a busy college student is to take advantage of breaks throughout the day. If you have 2 hours between class and your job, run a load of laundry. You’ll likely have a free washer and dryer available in the middle of the day. That will save time on the weekend when everyone is arguing over the washing machines.
Have an hour between lunch and your next class? Grab a friend who’s in the same class as you and have a quick study session. You can help each other. You both get a free tutor.
If you work a relaxed on-campus job, use the quiet time to review your class notes. When I worked at my school’s library, I was able to read a book in between helping patrons. I brought whatever book we were reading in English class.
Capturing free time during the day is a fantastic idea. It may even lead to wide-open weekends. That can lead to way more college fun!
Staying organized as a busy college student doesn’t have take up much time.
Establish good study habits. Create a living space conducive to living and studying. Use your free time efficiently. These 3 tips will lead to graduation and a fulfilling life thereafter.
Good luck and have fun!
Originally posted 2015-10-12 10:00:03.
Getting a job interview can be tough! As a recent graduate, you likely don’t have vast work experience or networks to draw on. After submitting dozens of applications, you finally get a call: you have an interview! It’s time to practice for those interview questions.
Unfortunately, some interview questions are really dumb. We’ve all been there: interview questions we don’t expect, or questions so stupid you wonder why employers bother to ask them at all. Unfortunately, many companies still ask dumb interview questions, so it’s best to be prepared for them. Here are several stupid interview questions you may face and the smart way to answer them.
This interview question is terrible for so many reasons: it tries to bait you into speaking badly about your previous employer, it may embarrass you, and it doesn’t help the company hiring you. Employers want to know about your personality and if they’ll like you, so being negative in this negative question sets you up for failure.
The smart way to answer negative interview questions like this is to be positive about what your previous jobs have taught you. If a micromanaging boss ruined a job for you, you may want to highlight how you’ve learned to communicate effectively with managers. This shows the interviewer(s) that you’ve thought about challenging aspects in the workplace but have learned how to handle them. It's important to stay positive throughout an interview.
This stupid interview question is terrible because it’s old and won’t go away, and because almost no one tells the truth with this question. If your greatest weakness is difficulty waking up on time, you likely wouldn’t tell your future employer this.
The smart way to answer interview questions like this is to focus on the things that make you great. Use your knowledge of the company to highlight things they’re looking for in the job: writing skills, analytical skills, or technical knowledge. You can also talk about a weakness you’ve improved, which shows your tenacity and willingness to learn. Again, stay positive!
This is one of those dumb interview questions that just makes you want to stare at your interviewer in disbelief. They will meet your competition. You will not. You don’t know what qualifications the others have. How could you possibly know who's the best person to hire?
The smart way to answer this interview question is actually pretty easy. This question usually comes at the end of your interview. It’s your time to remind the interviewers why you think the position is right for you. This question is a chance for you to summarize your qualifications. A strong close will be remembered.
This dumb interview question is sometimes asked during the interview or on your application. If you’re applying to a public sector job, you can look up salary ranges online, making this question irrelevant. If it’s a private sector job, you can try to use sites like Glassdoor.com to find salary ranges. Or there are many ways to determine what the job will pay.
This question is stupid, especially for recent graduates with limited work experience. Don't say that $12/hour would be good enough to pay rent. You have to answer this question very carefully.
The smart way to answer this question is to say that you expect the salary to be commensurate with experience. If you can find salary ranges, state those ranges and add any experience you already have in the field to boost your salary estimate. Give them a reason to pay you more.
This interview question is not just stupid, but difficult. No one can predict with certainty where they will be in 5 years. You may not even expect to stay in that job for 5 years, as you could move or choose to start your own business.
The smart way to answer this question is to talk about skills you hope to acquire or improve over the next few years. If you do see yourself interested in becoming a manager, you could talk about your interest in mentorship opportunities and training. This will show your potential employers you’re interested in improving yourself, which is what they’re looking for in an employee.
While many employers are moving away from stupid interview questions, you will occasionally run into them.
Above all, stay positive during negative interview questions. Employers want to hire people they can get along with. Life will always be a bit of a popularity contest.
[Tweet ""People won't always remember what you've done but they will remember how you made them feel." -Napoleon Hill"]
Originally posted 2015-10-05 10:00:48.
In celebration of National Coffee Day, celebrated on September 29 this year, let’s talk delicious, hot (or iced!) coffee! Coffee is one of America’s favorite beverages, with it coming in only behind water as a drink of choice. More than 75% of Americans drink some type of coffee, from lattes to cappuccinos to plain coffee.
According to the Huffington Post, the average American drinks 2.1 cups of coffee a day. We spend an average of $3.28 per drink, a number that has increased annually since 2013.
While it seems like we all celebrate national coffee day pretty regularly, it’s worth estimating how much you pay for coffee in a week. Let’s face it, unless you’re dedicated to brewing only the most basic coffee at home every day, you’re likely spending money on coffee out. That money adds up! Here’s how you can cut your coffee consumption costs in half - and still get your caffeine fix.
If you’re curious to see how much you spend on coffee regularly, USA Today has a nifty coffee calculator that tells you how much you spend monthly, annually, and over the course of 30 years on your coffee habit. For example, if you go to Starbucks for 2 cups of coffee a day, the calculator predicts you’ll spend $126 a month. That’s approximately $31 on coffee a week!
Of course, your expenses may vary widely. Not every day is national coffee day, so it’s likely some days you’ll make coffee at home or possibly skip it entirely. According to the USA Today Coffee Calculator, if you make 2 cups of coffee at home every day, you’ll spend $4.80 a month - basically a dollar a week on coffee.
Being aware of your regular coffee expenses will go a long way toward understanding where your money goes weekly. Here are additional ways to continue cutting those expenses, especially if you’re one of those people who has more than 2 cups of coffee daily!
As the USA Today calculator shows us, you’re better off overall if you make coffee at home. The best part of brewing at home is you can be more creative in your coffee flavor choices. Every day can be experimental national coffee day when you have your own coffee machine!
By brewing at home, you can try different types of coffee (not just Starbucks - there are many coffee brands out there with very distinct and tasty flavors!), flavors, and sizes. The “tall” size you get at Starbucks may be more affordable, but you can brew yourself a giant cup at home for less than half the price.
One reason why many of us purchase coffee is lack of time. Have you ever been rushing out the door only to realize you desperately need coffee, so you swing by the drive thru on your way to work? You can cut down on these unplanned coffee runs by planning ahead.
There are a few easy steps to planning ahead. When you go grocery shopping, make sure you’ve stocked up on coffee grounds, or pods if you use a single-brew machine, flavored syrups, creamer, or half-and-half. By having everything on hand at home, you’ll be less likely to make an excuse of running to the coffee shop.
The morning you get up, stumble over to the coffee machine, put in your coffee of choice, and press “on” or “start”. Then get ready like you normally do while your coffee brews. You can even have everything pre-measured the night before, so it’s ready for you to just press “start”!
While it’s really handy to have a coffee machine you can set, so it automatically brews coffee for you at the time you choose, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on a fancy coffee machine. Keurigs are nice, handy, and easy to use, but they’re not your only choice.
Mr. Coffee is an excellent brand that makes coffee machines you can pre-set, ones for single-serve cups of coffee, and smaller sizes that fit easily in an apartment or in an office cubicle. If you simply can get up early enough to brew your own coffee at home, consider a smaller, affordable coffee pot you can use at work! None of those machines should cost you more than $30, and if you can’t afford one now, you can always ask a loved one to buy it for you on national coffee day!
Even after purchasing your own home machine and brewing coffee there, sometimes you just can’t help going to Starbucks and buying a cup of coffee. It happens! However, you can save money by making the right coffee choices.
Instead of purchasing a grande latte from Starbucks, approximately $4, consider other coffee choices. Could you purchase a grande plain coffee, approximately $2.50, and add your own flavoring, creamer, etc.? If you’re willing to try different types of coffee, or bring your own creamer or syrups from home, you can save money by buying a plain coffee and adding to it.
Many coffee chains offer perks to regular customers. If you’re a regular Starbucks customer, for instance, you can download the Starbucks app and redeem rewards for free or half-priced coffees and meals. On days you’re offered these perks, it’s like a national coffee day celebration for you! Take advantage of these rewards by indulging in your coffee fix.
Use your rewards or discounts to purchase a large size of your favorite coffee, or to get your regular-sized coffee at half-price. This is a great chance for you to get your grande latte for $2 instead of the regular $4+.
By brewing at home, making educated choices, planning ahead, using the right machine, and taking advantage of freebies, you can cut your coffee expenses in half quickly. It may take some getting used to, especially if it’s a habit for you to visit the drive-thru every morning, but think of the savings. If you cut out just one Starbucks visit every day, you’ll save an estimated $766 in one year. Now that’s something to celebrate National Coffee Day over!
Originally posted 2015-09-28 10:00:59.
If you've just graduated from college and don't make a lot of money, you may think you're destined to live with others forever. Whether it's with your parents or roommates, you may think that living on your own is out of reach.
However, don't get depressed. You're not destined to live with roommates or your parents forever. By following a carefully created budget, you can afford to live on your own. Here are three simple steps you can take towards independence:
You'll never be able to live on your own until you know where your money goes. By creating a budget, you can determine how much money you can afford to put toward rent or owning your own place.
Creating a budget doesn't have to be complicated. It can be as simple as listing your income and your expenses like car payment, any debt payments you make, etc. Only account for those things that you absolutely have to pay for monthly. Note: don't include the current amount you pay in rent. That money will go towards your new place!
The difference between your income and expenses is how much you can potentially put toward living on your own.
For example, let's say you bring home $2,000 a month:
This means you'll have about $1,000 a month to put toward living on your own. Not too shabby! Time to see if that budget buys you freedom.
Once you've determined a reasonable budget for your own place, it's time to start looking for your own place! You can look in all the traditional places, like Zillow for rentals and asking friends for recommendations, but think outside the box.
In addition to looking on Zillow (or Trulia) for apartments, branch out and look at homes. Yes, like homes for sale. While you may not be able to put down any type of down payment now, some homeowners looking to sell their homes in the future offer "rent-to-own", where you live in and pay rent on a home while saving money to purchase that home in the future.
Rent-to-own is not your only option for purchasing an affordable home. Many townhomes are the perfect size and price for single Millennials (even if single means 2 people). Townhomes are typically smaller than the average single-family dwelling and generally don't offer large backyards. However, they're perfect if you want to live in the city and not deal with yard maintenance. Since they're smaller and don't offer the amenities people with children want, townhomes are typically more affordable than other homes.
While looking for a place to live by yourself, you may realize your budget doesn't allow you to live in a decent place and afford your other expenses. This doesn't mean you can't afford to live on your own, but it means you'll have to work a little harder to be rid of those roommates.
[Tweet "Don't like roommates? Work harder so you don't need them."]
The easiest way to elevate your living situation is to earn more money. If you currently have a full-time job, but find yourself with some free time, pick up another job. Your second job could be anything from waiting tables to designing logos for local businesses.
Use your skills, be they graphic design, social media marketing, or bartending, and put them to work for you. By making extra money for a few months, you may be able to save up the difference in your budget to afford a place on your own. Remember to ask for raises as you continue with your full-time job.
Even if you have to work on the side to afford your own place, you're not destined to live with roommates or parents forever (unless you want to, of course). By being proactive and creating a budget just might buy your independence.
Originally posted 2015-08-26 10:00:54.
Most of us have been there and done that, and we want to help you save as much as you can while in college. Follow these top ten ways to save extra money while in college. Who knows - maybe you'll even leave college with a surplus of cash.
Originally posted 2015-08-19 10:00:29.