Posts in "Finance"

Self-Care For Your Coins!

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Finance, Latest | by — May 1, 2019

Summer is finally here and we’re ready to live our best lives! We’re ready for the late nights, beach days, cookouts, etc. The catch is that we’re also trying to mind our wallets. Just because summer is here doesn’t mean that we need to let go of our budgeting tactics. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the next few months without blowing through your savings and here’s how:

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Skip the Coffee Shop

We know you’re a regular at your local Starbucks, but it’s time to go on a hiatus this summer. Switch out your favorite Starbucks order and opt for water, the best form of hydration. Make it fancy, add some fruit and mint leaves! It tastes amazing, and your skin will benefit from it too!

 

Get Your Own Glow

Body Lava is going to be a big thing this summer. Everyone wants to glow and sparkle while out in the sun. You can easily make your own by adding your favorite highlight to a bottle of baby oil. Shake and you’re done!

 

Staycation

It happens so often where your friends all want to take a group vacation, but everyone is broke. It’s the worst. Try a staycation, which is a vacation that doesn’t require any traveling and can happen at your house. Facemasks and mocktails poolside or chill sleepover are both great ideas.

 

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Tia Banks, Content Editor

 

Budget Beauty? 3 Spring Hacks

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Finance, Latest | by — March 20, 2019

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Are you tired of spending a fortune on the latest makeup products? Yeah, you probably are. We’ve put together 3 make up hacks that will not only save you some time, but will save you some cash too, which your bank account will thank you for. Incorporating these tips into your daily routine will have you looking beat like these beauty Youtubers, all while staying on budget. It’s a win-win!

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Blush Doubles As Eye Shadow | As you emphasize those cheekbones with blush, take the same brush and lightly dust some of that color on your eyelid. This will not only create a monochromatic color palette on your face, but you’ll be able to save your expensive palette for special occasions.

Castor Oil | Caster oil is a thick and heavy oil that has qualities to promote hair growth. Rubbing a little bit on your eye lashes before bed will make a difference in as little as a week. You can say goodbye to false lashes! Just remember that consistency is key!

Samples | If you wear makeup only a handful of days a year, this is for you. When possible, ask for make up samples when you go to the beauty counter. They will be more than happy to let you try a few different products before putting your money towards a purchase.

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~Tia Banks, Content Coordinator

SWIPE? Not A Match!

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Finance, Latest | by — February 22, 2019

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We get it. In a world where casual scrolling can get you a date, meal or outfit, it’s easy to get caught up with the obsession of swiping. After opening your first credit card bill and hiding it from your parents, you realized maybe a quick swipe isn’t the best approach to everything. Before having a complete breakdown, we got you covered! We chatted with Rod Griffin, Director of Public Education for Experian, and he gave us the rundown on keeping your college credit in tip-top shape!

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Many students hear the words ‘credit score’ in high school + college but truly don’t understand its value, what is credit + why is it so important?

Credit is simply obtaining goods or services and then paying for them at a later date under terms agreed upon in a contract. Managing credit is crucial to starting on the right path to your short and long-term financial goals. It might be a cliché, but knowledge truly is power.

Your credit accounts are reported in your credit history. A credit score is a tool used to analyze the information in your credit history. Think about a paper you write for class and the grade a teacher assigns to that paper when you turn it in. Your credit report is like the paper. A credit score is like the grade your teacher or professor gives your work.

 

Your credit report is a historical record of how and when you pay your bills, the debt you have accrued, and how long you’ve had credit accounts for.  A credit score is calculated using the information from your credit report at the moment the report is requested and indicates the likelihood you will not repay a debt as agreed.

There are five key factors that impact your credit score: how often you pay bills on time, how long you’ve been managing credit account, how much credit you’re actively using compared to your total available credit, the different types of credit you are using, and how many companies or lenders have been checking your credit report.

Credit reports and scores are important because they are used to help lenders and businesses determine whether you will be a good, reliable customer. Lenders use credit reports and scores to decide whether you qualify for a loan, a credit card, or a mortgage. What many don’t realize is that credit reports and scores also play a part in whether you can get the latest cell phone, qualify for an apartment lease or what interest rate you’ll pay for a credit card. They also can affect how much your car insurance rates are and how much of a utility deposit you might have to pay to start electric service.

Having good credit can even play a part in getting your dream job – although credit scores are never used in employment decisions.  Employers get a condensed version of the credit report so they can see if you have been financially responsible without all of the personal information or details about these accounts.

From swiping for textbooks to shopping for a new wardrobe, what are some bad habits students have that lower their credit score without them being aware of it?

Students often get credit cards to use in case of emergencies, but don’t realize pizza on Friday night really isn’t one. One of the easiest mistakes that students make is using a credit card without thinking ahead about how they will repay the debt. A common pitfall for new credit card users is to max out their credit card, without the funds to pay it back. It opens a dangerous path towards missed or late payments and insurmountable debt that are guaranteed to damage your financial future. The best way to avoid that is to never overextend your credit: keep your credit card balance below 30% of your credit limit, and always pay your bills on time, and if possible in full every month.

Student loan debt is a growing problem for many young people. What many students do not understand is that they don’t have to accept every penny offered. They should know how much they actually need to cover their education expenses and take on as little student loan debt as possible. High student loan debt can stand in the way of buying a home and other important financial opportunities after graduation.

Tossing bills and hoping they magically disappear seems to be a trend many students do if they don’t have the funds, why is avoidance a bad idea + what are some ways students can be proactive in this situation?

Dealing with a growing stack of bills can feel overwhelming, but avoiding your financial responsibilities are a surefire way to cripple your future opportunities, even if it feels good in the short-term. Ignoring bills could make renting an apartment, purchasing a car, or securing financing for a home or business incredibly difficult, if not impossible. Students can be proactive by understanding when bills are due and how much is due, and develop a plan to satisfy their debts.

If you know you are facing problems, talk with your lender, utility company or cable provider to work out a repayment plan. Doing so can help reduce the negative impact on your credit history. There are a number of options for managing student loan debt. Being proactive can help protect your financial future.

 

With little to no money in college you can have a tight financial flow during this time, what are small steps that you can take to raise your credit in college?

Having your parents include you as an authorized user on their existing credit card, or setting up a joint card, is a great way to build positive credit history. Not only will it show lenders that you can be trusted with credit lines, it opens up an opportunity for you to learn from people with experience in managing their credit and broader financial activities.

If you are renting an apartment, you may be able to have your positive rent payments reported. Doing so can help you establish your credit history and start it in a positive direction.

You might also consider opening a secured credit card account. That means you deposit money in a savings account that is tied to the card. If you don’t pay on time, the lender is protected – or secured – because they can withdraw payment from your savings account. However, they would still report the payment late, so be sure you always pay on time. If you do, you can build a positive credit history and start saving at the same time.

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In some cases the damage has already been done, what’s the first step out of the school to raising your credit after graduation?

One way to instantly increase your credit score as a graduate is by using Experian Boost, a free service that incorporates your utility and mobile phone payment history into your score. This can help you build up more credit history, which helps improve a credit score. It is a great first step but don’t stop there – make sure to pay all of your bills on time and don’t take on too much debt.

Secure The Bag? Scholarships?

College is one of the first major investments you’ll be making in your lifetime. Even after filling out the FAFSA, school can still be expensive. Luckily, you can continue to cut down the costs via scholarships. There are plenty of them out there, both big and small amounts, however, it is up to you to seek them out and apply. Don’t worry, we’ve found three ways to get you started with finding scholarships.

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Unigo.com | This is a large scale website that requires you to create a profile in order to find scholarships that best suit you. You can also search for scholarships based on athletics, your major, and your minority group.

Chegg.com | Using this website will allow you to kill two birds with one stone. You’ll be able to search for different scholarships as well as rent the textbooks you’ll need for class. This is a website that will serve you throughout your college career.

Look Local | Seek scholarship opportunities at your high school, church, or other local organizations you’re part of. You’ll have a smaller applicant pool, which means a better chance at getting the scholarship.

~Tia Banks, Content Editor

Clutch It! 3 Money-Wasters!

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College brings on many new responsibilities and being fiscally responsible is one of the hardest. It seems like money leaves your wallet faster than it goes in and your bank account is starting to collect spider webs. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways you’re wasting your money in college. Check out some of these things to cut back on so you can stack those coins!

Junk Food Foodie?– Although it is nice to treat yourself to fast food every once in a while, the campus is full of eating spots that are included in your meal plan. This is so much better than having to spend money on take out every time you’re hungry. The other benefit is that campus usually offers healthier options so it’s a win-win.

Rent’em + Return’em- Buying textbooks is a hard financial hit in the beginning of the semester. In order to cut costs, rent your books from websites like Amazon and Chegg. You should also ask your professor to see if you’ll even need the book before you buy it.

Ride Along– Having a car on campus is obviously convenient, but the money you spend on upkeep isn’t worth it. You’ll have to pay for gas weekly and some colleges even make you pay for a parking pass every year. Ditch the car and opt for a bike or walk like most students do. Large campuses even provide transportation to your classes.

 

~Tia Banks, Content Editor

Campus Cuisine! Ramen Remix

Ramen has become the staple meal for any broke college student. It’s cheap and easy too make, which is why it’s the go-to meal option. Now lets mix it up! Here are three ways to enhance your bowl of ramen and take it to a gourmet level!

Tis the Seasoning! | Try adding some extra seasoning to your bowl of ramen. Sautee some garlic in a pan and add it in along with a little garlic powder and onions.

Breakfast Ramen | Add an egg (whatever style) along with some crumbled bacon. Now there’s no excuse for skipping breakfast anymore!

Spice it up! | If you like a little spice, add in some sriracha. Try a few drops for a little kick and a couple squirts for the spicy lover in you!

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-Tia Banks, Content Editor

Broke Vibes?

Summer is in full swing + so are those part-time checks from your summer gig! Don’t fret; we’ll cover our eyes on how you’ve already spent your money on clothes, beauty goodies and concert tickets for the first half of the summer. Well, for the rest of the month we’re going to give you 3 reasons why saving your money is “not your enemy” in your life!

Clouds Are Rolling In!– Have you heard the saying “save for a rainy day” in life? Well, with all this global warming happening you never know when a storm will pop up. Okay, so maybe not a real life tornado but a shift in your money flow. An extra book for your college course? Your basketball uniform? I mean it’s always good to have a little cushion.

Hands Out Syndrome– So your parents love you and your homegirls have your back but let’s be honest they are not your personal ATM. Always asking for someone to spot you or cover you can be a bit draining and can even break up friendships. Keep a stash and play it safe.

Shrug That Feeling– It’s as simple as that feeling. We all know that feeling. That feeling of finding a quarter is an upgrade to our empty accounts. It’s cool to look fly but when you have an empty account can take away from your fab life.

So get to stacking!

 

Pricey Prom? False!

Between obsessing over PROMposals + trying to pull your brain back from functioning after spring break, when do you have time to save up for having the ultimate prom night? Well, we’re here to bring good news for your stress level and maybe your dwindling bank account. Rule of life: You never have to break the bank to look unforgettable + feel like a star! The major key is creativity. So, let’s dive into the ultimate prom hacks!

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Swap + Switch-Have you ever heard a remix to a song and thought “this is completely better than the original song?” Well, it can be the same with your prom dresses and accessories. Call your girls (especially if you’re senior) and have an ultimate swap out between you + your crew. Now, it feels like a new dress to you. Plus, you have killer personal style so once you add your your special touch with hair + accessories it will be one-of-a-kind.

 

Spa Squad! – Let’s skip the expensive + excessive spa treatment of manis/pedis and just create your own spa squad. Instead of a stuffy spa that plays nothing but the ‘Best of Bach’ ,  create your own vibe. Get your playlist, snacks + most important you can now prep in your pjs while giving yourself an even better spa treatment.

Student Strands – Okay,  who knows the hottest trends other than someone who is actually part of our generation? Instead of throwing tons of money to someone who thinks finger waves are making a comeback, head to a cosmetology school where students know what’s hot or not. There’s always atleast one style student who is known to slaying strands. So cut down costs + look flawless!

You’ll thank us later!

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FAKE It or MAKE It!

From fresh kicks to the latest hair trends to your 50 bottles of nail polish scattered in your room, they all have one thing in common. Umm yeah, they cost money, right? Right! And another truth about these items is that just because you have them doesn’t mean you actually have  extra money or should I dare and say ‘savings’? So even though you may look like you have it together that may be far from the truth. Alright, so scroll through to see if you want to FAKE it or actually MAKE it.

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Stay In Your Lane- Just like they taught you in Driver’s ED to stay in your lane, the same rules apply when it comes to your coins.  Just because your friend blows money without working doesn’t mean you can do the same. Remember, you put in hard work on your part-time gig after classes to get the extra cash flow. Spend wisely. And plus, you’re getting a jumpstart on adulthood that your spoiled home girl will have to catch up to. Again, spend wisely.

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STRUGGLE mode now or BOSS mode later- Ooh we all love shiny, new things to add to our collection. But let me ask you this, would you rather be able to splurge just for the moment or actually have a lifestyle where you can flourish for years? Sacrifices today pave the growth of tomorrow. So don’t feel bad for packing lunch or not getting every refreshment at the movies. You’re just in prep mode for the rest of your life!

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Savings are GHOST!- Okay, so this is tricky. In a world where we can’t get through 12 hours without sharing a ‘fun’ update about life, we have an itch to tell the world how much we’re saving especially if you’ve been cutting back. Well, this is a personal win that at the right time as you’re getting older will naturally slip out. When you’re the only one in your crew not stressing about hitting the college bookstore or even when spring break comes around you’re not scraping for that senior trip! Just know savings will come in handy in numerous ways + that’s always better than an Instagram debut.

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Holiday Hunt?

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It’s about that time again! Holiday commercials, pumpkin spice latte in the air and empty pockets? Yes, we get it.  Even though it’s a festive time a year that doesn’t mean your pockets always match the season. With the holiday season + right around the corner and gearing up for gift giving season you might need a few extra dollars your way. So what’s better than a part-time gig to help you stack up for the holiday? Check out these quick tips to get a head start on your search!

Start Early + Research- Ok, yes there are numerous job openings but that doesn’t mean it will always stays that way! To not get left in the dust create a quick list of places that you would like to work + that are hiring.  This makes your search clear, focus & easier for you to snag a gig.

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Fun times, Fun place? – Just because it’s work doesn’t mean you have to dread going there. While you’re on your job search and pick a place where you actually shop or an environment you enjoy.  Find a place you like and go for it! This makes your work days go by faster and you’ll actually want to learn more about your job that can aid you in the future. Also, a killer discount always helps when it comes to gift giving!

Second Glance +Follow Up- So before you turn in your resume take a second glance! If you’re submitting it in person or online make sure to double check your resume for the correct info & proper presentation. Also, make sure to follow up to make sure it’s received!