Blast From the Past: Quick Tips Before Purchasing Your College Textbooks

Summer’s almost over and school’s about to start. Before you head to the bookstore, we wanted to to pull from one of our favorite posts in the past about saving money on textbooks. We all know that going to college can put a major strain on your finances. On top of tuition, housing, and meal plans, the cost for textbooks can be high. A new trend for students with textbooks is to rent instead of buy. Most likely you will not use your textbooks after the course is over, so there is no need to buy the textbook, at least not at its original price.

Websites like www.chegg.com offer textbooks to rent for up to 75% off the original price. The only condition is that you return the textbook once the class is over. Overall, it is a very simple process. You log onto the website then search for the textbook you need via ISBN number or title and author. Upon checkout, you chose to rent for the semester or a year. When your renting period ends, Chegg will send you boxes and labels to print to mail it back for free via UPS.

Amazon is another awesome source to look for textbooks. Like Chegg, they provide labels to send your rentals for free via UPS. They also offer a rental feature through their Kindle online store which is an even cheaper way of renting textbooks because they aren’t in print! Don’t have a kindle? No worries, you can easily sign up for a Kindle account and read your textbooks online through the Kindle Cloud Reader. Another added bonus is that you can customize your rental time in case you won’t need your textbook after midterms which will decrease fees even more.

Another quick tip for saving money through renting is to search for a promo code before checking out. They will always ask for one, and you can usually find one through sites like www.retailmenot.com. These little promo codes could offer you 5% off your rental or shipping fees.

Some other sites that offer textbooks for rent include www.rent-a-text.com, www.bookrenter.com, and www.knetbooks.com.

So with fall semester just around the corner, visit these sites before purchasing textbooks at full price. This is an easy and simple way to help you save some college money!

Do you have any experience with renting textbooks? Please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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These Apps a Day Keep That Debt Away

Budgeting

Moneyhub– Bring your money to life with the ultimate money management app

Money DashboardMoney Dashboard helps you save money, budget more effectively, and make better financial decisions. Use it to keep track of your spending across your current, credit card and savings accounts, no matter who you bank with, and start making daily savings by understanding where all your money goes each month

BillTrackerFrom the water bill to the car payment to the cell phone subscription, BillTracker for iPhone can help you stay on top of your bills

Shopping

My SuperMarketThe only grocery list you’ll ever need. Build and manage your groceries list while finding the best offers with your super list.

IbottaCash back, just for shopping! Ibotta is a free app that pays you cash for everyday purchases. Ditch the coupons and get cash back the fun and easy way. Ibotta has exclusive rebates at your favorite grocery stores and retailers. No more searching around for offers, coupons or discount codes- find the best deals whenever you shop with Ibotta.

GrouponGroupon delivers unbeatable deals for 50—70% off the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in more than 500 cities located mostly on earth

Gas Buddy-Save money and time by sharing gas prices nearby

Travel

Air BnBMake travel planning as mobile as you are with the Airbnb iPhone App! Airbnb opens the door to the world’s most interesting places to stay and is the simplest way to earn money from your extra space. With over 600,000 listings in more than 34,000 cities, Airbnb connects you with the experience that’s right for you

SkyscannerSearch, compare and book cheap flights on the go with the award-winning Skyscanner Flights app! Search millions of flights from hundreds of airlines instantly for free, making it easier than ever to find the best

TripAdvisorTripAdvisor makes it easy to find the lowest airfare, best hotels, great restaurants, and fun things to do, wherever you go. And booking options for hotels, restaurants and flights are just a tap away.

 Source: Itunes App Store

 

Sickness & the Relationship with Stress

It’s time to conclude our series on the effects of stress and what it can mean for your physical and mental health. If you have yet to read Part I and Part II of our series please click and read the links below before continuing:

Part I: https://moneytoolsforlife.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/why-you-should-deal-with-your-financial-stress-now/

Part II: https://moneytoolsforlife.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/the-vicious-cycle-of-financial-stress/

In our first post we mentioned that dealing with chronic stress can weaken your immune system making it easier to contract a disease. With this final post in the series we wanted to inform you of specific diseases & some health problems that can be linked just from stress.

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Asthma

Obesity

Insomnia

Common colds

We hope that this series may have opened your eyes on the many negative effects stress  can have on your day to day life and if you do suffer from stress you find ways to help manage it!

 

 

Graduation, Budget, College

Say Goodbye to the Broke College Student, and Hello to the Budgeting Graduate

If you’re graduating from college, congratulations! Here’s a free graduation gift: six smart money moves for graduates.

Choose Your Job Carefully – If you’ve chosen your career, remember that a lower-paying job in your field is likely to be a better deal in the long run than a higher-paying job in a field you have no long-term interest in. Accepting a job in an unrelated field, simply because it pays more, either delays your career progress, or traps you in a field of work that may not make you happy.

 

Make a Budget – Creating and living on a budget is an important step in controlling your finances as well as learning to spend less than you earn. You can spend money on things like recreation and socializing, but you have to live within your means and place limits on the amount you spend in those categories. Check out these links to some personal budget worksheets you can use to get your budget started.

http://www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/highered/res/cc_tips/BudgetGrad05.pdf
https://www.quizzle.com/what-is-quizzle/free-money-center

Don’t Move In With Your Parents – Sorry mom and dad, but it’s difficult to move back home when you’ve been independent. You’ll grow faster and learn more by being on your own, even though it may be a struggle at first. Many college graduates return to their parents’ home to save money, but most of them lack the discipline to save, and end up blowing their earnings on cars, entertainment, electronic gadgets, and their social life. An alternative could be to move in with another college graduate. Sharing the expenses of owning a home or renting an apartment is a great way to save plenty of money, and you can stay with someone who is on the same walk of life as you are.

Wait on the New Car – For a lot of graduates, a new car is one of the first things they want to buy when they graduate, especially if your car is redefining the name “clunker” while still in school. If you have a drivable car, waiting as long as possible is a smart money move, as well as buying a used car instead of a new one.

Reduce Your Debt Load as Quickly as Possible – Fun fact: The average college grad is nearly $20,000 in debt after graduation. This means if you paid $200 a month to pay back that debt it would take you nearly 18 years to do so. Assuming you take on no other debt that means you’ll be close to 40 years old when you finally become debt-free. Make it your mission to pay it off by living frugally and dedicating a section of your budget towards paying it back. Paying off your debt may take time, but once you’re debt-free you’ll be proud of your diligence in getting it taken care of.

Don’t forget that this is your time to focus on yourself and live courageously. Take advantage of a cousin’s wedding in Denmark or learn how to Scuba dive. Life is full of wonderful opportunities, don’t let taking care of your future take away from living in your present!

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The Vicious Cycle of Financial Stress

We will be continuing our series on the effects of financial stress and why you should take care of it as soon as possible. If you missed the first part in our series, “Why You Should Deal With Your Financial Stress Now, then please read it before continuing!

https://moneytoolsforlife.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/why-you-should-deal-with-your-financial-stress-now/

Alright, you know you’re stressed and you’ve read our article on how to deal with that stress, but how can we manage the cycle that comes from financial stress?

What’s the cycle of financial stress? The cycle begins with financial stress, then it turns into medical issues that can come from stress (like risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and headaches), which then leads you to go visit a doctor creating medical bills and increasing your stress from your financial burdens.  It’s a never ending cycle of being stressed, getting sick, and creating more stress that needs to stop.

But, there are ways to cut down on expensive medical bills so they don’t add to your financial stress!

Dealing With Your Medical Bills:

  • Know the costs, there could be errors– 80% of medical bills contain errors. It is very possible you could be getting charged for services you never received
  • Negotiate-sounds crazy, but it’s possible. Insurance companies have a lot of influence over medical providers so negotiate, what’s the harm in trying?
  • Ask for a helping hand-hospitals do have assistance programs if you find you may need some help paying your bills without going to collections
  • Set up a payment plan-it gives you a sense of being in control and lets the providers know you are taking responsibility of your bills

Just because your bill is high does not mean there aren’t other measures to relieve the extra stress caused from them.

 

 

 

calculator with money

Why You Should Deal With Your Financial Stress Now

We will be starting a series on financial stress and the health issues associated. It’s important to be informed about the effects of stress and how to get your financial woes in check.

Stressing about your financial situation. It’s something we all experience at some point in our lives, but could this stress be affecting our health?

It’s normal to stress over things from time to time-it’s in our nature, but dealing with chronic stress hurts us  in the long run.

The longer you’re stressed, the worse it is for your physical and mental health. Chronic stress can cause headaches, depression, increased risk for diseases, fatigue, and an inability to concentrate or make good decisions. Chronic stress may also cause disease, because the changes your body endures can weaken your immune system. Chronic stress can also make it harder to recover once you’re sick.

Because of these effects, it is imperative that we find ways to deal with the stress before it can really harm our health.

Ways to Combat Financial Stress:

  • Emotional Support -Whether it be through friends, family, or even a pet, it has been proven that having support and people to confide in can improve how you deal with your stress

Stress Infographic

  • Count to three..or twenty..or fifty -Take a deep breath and count until you relax
  • Get some sleep!-put the Starbucks down, not only are you wasting money but the caffeine will keep you alert. Getting enough rest can reduce stress and give your immune system a much needed boost
  • Evaluate your spending habits – Maybe the reason you’re dealing with stress is because you are overspending? Get a journal and write down everything you purchase that is not a necessity within a week and tally it up, you’d be amazed at how much you spend in a week on frivolous items!
  • Create a budget & stick to it! –Evaluate your needs vs. wants. Dedicate a percentage of your paycheck to fund your necessities (rent, utilities, paying off debt), then also dedicate a percentage for savings. If you easily break new habits then have a family member or friend hold you accountable to make it easier to stick to your budget

 

We hope these few simple tips will help you gain control of your financial stress before it’s too late.