Tuesday, August 16, 2011

... AND THEY'RE OFF! (to college, that is)

It's here - that time of the year when we send our future business titans, doctors and professors off to college. Exciting? Yes. Traumatic? For us, absolutely! Regardless of our feelings, we really don't want our children to be traumatized by their first experience at living away from home. Instead, we want them to have a fun-filled, best-time-of-your-life experience and teaching them how to stretch a dollar goes a long way to making that a reality.

 Remember how hard it was to teach a little one the mechanics of money? How many pennies make a nickel? How many nickels make a dime? That's nothing compared to the arsenal of money handling tips kids today need to make it through the month/semester/year without running out of money. Some of these tips are super easy, like don't get talked into signing up for a credit card. And most students learn pretty fast to buy used textbooks instead of new ones. Harder, though, is learning how to make a budget, and harder still, is learning how to stick to it. The ability to budget is a skill that will last your scholar a lifetime. Here are some of the less common budget in's & out's that may be helpful to your college student:

1) Act and spend like a college student, not like a college grad with a job. Going to class and studying is your job and your #1 priority.
2) Everyone also needs "fun" time.  Check the college schedule for free activities. When going out, frequent local restaurants that feature happy hours where drinks are less expensive and snacks are free.
3) If you see something you want, ask yourself if you really need it. If the answer is "Yes," wait a week and then ask yourself again. If the answer is still, "Yes," then comparison shop for the best price before actually making the purchase. Avoid impulse buying at all costs.
4) Track your spending. Take a few minutes at the end of every day or every week to mark down what you've spent, along with when and where you spent it.
5) If you're not living on campus, get a roommate. Furnish your shared apartment with thrift store finds or bargains that can be had at local garage and tag sales.
... and our last tip: Instead of spending chunks of cash at Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts, ask mom and dad to send you off with a personal Keurig brewer. The B130 is small yet mighty and brews a perfect 8 oz. cup of coffee in less than 3 seconds. You'll save tons and you'll be able to enjoy your favorite kcup coffee any hour of the day or night while you're studying for an exam or finishing a term paper.

Note to mom & dad: One Cup Connection is offering you the chance to purchase the Keurig B130 brewer on special from now thru August 31st for only $59.95. Use Coupon Code: KB130. And check out our website for money-saving deals on kcups. Your college student will love you for it!

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