Holiday Hacks For Traveling College Students



With the holiday season fast approaching, college students across the country are thinking about their trips home. Whether you choose to go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas -or both – if that trip means hopping on a plane, you’re looking at some big expenses.

Can a cash-strapped college student pay for airline flights during the most expensive traveling seasons of the year without going broke?

They sure can! Here’s how:

1.) Start saving now

If you’ve got a part-time job, start skimming a bit off each paycheck for holiday travel costs. You can also skip one pricey indulgence each week from now until the holidays. This small sacrifice will help you save up that extra cash for when it’s time to travel. Every little bit adds up!

2.) Use student discounts

Some airlines understand that you’re a broke college student wanting to spend time with family over the holidays. That’s why some, like American Airlines, offer discounts for students of specific colleges. You can also look for other student discounts on sites like studentuniverse.com and STAtravel.com.

3.) Be flexible

Don’t get fixed on flying out of a specific airport, at a certain time or on your chosen day of the week. You can shave dozens of dollars off your ticket prices by being flexible. Put things into perspective: What’s an extra fifteen-minute drive when it can save you $75? And, of course, you can always catch up on sleep you lose during a red-eye flight when you get home.

4.) Pack light

Airlines are tightening expenses all around, and these cuts are trickling down to customers in a big way. One area that’s come under attack is luggage. Many airlines are charging for each checked-in piece, while others will ask you to pay just to bring a carry-on on board.

Find out what your airline’s policy is before you start packing. If you’re going to need to pay for whatever you stow under the plane or bring aboard with you, pack as lightly as possible. Remember that you’re going home, not headed for the wilderness. Also, most airlines allow you to bring a backpack as your personal bag for the flight, free of charge. You can fit all of your essentials and travel necessities in there, but be careful of liquid restrictions!

5.) Don’t buy anything at the airport

Airport shops, like kiosks at malls, are outrageously overpriced. Window-shop if you’d like to pass the time, but bury your wallet deep in your backpack. It’s also smart to bring empty water bottles and fill them up at the airport so you’re not stuck paying $4.99 for a 16-oz bottle of Poland Spring.

6.) Find a seasonal job at home

If you still find yourself panicking over the money you’ll shell out for holiday travel, see if you can find a part-time job in your hometown. Many retailers are looking for help during this busy season, and if your break puts you in town for a few weeks, you may be able to land a position. The money you earn can help offset your travel costs.

Your Turn: How do you save money on your holiday trips home? Share your best tips with us in the comments!

SOURCES:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.fatwallet.com/blog/a-college-students-guide-to-saving-money-for-holiday-travel/amp

https://www.fastweb.com/student-life/articles/the-10-things-you-should-do-over-holiday-break

Share Button

Gift Card Holiday Shopping Guide

With Thanksgiving coming up, holiday shopping is on the minds of many. You might have gotten off to a solid start but have a few people left on your list that have you stumped when it comes to deciding what to get them.

One of the simplest ways to check them off as complete is to pick up a few gift cards. Clearly, they have become a go-to gift given that Americans spent nearly $46 billion on gift cards last year. So it should come as no surprise that you’ll hear a lot more about gift cards as November rolls on.

This is particularly true of your Facebook friends and family, who are probably choosing sides with one camp believing gift cards to be far superior to traditional gifts and the others finding them incredibly impersonal. This guide will go over the case for and against gift cards and give you some tips on how to save money when shopping for them.

The case for gift cards: Gift cards are more personal than cash because they show some thought about the recipient.

Gift cards are also more secure than cash, particularly when being shipped in the mail system. They also have a favorable impact on your gift budget as opposed to bulkier gifts because shipping costs are much lower.

Gift cards also solve a persistent economic problem that makes an appearance in long-form think pieces within articles in the Atlantic or Slate every holiday season. Those pieces are usually accompanied by a few days of Facebook shares and retweets on the topic: deadweight. This theory states that a gift giver can’t give an economically efficient gift because, if the item on which you spend $100 is worth $100 to the recipient, they would have bought it for themselves. How many times have you received a sweater that doesn’t fit or a new gadget you don’t want? Or how often have you received a gift that is close to what you wanted, but not quite right? It happens.

In fact, an entire market exists for B-movies that are designed to look like the year’s most popular films, mainly to fool the unwary shopper at holiday time. Gift cards solve this problem by letting the recipient choose his or her own gift.

The case against gift cards: Gift cards are impersonal compared to actual gifts.

Nothing shows your thoughtfulness like the perfect gift. If you want to make someone happy, the feeling of opening the big box will always beat out opening an envelope. Finally, it’s really easy to create an awkward situation of imbalance. When you receive a gift card for $100, but you gave that person one for $50, you end up feeling guilty. When the opposite occurs, it’s like you bought them a $50 gift and they got you nothing. Putting a firm price on gifts makes any discrepancy very apparent.

As for deadweight, gift cards minimize the problem, but don’t eliminate it. They still have some value less than cash (whether perceived or real), so you’re not fully realizing the economic potential of your gift. In fact, the only way to fully beat deadweight is by giving a gift. You can get them something they don’t know about, taking advantage of imperfect market knowledge. You can make them something, taking advantage of the value of your time. Or, you can buy them something they wouldn’t buy for themselves, taking advantage of some people’s unwillingness to indulge. By the way, this paragraph is exactly why no one likes economists and why no one ever reads the articles on deadweight: too much rationality and not enough jolliness.

How to buy a gift card: Buying gift cards is easy, of course. But that doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. In fact, you shouldn’t pay full price for a gift card if you can avoid it. Use gift card websites like giftcardgranny.com or giftcardzen.com to purchase gift cards at big discounts, sometimes as much as 50% off. The sites offer protection from scams, and if you end up with a gift card for an odd amount, you can always use that gift card to buy a gift card from the retailer. So, if you want to give a gift card to The Gap for $100, for example, you might find one that’s actually for $112, purchase it for under $100, and save the extra value for yourself. You can often get larger gift cards at even steeper discounts, then turn them into multiple smaller gift cards.

Other ways to save money include looking for promotions. Many chain restaurants offer gift card bonuses. For example, suppose you buy $100 worth of gift cards to a Chili’s. You might be able to get a free $25 card for yourself. It’s never a bad idea to get a free dinner, and during the busy holiday season, it’s even better.

Hopefully, this guide will make your holiday shopping smooth and easy. This season shouldn’t be about stress and pressure. If you find yourself overwhelmed, take a break and drink some eggnog. If you can’t find a good store gift card to get someone, you could always come in and get a VISA gift card from UCCU. Just ask any representative to see the options!

Sources:
Share Button

Investing– Step #1: Get Your Finances in Order

When you invest in your future, tomorrow will always be bright

Congratulations! You’ve made the important decision to invest some of your money this year, and it’s your first time ever. You’re eager to get your money into the market, yesterday.

But where do you start?

Lucky for you, UCCU has decided to make this the year of guiding new investors. So, even if you don’t know a merger from an ETF, and your finances are a mess, you’ll find clear, concise instructions for making your money grow in a safe, responsible way.

For the next 12 months, UCCU will provide you with 12 easy-to-understand steps about investing, making you a savvy, confident investor by the time the year is out.

Step #1: Get Your Finances In Order

Jumping into the market without first taking careful stock of your finances is like asking for seconds at the dinner table before finishing your first portion. Though you can technically invest before your debts are paid off, financial planners advise strongly against this move, as it is somewhat irresponsible. So, before your money gets near the market, it’s time to kiss your debt goodbye!

To live completely debt-free, examine every aspect of your financial life. Here’s how, in four easy steps.

 

  1. Track your expenses. Save every receipt. Hold onto every grocery bill and each restaurant check. Keep the tabs from the dry cleaners and the gas station. Everything counts – even the 5 bucks you blew on a grande latte. At the end of the month, add up your total living expenses and see where you can cut down. Any money you can save by trimming your expenses is earmarked for paying down debt.
  2. Increase your income in any way possible. Now’s the time to ask for that raise you’ve been wanting, freelance whenever possible, or even seek better or more employment. All extra income goes toward getting rid of that debt.
  3. Get rid of all credit card debt. Examine every credit card statement and begin paying them off, starting with the one that has the lowest amount. Don’t concern yourself with interest rates unless two debts have similar payoffs. In that case, start paying off the higher interest rate debt first. Your goal is to get rid of these bills completely, one at a time.
  4. Pay off all personal and student loans. You don’t want to owe anyone a dollar, so pay back all money you’ve borrowed as soon as you can. If possible, consider shortening your mortgage or, if you have the means, even paying it off completely.

Be aware that this process may take a while. What’s important at this point is that you have a plan to become debt-free. While your debt is slowly shrinking, you can follow UCCU next few steps toward investing. And, if you begin aggressively paying off your debt today, you will be ready to invest sooner than you think!

Your Turn: Have you taken real steps toward putting your finances in order and paying off your debt? Share your success with us in the comments!

Share Button

The Perennial Seller: Making Marketing Last by Ryan Holiday

In an era that worships instant stardom, the value of a piece of art, a product or a book with popularity outlasting the decades is often lost in the race for fame.

Why is “Star Wars” still a classic decades after its release? How is Iron Maiden still performing to sellout crowds without any radio or TV exposure more than 40 years after the band was formed? How is it possible that The 48 Laws of Power didn’t make it to the bestseller lists for more than a decade but still sold over a million copies?

There is something that every lasting creation has, something that makes it withstand the tests of time and fashion, something that makes it a perennial seller. Drawing on timeless works of art and people whose imprint lasts for generations, author Ryan Holiday sets out to explore what makes some art sell forever.

While The Perennial Seller chiefly addresses artists, the ideas discussed within apply equally to those selling a song, a book or a product.

This book won’t teach you much of the hows of marketing, but it will dig deeply into the whys: Why does something sell? Why are some products so popular? Why are some ideas embedded in our minds for eternity?

Holiday first makes it clear that marketing isn’t magic – it needs to represent a solid product. If you’re selling a dud, the best marketing campaign can’t change that. To this end, Holiday spends the first half of his book discussing ways to produce that incredible product.

One point he repeatedly stresses is that it’s going to take hard work – and you’re going to have to do it on your own. No one will care about your product as much as you do. No one is going to work on cultivating your fans or networking for you; it’s up to you.

In the second half of the book, Holiday explores ways to make a product perennial.

First, you need to know the “why” behind your creation or project. Why are you working on this? Are you trying to make a statement? To bring your company up a notch? What’s your goal?

If you have that powerful vision in mind, you can handle step two, which is the “how” of making your dream into a reality. With your goal driving your actions, you’ll be able to get through anything – even late nights that stretch into early mornings, working weekends and facing skeptics or other obstacles.

To make your creation endure, you’ll need to capture a universal emotion or experience. Frodo Baggins is memorable because every overworked employee can identify with the challenge of endless hardship. If you’re producing a marketing video and you hope it will net thousands of views, make sure it expresses a feeling or an experience that most people can identify with.

Critics of the book claim it’s replete with too many cliches, like: “Be your own CEO,” and “An unaimed arrow rarely hits its target.” Others say it’s a disappointment for those seeking a quick marketing fix.

Will The Perennial Seller become a perennial seller? That remains to be seen. But most agree it contains enough marketing wisdom to make it a worthwhile read.

Your Turn: Did you have a marketing campaign that enjoyed long popularity? Share the details with us in the comments!

SOURCES:

https://www.amazon.com/Perennial-Seller-Making-Marketing-Lasts/dp/0143109014

https://www.google.com/amp/m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_59791877e4b06b305561cdd9/amp

https://www.google.com/search?q=perennial+seller+book+review&rlz=1CDGOYI_enUS753US753&oq=perennial+seller+book+review&aqs=chrome..69i57.16848j0j4&hl=en-US&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

Share Button

The Dos and Don’ts of Credit Repair

If you’ve recently been rejected from a credit application of any kind, you may be looking at a poor credit score for any number of reasons. You might have been late with your credit card payments, have an outstanding judgment against you or have even been frauded or victimized by identity theft.

Whatever the cause of the fall in your score, you’re probably looking for ways to get it back on track. Tread carefully! There are lots of dishonest opportunists looking to make a quick buck off your pressing need. Don’t become the next victim of a credit repair scam. In fact, there’s nothing a credit repair company can do for you that you can’t do yourself.

This probably has you wondering how to untangle the legitimate steps you should be taking now from the pointless and costly actions. Look no further! Our handy guide of credit repair dos and don’ts will help get you on the road to improving your credit score.

Do: Determine your actual credit score

If a recent credit application of yours has been denied, don’t take it at face value – find out why it happened. The three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – are each required to provide you with a complimentary copy of your credit report once a year, upon request. To order yours, visit annualcreditreport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228.

If you’ve already requested a report from each of the agencies in the last 12 months, you can still get one free of charge; you are entitled to a free report whenever a company takes adverse action against you, such as denying your application for credit, insurance or employment. To qualify, just request a report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action.

Do: Review your report and dispute any errors

Once you receive your report, review it for inaccuracies. If you spot any fraudulent purchases or erroneous information, you’ll need to dispute them in writing. In your letter, identify every item you are disputing and the reasoning behind your claim. Include copies of documents that support your stance and ask that the errors be removed or corrected. It’s best to send your letter by certified mail so you can ensure the credit reporting company actually received it if that is necessary. Also, keep a personal copy of your letter and all supporting documents for your own records.

You’ll also need to dispute the charge with your actual creditor, taking the same steps you did above.

Don’t: Expect any quick fixes

Anxious as you may be to improve your score, know that there is no “quick fix” for creditworthiness. Enhancing your score takes time, lots of hard work and creating and sticking to a realistic debt repayment plan.

If your credit score is poor, you may be bombarded with promotional material from credit repair companies that promise to increase your score by 100 points in less than a month. If you think these claims sound too good to be true, you’re absolutely right. There are some legitimate credit repair companies out there, but as mentioned, there’s nothing they can do for you that you can’t do on your own – and without paying their hefty fee.

Do: Take steps toward fixing your credit

If you’ve determined that your credit report is accurate, you’ll want to take a careful look at the habits that may be leading to your unfavorable score.

Are you timely with your credit card payments? If you’re consistently late, consider setting up an automatic bill-pay system so you never forget to make a payment. Are you making headway on your debt? If you’re paying your bills on time but your debt is not going anywhere, it’s time to rethink your spending habits. Don’t shop with credit cards; use only debit or cash. Look for ways to trim your expenses, like couponing wherever possible, planning dinner menus around sale items, and finding cost-free ways to relax instead of blowing money at a restaurant or on retail therapy.

Are your monthly bills unmanageable? If you can’t make it through the month and still meet all of your minimum payments, your debt may need an overhaul. Consider debt consolidation, in which your debt is transferred to one low-interest account, or a balance transfer to a card that has an interest-free period. Be aware, though, that lots of open credit is not considered favorable by creditors; close as many accounts as you open – but leave your oldest one open as it shows a longer period of credibility.

Also, no card is interest-free forever. When the introductory period ends, you may be hit with higher than usual interest rates. Alternatively, you can contact your creditors and work out a more reasonable payment plan.

If these options don’t sound feasible, try finding ways to increase your income instead, using all extra cash exclusively for paying down your debt.

Don’t: Expect to see any changes immediately

Don’t fret if you’ve made strides toward fixing your credit and haven’t yet seen an increase in your score. Creditors will only report to the credit reporting agencies on a periodic basis, usually once a month. It may take upward of 30 days or more for your account to be updated and your score to improve.

Do: Ask us for help

Here at UCCU, we’re all about helping you manage your finances. If you’re in financial trouble of any kind, we can help! Stop by today to ask about our credit counseling services and assistance with creating and sticking to a budget. We even offer debt consolidation loans, providing you with the opportunity to transfer your debt to one low-interest loan, making the prospect of paying down your debt a lot more manageable.

Your Turn: Have you drastically improved your credit score? What was your secret weapon? Share your success and best tips with us in the comments!

SOURCES:
Share Button

How To Get By In An Emergency: Personal Loan Or Credit Card?

Unexpected expenses are, by nature, unplanned … and costly.

While it’s best to have a rainy-day fund, for many this is just a dream.

If you’re unsure how you’d survive a financial emergency, you’re not alone. A survey found that 47% of Americans would borrow for a $400 emergency.

As a credit union member, you have borrowing options. Two popular choices for emergency funding are personal loansand credit cards.

Here are several pros and cons to each.

1.) Limits.

Credit cards have credit limits in the thousands, enough to cover a small emergency. The value of credit cards is their convenience; there’s no need for a new loan each time you incur an expense.

However, many people don’t have sufficient credit to cover major financial emergencies and instead choose to utilize a personal loan.

Your personal-loan approval amount depends on several factors: income, credit score and other assets. For borrowers with good credit history and a strong ability to repay, these loans could be $50,000, enough for serious unexpected expenses.

2.) Repayment options.

Credit card repayment is handled monthly. There’s a minimum payment and no fixed term to repayment; if you continue charging and only pay the minimum, paying off your loan can take forever.

In contrast, a personal loan, includes a fixed monthly fee that lets you repay the loan in a set amount of time. It’s amortized so you’re making equal payments of both interest and principal over the loan’s life. There’s also no penalty for early repayment.

 

3.) Interest rates

Credit card interest rates can be high; the global average is 15%. Some credit cards fluctuate their interest rates based on the prime interest rate, and they can alter your rate if your credit score changes dramatically, making it difficult to plan your financial future.

A personal loan has a fixed interest rate that never increases if you don’t miss a payment. You can make a future budget that involves paying a fixed amount over approximately five years.

Interest rates on personal loans are usually lower than on credit cards. For people with average credit, interest rates can be 5% lower; for those with better credit, it can be even lower.

 

As a member of UCCU, you have access to competitive rates for personal loans. If you’re in a hard place, UCCU can help. Call, click or stop by today!

Your Turn: What’s your emergency financial plan? How would you cover an unexpected $400 expense? If you’ve had a financial emergency, what advice can you give others?

Sources:

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/loans/cheap-personal-loans/

http://www.valuepenguin.com/average-credit-card-interest-rates

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-cards/credit-card-issuer-raising-interest-rate-5-times/

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/my-secret-shame/476415/

Share Button

Shopkick

Do you love to shop? Even if you don’t have extra spending money, do you still enjoy walking through stores and browsing? Well, now there’s an app where you can actually earn rewards for just walking through a store! Yes, you read correctly. You can get paid for simply visiting a store and not purchasing anything.

Introducing Shopkick, a free, location-based mobile app that gives users reward points for walking into retail stores, scanning specific items, and for making purchases. The reward points you earn are called “kicks,” and there are several ways to earn them:

  • Walking around a participating store
  • Scanning barcodes on select products
  • Scanning QR codes
  • Linking your credit card to the app to earn bonus kicks
  • Purchasing featured products
  • Submitting a receipt
  • Referring friends and family

The amount of kicks you can earn for each task varies. Typically, walking around a participating store can earn you between 30-50 kicks, scanning barcodes earns between 10-50 kicks per scan, and if you purchase a product from their list and submit the receipt, you can earn up to 200 kicks per item. If you have friends or family you think would enjoy the app, refer them and you can earn 500 kicks per referral.

Be sure to open your Shopkick app daily, because surprise offers will appear often, allowing you to earn kicks or special deals in the form of coupons for participating stores.

Once you start earning kicks, they can be redeemed for rewards consisting of gift cards or physical items. The redemption rate will be slightly different for physical items, but your best value is usually received from redeeming kicks for gift cards. The minimum you amount can redeem is $2, or 500 kicks. Shopkicks offers gift cards for Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, TJ Maxx and many more retailers.

If you’re looking for a fun and interesting way to save money while shopping at your favorite stores , check out this app. It does take some time to earn enough kicks for a big reward, but the thrill of visiting a store and earning points just for scanning items – and feeling like you’re a contestant on Supermarket Sweep – makes it all worthwhile!

You can also check out the shopkick website:

https://www.shopkick.com/

Your Turn: What’s your favorite app for shopping? Share it with us in the comments!

SOURCES:

https://www.thebalance.com/a-review-of-shopkick-rewards-application-939799

https://onlinefinancialsuccessstory.com/shopkick-review-is-this-place-a-scam

http://www.whatsupfagans.com/2016/12/how-to-use-shopkick-app-review/

Share Button

Emergency Funds – Not Just For Adults!

Divvying up your kid’s allowance into different jars, each with a specific label and purpose, has become pretty standard. Your kids probably have one jar for savings, one for spending and maybe another for giving.

What most parents and kids omit, though, is one more jar for emergencies. Yes, emergencies, even for kids. Granted, they won’t be shelling out thousands of dollars for a roof repair or a medical crisis like their parents might, but emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, and to all-sized people.

No one needs convincing that having funds for an unexpected expense is crucial to financial security. In fact, building an emergency fund is the first of Dave Ramsey’s famous seven baby steps for getting out of debt. It’s definitely something you want to build into your kids’ psyche. So why not start now?

Some examples of small and not-so-small emergencies for children are:

  • The pair of new sneakers left in the locker room after PE, now gone forever
  • The shattered car window from an overeager, but poorly aimed, baseball
  • The huge data plan overage charge
  • The misplaced spending money for an afternoon at the mall

So yes, kids have emergencies. Helping them set up a fund to pay for some of these mini-crises instead of bailing them out each time will teach them to be prepared.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Help your kid add an extra jar to their existing set and mark it for emergencies.
  2. Allocate a portion of your kid’s weekly allowance or chore payment to the emergency fund.
  3. With your child, create a goal for the new jar. For a younger child, $25 should be enough, with the number steadily growing to about $100 for preteens.
  4. Once the jar has hit its target, revert back to the original division of money among the other jars.

The next time your child has a financial emergency, have them pay for all or part of it. It’s okay to share the costs for larger emergencies, or even for smaller ones. Your child will still learn responsibility by coughing up some of the funds on their own.

These should be situations due to negligence, irresponsible behavior or simple forgetfulness on the part of your child.

When the fund is depleted for an emergency, be sure to encourage them to replenish it by going back to step two.

Remember; it’s baby steps like these that will prevent your child from having to crawl their way out of debt later on in life.

Your Turn: How do you teach your kids about the importance of planning for emergencies? Share your best tips with us in the comments!

Share Button

Credit Unions Vs. Banks: The Choice Is Clear

Obviously, banks and credit unions offer a lot of overlapping services. Both banks and credit unions take in deposits, administer checking and savings accounts, issue credit and debit cards, and provide home loans in addition to consumer loans.

The key difference: Ownership structure

Banks are corporations – owned by their stockholders. Typically, and especially with larger banks, these shareholders are Wall Street institutions. However, there are many smaller neighborhood and regional banks with more local ownership. Credit unions, on the other hand, aren’t owned by stockholders on Wall Street; we’re owned by our members on the local Main Street!

True, neither banks nor credit unions are in business to lose money. We both need to make profits on our goods and services to stay in business. The difference is this: When a bank makes money, they send their profits to their stockholders. When a credit union makes a profit, on the other hand, we pass it on to our members. This can be in the form of a dividend or credit, better rates, technological investments and a variety of actions that bring greater value to members of the cooperative. And because we’re not so focused on pleasing distant shareholders through issuing a dividend every quarter, we can frequently offer services and loans with lower costs than banks.

Our mutual ownership structure gives us another advantage too: Wall Street can’t pressure us to make unwise decisions for short-term gains at the expense of our membership. Every decision we make is solely in the long-term best interest of our shareholders.

For example: In normal economic times, credit union and bank failures are very rare. That story changed during the mortgage crisis of 2008-09. Leading up to the crisis, publicly traded banks were under intense pressure from Wall Street to make questionable loans so they could keep short-term numbers up. Credit unions were free to make sound and rational decisions that were in the best interests of members, not Wall Street. According to information published by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the National Credit Union Association, banks were failing at a rate three times higher than credit unions in 2008, and had a failure rate of five times that of credit unions.

In good times, credit unions have a great track record. And when times are tough, there’s no comparison.

Share Button

Learning To Balance Academics And A Social Life

It’s the number one question that separates the super-achievers in college from the party animals: Are you here to earn good grades and learn valuable lifelong skills, or are you here for the active social scene?

If you fall somewhere between the two spectrums, you’re not alone. Most college students want to do well academically – but they also want to have fun!

Think you can’t have both? You can.

Here’s how:

1.) Choose your friends wisely

The people you hang out with are going to influence your study habits. During the getting-to-know-you stage, try to find students who share goals that are similar to yours. This way, you won’t be swayed to skip a study session for an all-night bash. Also, when you’re friends with your study partners, schoolwork can become a social activity!

2.) Eat well, sleep well and exercise

No, your mom isn’t here to remind you to eat breakfast and get to bed at a normal hour, but taking care of your physical needs is one of the best ways to facilitate academic success.

Want to skip the workout for yet another party? Why not bring the party to you? Invite a bunch of friends to work through a fitness DVD with you, organize a morning group jog or pair up with a friend for an afternoon run. You’ll be doing your body and your mind a favor.

3.) Designate study times

Since college means more free time than you had in high school, buckling down to work takes serious discipline. Instead of waiting until there’s nothing going on to do your work, review your schedule and designate specific times for studying, preparing for classes, research and writing your papers. You’ll be more likely to get that work done if you’ve decided when it’s going to happen ahead of time.

4.) Set aside time for social activities

All work and no play makes Jack the dullest student ever. Be serious about your schoolwork, but don’t forget to have fun, too. It’s OK to drop your workload for a spontaneous event or outing. Just make sure it doesn’t happen frequently.

5.) Shut off your phone when studying

You don’t need to be a social media junkie to know that smartphones are addictive. Even if you stuff your phone into a drawer while studying, the slightest beep or vibration will be enough to have you digging it out and checking for missed alerts or updates. To avoid the temptation, shut down your phone completely or leave it in another room (on silent mode) when you’re tackling your schoolwork.

6.) Join a club

The best way to find like-minded peers while in college is to join a club. You can find potential friends who think like you and know how to have a great time without draining an entire keg every night. You’ll get the balance you need for social interaction without letting it take over your college life.

Your Turn: How do you balance the college social scene without neglecting your schoolwork? Share your best tips with us in the comments!

SOURCES:

http://www.collegeconfidential.com/dean/000241/

http://www.mycollegesuccessstory.com/academic-success-tools/college-life-balance.html

http://www.collegexpress.com/articles-and-advice/student-life/articles/college-health-safety/how-balance-school-work-and-social-life-freshman-college/

Share Button