How To Shop For Fall On A Budget

That long-anticipated day has finally come and gone. Your kids looked sharp and neat sporting spiffy backpacks and dressed in their spanking new back-to-school clothing. You watched them board that bus and waved them off from your perch at the bus stop until your arm hurt.

Then you breathed a great sigh of relief, grateful that the busy back-to-school shopping season is behind you.

Unfortunately, though, the fun is just beginning!

While your child may be outfitted for the new school year, you might need some warmer autumn clothing for yourself. And of course, if the leaves are starting to change colors, it can only mean that winter isn’t far behind. That brings with it a whole slew of wardrobe necessities and accessories you’ll need to purchase, both for yourself and the rest of your family.

If the dollar signs dancing before your eyes are starting to look frighteningly large, you can relax! As always, UCCU is here to help you navigate this potentially expensive task and show you creative ways to save, even as you bundle up your family for the fall and winter seasons.

Read on for six timely money-saving tips this shopping season.

1.) Layer up

Don’t pack away your summer clothing just yet! The temperatures may be dropping, but you can still find many uses for those tank tops and summer dresses; save them for layering up in colder weather. You can stick a long-sleeved T-shirt under a dress and add leggings and boots to make it warmer. If you’re a genuine fashion guru and will wear any trend, you can even wear shorts in the winter and stick a pair of leggings or warm tights underneath.

2.) Take inventory

You check your pantry before heading to the supermarket; shouldn’t you also take stock of your closets before hitting the mall? This is especially important when shopping for a new season. It’s easy to forget pieces you’ve got hidden in the back of your closet or buried deep in a drawer from last winter. Take a careful inventory of what each family member has and what they still need and write it down. This way, you won’t come home to find that you already have what you’ve purchased.

3.) Shop the sales

Fall has a few observed holidays that bring awesome sales – so take advantage! There’s Columbus Day, Veterans Day and then the markdown day of the year, Black Friday. There’s also Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday. It’s worth waiting for the next holiday to buy what you need. You’ll save a lot just by being patient!

4.) Shop online – without paying shipping

Online shopping can be significantly cheaper than retail stores – until you need to chalk up $6.99 for shipping, that is.

Beat the system by looking for free shipping on sites like Freeshipping.com, or by taking advantage of the free in-store pickup available at many retailers. Many stores also offer coupons to first-time online shoppers. If you’ve already shopped a store online, you can sign in using another email address and still snag the deal.

Even if you prefer live shopping and like to try on your clothing before you buy, it pays to check out a store’s online inventory before going to the brick and mortar shop. This way, you’ll know what they have and what you like instead of wasting time browsing racks and finding the perfect top with the perfect price several hours later.

5.) Time it right

There’s a season for every purchase. If you wait until a specific item goes on sale, you’ll save big. For example, jeans always get marked down in October and last winter’s boots will show up on the sales racks at the end of September. It’s worth it to wait until these times to buy these items.

Also, winter coats hit the sales racks as soon as Christmas is over. Depending on the climate in your area, you may be able to hold off on buying a coat until after the holidays to await a super deal. Alternatively, if your old coat is in fairly good condition but you’d like a more updated look, consider making do with last year’s coat for now, and buying a new one when they go on sale.

6.) Shop the overstock

Stores that specialize in deeply discounted merchandise, like DSW, T.J. Maxx, and Marshalls, can be a terrific source for name brand clothing at generic prices. You may have to sift through rows of racks until you land a real bargain, but it’ll be well worth your time. These stores are especially beneficial for stocking up on basics.

On a similar note, be sure to check out secondhand stores and sites like Overstock.com for incredible deals on stuff you need.

Don’t break the budget this shopping season. With a bit of planning and strategic shopping, you can outfit your family for warmer weather.

Your Turn: What’s your favorite way to save money when shopping for clothing? Share it with us in the comments!

SOURCES:

http://welcometothefamilytable.com/8-ways-to-stock-up-on-winter-clothing/

http://tiphero.com/how-to-save-money-on-winter-clothing/

https://money.usnews.comm/money/personal-finance/slideshows/10-frugal-ways-to-save-this-fall

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Security Bulletin: Equifax Data Breach

Credit reporting agency Equifax reported on Thursday, September 7 that they experienced a data breach – one of the most significant in history, potentially including Social Security numbers of 143 million consumers.

Equifax said its breach includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. Credit card numbers for nearly 209,000 U.S. consumers were also potentially accessed, along with some dispute documents that contained personal identifying information for roughly 182,000 U.S. consumers.

The breach happened mid-May through July and was discovered July 29. Equifax said it has seen no evidence of unauthorized activity on its core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.

Equifax is offering a free one-year subscription to their Premier credit monitoring package (TrustedID Premier).   You can find more information about this cyberattack and how to enroll in credit monitoring at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.

What You Can Do

  1. Find Out If Your Information Is Possibly at Risk

Equifax set up a website (www.equifaxsecurity2017.com) where you can see if your information is believed to be compromised. Click on the tab labeled “Potential Impact” in the center of the webpage. Enter your name and the last six digits of your Social Security number where indicated.

  1. Sign Up for the complimentary Credit Monitoring package

Equifax is providing free credit monitoring to all U.S. consumers, regardless of whether their information was identified as being compromised. The complimentary credit monitoring package called “TrustedID Premier” includes:

  • Equifax Credit Report: Copies of your Equifax Credit Report as needed.
  • Three (3) Bureau Credit File Monitoring: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
  • Equifax Credit Report Lock: Equifax will allow you to go a step further and freeze your credit. This prevents anyone from taking out a loan or a credit card in your name. It’s worth noting that this includes you, which means when you need to apply for credit— a UCCU mortgage, a home equity line, auto loan or even a credit card— you’ll need to go to Equifax first and unfreeze your credit before you apply.
  • Social Security Number Monitoring: Searches suspicious web sites for your Social Security number.
  • $1M Identity Theft Insurance: Helps pay for certain out-of-pocket expenses in the event you are a victim of identity theft.
  1. Visit Your Accounts Online – Regularly

UCCU Online and Mobile banking make it easier than ever to check your account balances and activity online. Many members do so daily and we recommend doing so at least weekly. To make it even easier you can establish alerts on your UCCU transaction accounts and credit card, triggered by parameters like your balance going up or the size of the transaction.

At UCCU, the security of your data is a top priority. We constantly monitor threats, like the Equifax data breach, and work to protect our members in the ever-evolving world of digital security.

If you have any questions please call 800-453-8188. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm and on Saturdays from 9:00am to 2:00pm. You can also send us a secure message from within online or mobile banking, or visit your local branch.

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7 Common Life Insurance Myths Debunked

Having sufficient life insurance is important. And yet, so many of us buy into popular misconceptions, convincing ourselves we don’t need to bother purchasing a policy.

But don’t be fooled. Read on to see how seven of the most widespread life insurance myths are easily debunked.

Myth #1: I’m single and I have no dependents. There’s no reason for me to get life insurance.

Actually, there is good reason for you to have life insurance as a single person. First, every person should have enough funds to cover their funeral costs and end-of-life medical bills. You don’t want to leave your family or executor with a legacy of debt and unpaid bills. Second, purchasing a life insurance policy is the best way to be remembered for your generosity. You can choose your favorite cause to be the beneficiary of your death payout, helping improve the lives of others after you’re gone.

Myth #2: I’m a stay-at-home parent who doesn’t earn an income. My partner needs life insurance; I don’t.

Unless you sit at home twiddling your thumbs all day, the tasks that fill your time will need to be outsourced to hired help if you suddenly pass on. Your better half may need to pay for cleaning help, a cook or a nanny – or maybe all three! All that costs money, and that money can come from the insurance payout from a homemaker’s policy.

Life insurance policies protect families.

Myth #3: Why would I waste my money on an insurance policy when I can invest that same money and earn higher returns?

Are you sitting on millions? Unless you can honestly answer that with a “yes,” you’re better off putting your money somewhere safe with a guaranteed payout – like a life insurance policy. Investments are never 100% safe, and you don’t want to leave your dependents with an iffy source of funds. The only exception to this rule is for the truly wealthy who have more than $1 million in liquid assets and have their funeral costs and medical bills covered. For the rest of us mere mortals, though, life insurance is the way to go.

Myth #4: Life insurance is too expensive. I can’t afford it!

The idea that that life insurance is too expensive is just hogwash. A recent Life Happens study revealed that 80% of uninsured people who claimed life insurance was too expensive had overestimated its cost. A 20-year level term policy for a healthy 30-year-old usually falls in the ballpark of $150 a year. That’s peanuts compared to the benefits of having life insurance and the security of knowing your loved ones will be taken care of after you’re gone.

Myth #5: I’m too young to worry about life insurance.

Actually, there’s no better time to purchase a life insurance policy than when you’re young and hearty. The premiums are far less expensive for those under age 35, and most people in that stage of life do not have sizable assets to pass on to their dependents. The longer you wait to buy a policy, the bigger chance you have of developing a medical condition that will significantly raise your monthly premiums. Most importantly, dependents of the 25-35 age group will definitely be too young to be financially independent and will need the death payouts for basic survival.

Myth #6: My children are independent adults. Why would I need life insurance?

There’s an old bit of advice claiming that parents of adult children should keep their mouths shut and their purse strings open. It always feels good to provide for your children, regardless of their stage of life. Leaving your dependents with an inheritance that helps them purchase a home, start a business or even put some money away for a rainy day will keep you in their thoughts long after you’re gone.

Also, you don’t want to burden your children with funeral expenses and medical bills when they’re grieving. Just the cost of a funeral and burial can top $8,000! It’s always best to have these expenses covered before it’s too late.

Myth #7: My job offers a life insurance policy for all employees. If I leave my job, I can always take the policy with me.

Unfortunately, this is false. Most employer-offered life insurance policies are not portable. If you leave your job, for whatever reason, you’ll also be leaving your life insurance plan. No one can predict the future, and there’s no way to know you’ll remain at your current workplace forever. That’s why it’s best to purchase a separate life insurance policy, even when your employer provides you with one. Plus, buying your own policy will allow you to choose one that best suits your needs.

It’s never fun to think about what will happen after we’re gone. Taking the time to plan for end-of-life expenses, though, and leaving loved ones with enough to live on when we’ve passed, is the responsible thing to do. Don’t let a life insurance myth keep you from buying a policy!

Your Turn: Which of the above myths did you always believe to be true? Can you identify any others? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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Book Review: The Recovering Spender by Lauren Greutman

For far too many people, being rudely awakened from the American Dream is synonymous with being mired in debt.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

In The Recovering Spender, Lauren Greutman draws on her own life experience to teach invaluable lessons about living within your means.

To outsiders, Lauren and her husband, Mark, appeared as though they were living a charmed life. As she says, “On the surface, we had it all. Custom home, luxury cars, beautiful babies, and all the bells and whistles…” But disaster lurked beneath the surface.

Though the Greutmans seemed like they had more than enough for all their necessities and many luxuries, they were living way beyond their means simply to keep up with the neighbors. Too soon, they found themselves with a mortgage that had not been paid in months, their car seized and sky-high debt that reached $40,000.

Their dream had become an awful nightmare.

Through a long journey of recreating their relationship with money and spending, the Greutmans arrived at where they are today: back in the black and fully committed to spending less while living within their budget.

In The Recovering Spender, Greutman details the steps she and her family took to pull it off. She shares her hard-earned tips and practical advice to help others who find themselves ending each month with a deficit that keeps growing.

Lauren also shares many of her personal struggles in ways relatable to readers to help them learn from her mistakes. It’s easier for an over-stressed mom who never feels like she can stretch the dollar far enough to take tips from another mom who’s been there, than it is to heed advice from a financial expert who’s never experienced anxiety about being able to pay for groceries.

The book also takes readers through the process of going from being in the red to living completely debt-free, offering a step-by-step guide with actions readers can take immediately as they work their way through the book.

Some of the actionable chapters in the book include:

1. Take an Inventory of Your Spending.

2. Declutter Your Finances.

3. Do an Expense Audit.

4. Curb Your Spending and Define Your Values.

Most importantly, The Recovered Spender is a guide for getting off the path of debt, and living happily within your means.

Your Turn: Do you overspend in order to keep up with the Joneses? Have you successfully changed your spending habits? Share your success with us!

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vCita: The all-in-one app to help your business flourish

Do you feel bogged down by the details of managing your business? Are you so busy with the nitty-gritty that you can’t concentrate on helping your company grow? Some high-tech help can free up your time and bring your business to the next level.

VCita is a powerful app created with small businesses like yours in mind. It’s designed to help you with all aspects of business management, including scheduling meetings and appointments, interacting with clients, streamlining payments and more. Using vCita can save you valuable time, allowing you to focus on growing your company.

Here are some of the features you’ll find on vCita:

1.) Online scheduling

No more back-and-forth emailing. Say goodbye to telephone tag. With vCita’s online scheduling, your clients can now schedule consultations, book and pay for services and register for events all on their own. Clients can access your company calendar from any device with internet access, any time.

Customize vCita’s scheduling page to your liking, updating it with your availability as it changes. You can also add a vCita calendar to your website, emails and social media – you’ll get double the bookings with half of the stress.

2.) Personal client portal

Set up a personal portal for each of your clients through vCita. Clients can use their portals to reschedule appointments, pay for services, fill out forms, send reviews and more.

3.) Client management

Keep your clients at your fingertips with vCita’s client management features. Download the app’s customizable widget for your website and use it to communicate with all potential clients. No more promising leads getting away from you!

Also, vCita allows you to organize your communications with clients, initiate new conversations with a simple click, review client history, track appointments, add notes, automate follow-ups and more.

4.) Payment collections

Collecting payments from clients is now simpler and more secure than ever. You can easily add payment buttons and forms to your website, emails and social media accounts. When a client uses those buttons to pay for a service, the funds will be automatically deposited into your checking or PayPal account with no additional transaction fee. An easy-to-use dashboard will also allow you to view a client’s payment history, issue invoices and track payments in real time.

While vCita may be a wonderful business tool, some users have sharply critiqued its customer support. Many also find that its competitors, like ScheduleOnce, outdo it in features offered and in efficiency. So, be sure to research vCita and similar options carefully before signing up.

Also, vCita is not a free app. After a complimentary one-month trial, you’ll need to shell out a monthly fee for the service. Prices start at $12.45 a month.

If you’re drowning in the details of managing a business and the all-in-one app seems like the right fit for you, vCita may be just what your business needs!

Your Turn: What’s your favorite scheduling app and how does it help your success? Share your secret weapon with us in the comments!

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Can Frugal Living Make You Happier Than Lavish Living?

Do you believe money is the key to happiness?

Somewhere deep inside, we all know that money cannot buy happiness. Many people overspend and rack up thousands of dollars in credit card debt to live a lifestyle they believe will make them happy, only to discover they are living beyond their means. This, in turn, adds stress and worry … causing unhappiness. Believe it or not, living frugally can actually make you happier than living lavishly.

Living a frugal lifestyle isn’t necessarily about pinching pennies and denying yourself things you want. It’s about making your life easier and worrying less about money.

If you’ve decided it’s time to start living more frugally, ask yourself why you want to do it and establish a goal. Without a reason to change your spending habits and a goal to work toward, it’s easy to fall back into old habits. Maybe you’d like to retire early, or travel the world or buy your dream home. Maybe you’d like to work less and spend more time with your family. Whatever your reason, write it down. Place reminders of your goal where you’ll see them often.

Once you’ve started your new frugal lifestyle, you may be pleasantly surprised at your newfound happiness. Below are some benefits of living the frugal lifestyle that can lead to more happiness and better money management.

  • You’ll learn to appreciate what you have. You’ll become thankful for your resources and learn to make the most of them. Rather than throwing away old items, you learn to repurpose them and let little go to waste.
  • You’ll tend to choose experiences over objects. Rather than going to the mall and purchasing a new outfit or the newest video games, you’re more apt to go for hike, to the lake, or play board games with friends or family. These experiences provide memories and happiness that can last a lifetime. Conversely, that new outfit or video game will provide only temporary happiness.
  • You’ll start to notice your debt diminishing. The burden of debt often ties people to jobs and locations that they hate because they feel they have no other choice. Once your debt disappears, you’ll have the freedom to choose a profession and location that makes you happy.
  • You will have more leisure time. Once you’re able to pay down debt, you won’t need to work as many hours to make ends meet. This will give you more free time to spend on hobbies and other leisurely pursuits.
  • Living frugally may put you on the path to early retirement. Rather than spending your golden years working, you could be gardening, traveling, enjoying your grandchildren or any number of more pleasurable things. Being able to put more funds away for retirement will help you reach a financially comfortable level long before many of your colleagues.
  • You might find joy in helping others. By reducing your own expenses and saving money, you are able to give more to others and support social causes that are important to you.

Now, you may be thinking – the frugal lifestyle doesn’t sound all that bad, but how do I get started? The key is to start small. Make a list of what you’d like to accomplish, how much money you’ll need to achieve it, and formulate a plan. Figure out expenses you can live without. Instead of buying breakfast on-the-go at a drive-thru in the morning, cook your breakfast at home. Brown bag your lunch rather than eating out. Make a weekly meal plan and cook your meals at home. These items alone can potentially save you hundreds of dollars a month.

If you’re paying down multiple credit cards, look into consolidating them into one loan or to a single, lower-interest credit card. This can give you significant savings on interest charges. Check out UCCU’s low-rate credit card options and apply at www.uccu.com/visa. Once you’ve consolidated your credit card debt, keep your your oldest credit card, but use it infrequently and close all others. Keeping your oldest card open may positively impact your credit score. Leaving the others open, though, may lead to a temptation to use them again, thus defeating the purpose of paying them off.

Learn to stretch your money as far as you can. When purchasing groceries, clip coupons and look for sales. When purchasing clothes or other non-grocery items, check thrift stores, yard sales and clearance racks for the best possible deals.

Look for ways to lower your monthly bills. Are you paying a huge bill for cable TV? Could you live without it? Many people pay a large cable bill and only watch a handful of channels. Check to see if there is a cheaper package available. Is your electric bill higher than it should be? Try hanging your clothes outside to dry rather than using your clothes dryer whenever possible. Also, washing your clothes in cold water instead of hot will save your hot water heater from working as hard – and your clothes will still get cleaned. Another good habit to get into is unplugging electronic devices when you’re not using them.

Give frugal living a try! You have nothing to lose but debt and can gain some unexpected happiness along the way.

Your Turn: Does saving money make you happy? How do you save – and enjoy the process? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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AroundMe: Local Attractions With Just One Click

Looking for a great new restaurant near your home? Traveling and wondering what attractions are nearby?

Look no further! The free AroundMe app is here to take the stress out of your search. With a cleaner and clearer interface than other attraction search engines, like Google Maps and Apple Maps, the app makes finding local hotspots easy.

In the app’s home screen, you’ll be asked if you want to use your current location. By clicking “yes,” you’ll unlock the app’s real power. You can now search for local attractions wherever you’re located.

Next, you’ll find a large menu of nearby spots you might need, from pizza shops and park-and-rides to museums and movie theaters. Tap the category you’re looking for, and the app will bring up a list of local places matching your choice. You’ll also be shown where these locations can be found on a map. If you choose one of these options, the app will pull up details for you, including a phone number, street address, reviews and hours of operation. Another tap will bring you to the business’s Google Details page.

You can take your search up a level by tapping on the eye icon toward the top of the app’s screen and then holding up your iPhone or iPad 2. You’ll be shown a virtual view of the location of nearby attractions. This will help you see exactly how far you are from each place.

You can use the AroundMe app to search for a wide range of local spots, including the most often searched-for options, like restaurants, movie theaters and gas stations, and the less-searched for places, like hospitals and pharmacies. Whatever you need – it’s there!

Critics of the app complain that banner ads can block up to 25% of the screen. While ads are built into most apps, Aroundme is designed for use on the road, making the ads really intrusive. There is an option to upgrade to an ad-free version, but it’ll cost you $2.99 a month. For that price, you can find something even more user-friendly in the AppStore.

Other unhappy users claim that star icon doesn’t save a location’s info as would be expected; it only saves the number in your contacts. Still, more critics say the app doesn’t offer enough improvement over Google Maps or AppleMaps to make it worthwhile to install.

Try the app to judge for yourself. It can make attraction-searching simpler and fun!

Your Turn: What’s your favorite way to look for local hotspots? Share your best search app with us in the comments!

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Dealing With A Financial Setback

Financial setbacks come in all shapes and sizes. It can be an expensive household repair or major car trouble. It may be increases in your insurance plus a rent hike taking effect at the same time. Or, it can be something more extreme, like getting a pay cut at work- or even being given a pink slip. It may be a medical emergency that isn’t covered by insurance, or some good news that will cost you a bundle, like a wedding or the birth of a baby.

It’s impossible to plan for every financial hit you will take in your lifetime.

The question is: What are you going to do about it?

You could ignore it, and keep borrowing or charging to pay for daily expenses when your income is swallowed up by the surprise. By going that route, you’ll be paying a lot more than you should for this setback because of accumulated interest. But you have options–there are proactive steps you can take. So, if you’re hit with hard times, keep these tips in mind:

1.) Don’t panic

Panic is the first reaction many people have when experiencing a financial setback. It won’t be easy, but do your best to keep your cool. Keeping calm will allow you to think more clearly and resolve your deficit quicker. Remember, as difficult as things seem, they’ll always look a little better after some levelheaded planning.

2.) Crunch the numbers

I’ll disappear if you just ignore me and pretend I don’t exist, said no problem – ever. That’s because problems won’t disappear when they’re ignored, especially not money problems. If anything, they snowball into a mountain of financial issues you really don’t want. So, difficult as it might be, sit down and figure out exactly how much more money you’ll need in order to cover your new expense, or to fill the gap of an income loss.

3.) Keep the money coming in

When you’re dealing with a financial setback, you’re looking at less money than you need to get you through the month. The only way to stretch what you have to fit your needs is to earn more or to spend less. Since tightening your budget is almost always stressful, try to find ways to add to your income first. If possible, put in more hours at work or seek extra projects, even if it means working nights and/or weekends. Consider freelancing or consulting if you can. Take a side job for some extra cash. Do whatever it takes to bring in a little more money to cover the additional expenses.

If you’ve been laid off or your hours have been cut, it’s OK to work at a job that is below your skill level until you find something more permanent. There’s no shame in earning an honest living.

4.) Trim your spending

Now, it’s time to see which expenses you can trim. Before cutting your budget in half, though, take the time to prioritize. List all the expenses you cannot do without and the ones that would be irresponsible to neglect. Don’t skip mortgage payments or neglect your insurance premiums because you’re short a few hundred dollars. Instead, take an honest look at your remaining expenses and see where you can cut back.

If you’re careful, you may be able to cut your grocery bill in half. Trim spontaneous purchases by only using cash – and keep a minimal amount on you at all times. If you’re a two-car family, consider scaling back to one car for now. Push off your vacation plans until things start looking up. Do whatever you can to come up with the extra cash.

5.) Contact your creditors

If you absolutely cannot make some of your minimum monthly payments anymore, contact your creditors before they come calling on you. It’s always best to be up front about your financial situation. Most creditors will be happy to work out a reasonable payment plan with you.

6.) Reach out to family and friends

The people who care about us most are the ones who can get us through anything. Don’t be embarrassed to tell your family and friends what’s going on. They’ll support you and encourage you until you get back on your feet, and they may even be able to help you out with employment opportunities or helpful contacts.

7.) Be proactive

Hindsight is always 20/20. Harness the urgency you feel now to get into the habit of building up an emergency fund. As soon as you’re back on your feet, start putting away money that can be pulled out in future setbacks. Experts recommend that you have 3-6 months worth of living expenses saved up in case you can’t work for any reason. Knowing you have that money to fall back on will take the stress out of these situations.

Do you need help recovering from a financial crisis? Call, click, or stop by a UCCU branch today for help with money management and ending the debt cycle.

Your Turn: How have you maintained your equilibrium during a financial setback? Share your best tips and advice with us in the comments!

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Finding The Perfect College Job

Whether you’re working to pay off your student loan, start saving for the future or just to have some extra cash in your pocket, finding the perfect college job that won’t get in the way of your studies can be challenging.

No worries, though; we’re here to help! We’ve compiled this handy guide that will help you go from hopeful to hired – at that perfect position.

Most of your likely college job options will fall into one of three categories:

1.) On-campus jobs

The obvious benefit to working on campus is having your workplace just steps away from your dorm. And there are lots of employment opportunities on campus.

It you’re a math whiz or a history buff, you can tutor struggling students. Hang up flyers announcing your services or advertise online. You may be able to tutor via Skype or Facetime.

You can also represent a brand by promoting its products and handing out free samples. This is a terrific option if you’re working towards a career in marketing, sales, or social media.

If you’d like to gain valuable experience while broadening your knowledge in a subject, you can conduct research on behalf of your professors. As a bonus, you’ll also earn a future recommendation for employment opportunities.

2.) Local jobs

If you need a little breather from college life, look into any number of local jobs. College towns are usually full of fast food joints, local restaurants, and malls. Check sites like Craigslist or KSL Jobs and look through the help-wanted ads to find openings.

These jobs are great if you like social interaction and a fast-paced environment. Even within this narrow category, you can still find a job that fits your specific skill set and interests.

For instance, if you’re a fashionista, consider working in a clothing boutique. If you’re looking for a career in the food industry, search for openings at local restaurants or catering businesses. Working the front desk at a local gym might be the perfect job for you if you’re into fitness. Whatever your personality, you can find something that fits.

3.) Online jobs

If you want to stay put but don’t want a job that involves class work, you might want to consider an online position. The sky’s the limit with today’s mobile workplace. You can write, edit or evaluate content for businesses. You can manage social media accounts. Find companies looking for blog posts on any number of topics by searching Squidoo, Hubpages, and About.com. Offer your services in a variety of categories on sites like Fiverr to build up your reputation – and your pay grade.

Before you get started on your hunt, hold up any job you’re considering to these questions: Is the pay worth the time and effort? Is the schedule compatible with your studies? Does it leave any room for a social life? Is the position in any way related to your field of choice? It’s best if your job of choice fits most, if not all, of these criteria.

It only takes a bit of planning to find the perfect college job!

Your Turn: Did you find the ideal college job? Share your choice with us in the comments!

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Is It Worth Traveling To See The Solar Eclipse?

On Aug. 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will occur across the continental United States for the first time in 38 years. There next U.S. eclipse won’t happen until April 8, 2024, so this is an exciting event. It occurs when the moon blocks the sun, turning daylight into night and leaving the sun’s atmosphere momentarily visible.

The path of totality will be relatively thin, and will sweep across portions of 14 U.S. states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. However, every state will get at least a partial eclipse. To view the total solar eclipse, you must be in the path of totality.

So you may be wondering … is it worth traveling to view the total solar eclipse?

According to Keith Spencer, editor-in-chief of The Bold Italic, a total solar eclipse is worth any effort it takes to witness it. NASA has information regarding locations for watching the total eclipse at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov.

The roughly 70-mile-wide path of totality enters the U.S. in Salem, Oregon and will continue through 13 more states before exiting the country in South Carolina. If you don’t live in one of these states, consider traveling to see the total eclipse. Because eclipse enthusiasts from around the world are expected to travel to the U.S. joining millions of Americans to catch a glimpse of this natural phenomenon, finding accommodations may be tough. It’s best to pinpoint a location you would like to travel to in the path of totality, and start making arrangements as soon as possible. If that means more than a day’s trip for you, it may be less expensive to plan your stay in a location that’s a day-trip away from the path of totality and travel to view the eclipse on the day of the event.

There are hundreds of locations throughout the U.S. offering special eclipse-watching events. Many of these events include camping/lodging, music, food, and are festival-like in nature. Google “eclipse events” to bring up hundreds of event options to choose from. If you think you may be interested in attending one, start calling for availability immediately, as lots of these events have already sold out.

You don’t need to attend a special event to enjoy the splendor of the eclipse, though. You can just hop into the car with your family, and drive off to enjoy the eclipse on a beach, at a park, or even at the home of a friend or relative who lives in the path of the total eclipse.

If you really want to see the eclipse but have been pushing it off because a vacation simply isn’t in the budget this year, check out our vacation loans!

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