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Saving Tips for College Students

Saving Tips for College Students

A lot of us have been there; you’re a college student, left alone to your own devices and not a clue in the world about what should do. It sucks, it’s intimidating and worst of all you feel like you’re on your own. The good news is that others that came before you know exactly what you’re going through and decided to give you a piece of advice where saving money is concerned. These days living expenses and tuition costs keep rising, creating a complex maze of financial decisions that students find themselves having a hard time navigating through.

Feels like I hit home? Well don’t worry, here are some of the tips that you will find very helpful:

Make your budget

Before you can even begin to start on saving, you need to note down your income and expenditure. Some students rely on their parents for income, some part-time or full-time jobs. Knowing how much you spend on food, transport, rent, medical expenses, entertainment, and other utilities will help you come up with how much you spend. Once you’re done, start figuring out what is essential for your survival and what is just extra and cut back on them.

Use student ID

I can’t stress hard enough about how much having a student ID is important. With a student ID, you can enjoy a lot of campus amenities free of charge like, gym, library, medical insurance, to name a few. Your status as a student won’t help you inside campus alone. There are other facilities, brands (Apple discounts for students) and enterprises you can use to your advantage out there, such as vendors, restaurants, banking services. Case in point, your student ID can get you a lot of discounts is used wisely.

Cook your own food

Let’s get one thing straight here, ordering take outs, pizzas, a trip to Starbucks isn’t going to help you save money. It’s a bad habit that will cost you in more ways than financial only. Instead, try and cook your own food, keep the leftovers in your mini-fridge (if you have one), so you can eat later. On the other hand, if you have a meal plan, then use it instead of skipping some meals that will force you to order takeout later.

Use the local library/buy used books

If you can’t access the school’s library, then you can take advantage of the local library for free. This goes for textbooks; you can spend less on used books than buying brand new (you can go as far as to borrow books from your friends). Some colleges offer rental programs, ask for them. Avoid the campus bookstore if possible as the prices are bound to be higher.

Another alternative is online websites like Chegg or Barnes & Noble’s that offer rental textbooks for a fee. Amazon also sells used books if you are still out of options.

Choose cheaper housing

As a new student, you’ll find living in campus dorms is less expensive than living off campus. Take advantage of this as some schools have a limited number of dorms. If you absolutely have to live off campus, then you can find a roommate and split the rent.

Use local public transport

Parking tickets, speeding tickets, fuel costs, repair costs, insurance costs, overall maintenance, all these don’t seem like something you want to get yourself into. The public transit, on the other hand, is cheaper and if you have friends, then you can always borrow one of their cars.

Limit spending

All the budgeting will be for naught if you don’t work on your spending. If you have a credit card (which is quite easy to get as a student), set a spending limit that is within your level.

If you absolutely have to start, then spending wisely. Use coupons, buy things in bulk, especially clothes. If it’s a laptop you want, you’re better off getting a refurbished laptop than buying a brand new one from the shop.

Start clearing your student loans early

One of the biggest obstacles to a student’s future is debt. As a student, you are entitled to student loans to help you pay for your school, tuition, and other costs associated with campus life. In the end, most students end up with a large sum of student debt that they have to pay. Funnel, however little extra cash you have into paying your loans early. If possible, use additional earnings or some of the savings you make from working the extra jobs. Every penny counts in the long run, and you won’t regret the results.

Entertainment

To some students, campus life means nothing without its parties, concerts, shows. Most of these are entirely free, and you can keep yourself entertained and still save. A lot of these if not all events are posted on the school website, community pages, flyers, or through word of mouth

Other students prefer spending their time entertaining themselves indoors. So instead of getting cable, there are other cheaper ways to get entertained with your favorite TV shows and movies such as Netflix and Hulu. Subscriptions like Netflix even have a one-month free subscription before charging you a few bucks a month.

Work hard on your studies

All the entertainment, jobs, and other activities can take away a lot of focus from your academics. The result is failing to complete the usual four-year degree course but instead, spend more years due to repeating semesters. Every year you spend in school due to flunking is another year you have to spend as a student. So, stay focused in classes, use the school’s full resources that are at your disposal such as tutoring, academic advising. You can even join or form a study group that can help you stay on track in your studies.

Conclusion

Making the right financial decisions can be a lifesaver for a student who is looking to spend less and save more. Having the right tips can make a difference between having a future filled with debts or living comfortably and even earning a little extra on the side. Earn more, spend wisely, save the rest, that should be your mantra from now own and everything will work out for the better.

Home Safety

Do Home Security Systems Really Work?

Do security systems aid in preventing thefts and burglaries in homes? Are they useful or is it a marketing hype of the manufacturers that makes influences many homeowners to install them?

Well, the truth is that the significance of home security systems should never be underrated at all costs. They are critical in keeping thieves and burglars away from home. Many researchers conducted by security agencies have revealed that homes that have working security systems are less likely to be targeted by burglars.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the homes that have working home security systems are less likely to be attacked by thieves. For a proper understanding of the usefulness of home security systems, it is imperative to look at the components involved. They include:

•    Cameras

•    Motion sensors

•    Alarms

•    Security stickers

  • Cameras

Among all the elements of home security systems, cameras are arguably the most significant in preventing the entry of unwanted persons to your home. The humorous bit about is cameras is that thieves do not mind checking whether they are functional or not. Just the presence of a security camera is enough in ensuring that burglars are deterred from entry. Thieves and burglars are afraid to be seen and therefore even in an empty home they can effectively scare away intruders.

The present time technological advancements have ensured an improvement in the effectiveness of cameras. While in the past it was almost impossible to get real-time footages, this is not the case anymore. With modern technology, you can set up the cameras to capture movements in your home even while you are absent. The camera is set up to send a notification to your email that you can use to reach out to the police.

Modern technology ensures swift reactions before thieves steal your possessions. This is proof that home security systems are highly effective in preventing crimes even when the homeowners are away at work.

There are some factors that you need to consider while purchasing a camera to ensure that your security is not compromised. They include:

  • Quality.

 Primarily, this should be your primary consideration while buying a security camera.

A key impediment in the effectiveness of tracking down criminals is the inability of many security cameras to capture clear, high-quality footages. A blurry image is as good as having none as it can barely direct you to get the criminals’ identities.

Many criminal investigations have failed to yield fruits in situations where video quality is poor. Mainly, this is caused by poor camera resolution quality.

  • Night Vision.

As security measures keep improving, thieves and burglars are creating new ways to conduct their activities unnoticed. One means is stealing in the night when security cameras can barely detect them. To avoid falling into this trap, you need a camera that has a working night vision feature.

  • Motion detection.

Getting the actual scene in the case of a crime can be a hectic while you have to review the entire footage that has been recorded in the whole day. The solution is to have a camera that is capable of detecting motion and responding to the specific scene. This helps to save time used in reviewing the footage.

  • Location of the camera.

A camera may have all the features mentioned above, but if it is poorly positioned, it won’t fulfill its purpose. Therefore, you need to choose a location where you can capture everything. Remember most thefts happen within a short period. Situating a camera at a position that will capture the entry of the burglars can be an effective way of ensuring that nothing passes by unnoticed. This is however not the only specific position that you need to position your camera. It all depends on the setup of your home.

Burglar Alarms

Alarms are also commonly used to keep off intruders from your home or house. There are different kind of alarms with each having a different mode of action. Passive Infrared motion detectors are an example of alarms that use a beam of rays to detect motion. The laser is invisible especially during the day. Once set, it alerts you if someone blocks the radiation. Another common form of a burglar alarm is the magnetic switch detectors. These are placed on the door or gate. They give a signal if someone breaks the door when the alarm is on.

For people who require an improved level of security, an ultrasonic alarm is the best. This system covers a relatively larger area than the other kinds of burglar alarms. With the use of ultrasonic rays, it can detect motion within the compound of the floor of the building and raise the alarm. All the above kind of alarms are effective in keeping thieves at bay. Many alarms also have software that sends an alert to the homeowner as well as the security provider. This improves the response time of the police thus aiding improving the security.

Security Stickers

Have you ever wondered why some homes have stickers indicating the presence of surveillance cameras or dogs? The reason is to scare away thieves. Many burglars tend to settle on homes that have weak or no security systems. To prevent your home from becoming an easy target, consider setting up security stickers. They are useful in scaring away intruders as they are warned of the presence of systems that can assist them in getting nabbed.

The effectiveness of home security systems primarily rests on the homeowner’s decision on the kind to use. Investing in cheap systems predisposes the homeowner to a high probability of thieves breaking in. It is therefore imperative that one researches on the most appropriate kind to employ depending on the security situation of the area that you live.

All the above-discussed forms of home security systems are crucial to keep off unwanted people away from your home. The best way to ensure that you have an extra layer of security is to use them all together. This means that what may be missed by the security camera will be detected by the motion detectors or the alarms. Therefore, you need to be comprehensive in beefing your security to ensure that the system doesn’t fail. Remember its success depends on what you employ.