An Unconventional Guide to Paying for College

College Side Hustles: How to make money from writing

Posted by on Apr 13, 2018 in How to Pay College Tuition, Saving Money | 0 comments

writing for money

With the rising cost of going to college, working while going to college is more the norm than it used to be. After the housing market recession students are more aware of their financial situations and trying to keep from graduating with mounds of debt. Many will try to pay for their classes during the semester after securing a student loan to cover the upfront costs. Students have crazy class schedules that can make it difficult to find employment to help cover their bills.

Freelancing:

Students often don’t realize that they have a skill that they have been developing for years, writing. From grade school through high school students have been working on mastering the skill of writing, whether they wanted to or not. Being a freelance writer can be the ‘write’ fit for a lot of students. Freelancing works around your crazy school schedule because you can write for a client a 2 am or at 10 am between classes. You can literally work wherever with your laptop by your side and Wi-Fi on campus.

Job Market:

You can find a job just about anywhere. There are job boards created just for freelancers. Every website on the Internet has content that they either need to update or create. Some sites will pay top dollar to have great content. Others will pay low rates but spend more time correcting and editing a freelancer’s work. There are a myriad of types of contract work available.

Pay for writing depends a lot on the content being written about and the experience of the writer. As a freelancer you can decide what your time is worth when you write. Some content positions will pay $0.05 per word; others can pay up to $0.25 per word. If a client asks you to write a 1,000 word article you charge them $.05 and it takes you two hours two write maybe a little longer you have just earned $50. If you were working for minimum wage you would need to work about 7 hours to earn $50. Clearly the minimum starting pay for writers is better than the US minimum wage. If you write faster, the higher your hourly rate is.

Experience isn’t always required. You have papers you have written for college and other projects, this is already a beginning of a portfolio. Just because it wasn’t paid work doesn’t mean it can’t be used to help get you that first writing job.

There are inexpensive classes you can take that will teach you how to become a freelance writer. Earn More Writing is an example of this type of course. It has several levels of courses you can take and can be done in a relatively short period of time. You are also learning from someone who currently makes a living at freelance writing, who has taken the time to share her knowledge.

While you can figure out how to freelance all on your own, you will save time, energy and money by taking a course on how to become a freelance writer.

What Should I Write About?

When you are just starting out you should write about topics you already know about. Maybe you just took a class on a subject that really interested you; this is a great starting point to build a portfolio. You shouldn’t write about things that do not interest you as your writing may be affected by your lack of interest for the topic. Keep in mind if you write about something that isn’t fun the rate per word could be higher, so you could earn more for your work.

Pitching clients can happen in lots of different forms. You can send cold pitches to websites or companies. You might not hear back, but then you might hear back right away. Dealing with rejection or just no reply at all is a good thing to learn early on.

Having an Online Presence:

Creating a portfolio of your work doesn’t have to be fancy. You need a simple site, and you can even use a WordPress site for free to begin to market your writing. Create a bio explaining you are in college and what your interests are and you can link some of your writing you have done for school to start in your portfolio. Once you get some online published work you will want to add this to your portfolio.

Freelancing while you are in college is a great way to earn some side money or even enough to pay your tuition. The ability you have to market yourself and time you have available are really the only things you need to get started. You can write whenever and wherever. The flexibility is endless when it comes to freelancing.

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Why Use Comparison Sites to Guide Financial Decisions?

Posted by on Dec 19, 2017 in Saving Money | 0 comments

choice

Financial decisions cause us an inordinate amount of stress. From small financial worries – like how to budget for day-to-day expenses – to large financial worries – like when and how to invest – can be stressful enough to send us into a tailspin. It doesn’t help, of course, that there are so many options and possibilities out there. With financially-minded technology it feels like there’s a new product, service, or bank to consider every day. This can add to the stress we’re already feeling and cause us to do one of two things:

  1. Shut down completely. If we’re feeling overwhelmed, we may come to a standstill. This isn’t helpful because we won’t be able to make an effective decision that meets our financial needs or solves our problems. We might lose money, pay too much in fees or interest if we refuse to change banks or services, you name it!
  2. Make a snap-judgement decision – that’s wrong for us and our situation. We’ve all made poor financial decisions in the past and it’s never fun. If you make a judgement call without knowing all the information, or based on bad information, you could truly cause yourself financial harm.

Obviously nobody wants to make bad financial decisions, or to not decide at all, but these things happen. They happen a lot more often when we’re overwhelmed or stressed out.

What makes a bad decision “bad”?

good or bad

A bad money decision doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s truly bad. It might not just be the best decision for you. If you make a call that either loses money or doesn’t make you as much money (or save you as much money) as another decision could have, it’s probably a “bad” decision. You want to be living your best financial life, not walking the line between mediocre and great.

Several things come into play when you discuss making a poor financial decision. Often it has nothing to do with the intelligence of the individual. Usually it’s a result of many other factors. Here are a few things that play into your bad financial decision making:

  1. You’re emotionally invested.
  2. You feel like you’re making the right decision because someone you know made a similar decision.
  3. You’re choosing to work with a company, brand, or financial institution you’ve worked with in the past without researching their services.
  4. You went with the company that advertised to you.
  5. You didn’t do enough research.
  6. You did too much research and became overwhelmed – leading to a rapid-fire judgement call.

These are just a few of the reasons you might make a bad financial decision – or even just a decision that wasn’t the best fit for you. This may leave you feeling even more overwhelmed then before. “How am I going to make the right decisions if literally everything I do will somehow get in my way?” you might be asking. Luckily, there is a way around several of these human errors when it comes to money decisions: doing the research ahead of time on impartial comparison sites.

How do I do my research the right way?

researchThis is a common fear. You’re always going to run the risk of over-researching different products, services, or companies and end up committing to the wrong one – or, the wrong one for you. But comparison websites really do help.

Their value comes, in large part, from their ability to remain unbiased. The reviewers on the website you’re looking at likely don’t have an emotional connection to the products, services, and companies they’re reviewing. And they don’t have an emotional connection to your unique financial dilemma – they don’t even know you!

This gives them the ability to provide excellent, thorough, documented research that compares different services, products, and companies. As you wade through this research there will be a temptation to discredit it. That’s fair, and you should look at several review and comparison sites before making a final decision. However, the truth of the matter is that very few reputable comparison and review websites provide you with faulty information. Their sole goal and purpose is to empower you to make the right decision – regardless of how you may feel.

Take the guess work out of decision making – and save money.

Comparison and review sites help you take the guesswork out of research. They give you the cold, hard facts and help guide you towards an answer that solves your financial problems. More importantly, they’ll empower you to work with new companies, try new products, and experience new financial services that can legitimately save you money. You’ll either decrease your spending or find ways to grow your wealth – and that should always be the goal when making a scary financial decision. Comparison and review websites can help get you there.

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How Small Investments Can Turn into a Meaningful Savings When You Are a Student?

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Saving Money | 0 comments

invest money

It is not uncommon to find student with a small debt or a big one in college. When contemplating how to get out of debt and ultimately, transition into the ability to become an investor, one has to make a dramatic shift in their finances in order to get ahead. Consider the following recommended steps to get out of debt and then position yourself in order to make a substantial amount of capital.

Debt Elimination

Debt elimination is the first necessary step a student should take before deciding to invest. It is essential to pay off high interest credit cards that typically have a 30% interest rate before even considering saving and investing. Additionally, it is beneficial to pay off personal loans or any student loan that have high interest rates before trying to pay money into a savings account. Once the debt is eliminated, it is wise to then set money aside for a savings cushion in order to pay your future college tuition payment or to allow for the unexpected to happen.

Three Months of Wages in Savings

Before investing in any options, it is best to have at least three months of wages in savings. Once there is enough in savings, then one can consider the best way to invest other money. Those students that fail to save will find it very difficult to get out of debt in the long term because they will never have a support system of finances to assist them should them need it. Their savings is vital should they decide to avoid high interest credit cards and personal loans all together.

The Recommended Quantity of Savings per Month for Students

In determining what is the proper amount of capital to save every month, it is essential to ascertain what one’s income from their part time student job, in relation to what their realistic living expenses are including their college tuition payments. The recommended savings amounts can range anywhere from $10 to $500. What is important to consider with this calculation is that even saving smaller amounts of capital per month absolutely is worthwhile because it will add up in the long term. What makes saving difficult is that the smaller amounts of savings are going to take longer to amount to a substantial amount of money. Typically, it is only through saving amounts in excess of $500 should one look into the possibility of entertaining the notion of investment and forex trading. The reason for this is that the currency trading market has very high stakes and the prospective investor should not be worrying about losing capital in order to be ready to be making such expensive and high profile trades that have very high risks associated with them. Perhaps an investment with low risk can be more adequate for students at this point. However, one can choose to make an investment with higher return. Be sure to know that the risk is higher as well.

High Risk Investments

For those student who are more advanced investors and that do have the potential to lose a great deal, currency trading and binary options are the latest potential ways to make a substantial amount of money. Currency trading requires specific level of knowledge in order to make substantial gains. Where this type of trading becomes very high risk is between individuals that do not know enough about the market in order to make sound trading decisions.

Binary options are a form of investing that should be avoided because there is a great deal of risk associated with these transactions that makes it very difficult to make substantial gains without incurring a great deal of loss. Binary options are reserved for the experienced traders that work at reputable companies. Should one have any doubt about the integrity of a financial company, they should not trust their binary options are very unregulated in markets that are outside of the United States. Where binary options are quite difficult to get ahead is that they are the notion of buying an option on a stock that will be profitable if the market swings in a certain way. Thus, there is a potential that an investor may not even make a profit. Instead of utilizing binary options, investors should be focusing on a more ownership based strategy to do well in investing.

Concluding Remarks on the Subject

To conclude, it can be quite difficult to get out of debt, especially in college. The reason that it is so difficult to get out of the red is that there is a vicious cycle that continues when a student spends more than they have and then pays subsequent interest on those charges. The best way to get out of debt is to pay off the high interest debt, save at least three months of wages, and then consider the amount of savings per month towards investing should the student have the requisite capital to do so. Then, if he has sufficient capital to invest, they will then be able to get ahead in their investments with potential currency trading strategies. That being said, these strategies are best left to the experts in order to get the best possible results for financially qualified individuals.

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Should You Buy a Home During College?

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Saving Money | 0 comments

buy a house

Having your own home comes with a wide range of benefits. There are tax deductions you can take as a homeowner. The cost of a mortgage is often less expensive than the cost of renting. You can gain an income if you choose to rent out a portion of the home. You’ll be building equity rather than just “paying rent.” These are just a few of the reasons out there that prove that home ownership can be a huge benefit to you as an individual. However, there are also many drawbacks. So, when is the right time to commit to buying your home?

Buying a Home During College

Owning your own home gives you peace of mind. You will always have a place to stay, there will be no moving around from apartment to apartment. You’ll also know that you’re building equity and investing in your choice – another set of benefits that will add value to your life. In recent years, there has been a trend of college students striking out and buying a home during their school years. But is this even a possibility? And if it is – is it wise?

College-age students have many reasons that could spur their desire to buy a home. First, real estate is a fantastic investment. If they choose not to stay in the area after college, they can always turn their home into an investment property. Even when they are staying there, if their home has more than one room, they can rent rooms to friends or other reliable, trustworthy tenants to make an income and pay for their mortgage payments as well as the cost of owning a home (like maintenance, etc.)

Additionally, college students who purchase a home often end up saving money in the long run. Rent in college towns can be very expensive. Rental agencies and leasing companies have the advantage – they know that students need housing, there is usually less housing available than is needed, and so they can increase prices to a very high rate. A mortgage will likely have a less expensive month-to-month payment. This helps college students cut back on costs. Additionally, if they do choose to rent out rooms, they can put the extra rent money back towards their mortgage, effectively paying it off much faster. Renting your rooms (or even the entire house) while taking an overseas job during your gap year, could really mean one year of huge savings.

Of course, there are also drawbacks to buying a home in college. If you are college-aged and can’t afford a down payment for a home, or if you don’t qualify for a good interest rate on your mortgage loan, don’t purchase a property. Of course, it also goes without saying that home ownership comes with challenges. You will have to be willing to put the energy into fixing up the place for renters, making any necessary repairs, etc. This added responsibility may not be what you’re looking for.

When Else Should You Consider Buying a Home?

buying a house

There are no hard and fast rules as to when you should or shouldn’t buy a home. However, a few good guidelines are:

  • Consider buying a home if you’re currently in a “buyer’s market.” If houses are selling for much less than their value and you’re willing to sit on your investment for a while before selling, buying a house or a property may not be a bad idea.
  • Build up enough savings for a down payment. Whether you have 10%-20% saved, make sure you have at least a reasonable portion of the overall home’s value saved up for a house down payment. This often helps you to lock in a lower mortgage rate, it helps you to take out a smaller mortgage loan, and it reduces your overall debt. Is never too early to start saving.
  • Consider buying a home if you’re in a good area where the rental market is good. This is why college towns are such good candidates for purchasing homes at as a college-aged individual and using them later in life as a rental property for extra income. With rents constantly increasing, you’ll likely be able to make an income on your property or pay it off much faster if you purchase in an area where the rental demand is higher than the house-buying demand.

If you’re a recent graduate, or you’re currently in college, you may be in the prime time of your life to purchase a house. If you’re considering taking this step, ensure that you’re financially capable of doing so. Finally, ensure that you’re purchasing a home that’s worth purchasing. In other words, don’t jump on the first one you find! Take your time and weigh your options – real estate is an excellent investment, but only if you invest in excellent real estate. Look around carefully and find the home that best fits your needs and budget. Only you can make the best decision for your financial future.

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The Best Jobs to Do During Your Gap Year

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Saving Money | 0 comments

job search

Whether you’re looking to take a gap year before you attend a university or after you’ve graduated university (and before taking on a long-term employment opportunity), there are a wide variety of exciting options out there for you. One major consideration for those looking to take a gap year is employment. Obviously, you’re not looking for something that’s a full-blown career position, but financing your travel is a must. So, what kinds of jobs exist for the traveler looking to do something interesting during their gap year? The answer is that there are many kinds of positions available to you, all of them holding a unique value (and all of them providing steady financial security during this time of your life).

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (Or Any Language)

If you’re interested in travelling with pay (and possibly having some of your expenses paid for) teaching English as a second language might be a good option for you. In fact, there is a need for foreign language teaching around the globe, so even if your first language isn’t English there’s a good chance that there is something out there for you.

Organizations like Go Overseas help people find language teaching jobs abroad through specific programs. While some countries are more difficult than others to teach in depending on the kinds of government programs and visas they have set up on behalf of the international language teachers coming to their schools, it’s worth considering.

Consider WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)

WWOOF is an amazing organization that offers travel opportunities to individuals willing to work on an organic farm in exchange for a place to stay, or some of their expenses covered. It’s not necessarily a full-time job, but it does provide a unique opportunity to see the world from an entirely different perspective for your gap year. Additionally, WWOOF’s mindset of promoting excellent cultural and educational experiences is one that you can get behind during your gap year. What better time is there to travel and experience new things?

Tour Leader

If you’re looking to spend time in an amazing place, why not share your newfound love of your new gap-year home? Becoming a tour guide is easy, and you’ll learn so much about the place you’re staying. Some companies operate exclusively in specific countries or areas, but others are more generalized and you can search for employment based on where you want to go during your gap year. Not only will you be getting paid to travel and explore your new city, you’ll be able to share the exciting new information with people who are just as excited to be there as you are!

Consider Freelancing

Do you have a special skill or just a large amount of free time on your hands? Freelancing may be the best option for you. First of all, freelancing doesn’t tie you down to one location during your gap year. You can work from wherever you want, which frees you up to do more travelling and exploring. Additionally, freelancing comes in all shapes and sizes.

There are freelance writers, accountants, virtual assistants, social media specialists, graphic designers, writers and more. You set your own rates and determine your own hours, so by taking on just a few clients you can successfully keep yourself afloat while you travel during your gap year. Who knows? Maybe you’ll decide the freelancing way of life is the life for you long-term!

Work on a Cruise Ship

No, you don’t need to know how to captain the vessel to work on a cruise ship. Cruise ships are often hiring for staff, and what better way to see some amazing locations and meet interesting people? Try checking out Yacht Crew Wanted to find a cruise in your desired area and to see what positions are available. Not everything will be wonderful, and you may have to take a job cleaning up the rooms guests stay in, but you’ll be getting paid (and usually given room and board on the ship for free) to travel and see the world. What better way to spend your gap year?

These five unique jobs are all available to people looking to take a gap year, and all of them provide interesting benefits. Decide what you’re looking for in your gap year – whether that’s travel or fully immersing yourself in a different culture abroad for a full year – and narrow down your options from there. You may even find that you’re open to more temporary employment possibilities once you hone in on your interests and where you’d like to be located. Wherever you end up, and whatever job you end up doing, make sure you’re taking the time to fully enjoy yourself before diving in to your next stage of life.

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Investing time and money now – Enjoying it later

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Saving Money | 0 comments

The Hardest Part in Being a Student

Many people think that one of the hardest thing in being a student is thinking of ways to save money. I agree with those who holds this position, however, I believe there is one thing harder than saving money, especially for student – Investing money and time today, in order to save in the future. Examples for that are going to college and university, Networking with your colleagues, creating a meaningful social life and buying insurance like health insurance or a home warranty.

It is not common to find students that calculate every step thinking about the future, and I am thankful this is situation. However, when taking some decisions in life, we must think of future consequences. If not, we will find ourselves wasting money instead of saving it.  Think About Saving Money

In some cases, when taking an important decision, we automatically think about the future. However, in some cases we do not, and it will make us spend more money in time in the future. Here are some example:

  1. Studying

    The perfect example for an automatic decision most people do while thinking about the future. One of the main reasons people are going to college for, except of interest, is to learn how to manage in the future. Learning a profession is basically investing time and money now in order to earn more more of them in the future. If you haven’t decided yet what you should study in college here are some tips

  2. Networking

    Sometimes we don’t have the strength to do a efficient networking with our colleagues, but this is a good example for an important skill that will help us in the future. “Friends brings friends” is a common method of recruitment nowadays. A friend’s recommendation is perhaps the best way to find the perfect job for you. Investing time in networking and even investing some money and going to conferences that you find interesting to get to know the companies and their atmosphere can be very beneficial in the future. Linkedin is wa of the best platform that can help you with networking. If you don’t have a linkedin account, you can open. Click here.

  3. InsuranceVector Household Appliances Protection isolated on white background

    Most student believe insurance is for grownups. Actually, when it is done at a young age, it costs less. Two common and very important insurances are health insurance and home warranty insurance. The first one is more known, but a home warranty coverage which contains a home appliances insurance can save you unexpected costs and hassle. ReviewHomeWarranties.com offers a list of the top rated home warranty insurance companies in AZ, TX, GA, NJ, and the rest of the US as well.

  4. Social life

    Friend are more important than work. Studies show that social life are crucial to get happiness. As you know, keeping a healthy social life is spending time with your family and friends. Sometimes it involves spending money as well when going out and even when inviting friends to your home. Without investing time and money in your social life, succeeding in life will be much harder.

Summary

It can be hard being a student but I believe you must have the comprehension and realise that in some decisions in our life we must think about the future to come. Studying, investing in networking and buying insurances like a health insurance or join a home warranty plan are only examples for action you can take to save you time and money in the future. Protect your future by thinking about it and planning it today.

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