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Tips to save/manage money in school?

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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2009, 13:12
Expert's post
aaudetat wrote:
if you've got a solid credit history with lines that are long-standing, it's not that big of a hit.

on the other hand, you are gonna be BUSY during school, and if there is fine print, probably not in a position to deal with it. seriously, i didn't open mail for 6 months.


Fully agree - this is not a game. You need to do proper research and know what you are doing.
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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2009, 14:02
Jerz wrote:
nink: From the looks of it, that's a gold card, so your little AMEX-sicle will cost you $250 in fees over the next two years; probably better cancelling it if you're not going to use it.


But canceling cards will lower my credit score. For example, if I have 3 credit cards with total combined credit limit of say, $50,000 and cancel one card, that brings down my credit limit to say, $40,000. And I charge $2000 a month against $40,000 credit limit. That's gonna lower my credit score - compared to when it was $2000 against $50,000 credit limit.

Without a job for next 2 years, I am afraid of canceling credit cards... :(

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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2009, 14:07
Expert's post
nink wrote:
Jerz wrote:
nink: From the looks of it, that's a gold card, so your little AMEX-sicle will cost you $250 in fees over the next two years; probably better cancelling it if you're not going to use it.


But canceling cards will lower my credit score. For example, if I have 3 credit cards with total combined credit limit of say, $50,000 and cancel one card, that brings down my credit limit to say, $40,000. And I charge $2000 a month against $40,000 credit limit. That's gonna lower my credit score - compared to when it was $2000 against $50,000 credit limit.

Without a job for next 2 years, I am afraid of canceling credit cards... :(


One option to address this issue could be to convert your Gold Amex into a no-annual-fee card such as Amex Blue. I don't have experience converting cards with Amex, but I have done that with Chase and a few other banks to keep my credit line high and continuity. (this does not work if you want to convert a business card into personal or vice versa)

Also, if you have 2 cards from the same bank, you can merge them too and keep the credit line at the cumulative level. Thus if you had 20K line on one and 20K line on the other, you can combine the two cards into one with credit line of 40K.
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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2009, 22:15
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Another recommendation I have is to get a "better" checking account.

Two banks that I am personally familiar with in particular: E-bank and Everbank - both of these are virtual banks based on the East Coast and you can sign up with both via their websites. I still use my local Bank of America or Washington Mutual for a few things, but all my money sits in Everbank right now. Here is why:

- Interest earning checking account. (currently 1% APR but last year it was 4.50%)
- Online fund transfers - I can move money to and from different bank accounts (allows adding other checking accounts for transfers)
- No ATM fees (Airport, international withdrawals, etc) - you get reimbursed the ATM fees (E-bank actually does it automatically with Everbank you have to mail the receipt, which is a bit annoying)
- Mail-in deposits (though they have many partner ATM's that allow using their deposit slots, I prefer the mailing option) - saves time
- Free accounts as long as a certain minimum balance is met; do not require direct deposits or such

You could get a Savings account but the issue for me with that is moving money in and out and often Everbank offers a better rate than BoA or WaMu Savings accounts.
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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2009, 17:40
Most schools will have sponsorship agreements with the major wireless carriers to offer around 20-25% off your cellphone plan charges. For instance, my school offers a 20% discount on AT&T plans. Signing up is a breeze (you need the university's FAN code, and armed with your student ID you can do it in-store) and saves you an easy 120-180$ a year on average.

You can check your eligibility for service discounts at AT&T (home of the iPhone!) using the link below. Use your school e-mail. YMMV.

https://www.wireless.att.com/business/enrollment/?_requestid=30769
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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2009, 18:14
Wow - great tips!

Quote:
Most schools will have sponsorship agreements with the major wireless carriers to offer around 20-25% off your cellphone plan charges.


Some schools offer this for laptops as well, through the campus bookstores. Rates/models vary, but worth having a look. Apple also has a university discount for students so if you're buying an iPod, that could be handy.


Quote:
Another recommendation I have is to get a "better" checking account.

I agree! I have ING and back in the days, when all was well with the economy, I had around 3% for the checking acct!

Other ones related to travel:
- check out www.studentuniverse.com for student discounts on airfare
- if you're in an area where you plan on taking Amtrak/Greyhound a lot to reach airports, visit home or an SO, then consider getting a Student Advantage card. They can save you quite a bit off fares, and usually pay themselves after two trips.
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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2009, 05:54
Here's another -

when you buy your laptop, see if any of your incoming classmates have employee discounts at lenovo or dell or whatever. I got an additional 25% off on one through my friend who'd been at Lenovo.

And the outlet stores are not bad either - you can often buy a machine that was built but never shipped for a great price.
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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2009, 06:56
Thanks guys! These are great tips!

I am so not confident about living on student budget. I tend to over-spend on food, clothing, partying, etc. (thus no saving. plus fx hit me hard) Especially, I don't know if I have it in me to cook for myself when I come home from school all tired and ready to go sleep.

Do schools usually offer Microsoft Office at student discounted price? I noticed it is about $200 retail price. I dont remember paying that much when I was in undergrad.

> isa
OMG, I use studentuniverse.com a lot. Some of their deals are just dirt cheap. Going to Europe this summer, totally leveraging the deals they offer. (I know I should be saving instead of going to Europe for a month...)
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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2009, 10:17
krispy wrote:
> isa
OMG, I use studentuniverse.com a lot. Some of their deals are just dirt cheap. Going to Europe this summer, totally leveraging the deals they offer. (I know I should be saving instead of going to Europe for a month...)


I'm prolly going to use them when I go to India in July too! :)
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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2009, 15:58
krispy wrote:
I am so not confident about living on student budget. I tend to over-spend on food, clothing, partying, etc. (thus no saving. plus fx hit me hard) Especially, I don't know if I have it in me to cook for myself when I come home from school all tired and ready to go sleep.


The secret to this is the microwave and tupperware. You can't expect to cook everyday, that just too much. What you can do is plan your meals in advance, and dedicate maybe an hour or two on Sunday evenings, and cook a bunch of meals. Pack the meals in tupperware, freeze them, and microwave them when you need to eat. This solution is especially good for rice based meals from my experience (nine years of living as a student!)

Planning your meals is the only way to control your spending on food from my experience.

krispy wrote:
Do schools usually offer Microsoft Office at student discounted price? I noticed it is about $200 retail price. I dont remember paying that much when I was in undergrad.


I've been told by many Booth folks that MS Office will be available to you for around $25 on campus.
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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2009, 17:35
krispy wrote:
Do schools usually offer Microsoft Office at student discounted price? I noticed it is about $200 retail price. I dont remember paying that much when I was in undergrad.

Kellogg gives it for free to all students...whether you get the laptop or not. Not sure what other schools do but you should at least get a student discount off retail.
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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2009, 17:41
riverripper wrote:
krispy wrote:
Do schools usually offer Microsoft Office at student discounted price? I noticed it is about $200 retail price. I dont remember paying that much when I was in undergrad.

Kellogg gives it for free to all students...whether you get the laptop or not. Not sure what other schools do but you should at least get a student discount off retail.

Awesome!! That saves me $80, since I was going to download it here soon. Now I don't have to.
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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2009, 07:47
xenok wrote:
krispy wrote:
I am so not confident about living on student budget. I tend to over-spend on food, clothing, partying, etc. (thus no saving. plus fx hit me hard) Especially, I don't know if I have it in me to cook for myself when I come home from school all tired and ready to go sleep.


The secret to this is the microwave and tupperware. You can't expect to cook everyday, that just too much. What you can do is plan your meals in advance, and dedicate maybe an hour or two on Sunday evenings, and cook a bunch of meals. Pack the meals in tupperware, freeze them, and microwave them when you need to eat. This solution is especially good for rice based meals from my experience (nine years of living as a student!)

Planning your meals is the only way to control your spending on food from my experience.

krispy wrote:
Do schools usually offer Microsoft Office at student discounted price? I noticed it is about $200 retail price. I dont remember paying that much when I was in undergrad.


I've been told by many Booth folks that MS Office will be available to you for around $25 on campus.


Thanks guys for the tips!

>xenok
Cooking on Sun sounds like a great idea. But I dont know if I have enough repertoire to last till Fri. :oops: But from the looks of it, food seems to be where I can really cut down. I will definitelly take your advice. Well, I will at least try...
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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2009, 08:16
riverripper wrote:
krispy wrote:
Do schools usually offer Microsoft Office at student discounted price? I noticed it is about $200 retail price. I dont remember paying that much when I was in undergrad.

Kellogg gives it for free to all students...whether you get the laptop or not. Not sure what other schools do but you should at least get a student discount off retail.


Sweet!
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Re: Tips to save/manage money in school? [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2009, 08:22
krispy wrote:
>xenok
Cooking on Sun sounds like a great idea. But I dont know if I have enough repertoire to last till Fri. :oops: But from the looks of it, food seems to be where I can really cut down. I will definitelly take your advice. Well, I will at least try...


If you're interested, try websites like this one: http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/make-ahead/index.html. Also I think a lot of casseroles/rice/pasta dishes are relatively easy to make and last well in the fridge, so maybe search for those recipes?
Re: Tips to save/manage money in school?   [#permalink] 17 Jun 2009, 08:22
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