2019’s Top Secondhand and Thrift Stores for Those Statement Pieces

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Now that the New Year is in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about a few things.  First, classes are probably starting up again soon and you should probably be getting everything in order for that ASAP.  Second, is your 2019 dorm room and wardrobe up to par?  After all, New Year, new you, right?

 

But updating your wardrobe or your dorm room can quickly become pretty costly if you’re not careful.  How can you update everything without blowing your new semester’s budget completely out of the water?  By hitting up your local thrift or secondhand store, of course!

 

If you’re on a budget or looking for something a little more off the wall for your wardrobe or dorm room, try hitting up a secondhand or thrift store to find the statement pieces you’ve been missing in your life.  Here are our favorite places to shop when we want a statement piece for a price we can actually afford.

 

STOP #1 – THE SALVATION ARMY

OUR FAVORITE PLACE FOR: affordable statement furniture

 

First up on our list is the mother of all thrift and secondhand stores – the Salvation Army.  These locations typically carry both furniture and clothing, and lots of it!  Do some online research and find the largest location near you to hit up for your statement-piece shopping.  With a larger selection of items available, you’ll be more likely to find what you’re after!

 

STOP #2 – GOODWILL

OUR FAVORITE PLACE FOR: statement clothing items

Another one of the classics, Goodwill is always a stop on our list.  From clothing to books, furniture to toys, this place has it all.  And the best part?  The discount days!  Head in-store on certain days during the week to score an additional 25 – 50% off a selection of items.  Who knows – you may be able to snag that killer statement 80’s windbreaker for next to nothing if you play your cards right!

 

STOP #3 – SAVERS

OUR FAVORITE PLACE FOR: statement clothes and home decorations

If you’re lucky enough to have a Savers in your hometown or near your college, make sure to take some time to take a trip here.  While most of the items Savers has in-store are clothes, they do have a pretty decent selection of small furniture pieces tucked in the back, too!

 

STOP #4 – YOUR LOCAL MOM AND POP STORE

OUR FAVORITE PLACE FOR:  statement vintage pieces

Nothing beats shopping local.  Most towns and cities have at least one locally owned thrift, secondhand, or vintage store that you can hit up to find statement clothing and furniture.  Be sure to do your research online before you head out and see what other people are saying about the store before you take the plunge.  Some stores can get very pricey very quickly if you’re not careful!

How to Deal With Seasonal Depression

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We’re nearing the close of the first month in January 2019, but it feels like it’s the 1,000th month of winter, right?  Between the cold temperatures, frigid wind, and general darkness outside. It’s hard to keep your spirits up this far into the winter season.

One of the worst parts about winter is absolutely the seasonal depression that can sometimes come with it.  Known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), this condition is common in the winter and can affect anyone.  Although the true cause o this condition is not entirely known, it has been attributed to the change in weather and shorter days that happen during the winter season.

With the lack of sunlight and the general misery of the weather, it can be hard to keep your spirits up.  Dealing with seasonal depression can be a challenge if you’re new to the game or just not sure how to handle it.  Never fear – here are our top tips for dealing with seasonal depression this winter.

 

TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR

The hardest part about seasonal depression is asking for help.  Your doctor is a fantastic resource for knowledge on how to deal with this condition as well as support for what you are feeling.  Make sure that you talk to them before taking on an action plan for treating this condition – they will be able to point you in the right direction.

 

INVEST IN LIGHT THERAPY

One of the most effective treatments for seasonal depression is the use of a light therapy box.  This contraption is designed to give off light that mimics natural sunlight, stimulating your body’s circadian rhythm and suppressing the release of melatonin.  It is often prescribed by a doctor and used for 30 minutes a day, primarily in the mornings, to simulate waking up to pure sunshine.

 

TRY OUT DAWN THERAPY

Similar to light therapy, dawn therapy uses natural light to help stimulate your body’s circadian rhythm, waking you up gently in the mornings with increasing levels of light rather than through the use of an alarm clock.  It helps to reset your mind, making you consciously and unconsciously aware that it is morning.

 

GET OUTSIDE

One of the best ways to help treat your SAD?  Experiencing the great outdoors!  In the winter months, we tend to hole up indoors in the library or our dorm rooms, keeping cozy and warm.  However, with seasonal depression, it is best to get outdoors as much as possible during the day to experience the sunlight.  This can help reset your body and your mind to a sense of normalcy.

 

ADD SOME VITAMIN D TO YOUR ROUTINE

One of the biggest deficits your body experiences in the winter is the lack of Vitamin D due to the lack of sunlight.  By adding a simple supplement to your everyday routine, you can help your body to feel better naturally.  Be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin taking a Vitamin D supplement, too – they may have an alternative suggestion or be able to prescribe a higher strength option to help you really get back to your best.

Presents Aren’t Always the Best Gifts!

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With the holidays now in full swing and Christmas quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about what to gift your friends and family. But as a broke college student on a budget, figuring out what you can actually afford to give can quickly become stressful and overwhelming.

If you’re on a limited budget but still want to get in the giving spirit of the season, never fear. You can always gift experiences and spend time with your friends and family rather than giving them a physical present! Here are a few invaluable ways to gift yourself to others this season.

GIFT IDEA #1 – BAKE SOMETHING DELICIOUS WITH YOUR FRIENDS

Food is always an affordable and easy present to give, and you can totally get your friends involved in the process! Invite your friends over to your dorm’s kitchen one night before the holiday break, throw on a cheesy Christmas movie or some tunes, and get down to baking your favorite seasonal treats.

If your friends are on as much of a budget as you are, this is an easy way to have everyone “gift” each other without the worry about running out of money. Ask your friends to bring something to contribute or bake, and you’re totally set for a holiday get-together!

GIFT IDEA #2 – HEAD OUT FOR SOME CHRISTMAS CAROLING

It may seem a little cliché, but this is totally a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit with your friends and/or family. It’s a silly way to get out and get into the spirit of the season in a totally low-pressure environment! Trust us – you won’t be the worst singer there.

If you’re feeling a little nervous about hitting the streets to carol on your own, look around on your town forums or city website ahead of time to see if there are any nights that are already set up for locals to go caroling as a group. You may end up making some new friends on the way!

GIFT IDEA #3 – GO ON A CHRISTMAS LIGHT TOUR

You don’t need a professional guide to go out and check out all the amazing lights set up around your town! Whether there’s a neighborhood nearby that’s known for their crazy setups or your simply cruising around looking, this is a great way to spend some time with friends and family for the holiday season.

Organize the night ahead of time and get some snacks and hot drinks ready for the ride. Gather your friends and family together, set up your caravan of cars, and hit the road for a free light show!

GIFT IDEA #4 – VOLUNTEER AT A LOCAL SHELTER

Whether you’re interested in helping the homeless or are totally on board for assisting some cute little animals for the holidays, getting together with friends and family to volunteer at a local shelter is a fun and rewarding way to get into the spirit of the season and really give back to others and your community.

If you’re not sure where to go or what to do, look around online and try getting in touch with a few local shelters. They may have some upcoming holiday events that they could use some help with or have suggestions for donations that you can provide in lieu of volunteering your time.

How to Stay in Touch with College Friends Over the Summer

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college friends hanging out over the summer

Whether you’re going into your first summer break as a college student or are in graduate school, leaving behind the relationships, you spent all year making can be dramatic. But there are ways to take the sting out of the separation. Here’s how you can stay in touch and maintain your college friendships even with thousands of miles between you.

Get a Group Chat Going

If you haven’t already, you need to get your gang on the same page. Group chats through apps like GroupMe, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. are great ways to stay connected when apart — especially if your inner circle has more than a few people involved. Plus, it keeps everyone in the loop without any hurt feelings.

Don’t like the option of chatting? You could always start a private social media group, like one on Facebook. There, share your summer stories, arrange events, or seek out encouragement. The best part is that these groups can be private so what happens over the summer stays in your summer friendship group.

Do a Vacay Swap

Got the money and the time? Why not spend your summer vacation visiting the homes of your friends? This is a great move if your clique is scattered around the country or living their best life in some exotic place. Take out a map, plan a course, and hit the road. It might be the best vacation you ever take.

Send a Care Package

While we like to think of summer as total relaxation — we all know it’s often not. Summer can be stressful with getting back into the swing of things with parents or having to work full-time to afford rent. Your friend may even be stuck taking courses back at school while you’re back at home. If this is the case, be a good friend and send them a package that shows you care. Include items you love, like your favorite drink or a handmade card, and throw in a note on how awesome they are.

Share a Little Love from Home

Speaking of care packages… don’t forget to throw in some mementos from your summer. You can bond without him or her there by your side when you ship them that awesome candy from the sweet shop by your home or that hat from the baseball game you went to. It’s almost like having them with you, and, if anything, it tells your friend that you’re thinking of them even when you’re hours away.

Keep Your Routines

We know we’re going to miss our TV show marathons or our Netflix nights in. But being apart doesn’t mean we have to give all that up! With Skype, we can keep these routines all summer long. Pick a date that works for your friend(s) and share the TV. Press play at the same time and prepare to enjoy a night together.

If your routine is working out with your buddies, stay accountable by using fitness apps to track your habits. You can compete on who runs the longest or who racks up the most miles on the elliptical.

Get Pumped for the Fall Countdown

Of course, the best way to bond with your college friends is to gear up for the school year. If you’re roomies, start planning your next bedrooms by coordinating decor. If you’re in the same academic programs, work on making your fall schedule lineup so you’ll have plenty of time to hang.  And don’t forget to countdown! It’s only a few more months until you’ll be together again.

How To Stay On Track With Your New Year’s Resolutions

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Journal writing can help you achieve your goals

We’re now about three weeks into the new year. Hard to believe right? It feels like yesterday since we made our New Year’s resolutions. And while we’ve struggled here and there, we’ve managed to keep up with our goals. Want to know how? Here are our top seven tips on how to keep and conquer a New Year’s resolution!

      1) Revisit Frequently

Yeah, it’s great you want to lose weight or be better with money, but how are you working towards it today? We’ve found that by making check-in points weekly and monthly, we’ve been able to stay on track and make small progress towards the big goal. This also helps break down the process so you’ve always got a map of where you need to go.

      2) Write It Down

Vision boards are kind of our thing. We need to visualize what we want in order to make it happen. We’re also big believers in writing it down everywhere. Put your goal in your planner, on your phone, hanging above your bed, on your whiteboard, etc. If you see that spot, write your resolution there.

      3) Make a Friend

Never underestimate the power of an accountability partner. They’re the ones that make us take a second look at that donut or get up at 6 AM for a morning jog around campus. Knowing that they’re in it with us makes us feel like there’s someone looking out for our goals.

Celebrating your successes is key to fulfillment

      4) Celebrate Along the Way

It could be that you got a C- on that challenging exam or that you called your mom for the third week in a row. Whatever your milestones are, make sure you are celebrating it. However, avoid celebrating with something you’re avoiding. For example, if your resolution is to spend less money, don’t celebrate a spend-free weekend with a trip to the mall. That only derails the process.

      5) Cut Out Temptations and Negativity

Some resolutions are easier than others, and that’s probably because you’re not tempted to cheat or you don’t have detractors telling you that you can’t. If this is your life and your goals, feel free to kick the negatives to the curve. Cut up your credit cards, clear your calendar, avoid that friend that’s always a downer, or avoid walking past the smoker’s area on your way to class.

      6) Understand Your Triggers

If your goal is to stop doing something, then it’s powerful to know why you even started. Try journaling your feelings around your habits. Do you shop because you’re bored? Do you emotionally eat? Do you avoid calling your BFF when you’re stressed? Knowing what triggers you can keep you from falling backward.

     7) Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Resolutions aren’t supposed to be a life or death situation — so don’t freak if you miss a day or cheat here and there. Remember that your negative habit most likely didn’t begin overnight, and it won’t fix itself overnight either. Progress, the real and lasting kind, takes time and sometimes getting through setbacks to prove that you can do it.

New Year’s resolutions are more than small changes for the present. They are about establishing new habits and changing your lifestyle that can benefit you positively for years to come. Think of it as a journey. Follow some of our favorite tips for keeping us on track and let us know your favorites!

How to Begin the Job Hunt if You Are Graduating

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Students throwing caps in the air at graduation

With only one semester left, college seniors, it’s time to start thinking of the big question, “What comes next?” For the majority of us graduating, that means starting our first real job hunt. Whether you’re a total newbie with no experience or you’re looking to transition to a six-figure career, here’s what you need to do when you’re searching for the perfect post-graduation position.

Consult Your Career Services Office

Most colleges have some career services offerings out there, and you may be surprised at what they can offer you! To start with, they can help you narrow down your job search and find the niche you’re made to be in. Then, they can help tailor your applications so that you stand out. And when you’re given a position, they’ll be there to do mock practices or offer feedback. And, believe it or not, a great career office will even help you negotiate your first salary!

a monthly planner

Set Up a Calendar

Another fun fact about the career services office is that they often hold events just for upperclassman on the job hunt. It may span from low-key, one-on-one meetings with hiring managers to large-scale job fairs that attract hundreds of businesses. If your college doesn’t offer these, check your community or look at professional trade organizations for similar events.

Update and Edit Your Materials

Your resume is the most important weapon in your job application arsenal. It should be continuously updated and crafted to meet your industry’s standards. You’ll also want to do make sure your reference list is current and that everyone you may use is aware your name is going out there. Finally, practice writing out a cover letter that is both interesting and easy to tailor to the job you’re applying for. When you’re done with the first draft, edit and edit again until it’s perfect.

a professional business card

Stock Up on Thank You Notes and Business Cards

It’s the little things that matter when you are putting yourself out there. While email thank you notes are sufficient, you may also want to bring out an old-school technique of a handwritten card sent to your interviewer. Business cards have the same effect, especially if you’ve got them ready to go at a networking event. The bonus is that both thank you and business cards are cheap, easy to make, and always handy — even after you’ve landed your big break.

Tailor Your Interview Suit

The perfect look is essential. That means everything you wear to your interview needs to be made for you. This is the one area where we don’t recommend skimping on price. Grab the best looking suit in neutral colors and have it professionally tailored so that it fits your body like it was made for you. Add shined shoes, toned down makeup, and thoughtful accessories, and you’ve got a complete look that’s ready to wow your interviewers.

Your final semester is an important one. It’s time to reflect and to look ahead. When you’re ready to rock your job search, getting your affairs in order is a must. From creating an eye-catching resume to settling on your professional look, you can get ahead by starting now.

The Best Places on Campus to Study for Finals

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Notecards being prepared for finals week

Ugh. We can’t believe we are saying this, but the countdown to finals is ON. Overwhelmed? So are we. That’s why we are hunkering down and studying early this year. To make sure we’re prepared, we’ve selected the best places on campus to study for finals. Use this as your guide to finding the ultimate productivity place when finishing your paper or cramming for your exams.

The Sweet Spot at the Library

The trick to finding the best place at the library is knowing what to look for. The first is noise. Stay away from computer labs, classrooms, or group rooms. You’ll never get anything done there and will probably be forced to listen to someone else’s music.

The second thing you should look for is lighting. You’ll want to find a spot that isn’t directly under an industrial type light. Instead, go to the windows where there is plenty of sunshine. Natural light helps keep your energy up. You’ll also want to avoid drafty places or spots by vents where the temperatures can fluctuate and make you uncomfortable. And if you’re allergic to dust, avoid the seats in the stacks.

Empty Classrooms or Offices

First and foremost, check your campus rules on this one. You could be putting yourself at risk if your school doesn’t have an open doors policy. But if they’re cool with you utilizing an unlocked classroom or student office space, it could be your next hidden study hangout.

You’ll want one that is off the beaten path, and you will want to go alone on this one just in case something goes down (like someone breaks some technology on accident). If you can, studying in your actual classroom may help you beat test anxiety!

Classroom reserved during finals week for studying

Coffee Shops and Cafes

Everyone goes to Starbucks, but you can get the same kind of ambiance if you try your student-run coffee shop instead. The drinks are cheaper, and it’s more convenient to your dorm and it makes a great place for group reviews.

If you want a more low-key session, go a few hours before close or right when they open (usually around 5:00 AM). You’ll avoid morning and afternoon rushes and will most likely be able to snag the one table with the power bank.

Reserve-a-Room

Some campuses have rooms students or student groups can rent. It’s the perfect solution if you need a ton of space for all of your notes or room to finish a poster project. And you’ll guarantee yourself uninterrupted quiet time for the duration of your stay.

Some rooms you can rent include dorm room offices or group meeting rooms, spaces at your student union, or performing art practice rooms. You may need an advisor or professor to help you reserve, but it shouldn’t cost you anything to do.

The Gym

A little unconventional, but student-athletes will tell you that sometimes the best way to study is to move around while you do it. And there are some studies out there that show that adding movements to memorization can help you better internalize facts and concepts.

Bring your textbook on the elliptical or treadmill. Download a podcast reviewing the subject area so you can spin and learn. Lift weights to an audio version of your chapters. When finished, you’ll feel great and will be ready to take on whatever finals has to bring!

Let us know your favorite place to study for finals on campus! We hope these tips help you ace those upcoming finals!

Parents Corner- How Often You Should Check-In

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College Student stressed over textbook

Sending your child off to college can be an emotional time for everyone involved. As a parent, it can be especially hard to get into a routine of not having the student around. Setting boundaries and establishing rituals is important in maintaining healthy relationships with college-aged kids. Here’s how you can determine how often you should check in based on your student’s personality or situation.

The Homesickness Factor

One of the most normal phases of freshman year is going through some periods of homesickness. Even the toughest, adventurous, or independent students may go through this when first moving into dorms. Being in a stressful environment or having a lack of familial support only exaggerates it.

If your child is showing signs of homesickness, it may be tempting to increase your contact or encourage them to come home. However, it can harm the student if you tell them that you miss them, increase your phone calls, or pressure them to visit in order to feel better. Instead, ease back, encourage them to get out, and praise them when they find something new to love about living on their own. Set up weekly calls instead of nightly, and help them book one trip home soon so they have something to look forward to.

The Close-to-Homebody

When we think of living on campus, we think of living more than a few hours away from home. Today, however, many students choose to live in dorms not far from where they grew up which can make it hard to determine how often parents should initiate calls or visits.

For homebodies who frequently visit, making calls short and to-the-point will help establish boundaries. You want the student to be independent (and do their own laundry), so over communicating can make them feel like they’ve never left. And it can encourage them to treat dorm life like they are commuting instead of living on their own.

The Long-Distance Students

One of the trickier parent-student situations is when a child decides to live on campus hours away from parents. In this case, it can be terrifying to ease back and let a student be on their own without checking in often.

In this case, it’s important to be honest and have a conversation early on what your student wants and what you expect in terms of them reaching out to you. Depending on your situation (such as if you’re paying their tuition or not), you may be able to call the shots. But as parents of adults, it’s important to remember that your student may not be on board with daily phone calls and video chats. Instead, ask them what they feel is appropriate and find common ground. Same goes for visits.

The Solo Student 

A student who goes dark can be scary for parents. When you don’t know what they are doing or how they are feeling, it can be difficult to adjust to the new norm. But in many cases, a student wanting space is demonstrating to themselves and you that they are setting boundaries.

Using the same advice for long distance students, open the conversation. Ask them how much is too much when it comes to calls or texts. Ask if they prefer one way of getting a hold of them over the other. Suggest a code word for emergencies or a set day to have a check-in chat. They’ll love that you are respecting their wishes and you’ll feel better having a set routine to follow.

Fall Drinks you can Make in your Dorm Room

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Foggy autumn morning

Fall is for warm flannel blankets, fashionable checkerboard patterns, snuggling up by a cozy fire, and enjoying a frothy, spiced drink. If you’re not careful, you can end up spending a fortune at the grocery store or coffee shop on artisan or specialty drinks. Instead, craft your own fall drinks by trying one of these three amazing fall drink recipes — which you can easily make in your own dorm room!

apple hanging next to cider jar

Homemade Apple Cider

You don’t need an apple press or a ton of time to make apple cider. Really, all you need to do is have access to a large pot and a stove to make this recipe happen. Experiment with different varieties of apples and a number of spices until you find the recipe that works for you. We guarantee it’s much better than store-bought versions!

 Ingredients:

  • 10-12 apples, sliced or in large chunks
  • 1 ½ tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. allspice
  • ½ cup sugar

 Directions:

  • Pour apples into a large pot and cover with 2-3 inches of water
  • Add the cinnamon, allspice, and sugar until mixed completely
  • Bring to a boil and keep it there for an hour
  • Cover the pot and let simmer for two hours
  • Strain the apple cider until all of the chunks are out and stir to ensure it’s mixed properly. Serve warm or cool.

Pumpkin Spice Latte in glass

DIY Pumpkin Spiced Latte

At $4 a cup, we’ll pass on Starbucks! This homemade version is easy and fast, and you can serve it up at a party or tailgate! The only equipment you’ll need is a coffee maker, a blender (or hand mixer), and a microwave. It’s so simple and delicious, and this recipe makes 3 mugs so you can share with your roomies!

 Ingredients:

  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6-8 oz. coffee
  • Whipped cream (as desired)

 Directions:

  • Warm milk in microwave at ten-second intervals until warm
  • Place warmed milk, sugar, pumpkin spice, and vanilla in a blender and blend, or hand mix until mixture is foamy
  • Divide milk mixture among 3 cups
  • Add coffee and stir gently for a few seconds
  • Add whip cream and any extra pumpkin spice as garnish

Tailgating punch with fall inspired flavors

Tailgaters Punch

When you need a tasty, crowd-pleasing drink fast, you could stick with one of those pre-prepared sugar-laden fruit punch drinks, or even DIY the typically bland, overdone homemade kind. But none of those really says fall — definitely not like this seasonal version. Warm and full of apple and honey, it’s just what you need for cooler mornings and afternoons without missing out on that more festive feel. Plus, it pairs perfectly with tailgating foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, and BBQ.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups hot black tea
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups cranberry juice
  • 4 cups apple juice or apple cider
  • 3 cups orange juice, pulp-free
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

Directions:

  • Blend and stir all ingredients in large pot
  • Bring mixture to boil
  • Lower temperature and allow to simmer for 1-2 hours
  • Remove cinnamon sticks and serve warm or cold

These three recipes will help you sip on fall flavors all season long, without breaking your budget. Let us know which ones you make and what your favorite turns out to be!

Managing Finances in College (Plus, Win $1000!)

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Money. There’s a good chance that, if you’re in college, you don’t have much of it, and you probably don’t have much experience managing what you do have. Whatever your financial situation, college is the perfect time to learn the basics of budgeting, saving, and investing for your future. Here are some steps you absolutely must take to manage your finances. Read on, and learn how you could win $1,000 through OCM’s Room Goals contest!

 

Keep School Costs Down

Did you know that the average student graduates with over $37,000 worth of student loan debt? That’s a year’s worth of salary for entry-level workers. Incredibly, it can take ten, twenty, or even thirty years to pay it all back — especially if you’ve got high interest rates.

Though your debt could end up being much less — or much more — there’s one step you should consider taking now: Pay something towards your loans every month! It could be a few bucks a month or a couple hundred when you get it.

Though it may seem like a waste of money to start paying before you actually receive your first bill, it’s actually a very smart idea. By starting your payback now, you can significantly lessen what you owe by paying down the principal before it starts accruing interest. A payment of just $5 per month can mean way more now than it will once you start getting regular bills.

 

Apply for Scholarships

Believe it or not, scholarships aren’t just for incoming freshmen. In fact, far from being the time to coast, now is when you should be ramping up your scholarship search! Apply everywhere and anywhere. Look in your community’s newspaper, on bulletin boards on campus, and on scholarship search sites. Plan on applying to at least ten scholarships a week, if not more.

 

The trick is to apply for scholarships that may be overlooked — ones that are $250-1500 range. While that may not seem like a lot when you have an insane tuition bill, several $1,000 scholarships can add up quickly!

One scholarship you simply can’t forget to apply for is OCM’s Room Goals scholarship. All you need to do to apply is submit a photo of your awesome dorm room and some info to be considered. It’s that easy — no tedious essay necessary!

 

Learn to Budget

Budgeting doesn’t have to be hard or complex. With little bills and income, we promise you that budgeting in college will only take about an hour each month to do. All you’ll need are your pay stubs, your monthly bills (like car insurance and phone), and a calculator.

First, write down how much you typically make in a given month. If you don’t have a regular income, or if you get tips that can vary from day to day, take an average or your best guess. Then, write out and total up your bills due. Next to each bill, write a due date, and then put that due date in your calendar so you don’t forget. Now, subtract your bills from your income and that is what is leftover for things like groceries, eating out, school supplies, and fun. Make categories that reflect your life and money goals and give each dime a place to go.

 

Open the Right Financial Accounts

You should have two bank accounts: checking and savings. These should be at banks that are close to campus and have online access. You should also have a debit card for at least your checking account.

If possible, set up your bills to auto-draft the amount from your checking account to your savings account each month. There are also apps like Qapital and Digit that will do it for you if you have a tough time pulling the trigger. Learning to save money while you’re in college will help you build a foundational good money habit.

 

Understand Financial Basics

Before pulling the trigger on anything financial, it’s a good idea to make sure you fully understand the terminology, methods, and costs. Grab a book from the library, take a financial literacy class, or read some blogs by other millennial money experts. The more you learn, the more confident you’ll be managing your finances.