Why a Credit Card isn’t Such a Bad Idea for Students

Most students dismiss the idea of applying for a credit card. After all, with a ton of student debt around your neck, the last thing you need is more debt weighing you down. But, as crazy as it might seem, a credit card could actually save your bacon and be a valuable tool in your personal finance arsenal.

Credit cards can offer several distinct advantages to students. The only caveat is that you are sensible with your spending and you don’t treat your credit card as a bottomless source of ready cash because we both know how that one ends.

Choose the Right Credit Card

So long as you select the right credit card, you can make your money work harder. The best deal for a student is a specialist student credit card. These cards are designed for people with little or no credit history; people like you who are at college and aged between 18 and 21. Don’t expect a huge spending limit if this is your first card. Credit card companies are not that stupid. Keep an eye out online for the best credit card offers if you want to find one that suits your needs.
Student credit cards charge a higher rate of interest and you may need a parent or other adult to co-sign the credit agreement as a guarantor, but a credit card is always a useful tool to have. To begin with, treat your credit card with the respect it deserves. Now is not the time to go crazy in the Apple store. Sure, you may dream of owning a new MacBook Pro, but unless it’s a compulsory purchase for your college course, try saving up instead.

Great for Emergencies

Credit cards are there for emergencies. By emergency, we mean such times when you are stuck in the middle of nowhere with zero cash and you need a train ride home. A credit card can save you from a long walk or a risky hitch. A credit card is also very useful if you decide to go traveling. If the worst happens and your wallet is lost or stolen, you can replace a credit card whereas you can’t replace lost or stolen cash. For that reason alone, it is always sensible to take a credit card on your travels.

Using a Card Abroad

If you do plan on using a credit card abroad, shop around for one that doesn’t charge a currency exchange fee. Some card providers do, which makes using the card very expensive.
Some student credit cards offer rewards and incentives for careful spending and sensible management. Rewards schemes are worth looking out for, especially if you can earn air miles or loyalty points for any spending you do on your credit card.
Take advantage of any budgeting tools offered by your credit card company. Online budgeting tools and apps will help you manage your money better and let you see where you could make savings.

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Mrs. Freshley’s Introduces the New Oreo Brownie

oreo brownie

For all chocolate lovers looking for a delicious new way to kick the craving, award-winning snack brand Mrs. Freshley’s is thrilled to announce that the search is finally over!  A tasty collaboration between Mrs. Freshley’s and America’s favorite cookie, OREO, has introduced Mrs. Freshley’s Brownie made with OREO Cookie Pieces.

The new treat features Mrs. Freshley’s moist, fudge brownie layered with crunchy OREO cookie pieces, resulting in a delectable dessert that gives chocolate lovers everywhere a rich, sweet and satisfying way to celebrate snack time. 

Pick up Mrs. Freshley’s Brownie Made with OREO® Cookie Pieces today in convenience stores and vending machines nationwide. To learn more, visit Mrs. Freshley’s website at mrsfreshleys.com.

I was given the opportunity to try these new treats and my kids and I loved them. Its  the perfect sized individually wrapped snack to toss into your kids lunchboxes (or into your own work bag).

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BOGO Crayola Experience Ticket When You Donate Blood

crayola-oneblood

Through September 30, in addition to advertised OneBlood rewards, all blood donors within the state of Florida will receive a special offer from Crayola Experience Orlando – purchase one admission ticket and receive a 2nd admission FREE.

What you need to do:

  1. Donate blood on a Big Red Bus® or at a OneBlood donor center in Florida
  2. Receive a voucher for Crayola Experience Orlando
  3. Go to the Crayola Experience and purchase one admission ticket. Present your voucher and you’ll receive a 2nd admission FREE

For more information or to make an appointment please visit oneblood.org/crayola or call 1.888.9.DONATE (1.888.936.6283).

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Create Amazing Haloween Decor with Oriental Trading

OTC-wreath-skulls

I absolutely love Halloween and Oriental Trading makes it so easy to decorate my home.  With so many cool items in their Halloween Headquarters, you are sure to find something that fits your style.   Another thing I like to do is create Halloween décor of my own and  Oriental Trading has all kinds of crafts and activities to make the perfect project.

This year for my front entrance table (pic above), I chose 2 of their large Apothecary Jars and filled one with the skulls from their Bag of Skulls (IN – 13746398) and moss from the Dollar Tree.  I then found the perfect Happy Haunting sign (IN-13605330) on their site and lastly, the wreath I made myself using left over skulls from the bag of skulls I got for the apothecary jar.  ** You can see how I made the shelf liner skull wreath HERE.

OTC-cage-candlesticks

For my wine rack, I choose their black birdcage (IN-13605330) and hot glued some burgundy ribbon and flowers onto the top of it and added a black crow from the Dollar Tree.  I also loved the spooky bird spindles (IN-13605285) and spray painted their white candle sticks (IN-13751867) with a sparkle black paint.  On top of the candle sticks I placed the Halloween Battery Operated LED Pillar Candles that I made a few years ago. And finally I made the “EEK” word blocks by cutting, sanding, and painting blocks of wood and then mod podging scrapbook paper onto them.

I just love how fun my house is this year !!!  Which is your favorite item ?

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Disney Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales Out on Digital Today

pirates-dvd

Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films present Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a rollicking new tale of the high seas, infused with all the elements of fantasy, humor and action that have resulted in an international phenomenon for the past 13 years. Johnny Depp returns to his Academy Award®-nominated role as the outrageous, swashbuckling scoundrel Captain Jack Sparrow, and is joined by Oscar winners Javier Bardem and Geoffrey Rush. It was announced at D23 Expo that “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”—the fifth film in the now-iconic “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise—will sail home on Digital in HD and 4K Ultra HD™ on September 19.

Click on the banner below to download Pirates of the Caribbean activity sheets

Download Pirates of the Caribbean Talkin' Like a Pirate

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Disney Elena of Avalor Celebration to Remember on DVD

elena of avalor

Elena is back with all-new adventures coming to DVD with the release of Elena of Avalor: Celebrations to Remember!  Join Elena and her friends and family as they celebrate holidays that honor the past, cherish the present and look forward towards a magical future! In these new adventures Avalor celebrates Navidad, Dia de los Muertos and Carnaval! There’s something special to look forward to with each holiday!

This DVD is packed with laughs, new characters to cherish, and heart. Elena of Avalor: Celebrations to Remember is a must-own for the entire family! Includes Four Celebration Themed Episodes, Plus Two Bonus Episodes and a FREE Exclusive Elena Locket!

Voice Cast:

Aimee Carrero (Freeform’s “Young & Hungry”) as Princess Elena; Jenna Ortega (Disney Channel’s “Stuck in the Middle”) as Princess Isabel; Chris Parnell (“Sofia the First”) as Migs; Yvette Nicole Brown (“Community”) as Luna; Carlos Alazraqui (Disney Pixar’s “Inside Out”) as Skylar; Emiliano Díez ( “George Lopez”) as Francisco; Julia Vera (ABC’s “General Hospital”) as Luisa; Christian Lanz (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”) as Chancellor Esteban; Jillian Rose Reed (“Awkward”) as Naomi; Joseph Haro (“Awkward”) as Mateo; Jorge Diaz (“The 33”) as Gabe; Keith Ferguson (Disney Pixar’s “Inside Out”) as Zuzo; Joe Nunez (“Jake and the Never Land Pirates”) as Armando and Jane Fonda (“Grace and Frankie”) as Shuriki.

Check out the clip below…

This is such a cute DVD and your kids are sure to love it.  My favorite episode was “King of the Carnival”.  Make sure you come back and tell me which was your favorite after you watch it.  I love how this DVD teaches you that holidays aren’t about what you do; they’re about the special people you spend them with !!!

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3 Simple Ways To Streamline Your Personal Finance

Managing one’s personal finances is often seen as a rare, almost mystical, skill. We are all prone to bemoaning our own inability to properly manage our own finances while praising the ability of our friends and family to hang on to their money.

The truth is that managing one’s own finances is much, much easier than many people realise. Not only is it something that is very easily achievable; it is something that has numerous benefits on a number of levels. So long as one makes efforts to keep things organized, tracks their day to day spending, and is prepared to make the necessary adjustments to their daily routine, then most saving occurs incidentally and without much of a conscious effort.

Budgeting

Budgeting is absolutely crucial for managing your finances effectively. Budgeting involves sitting down and working out exactly how much money you are expecting to bring in each month versus how much you will spend, and do all you can to ensure that you don’t end up increasing your overall debt.

The first step to budgeting properly is to take an inventory. Begin by establishing exactly what sources of income you have and where your outgoings are going. Do this on a day-to-day basis and then expand it to the weekly/monthly level.  On this basis, decide how much money you need to spend on essentials and then how you think you can best use the remaining money, remembering to set some aside as savings.

Putting your budget into action will be the real test of its strength. You will probably find that you need to make some adjustments, but remember that if you allow yourself too much flexibility you will ultimately end up harming your own goals and setting yourself back. Ensure that your budgets always prioritise the essentials. It’s important that you set aside some money to allow yourself to have some fun, but it is always most important to ensure that bills are paid on time.

If your budgeting reveals that you could benefit from a temporary tax cash injection then you might want to consider taking out a loan. A loan calculator such as https://www.118118money.com/money-guidance/financial-tools/loan-calculator/ can help you greatly with this process. A loan calculator is a tool that will help you establish how much money you can afford to borrow should you be considering taking out a loan to improve your finances. Of course, you should be certain beforehand that you can meet the terms of a loan and, while a loan calculator will help you with this process, it is always a good idea to consult with a financial professional.

Set Yourself Achievable Goals

This is an important part of any attempt at self-improvement. Failure makes us feel bad and success makes us feel good. It is no surprise then that by setting ourselves goals that we can actually achieve ends up having a much greater positive impact on our mood and general well-being. When we fail to achieve our goals, we become discouraged and this not only makes changing problematic behaviours worse; it also has the side effect of sometimes making us fall back harder on those bad habits.

When you’re working out your budget, for example, you should be looking to cut back on any expenses that aren’t entirely necessary. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should leave yourself with no money left to have fun with. This goal will be difficult to achieve and therefore there is a greater chance of you failing in your goal.

Stick to Your Budget

Once you have devised a budget plan you need to stick to it and this will be the key part of the process. Other than ensuring that your budget is one that is realistically achievable, you will require willpower in order to break previous bad habits. Some people find it helpful to set up some kind of reward system to reward their own good behaviour. One way of doing this is to set aside a little extra at the end of each month and add it to your personal spending money if you meet your budget goals for the rest of the month.

Successfully sticking to your budget won’t only have a positive effect on your finances; it will also help to reinforce the necessity and potential benefits of what you are doing. If you find yourself in need of some encouragement, remind yourself why you decided to start budgeting and keep focused on the things you will be able to afford before long if you start saving now.

Streamlining one’s personal finance is the first step towards financial responsibility. It is easy in today’s modern economy to become caught up in a vicious cycle of debt and managing one’s finances efficiently and effectively is the best way of avoiding this.

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$200 Million by the Numbers

The digital rewards Swagbucks just hit a major milestone – they have given their members over $200 million in cash and free gift cards since 2008! I use Swagbucks all the time to get free gift cards doing stuff I already do online, like shopping, answering surveys, watching videos, discovering great deals, and searching the web. To demonstrate how big a number 200 million really is, here are some fun facts:

sb-infographic

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How to Make a Halloween Shelf Liner Skull Wreath

DIY halloween shelf liner wreath

Here is an easy project to do for Halloween that uses a bag of skulls from Oriental Trading and several items from Dollar Tree.

supplies

Supplies:

  •  Wire Wreath frame from Dollar Tree
  • 6 packs black shelf liner from Dollar Tree
  • 120 zip ties (I got 2 packs of 60 from Dollar Tree)
  • Ribbon (I used burlap chevron Halloween ribbon from Dollar Tree)
  • Crow from Dollar Tree
  • 3 plastic Skulls (I got a bag of 12 skulls from Oriental Trading: IN-13746398)
  • OPTIONAL – cutting mat, rotary cutter and straight edge ruler)

Directions:

  1. Cut the shelf liner into 6×6 inch squares.  You should have 120 squares from the 6 packs of liner.
  2. Taking one piece, fan it back and forth and pinch it in the center.
    shelf liner fan
  3. Using a zip tie, secure the fanned liner onto the wreath frame.shelf liner attach
  4. Each section will have 10 pieces on each of the middle 2 rows.
    shelf liner section
  5. Once you complete all the shelf liner squares, it will look like this…
    black shelf liner wreath
  6. Next, I drilled holes into the back of 3 of the plastic skulls from Oriental Trading and then pushed a pipe cleaner through it.
    skull-drill-hole
  7. You can now secure the skulls onto the wreath frame.
  8. Lastly, I made a bow out of the burlap Halloween chevron ribbon from Dollar Tree and added a crow on top (also from Dollar Tree).
  9. And that’s it ! Just hang it up and enjoy :)
DIY halloween shelf liner wreath
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