Top 5 budget-friendly spring break beach resort destinations

Students who have been working their tails off throughout the year really need a break to relax and also to refresh their minds for the upcoming term. Instead of emptying your pockets and splurging on that beach-side spring break you covet, here are the top five exotic destinations that fit a student-sized budget.

Daytona Beach, Florida

studyblog3 photo2 daytona1 Top 5 budget friendly spring break beach resort destinations

Start your spring break in the waves of the Atlantic surf, also famous for its motorsports. If you’re there in early March, you can also enjoy the motorcycle event and rally held as a part of ‘Bike Week’. If you’re planning a day trip, you can also visit Walt Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Studios in Orlando. The ‘Big Red Party Bus’ cruises around the beach at an affordable fee, and the vast amount of low-cost resorts and hotels will assure you have an enjoyable and carefree break. Check out AirBnB options for cheaper accommodation and make sure to reserve well in advance.

South Padre Island

studyblog3 photo3 south padre Top 5 budget friendly spring break beach resort destinations

The most beautiful island of South Padre is located at the southern end of Texas; it boasts attractive blue-green waters for fishing, watersports, diving and a vast array of other fun activities you can do on a budget. Added to that are “bars that emphasize character rather than class,” and lodgings available at great discounts! This could be the perfect vacation spot for you if you study in or close to Texas.

Myrtle Beach

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The significant brown-sugar-colored beaches of South Carolina are a perfect vacation destination, specifically the Family Kingdom Amusement Park, a great place to enjoy beachside rides. It offers a wide accommodation starting from oceanfront resorts along the entire Grand Strand to cozy beach homes and vacation rentals that will definitely fit your budget. Oceanfront camping sites are a great way to save and have an adventure.

Jamaica

studyblog3 photo6 montego bay Top 5 budget friendly spring break beach resort destinations

Montegro Bay, Jamaica

If you want something more exotic and are willing to spend some of your savings on air travel, this Caribbean island nation offers a lot of options for students. First of all, the cost of air travel from Florida and other parts of the East Coast can be as low as under $200 round trip if you order in advance, and so if you go to school on the East Coast, this could definitely be the low-cost option for you. Jamaica has a lush topography of mountains, rainforests and reef-lined beaches. In the north coast, there is Montego Bay, filled with beaches, large cruise ships, amusement parks, and also in the protected waters of Montego Bay Marine Park, is snorkeling and diving in the coral reefs. And in the western part of Jamaica is the laid-back town Negril where you can have a relaxing Spring Break with an amazing outdoor party environment.

studyblog3 photo6 negril Top 5 budget friendly spring break beach resort destinations

 

Negril, Jamaica

It’s also popular for its water sports and cliff diving. At nights, either you can have a calm walk and relax in the 7-mile stretch of white sandy beach, or drill your body and soul in the reggae and the dancehall music that emanates from the surfside clubs. You don’t need to spend a fortune on lodging since there are special ‘cabin’ type properties available for students at low cost, but you need to book early! So no doubt, this can be your dream vacation spot!

Playa Del Carmen in Mexico

800px Playa del Carmen beach Top 5 budget friendly spring break beach resort destinations

Like in its popular northern neighbor, Cancun, entertainment is abound with amazing peaches and a large number of all-inclusive accommodations and inexpensive places to eat. It’s a more-budget friendly and down-to-earth destination, where students can relax, party and reboot for acing their finals. If you book early, you can find great deals on airfare for under $150-$200.

Check out which scholarships you are eligible for to help you with tuition and fees so that your student wages can go toward your spring break!

And take a look at the no-essay scholarship sweepstakes, You Deserve It Scholarship, with an application deadline just a week away!

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Image Credits:

“Josh surfing the Atlantic Ocean” by Erin Costa Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons

“People on breakwater at Isla Blanca Park, South Padre Island” By Vince Smith Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons

“Mrytle Beach – Broadway on the Beach – Putt Putt Place” by carldunniii Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons

“DSC_0245” by eric Molina Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons

“P1170039-The beach at Sandals, Negril” by Gail Frederick Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons

Playa del Carmen by Haakon S. Krohn licences under  3.0 Unported

16 New Year’s Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

Here are 16 resolutions to adopt in 2016. Print them out and stick them on your fridge!

  1. Save more money.

Let’s face it, we all want the brand new iPhone 6, amazing exercise gear and the best electric bike on the market. Ask yourself, how can I get that for less?

save 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

 

Related:
Here are some ways to save money during winter break
Paying for a car on a college budget

  1. Take more meaningful photos.

And not just selfies or pictures of food. Take photos with your college friends because that’s what you’ll want to look up years down the road when you start to forget the experiences you had.
photo 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

  1. Get an internship (or a professional job).

To get the best job possible out of college, you need to be able to signal your worth to a prospective employer. And the best way to do that is to let your accomplishments speak for themselves. Work on your portfolio while you’re at it, be it blogs, designs, lines of code or clients.

internship 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

  1. Take some interesting courses.

This can come in handy in a variety of settings. For one, you may become passionate about environmental biology, archaeology or astronomy. Did you know you can get college credit for taking step aerobics or becoming a water safety instructor? Finally, this gives you something to talk about on dates, at parties and even at interviews.

read 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

  1. Join clubs and sports teams.

Being an active member on campus will expose you to lots of new people, challenges and future opportunities through your network.

tennis 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

  1. Branch out.

College is a great time to meet new friends and learn about different people from a variety of backgrounds. And years down the road you can do a trip around the world to visit all the international friends you’ve met in college!

friends 1024x768 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

  1. Travel.

Take a semester abroad and go on an adventure in a place you’ve never been to. If you do stay close to campus, look for new things and places to explore. And remember, the most important thing in travel is the company you’re with.

travel 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

  1. Eat healthy.

It’s tough keeping a healthy diet in college, but you will be thankful for it in the long run.

eat healthy 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

  1. Fall in love.

College is your chance to experiment with relationships – it’s easy to meet people and there’s freedom to explore. Do remember about the other 15 goals on this list :).

 

christmas 1 1024x512 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

  1. Stop procrastinating.

It’s easy to fall into the habit of procrastinating with our assignments, but this year try to spread out your work. Use different online tools to help concentrating on one task at a time, limiting access to the web while writing essays and to find other ways to stay on track.

stop 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

  1. Read more.

People who read are more likely to vote, exercise, and be more cultural. They also have a better chance of getting jobs. Be one of them.

read more 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

  1. Keep your room clean!

It’s much easier to feel at peace and less stressed when your dorm is organized.

keep dorm clean 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

  1. Establish connections with your professors.

You’ll need their recommendation for grad school, internship and job applications. Plus they’re just full of wisdom, and are worth getting to know.

connection w prof 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

 

  1. Stick to your goals.

Achieve that which you’ve set your mind to. Use apps to keep track of your goals.

goals 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

  1. Pay off your debt.

Graduate with as little debt as possible. Look for scholarships and grants, get a part-time job, ideally related to your field of study, and find ways to cut your expenses.

debt 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

Related:
Here are some ways to avoid debt in college
Ways to make money in college

  1. Be yourself!

2016 is all about setting yourself apart from the crowd. Figure out what makes you you, and stick to it. Develop your unique talents and figure out what you’re passionate about. Excel in that and pretty soon people will start calling you an expert!

girl 16 New Years Resolutions for Students to Stick to in 2016

Best of luck for the coming year! Happy 2016!

Image credits:

Save Money” by 401(K) 2012. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

Summer Internship Program Closing Celebration and Final Presentations“ by MarylandGov Pics. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

Abandoned School NS Library” by Andre Govia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

Tennis Season 2012 66” by Karen Montgomery. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

Comida Sana / Healthy Food” by Sergio J. Padron A. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

My Family.” by Carolyn Eaton. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

Stop Procrastination” by Lynn Friedman. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

Read” by Alyssa Young. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

The Dorm” by Paige Willis. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

Professor Charles Goslin” by sgoralnick. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

Goal Setting” by Angie Torres. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

Wipe Our Debt” by Images Money. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

10 Ways to Save Money During Winter Break

Here are useful ways you can save money when school’s out and have a pretty good time:

1. Throw a leftovers party, that way all the money you spent on food doesn’t go to waste!

food containers 10 Ways to Save Money During Winter Break                 Creative Commons license from armigeress

One tip to remember is if you’re planning on throwing the party a few days after Christmas, make sure to freeze everything.

2. Save on snow gear!

 

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There are plenty of places that give discounts to students on snow gear. Be sure to check them out before you pay full price.

3. Host movie nights! There’s nothing better than inviting friends over for a movie night.

popcorn 1024x768 10 Ways to Save Money During Winter Break

Not only is it cozier to stay at home, but you also save money on tickets and munchies with home-made popcorn.

4. Travel home for cheaper!

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If you’re looking for the least expensive way to travel home for the holidays, be sure to try booking (in advance) through Amtrak, Greyhound, or MegaBus.

5. Invite your friends over for potluck dinners!

potluck 1024x768 10 Ways to Save Money During Winter Break

Everyone chips in and it definitely takes some of the pressure off the host.

6. Explore local venues!

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Chances are there that there will be great events taking place during winter break. Just get out there and explore the culture of your hometown.

7. Go ice skating!

ice skating 1024x768 10 Ways to Save Money During Winter Break

If you have a community lake that freezes up during winter break, make sure to take advantage. It’s so fun in a big group or as a date activity and it’s nearly free!

8. Flash your student ID!

ID card 1024x768 10 Ways to Save Money During Winter Break

Winter break is a great time to go shopping because the seasons are changing and you have to layer up, but it’s important to remember the discounts you can get with your student ID. Don’t forget it at home.

9. Spearhead fun outings!

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Look on sites like Living Social or GroupOn to help you get good deals while you’re home and have some time to relax. There are endless winter activities that are posted and they’re all at great rates!

10. Use Uber, ride sharing and carpooling apps to save on gas and transportation.

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It pays to leave your car at home. You’ll save money and meet new people!

Couponing for a College Party

Couponing Couponing for a College Party

Throw a Big Party on a Small Budget with Coupons

Parties are pretty common in college, especially for people in a sorority or fraternity. If you are a college student at the moment, you may be tempted to throw your own bash at some point in time. There is just something so exciting about the idea of throwing a party, no matter how much it may cost. Lucky for you, there are ways to actually use coupons to save enough money so that you don’t have to worry about the cost of your big day. Here are some tips for using coupons for a college party.

Collecting Coupons for a Party

If you already know that you are going to be throwing a party, you might as well start collecting coupons to use for it. You could do this by just saving the coupons you personally get in the mail, but that may not be enough coupons to cover your costs completely. If you are in a sorority or fraternity, get your pledges to go around campus trying to get coupons from people. If you are in a club, see if you can get people to bring them to the next meeting. You could also contact the newspaper to see if they have any excess ads from the Sunday paper that they are going to throw away. You may be able to pick those up to use for your party.

Selecting Food and Drinks for the Party

In terms of the food and drinks that you can use in your party, try to think outside the box. You may not be able to get a good deal on classics like chips and salsa. You may, however, get a good deal on fruit or pretzels or something else that is slightly unconventional. Don’t be afraid to take a risk. If you can find the ingredients for a really good dish, you might be able to make your own snacks instead of buying them. The little extra work will pay off well in the end.

Creating Invitations for a Party

If you are planning to advertise your party a bit, try to look for coupons for printer ink and paper. You may also want to have a few of your friends make large sets of prints in the library. This will only work if you don’t have to pay money to use the printer on campus. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending more this way in the long run. Think about everything you need to put together your invitations and look for coupons to cover their costs. Then all you have to do is start passing out the flyers and hope people show up.

Couponing may not be the first activity you think about for a college party, but it can help you stay on budget while still having fun. Test out the suggestions above for your big blowout, and you’ll surely have a good time.

Is Technical School Tuition Cheaper?

technical school Is Technical School Tuition Cheaper?

Can I Save Money Going to Tech School?

If you are trying reduce tuition costs for your education, you may consider going to a tech school instead of a traditional college. This will give you a chance to get a degree in less than two years, but it may limit your ability to find high-paying work in the future. Before you sign up for something like this, you need to make sure you will actually save money in the long run. Here is a quick analysis to help you determine that.

The Cost of Tuition

The biggest cost you will encounter in tech school is tuition. This will vary by school, but it usually ranges between $150 and $250 per credit hour. If you are taking 12 hours of classes for a semester, you might have $1,800 to $3,000 in tuition costs to pay for. You can contact your school for more information about the specific amount you have to pay, but that gives you an idea of the base expenses you may encounter.

The Cost of Fees

Most classes will have fees on top of the money you pay for tuition. You may have to pay $50 to use lab equipment or $100 to go on class field trips. This is money that you will know about upfront, but it is still a hefty expense to keep in mind.

The Cost of Books and Supplies

Books and school supplies are incredibly expensive, no matter what kind of degree you’re going through. You can rent textbooks to save a bit of money every semester, but you will still need project materials to go through your classes. Sometimes you know what the cost of these supplies will be upfront, and other times you just have to come up with the money on the spot. Plan to have at least $1,000 a semester in backup money, just in case something like this comes up. If it doesn’t, you have more money to pay for everything else you need.

The Cost of Living

On top of all the costs mentioned above, you are going to need a place to stay and food to eat. Some technical colleges have dormitories to stay in, and others expect you to live off campus. Whatever the case may be, you will have to factor your rent, food, utilities, and general expenses into your cost of attendance.

How Scholarships Work at Tech Schools

Not all scholarship programs will work for technical schools. In fact, many scholarship providers require recipients to attend a four year university. You will need to think about this before you decide where you want to get your education, in case the scholarships you have won won’t work at the school you choose. Even if you manage to save money at a tech school, it’ll be no good if you lack the financial aid to cover your costs.

Make the Best of Both Worlds

Want to earn a four year degree while saving money in college with tech school? You could choose to go to a tech school for the first two years of your degree, then transfer to a traditional university. Of course, you will need to make sure that the credits from the junior college will be accepted at the university. If not, you may be better off just going to the school you plan to be at in the first place. Do your research well in advance, and you’re sure to find an affordable education to build your career on.

Paying for a Car on a College Budget

16058543 s Paying for a Car on a College Budget

How to Get a Car for College

Cars can be incredibly expensive, no matter what you want to buy. It is hard enough to pay for a car when you have a steady career, let alone when you’re dealing with a college budget. Nevertheless, there are some simple ways to adjust your spending so you can have the ride you need to get on campus. Here are some tips to help you pay for a car when you have no money.

Save Your Financial Aid

If you get money back from school each semester, try to put some of it away. You’re not technically supposed to use scholarship money for this, but there is no harm in doing so if you already have your school costs covered. Don’t take out a new student loan just to put a down payment on a car because you will have to pay that back after graduation. Just put back a little extra money if you can.

Get a Steady Job

If you’re still living on your parent’s allowance money, you need to think about getting a job. This may be hard to do between classes, but it is something you’ll need to think about if you want a car. You could get a job tutoring or writing online, and that would save you from having to leave the house when you go to work. Any extra income you get can go toward the car fund.

Avoid Financing the Vehicle

It may be tempting to finance a car in college because you don’t have to come up with the money all at once. This is an option, but it is one that you must think about carefully. If your job isn’t steady enough to support a car payment each month, you shouldn’t put yourself in that situation. You could destroy your credit early on if you start missing payments, and that will only lead to problems later on. You will also have to carry full coverage on your car if you finance it, which will raise your insurance payments each month. Do you think you can handle all that?

As a disclaimer, we will say that getting a car financed will help you build credit, which will help you if you want to get a better car in the long run. From a savings perspective though, you want to stay away from getting a loan on a vehicle.

Settle for Something Cheap

You probably won’t be able to afford the Bentley of your dreams on a Ramen Noodle budget, so don’t set your expectations too high. If the car has four wheels and a reliable motor, it should be good enough for now. You can always sell it later on and buy something better, but this will at least get you around until you can afford a bigger, better ride. Don’t get in over your head.

Follow the tips above as you start looking for a car in college, and you will hopefully find something you can afford.

 

Avoiding Debt in College

college debt Avoiding Debt in College

Most college students have some kind of debt to cover after graduation. Some have more than others, but the vast majority will have bills to cover immediately when they get out of school. This can be an incredibly stressful experience for someone, especially if he or she is having trouble finding a job. Luckily, there are some ways students can avoid this pressure-filled debt and start their lives fresh. Here are a few tips to help you make sound financial decisions in school.

Get Scholarships and Grants

The easiest way to avoid going into debt will be to get financial aid to cover your costs. Scholarships and grants don’t have to be paid back at any time, and they can provide all the money you need to cover tuition, fees, supplies, and more. You can find scholarships online or through local organizations, depending on where you live. If you get more money than what you actually need, consider it an opportunity to save. You could literally get paid to go to college if you apply for the right amount of aid. It’s just a matter of being willing to do that.

Live at Home

Most students want to move out the moment they turn 18, but that move can come with a ton of financial responsibility. If you have the ability to live at home for just a few more years, you may want to do that to save money. Sure, you’ll have to follow some rules that you may not like, but you’ll be able to save in the process. The financial freedom you’ll get later on will be well worth the struggle.

If you cannot live with family because you are attending school in another area, try to live with roommates off campus. Most on-campus housing costs significantly more than something you may find a few minutes away. As long as you have adequate transportation to get to school, you can live affordably and still get through your degree.

Pay in Cash

When you pay for the things you need in cash, you are less likely to overdraft an account or spend more than you should. You only have a finite amount of money to work with, so you’re forced to control yourself. Those little plastic wonders are great for convenience, but they can also lead you into a lot of debt very quickly. It’s in your best interest to avoid them at all costs.

Learn to Live on a Budget

At the end of the day, you just have to consciously look at your finances and determine what you can and cannot buy. You may not have a big budget to work with, but it’s important to only live within your means. Do not be fooled by tempting credit card offers and loans that you may qualify for. They are not worth the headaches that comes later on. Establish a clean financial slate for yourself, and you’ll be much better off in the long run.

Rent Your Textbooks and Save Big Money!

510191658 bbb625caa3 Rent Your Textbooks and Save Big Money!

How to Save Money with Textbook Rentals

If there is one thing that college students hate more than midterms, it’s paying outrageous prices on textbooks. If you are tired of paying for your textbooks, you may consider renting your books instead. There are tons of websites and stores that have textbook rental programs nowadays, and any one of them could help you save money on your education. You just have to know how to use their services to your advantage.

How Textbook Rentals Work

Every textbook rental program follows the same basic process. You pay for a small portion of the textbook you need and have it delivered right to your door (unless you pick it up in a store). You can use the textbook throughout the semester just like you want to. Write on it, bookmark it, sleep on it, or do whatever else you need to do with the book. Then when classes are over, you simply send the book back to the place you got it from and order another set of books for next semester. This is the same as any other rental program, but this could actually help you land a career in the future.

The Cost of Renting Textbooks

The price you pay for a textbook rental will depend on the book you need. Some books are in higher demand, or they are more abundantly available. If you need an expensive, rare book that is in high demand, you’re going to pay a pretty hefty price to get the book. This will be less than what you would pay for it outright, but it will still be more than you would pay for a cheap book that the store has a million copies of.

You will pay more for new textbook rentals than you will for used textbook rentals. Most rental companies make all of their money for the books within the first two or three rentals, and then the remaining rental periods are just profit for them. That is why you can get a cheaper book after the company has had it for a bit. If you want the lowest price possible on your textbooks, you need to find a used rental for every single class you take. This may not always be an option, but it is something to consider.

Where to Rent Textbooks from

There are several venues you can go to when you want to rent a textbook. Most people first turn to the internet because it usually has the lowest prices and the widest selection. The most popular textbook rental site online is Chegg because it has a huge selection to choose from, and it usually has the best prices around. If it doesn’t have the best prices, it has a coupon code somewhere online to reduce the cost lower than anyone else. Chegg is also unique because it has a tree planting program, where you can basically use the trees you saved by renting rather than buying to grow a new forest somewhere in the world. Chegg plants a tree or several in your honor, which can lead to an odd sense of accomplishment that you may not get with another rental program.

Aside from Chegg and other sites like it, you can also contact local book stores to see if they have any rental programs for you. Most college bookstores have started doing this for books that come in demand year after year. You may still have to buy one or two of your books outright, but that beats the heck out of buying all of them. No matter where you choose to go, you will save a ton of money through the textbook rental process.

How to Combat the Rising Cost of College

237983903 111c4c45fc How to Combat the Rising Cost of CollegeEffective Ways to Save Money on Your Degree

College tuition rates aren’t going to drop any time soon, and that may scare off worthy students who simply can’t pay for their education on their own. If you are aiming to get a degree in the near future, you need to think about what you can and cannot afford. This should not prevent you from getting the degree you want. You just have to figure out your finances before you get into something you can’t cover. Here are some tips to help you fight the rising cost of college.

Apply for Scholarships All the Time

There isn’t a set time of the year to get a college scholarship. There are opportunities available all year long. If you don’t have a scholarship now, that doesn’t mean you should give up on looking for one. Enter some contests in your area or look for clubs you can join an apply for scholarships through. The internet has a huge assortment of scholarships and grants for the taking, so you should never feel like your options are limited. The more you apply for, the greater your chances are of having your education paid off.

Consider a Degree Online

Online degrees have a tendency to be cheaper than campus based ones because they do not have the same overhead costs for the universities. Your tuition and fees should drop as a result of this, and you won’t have to worry about traveling to campus to learn. You can use the computer you already have and take all of your classes that way, assuming your degree will allow you to. Then the only cost you will have to worry about is maintaining reliable internet access. You may even be able to save on books and school supplies because a lot of your materials will be available online. This will add up at the end of the semester.

Spend Less Time in School

This does not mean you should get a lower degree than what you are already aiming for. It just means that you may want to pick up the pace for your learning. The faster you can get out of school, the faster you can start making money. If you have any student loans, this will give you a chance to quickly pay off the money you owe. Getting out of school early will also limit the increase in costs you experience over time since tuition rates go up every year. You can avoid a problem before it ever becomes a factor in your life.

Take the Classes You Need from the Start

Rather than taking fluff classes for part of your time in college, try to tweak your curriculum to get you in and out of school quickly. Every classes you take that does not pertain to your degree puts you one step closer to debt. Avoid taking a fun class “just because” so you don’t have to pay for it in the end. Focus on what you need to start your career.

Even though the cost of college is high at the moment, there are steps you can take to avoid caving under the pressure. Follow the tips above and you’ll be able to get through school in the most affordable way possible.