5 Reasons Why You Should Start Saving for Retirement Now

by Nicole Ryan, Student Blogger

I know what you are probably thinking, “I’m way to young to start saving for retirement.” You’re college students with your whole lives ahead of you, why start thinking about something so far down the road now? Well, the truth of the matter is that right now, time is on your side. It doesn’t matter how much you put away, it could be as simple as five dollars a month. No matter how much it is, getting an early start on saving for retirement can only benefit you in the end.

Starting Early: Obviously, the earlier you start saving, the more money you will be able to save. Starting early with a retirement savings will help you through those rough patches where you really can’t afford to save, job changes, and spares you the fear and stress of having to scramble to start saving when you’re getting closer to nearing retirement.

Compound Interest: If you are saving your money in an account that gives you compound interest, you will have plenty of time to actually receive the benefits compound interest can offer.

Starting Good Habits: Beginning to save for retirement now can help you develop beneficial saving habits that you can carry with you throughout your life. Learning these habits now can help you avoid financial trouble in the future.

Preparation: If you start saving now, you’ll already know what you need to do to continue to save for retirement once your graduate school and begin working. Not only are you saving, but you’re learning at the same time.

Developing Good Credit: Using credit cards may not seem like a way to save for retirement but in the long run it does impact an individual’s ability to contribute to a retirement account and/or to take other steps toward a financially secured retirement. If you have credit cards, use them wisely and make sure you make all payment on time and you will be helping yourself save for retirement.

None of us want to think about retirement right now. We’re busy being students and trying to get our lives started, retirement is just a far off idea. Even so, whether we want to think about it or not, there will come a day where we are ready to retire and it’s important to make sure you are prepared. All it takes is a little bit of saving now, and you could really help yourself out in the long run. Thinking about and planning for the future is always a good skill to have. So, begin saving now so when the time comes to head off to your cozy condo somewhere in Florida, you’ll have the money to be able to have a relaxing and comfortable retirement.

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Taking Advantage of Student Discounts

by Nicole Ryan, Student Blogger

I think it’s safe to say we all enjoy saving money.  Especially as we make our way through college, we can find that at times money can be pretty tight.  But don’t fear!  There are ways to save and make your money go farther.  One of the easiest, and often over-looked, is student discounts.  Almost every place you go, whether it be a store, restaurant, amusement park, and so on has some sort of student discount.  All you have to do is present your student ID for some major deals!  Here are some sites that can help guide you on what discounts are out there for you!

100 Stores with Student Discounts

http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/2012/12/11/100-stores-that-give-a-student-discount/

This page is great because not only does it give you 100 different locations that offer student discounts but it also breaks them up into categories such as ‘school supplies’ or ‘clothing.’

Ways to Save with Student Discounts

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/07/ways-to-save-with-student-discounts/index.htm

This is another awesome site that give you multiple companies that offer student discounts and what types of discounts those are.

Student ID Discounts via Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/explore/student-id-discounts/

Pinterest is a great place to look up student ID discounts.  The site is able to connect you with many other sites and sources of information.

10 Clothing Stores with Student Discounts You Didn’t Know About

http://www.srtrends.com/10-clothing-stores-with-student-discounts-you-didnt-know-about/

Here you can find all of the most popular clothing stores and their discounts listed.  This is perfect for us students who are trying to maintain a fashionable wardrobe on a small budget.  your student discount can save you a decent amount of money at any of these stores.

Some local places in Colorado that offer discounts for student ID’s are The Denver Museum of Nature and Science, season passes at almost all the Colorado ski resorts, and admission to the Denver Art Museum.

Being a college student isn’t cheap.  That’s why it’s important to know what places offer discounts so you aren’t over-spending when you don’t need to be.  Some of your favorite clothing stores or restaurants could offer student discounts of 10 or even 15 percent without you even knowing!  All you have to do is ask!

Stay in the loop with student discounts and you can save some serious money!

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The Ralphie Discount List

by Danielle Meltz, Student Blogger

Being a college student in Boulder isn’t cheap. Tuition, live music, dinner with friends, and late night pizza runs add up quickly. However, there are a few stores that understand our “poor college student” status and offer student discounts. Check out some of these stores during your holiday shopping and remember to show that college ID to cash in on the discounts!

Woman with Shopping BagsClothes and Apparel

Ann Taylor: Female students gearing up for career fair season might want to look into the 15% discount off of full-priced items that Ann Taylor has.

Charlotte Russe: Sign up for texts and you get a 10% that day

Club Monaco: This certainly isn’t the cheapest store, but if you decide to invest in some Club Monaco apparel they have a 20% off all items for college student in store and online.

Eddie Bauer: go considering there’s a. From clothing basics to camping gear, Eddie Bauer’s you’re one shop wonder for all your Colorado essentials; 10% discount on all items

J.Crew: Get a 15% discount in stores when you show your school ID.

Madewell: The store that manages to have clothes for every style also has a 15% student discount.

 

Technology

Apple: You might want to let your parents in on Apple’s student deals. Current students, students accepted to college, and parents buying for college students all get discounts on Apple products. You can save up to $200 on a MacBook and up to $20 on an iPad.

Amazon: Students can get a free six-month trial of Amazon Prime, which offers free two-day shipping on all of Amazon’s items and a $10 credit when you refer a friend.

Best Buy: Discounts on everything from Apple products, to printers and PC’s, Best Buy might be the place to hit if you’re unsure about what you want your next appliance to be.

Dell University: Dell University is a program through Dell that offers discounts on technology for students.

RadioShack: Everything from TV’s to iPhone cases, get $10 off of your next tech purchase.

Sony: Need some sweet new electronics? College students get 10 percent off.

Food

If you have the Flatiron Meal Plan however, you might want to look into what their discounted restaurant of the week is right now.

Hopefully holiday shopping just got a little easier with all the clothing and technology deals available for students!

 

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Is the Flatiron Meal Plan Right for You?

by Danielle Meltz, Student Blogger

The Flatiron Meal Plan is a prepaid dining card that allows student to buy food and groceries from over 100 close-to-campus locations. It’s been the craze lately with a ton of students getting it, but what does a Flatiron Meal Plan really entail? And is it right for you?

The idea behind the Flatiron Meal Plan is that parents can put money on a card knowing that it is going towards food, groceries, and now gas or laundry too. It takes away the hassle of withdrawal or transfer charges when students are running low on money and are desperate for a meal.

For students who pay for food themselves, it comes in handy too. The Flatirons plan is more than just a debit card for food. It has exclusive deals making buying food more cost efficient. Every week one restaurant on the Flatiron plan is 25% off. (Sneak peak, next week’s deal is Foolish Craig’s one of the best breakfast places in Boulder)

There are STEALS too, which are random flash deals throughout the semester. In the past they have had free subs at Half Fast Subs, or $1 Rush Bowls.

How does the actual Plan work?

When putting money onto the card, you can choose the custom plan and decide to put as much as you want. Or, you can choose a plan which is an estimate of how much food will be spent per week.

The different plans are just an easier way for students to estimate that if they want 7 meals per week, at $7.5 a meal, meaning their parents can start them off at $735. If you buy a slice of Boss Lady Pizza for $4, it will just take $4 off of your card since it operates like a debit card.

flatiron (1)

Getting a Flatirons card in 5 easy steps

1)      Go online to http://www.flatironmealplan.com/signup.html

2)      Choose whether you want to pay with credit card or check

3)      Fill in your information and how much you want to put onto your card

4)      Pick up your photo ID card from their office on the Hill (1310 College Avenue Suite 475)

5)      Test it out on the hill on your way home

Plans to allow parents to estimate how much to put on the card each semester

18 meals a week $1,890
14 meals a week $1,470
10 meals a week $1,050
7 meals a week $735
5 meals a week $525
3 meals a week $315
Custom Plan Any amount

Fall advice- If you start your card at $525 or more, before you September 30th, you will receive $250 in exclusive deals and coupons.

The Flatiron Meal Plan also keeps the money you’ve put on it till you use it all, the same as a regular debit card works. With over 90 restaurants, two grocery stores, a gas station and a laundry mat, it’s no wonder more students are jumping onto the Flatiron meal plan.

After looking into the flatiron meal plan, I am definitely looking into getting one. As anyone who tries to balance school, a job, and clubs will know, cooking isn’t exactly something you always have time for. And having discounts to make food cheaper is always a benefit to a starving college student such as myself.

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A Smart Budgeting Tool: The 50/30/20 Rule

by Yuchen Wu, Student Blogger

Last weekend, I found a secret when I accompanied my friends shopping at the Flatiron Crossing Mall. Yingying is picky and she only wants to pay for the perfect apparel, whereas Cyril always opts for something affordable and doesn’t care about “perfection.” As a result, Yingying bought a $60 blue woven scarf while Cyril bought $30 jeans and some cheap T-shirts. While I was surprised about the two’s distinctive shopping philosophies, I started to wonder what their budgeting habits look like. What astonished me was that both of them felt that they only spend about 30 percent of their budgets on shopping.
Woman Money in Wallet

It reminds me of the 50/30/20 rule, which basically states that 50 percent of one’s budget should be spent on “needs,” 30 percent should be spent on “wants,” and 20 percent should be saved. The rule is coined by a Harvard bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren and her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi in their book “All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan.” My two friends, apparently, are fans of this rule and they are benefitting from it. So, I thought I should share this smart rule to help people with their money management.

Basically, the 50/30/20 rule outlines the following four steps:

Step One: Calculate Your After-Tax Income

In general, your budget is the amount you collect from all your paychecks after taxes. This after-tax income will be how much you can spend.

Step Two: Limit Your Needs to 50 Percent

A need is any payment that would severely impact your quality of life, such as housing, insurance, utilities, and groceries. According to the rule, spending on the “needs” should be no more than 50 percent of your after-tax income.

Step Three: Limit Your Wants to 30 Percent

A want is any payment that you can forgo with only minor inconvenience, like beautiful shoes, a movie, or a trip to Paris. Sometimes you will buy a “want” that upgrades to a “need.” For instance, you want to have a faster speed of internet or an upgraded cable bill. Although 30 percent sounds great, you may spend more on “wants” than you think.

Step Four: Spend at Least 20 Percent on Savings and Debt repayments

According to the 50/30/20 rule of thumb, you should spend at least 20 percent of your after-tax income paying your debts repayments, such as credit card balances, or saving money for emergency use.

All in all, where and how much to spend money is a deeply personal thing, but knowing this simple “rule” can help with your money management!

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