As March quickly approaches, students can officially begin the countdown to the much anticipated week that lies ahead-SPRING BREAK! However, before you start thinking about all that R&R, keep in mind the costs associated with spring break. For many students, this is a costly (but well worth it) adventure. Spring break definitely empties your wallet, so we have some great tips on how to save a few extra bucks for all you cash strapped students:
1. Sell old clothes. As the stores begin to introduce their Spring and Summer lines it’s hard to resist purchasing a cute new outfit or swim suite for your upcoming vacation. In order to keep your Spring Break budget intact, without sacrificing your style, consider selling your clothes at stores such as Plato’s Closet or Clothes Mentor. These stores give you cash for your used clothes up front. Or, consider taking your clothes to a local consignment shop where you can often exchange your last season items for store credit. In doing so you’re killing two birds with one stone, getting new clothes while clearing out the old ones!
2. Cut down on eating out. It’s often much easier to stop by the nearest convenience store on your way to and from class. However, that slice of pizza and bottle of soda that you buy every day for lunch can really add up quickly. Instead of going out for lunch and dinner, consider packing or making your food at home. If for some reason you must go out, pass the overpriced beverage and stick to the free ice water. Your wallet will be thanking you, and so will your body – just in time for the beach!
3. Make a budget and stick to it. When you aren’t committed to a budget, it’s incredibly easy to get sidetracked and wind up spending way more than you intended. When you have a specified budget, you can consciously track your spending and have a working knowledge of what you can and cannot spend. Setting up a budget in Excel, or using online tools such as Mint, will help you determine where to cut corners. I suggest getting out a limited amount of cash for the week rather than swiping your card all the time. This will force you to make smarter purchasing decisions.
4. Sell back your old textbooks to eCampus.com. As the snow melts we often find ourselves making great attempts to rid our lives of old junk. Texbooks from semesters passed usually account for a large majority of clutter, and can help you rack up some extra cash. Instead of letting your textbooks collect another years worth of dust, you should consider selling them back. It is really easy – just go to www.ecampus.com and type in the ISBN to find how much your book is worth. If you are satisfied with the amount (I always am!), just print off the prepaid shipping label and send it off to eCampus, and they take care of the rest! Within a couple of days you will receive a check in the mail, or you can get your check directly deposited to your account – it is that simple.
It can be very difficult to cut back on spending when there are so many temptations surrounding you, but when you consider a week of pure relaxation, free from financial and academic stress, it is well worth it. What other money saving or money making tricks have you used?
Good luck on midterms and safe travels to all!
Now that winter’s over, what are you going to wear? Do you need to update your wardrobe pronto before you sweat your way to class but don’t have a lot of money to spend? Don’t worry, you’re definitely not the only one. There are lots of stores and online shopping where you can find mix and match spring and summer pieces without spending like a celebrity.
One online store brimming with deals for college students is aSociete. Once you create a free account (you don’t even have to be on the listserv to get daily emails if you don’t want to), go to town on clothes, accessories and shoes that are always on sale—and even name brand! Though some designer duds from Betsey Johnson tend to remain in the mostly more expensive domain (generally around $45 or more), there are lots of other trendy, adorable clothes for under $20! It’s definitely worth scouring through the pages upon pages of clothes for these special deals designed specifically for college kids like us.
Modocat is another online bargain outlet. Shoes, bags, clothes, accessories are all at the click of a button—so be careful! To make your outfit planning that much easier, the site also features a daily lookbook to help you find the perfect outfit for you. Even better, there are always items for sale to keep an eye on. Though like aSociete, some items get quite pricey, this site is full of the cute, quirky, fun and flirty for any price range if you just take the time to look around.
The average mall stores, like H&M and Forever 21, are also great to hit when shopping on the cheap—whether you cruise through their websites or spend time in the actual stores. Online and in physical locations, both offer new arrivals and sale items quite frequently. Some more elaborate pieces, like decked out lace dresses, will run higher, but basic tank tops, shorts, knit tops and other mix and match essentials can always be found on the cheap! And if you find something you like that’s a little too pricey for you now, stay on top of that piece online and in the store—both have sales often, and you never know when it might dip down to your price point.
Don’t forget about the bulls eye either! Target, though sometimes picked on for being like Wal-Mart (but it’s so much classier and nicer) is full of great bargains. Not only do they have a new celebrity designer, like Jason Wu, design special lower price collections for them every few months, but they get great new styles in regularly. At the very least, hit up the bathing suit racks packed full of adorable suits at a reasonable price. And while you clothes shop, you can also get some snacks, DVDs and other home goods for your dorm or apartment—all of which can be found at decent price points.
Wet Seal, online and in some malls, offers affordability and variety. You can find a ruffly, feminine top or the punk rock skull t-shirt you always wanted. Make sure to check out the sale section, full of great steals for around $20 or less. For that price, you can fill your closet with new spring and summer shirts and have money to spare.
If you need some snazzy footwear instead of the mundane cheap flip flops meant for the beach, check out DSW (where you often pay less than Payless). They’ve got everything from fancy to casual, comfortable to beauty-is-pain. You can shop luxury designs, like Prada or Gucci, or just keep it simple with Clarks. Whether you need sandals or professional and comfortable shoes for an internship consisting of running around all day, you’ll have no problem finding multiple pairs in one quick visit.
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to look at fashion and women’s magazines for ways to build a well planned out outfit inspired by a stylish celebrity for less. Sometimes they’ll even offer you special discounts just because you bought that issue. Inspirations, discounts, pretty pictures of your favorite celebs, and other beauty ideas all in one? It can’t get any easier than this.
So get out there and put some spring into your step while you shop. Good style doesn’t have to cost a fortune, if you know where to look. You don’t even have to become an extreme couponer. Happy savings!
I’m reading Physics: Principles with Applications
Looking to make some last minute spring break plans but don’t know where you want to go? No worries, I have compiled a list of the top destinations for 2012 that are sure to please.
Panama City Beach, FL
It’s no question that Panama City Beach, Florida is still the number one Spring Break Destination in the United States. It is estimated that between now and the end of March over 500,000 students will visit the 27 miles of beaches. One of the biggest draws is the wide array of nightlife, as well as daytime activities. Contests and Concerts offer plenty of entertainment without even leaving the beach. As for weather, the average annual temperature is 77 degrees. Although it is not the warmest location in Florida, it is definitely still hot enough to work on your tan.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Although not a stereotypical spring break destination, Las Vegas has recently grown in popularity. For those that have done the beach thing, it is a nice alternative that still offers some great amenities. MTV must agree because they have decided to bring their spring break headquarters to the Palms. This means celebrities, concerts, and contests like no other. Endless pool parties during the day and awesome nightlife are just two reasons why 2012 is the year for a Vegas spring break.
Another alternative to the beach scene is visiting a Ski Resort in the United States. For those avid skiers or snowboarders, snow may be just as attractive as a hot weather destination. There are a lot of locations to choose from but a few are actually going out of their way to offer student friendly activities and prices. With a laid back atmosphere and good nightlife, Crested Butte, Colorado is one of these places. If you find yourself craving some adventure this Spring Break, check out the ski resorts nearest you.
Miami Beach, FL
Miami has remained a top competitor for some years now; with the exciting night life and upscale shopping you can’t go wrong. Although a bit more pricey then other Florida areas, warm temperatures and a wide variety of activities make up for it. The city has over 150 nightclubs and hosts the Miami Music Week March 20-25.The average annual temperature is 83 degrees, with a water temperature of around 76 degrees. If you’re interested in good food, crazy nightlife, and upscale accommodations Miami is the place for you.
Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona has been a long standing vacation destination but has yet to lose its charm. Recently it has become known as a more affordable location in Florida for spring break. Package deals and cheap accommodations keep spring breakers coming back each year. One perk of going to Daytona is that some parts of the beach allow you to drive on the sand and bring along a cooler. The temperature around March and April stay around 76-80 degrees, with a water temperature of around 70. So if you’re a bargain hunter that still wants to have some fun in the sun, Daytona may be the right choice for you.
South Padre Island, Texas:
Just a short distance from Mexico, South Padre Island tops the list of spring break destinations. Located off the gulf coast of Texas the laid back community has miles of beautiful beaches which draw in bigger crowds every year. Coca-Cola beach is a popular spot for students and offers a never ending party atmosphere. Water sports such as parasailing, windsailing, and snorkeling are also quite popular. Live music at night gives students the true Texas experience and helps keep them coming back year after year.
This is a guest post from our wonderful marketing intern Chelsea Knudsen.
How much do you think you know about Valentine’s Day? Do you know the names of the most famous couples in history or just in Hollywood? Can you guess what time of year the most couples break-up? We are happy to announce our newest giveaway challenge! Test your Valentine’s knowledge with our fun daily trivia questions.
From January 31st – February 13th we will be giving away a daily prize of a $50 Skinit.com gift card and on Valentine’s Day we will give away a grand prize of $250 CASH! The contestants with the highest score each day will be entered to win the daily prize. Continue taking the trivia challenge every day to increase your cumulative score! The people with the highest cumulative score at the end of the challenge will be entered to win a grand prize of $250 in cash! So enter now for your chance to win!
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is arguably the greatest music festival in the country. I had the pleasure of attending last year’s weekend extravaganza (you can check out my 2011 Coachella review here) and I can assure you that the Indio, California Empire Polo Club is one of the coolest venues I’ve ever been to. There are a bunch of bands that I’m really excited about seeing this year. I’ve asked around the office and got a few eCampus.com employees to voice their top picks from the 2012 Coachella lineup.
Nikki Leonard B2B Sales
Amon Tobin was amazing at Moogfest. His show is an experience not just a concert.
The Weekend? Yes Please! He released mixtapes with a new R&B feel online and now a second tier headliner at Coachella in just one year’s time so you know he is good.
Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover from Community he sings, acts, and raps over Yeasayer, Animal Collective, and John Legend #hipstersdream.
Arctic Monkeys are hardly ever in the states and defined my first year at college.
Beats Antique is always a festival favorite and a must see if you just want to zone out and dance with friends (and check out hot chicks belly dancing/pretend like you are one of them).
A$ap Rocky – run to this music
Real Estate – played at comics pretty chill
Bon Iver – a lot of buzz don’t know if it would be a good band to see at a festival; this one will be interesting.
Awesum Caldwell Interactive Marketing
I’m really pumped that Refused and At the Drive-In are playing reunion shows. Refused put out one of the greatest punk rock albums of all time 14 years ago; they broke up shortly after their first album dropped. If you check out At The Drive-In’s Facebook page, they haven’t had a wall post since 2008. #veryexcite
I’ve been out of the indie scene since I graduated, but I’ll definitely catch the Hives, M83, the Big Pink, Beirut, Neon Indian, Kaiser Chiefs, Fitz and the Tantrums, the Shins, and Arctic Monkeys. I have no idea who a lot of these bands are…which makes me feel kinda old.
I listen to a lot more female heavy groups than I used to, so I’d like to see Feist, Lissie, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Santigold, and Cat Power. Two of my favorite shows last year were Erykah Badu and the Kills. Alison Mosshart from the Kills has more on-stage energy than Axel Rose on a case of Red Bull (Axel from 1989, not 2009).
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog are the closing act this year? Kind of makes me upset that I got stuck with Kanye West last year. Oh well. The closing act normally has the best production value, so I’m really excited to see what Dre and Snoop pull out of their hats.
Elizabeth Lovejoy Social Media
I’m so happy that great musicians are making it onto the Billboard charts. Compared to chart toppers from a decade ago (Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears), it feels like pop music is in a golden Renaissance period where the masses actually listen to good music. Take the Black Keys for example. Their new album is #3 on the Billboard Top 200; not because they sold out and made a few catchy radio friendly hits, but because they genuinely made a great record. On the other end of the spectrum you have Kings of Leon; whose last two albums are a pathetic, watered down version of their first three records. And guess what…they aren’t playing this year (they actually headlined over the Black Keys last year). #huzzah
I just love Florence and the Machine. Florence Welch is unbelievably talented; she makes VH1 divas look like a 14 year old boy who just hit puberty. Bon Iver and Andrew Bird are also great vocalists; I’m very excited to relax in the beer tent and catch their sets.
Robin Glover Student Blogger
There are tons of great House, Electro, Dubstep, and Mash-Up acts at Coachella this year. The great thing about Coachella is that there are three completely separate stages for electronic music. You can catch bigger acts like Girl Talk, Miike Snow, and DJ Shadow or you could just hang out all day at the small stages and listen to groups you never even heard of.
I’ve been a Radiohead fan for years and have never seen them play live. I know they are doing a U.S. tour this year, but most shows sold out within 24 hours. Thom Yorke is one of the sexiest men alive, so I’m going to try my best to get within the first 10-20 rows (just to bask in his aura of greatness).