Tag Archives: budget

Highlanders Anonymous: The how-to edition

“How can I spend less money?”

The number one way to save money (according to no real statistics) is to make a budget. I’m not just talking about a yearly or monthly budget either. No. I mean a weekly and daily budget. If you want to have control over your hard-earned money, you’ve got to strategize.

You can be strict with your budget and have fun too. The best way is to be realistic. If you know you’re going to buy food at school and go shopping every Friday,factor those things in. Making a plan doesn’t mean you can’t do things. What you can do is be more informed, so you’ll know how much you can spend at the mall. Budgeting is smart, no matter how old you are. This will reduce a lot of stress in your life. Knowing your limitations is important.

“How can I learn to cook for myself?”

There are many ways to learn how to cook. I suggest finding the most fun way for you. You can watch cooking shows, if you’re a visual learner and want some inspiration. Another way is to buy a cookbook or look at recipes online. Follow the instructions exactly if you’re not sure what you’re doing. You can improvise after you’ve got the basics down. Cook alone or with friends, whichever suits you.

“How do I get a good night’s sleep?”

Be aware of your health and state of mind. It may be harder to fall asleep if you have a lot on your mind. To wind down, you should get away from electronics and bright screens that stimulate your brain and keep you awake. I suggest reading a book, conveniently placed near your bed. Also, make sure not to eat too close to bed–it’s not good for your metabolism! Make yourself comfortable and relaxed.

“How do I learn a new language?”

To learn a new language, there’s nothing better than practice. The more time you put into learning the basic structure of a language and practicing  vocabulary, the better results you’ll see. Although it can be a struggle at first, try and integrate this new language as a part of your daily life. The more the language is used practically in your day to day, the easier it’ll be to remember to go back and work on your weaknesses and get better. Another really helpful thing is to speak to native speakers of the language. You can do this through language-learning sources, online or you can even get a pen pal.

Highlanders Anonymous: Allergies, birthdays, and over-spending

Cat allergies can cause problems
Cat allergies can cause problems. Graphic from Mother Nature Network

“I have two cats, but my girlfriend is allergic. She says she won’t come over to my place unless I get rid of them. Should I give the cats up?”

Hopefully, your girlfriend isn’t seriously thinking that you’ll get rid of your pets. If your cats mean anything to you, don’t get rid of them. Relationships come and go, but a pet is a companion for their whole lifetime.

If you’re actually considering giving the cats up, maybe you should. Having a pet is a huge commitment. Deciding to keep the cats or get rid of them shouldn’t be taken lightly. You’re in charge of two lives here. Pets depend on their owners to do what’s best for them. If that means a new home, then give them up.

“How can I tell if I’m bisexual?”

Are you attracted to both sexes? If yes, then you’re considered bisexual by themost basic definition. That doesn’t mean you have to pursue– or stay away from–same-sex relationships. It’s up to you who you’ll pursue in the future. I advise you not to pressure yourself with a label. Love who you love!

“Everyone forgot it was my birthday last week. Are they bad friends?”

Friends get busy and forget things. Don’t take it personally. They’re sure to feel bad when they realize their slip-up. If you want to celebrate your birthday, make it happen. Throw a party and don’t dwell on these negative thoughts.

“When I go to the store, I always buy way too many things. Sometimes, I only go to buy bread, milk, and eggs, but I come out with ten other items. I really don’t have money to spend on things I don’t need. How can I stop getting so sidetracked?”

It sounds like you’re are trying out a method of stress relief called “retail therapy.” This can effectively distract you from the real problems at hand, but it doesn’t  solve them. In fact, it’s probably making things worse because now you’re also going broke. Instead of shopping, go talk to somebody about your problems, and make a stricter budget.

 

Work it, girl!

Ramen: the basic diet for a college student. Even though the sodium explosion that is ramen can be quite a treat every once in a while, it’s not the best means of sustenance. To prevent the fate of a constant ramen diet, one must seek out funds. These can’t always be a given; sometimes they must be sought out.

One form of money-making for students is right on campus: work study. This offer is exclusively for undergraduate and graduate students that have been accepted for financial aid benefits through the federal government. To gain that eligibility, you must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If approved, those students are allowed to apply for part-time jobs. Those jobs may also include community service like tutoring kids off-campus.

FullSizeRender
“One form of money-making for students is right on campus: work study.” Photo of: Student Danielle Johnson

Students who receive the work study opportunity make minimum wage and generally have a set amount of hours that they’re allowed to work per week in order to adhere to their budgets. The budgets depend on the how much the college can afford. Keep in mind that graduates and undergraduates are paid at different rates. There are cases where you might not be paid exactly by the hour.

This year students may work up to 180 hours each semester, working 12 hours a week and earn $7.25 an hour. Not only does this time help you earn some extra pocket money, but it will look great on your resume–as long as you use the opportunity wisely. This offer gives you real work experience and can help you get closer with departmental connections at the school that are able to further your career.

Student employment on campus doesn’t happen without a little bit of work. To gain one of these positions, you must contact a supervisor listed under the available job you’re looking for. From there, you can discuss potential employment. Those positions are listed on RU’s website and whenever a new one’s available, it’s listed again.

The jobs usually list what requirements the employee must fulfill and the daily functions they would have to carry out. Some of the positions listed are: Geology Department Opportunity, McConnell Library Opportunity, Technology Assistance Center Opportunity, and Women’s Basketball Operations. Usually, these jobs are the most fruitful when they relate to what your major is.

Highlanders Anonymous: Diary, bills, and extra school

“I spend way too much time playing video games everyday. How do I stop getting so distracted and get my real work done?”

Procrastinating when you have a lot of work to do can become a real issue and it’s a pretty common one. Take steps to se that you focus enough to actually get your work done on time, even if you have to force yourself. I’d even go as far to say that you should unplug your game console during weekdays. That way, the temptation is gone.

“Is there a way to keep my roommates in check? They’re super forgetful and I’m afraid they’re going to leave the heat on every time they go out? The electricity bill is going to be too high this winter!”

If you are able to have a chat with your roommates about this, ask them to set reminders for themselves to prevent this from becoming a hindrance. You all could also agree on an attention-grabbing sign on the front door that reminds them to switch off the heat.

Remember that there’s no outright way to force people to change the way they are. If there is no peaceful way to stop them from leaving the heat on, tell them that they must pay a larger portion of the heating bill. The best solution would ideally be the one with a compromise though.

“Some people tell me that I wear too much makeup and it’s really annoying. What’s the best way to tell them off?”

Ignoring them might be a better way to go about that. However, if you have to encounter these people often, don’t feel like you have to justify yourself for wearing your makeup. Be honest and tell them that their behavior is bothering you.

“I have the option to spend another year at school, but it’s not required. I’m not sure if it’s work it or not. Should I stay or just get a job?”

Only go to school for another year if it will be worth it in the long run. Ask yourself an important question; “Will not going to school the extra year prevent me from achieving my goals?”

“Where should I hide my diary?”

diary
“Where should I hide my diary?”

Transfer it onto your computer and password-protect it. Then, dispose of the paper copy.