Browsing Tag:

money

  • Articles, Money

    Money Saving Skills for Students

    save money

    For most people, high school is a time of “firsts” — your first relationship, your first car, and perhaps the most important, your first job. 

    When you secure your first job, there’s no better feeling than spending the money you’ve rightfully earned. Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s easy to wear the cash-goggles, blinding you to the amount of money you’re spending and the significance of the objects you’re buying. There will come a time when you consider saving your check instead of using it immediately. 

    Whether you’re saving money to purchase something a little more expensive or thinking ahead to college funds, these tips, with a little pre-planning and self-control, will leave your bank account fuller for longer. 

    Split it up! 

    When I was in high school, and still to this day, I used this strategy. I swear by it. Typically, there are two components to every bank account: your checking and your savings. By immediately splitting your paycheck in half (or whatever fraction you prefer) and stowing part in your savings, you’ll forget you even put it there.

    If your parents are anything like mine, they’ve probably taught you that your savings account is strictly reserved for emergencies or for future endeavors. Since they ingrained that statement in my mind, I forget the money in that account exists.

    If you form the habit of splitting your paycheck upon receiving it, you can quite literally trick yourself into spending less money. 

    Limit yourself

    Back in high school, meetings and practices dominated my schedule; when a free day came around, which wasn’t very often, I would make plans two weeks in advance. For me, hanging out with friends usually consisted of going to get food or go shopping. Now that my life isn’t controlled by sports, I have more free time to go out. Which means I spend money. I have to intentionally limit myself instead of relying on my activities and hobbies to do it for me. By planning ahead of time what days you’re going to spend money, it’s easier to say no and save instead. 

    Do the math and write it out 

    If you’re looking to go a little more in-depth with your savings (or you love spreadsheets like me), then this is the strategy for you. You can do this by dividing your paycheck up into percentages, such as 10% for gas, 15% for random expenses, etc. (Model budget breakdown percentages can be found all over the Internet, especially on Pinterest. Here is the link to one of my favorite free budget template– it’s great for beginners). After creating ratios you’ll apply to each paycheck, you can keep track of your spendings in Excel, which will complete all of the math for you. 

    By knowing where your money will be going in advance and documenting the purchases you’ve made, you’re creating a budget and ensuring you won’t run out of money for the extent of that paycheck period. 

    While high school jobs don’t provide extensive amounts of money you can also implement these techniques in the future. By forming solid saving habits now, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in the future.

    Here are some more money tips to help you have more money!

  • Articles

    Six Tips on Selling Thrift Store Finds

    thrift stores

    By Chloë Bloodworth

    Most teenagers do not have a ton of money to spend at boutiques and malls as they wish. This is why thrift stores can be excellent places to find items of clothing for less than $20. If thrifting is something you are passionate about, why not make some money off of it? Especially if you hit the thrift stores regularly to purchase for yourself, selling those clothes you really admired but did not quite fit you can be a great way to make a little extra cash! Below are some rules and tips for selling your thrift store finds.

    1. Find a platform. You will need an audience of potential customers in order to sell the items you find, and social media can be a great way to achieve that! If you choose Instagram, you can sell through your personal account’s story or you can create an account purely for selling your items. Start by following some friends and check out other thrift flip accounts for inspiration. You can make a post for each item and add a description of the size, brand, cost, and more about the item in the caption. On Instagram, you may choose to host a giveaway (you must consider how much you are willing to spend on a giveaway item) in which you require your followers to tag a friend in the comment section in order to enter. This can be a great way to get more followers, as long as you follow through with your giveaway and select a winner. You can also sell items through the story of your personal Snapchat account. On Snapchat, you already have a set audience of friends, family, and mutuals who may be interested in what you are selling. Facebook marketplace can be an excellent place to sell your thrift finds because people go to this platform in order shop. Just be sure you are old enough and have your parents’ or guardians’ permission before creating an account.

    2. Set up your rules. If you do not have guidelines for your shop, selling your items can become chaotic and confusing. You must decide on how far from your location you are willing to sell, if you would prefer to sell from a designated location, how much shipping will cost (if you choose to ship), if you want to want to allow bidding (and if so, your rules on bids), if you allow returns, and any other factors that may occur to you as you set up your shop. Then make sure to list your rules so that your audience can see them, such as in your bio or on each post or slide of items you are trying to sell.


    3. Be careful when deciding on a price for an item. You do not want to undercharge: You should at least charge 3 or more dollars above the amount you spent on the item. Remember that part of the price is the time and effort you put into finding an item. You also do not want to overcharge. It is not fair to the customer for you to sell a clothing item that is not nearly worth what you are charging for it. To get a good estimate of what you should charge for an item, see if you can find the particular item or something similar online and see how much it costs. Also think about how much you got the item for and consider why this might be.


    4. Make sure your items are in good condition. Thrift items are typically second hand so it is natural for them to be not quite as perfect as they would be if they were sold brand new, but make sure they are free of stains or undesired rips that the customer would not appreciate.


    5. Do not be afraid to “flip” a thrift item. To flip an item means to add your own touch to or to fix up an item of clothing to make it more desirable. Some examples of flipping are to cut pants into shorts, paint designs onto shorts pockets, or cut long tee shirts into crop tops. You can also charge more for an item you have flipped because you have put time and work into improving it. Of course, flipping is not required- You can sell a perfectly good thrifted item as is.


    6. Have fun with it! If you do not enjoy thrifting or hate to let go of thrifted items, perhaps selling thrift store finds is not for you, and that is ok.

    Selling thrifted items can be very exciting and profitable if you enjoy thrift shopping and are smart with attracting customers and with your pricing. If you are interested, go have fun and make some extra cash!

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Money

    What is Money?

    girl counting money

    Well, I don’t mean the definition, but more so, what is its purpose? Money is used for many things that vary based on age groups. For adults, the main money flow usually goes towards bills, necessities, or items for children. Children usually use their money for their wants, such as candy or games. Teenagers, specifically girls tend to buy for both of their wants and needs, such as necessities for their period as well as chocolate as an add on. The worth of a dollar has changed through the centuries, as it became more valuable to live on in the developed world, but the worth of a dollar also changes through the age cycle. I will explain how to use money as a teenager and how to use it, more wisely.

    Is money even necessary?

    I would say money is not necessary, but, as a teen, I can say that changes as you get older. As a teen, you start to gather more money from different sources and of course, as an effect, spend more. The ways that you use money as a teen does affect your money habits as an adult, but as a child or even a teenager, I would say it is not as important to some as an adult.

    How can you earn money?

    Some ways to earn money are through

    • Jobs
    • Parents
    • Chores
    • Passive Income

    Some jobs that you can earn money from can be from neighbors, family, or friends, from things such as mowing lawns, helping with animals, babysitting, or even small things such as cooking and cleaning for others. You can earn money from chores or from your parents by doing tasks like cleaning, cooking, helping with pets, watching siblings, or getting an allowance.

    The last way to earn money as a teen is from passive income. You could get passive income from

    • Stocks
    • Blogs
    • Youtube
    • Social Media
    • Small Business Online

    Looking for other ways to earn money? Here are 49 ways to make money as a teen.

    What should I do with my money?

    One major thing that is helpful and that you have most likely heard more than once is to save your money! This can be annoying sometimes because you may never want to save your money but want to spend it responsibly, but saving is a major help for the long run. Saving your money can help by

    • Allowing you money for college
    • Helping your parents with money
    • Allow you to save for something big
    • Allow for better money habits
    • Good thing for emergencies

    You can, of course, spend your money, wisely. A few tips to spend your money, which are short, but sweet:

    • buy what you absolutely need first, and what you want second.
    • When you shop, make sure you don’t already have that same item, even if it’s in a different color.
    • Be sure to buy based off of quality, not quantity. Four toothbrushes are good, but if you use them in one month, it would have been better to have gotten the one toothbrush that would have lasted for three months.
    • One other way is investing your money from banks or from stocks.

    In conclusion, you should be sure to use your money wisely and efficiently. There are many more ways to make money and of course many things you can do with it, but as a teenager, the amount of notice you are taking in on your money should be a lot. One of the most important things that can alter your adult life is money, so as a teenager you should be very aware of what you are doing with yours.

    Looking for more money tips? Girl Spring has you covered!

  • College, GirlSpring.com

    Check Out These Awesome College Scholarships!

    College Scholarships

    Awesome Scholarships for College

    Don’t let student debt deter your dreams.

    College is simultaneously scary and exciting. Since college is the first step towards adulthood, it is also the first step towards responsibility. The decisions made after turning 18 may heavily influence your entire future.

    Although college is accompanied by loads of stress, it is an amazing opportunity. College prepares us for the future and teaches us accountability – a vital skill that high school does not.

    Seems great, right?

    Well, one downfall is the cost. Due to the dollar signs, many of those who are financially unstable believe that college is not an option. 

    However, this is not true.

    Scholarships are a life-saver. In fact, they’re a key component in my college career. Listed below are a few scholarships that will help you headstart paying for college.

    Specific Field Scholarships

    Southern Automotive Women’s Forum

    This scholarship is catered towards women pursuing a STEM-related field. Applicants must be a female high school senior or graduate who is enrolled or plans to enroll in a Southeastern college. States include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The minimum GPA for this scholarship is 2.5.

    Amount: $500 to $5,000

    Deadline: June 1, 2019

    Additional information and application: www.southernautomotivewomen.org/scholarship/

    Need-based Scholarships

    Kids Chance Scholarship

    Applicants are required to be a student and legal resident of Alabama. To qualify, one or both parents must have been permanently disabled or killed in a workplace accident. Students can apply for this scholarship each year they are enrolled in a university.

    Amount: $500 to $2,500

    Deadline: May 1, 2019

    Additional information and application: https://www.alabamalawfoundation.org/scholarships/kids-chance/

    Military Scholarships

    Alabama GI Dependents’ Education Benefit Program

    This scholarship is available for Alabama dependents of an eligible, disabled Alabama veteran. In addition to tuition and other fees, this award also assists in paying for textbooks.

    Amount: Tuition, Fees, and Text Book Assistance

    Deadline: None

    Additional information and application: http://www.va.alabama.gov/pdf/guides/scholarship.pdf

    General Scholarships

    “Countdown to College” Scholarship

    This scholarship has one requirement. Applicants must be an Alabama High School student with a subscription to the “Countdown to College” free weekly eNewsletter. Once registered, you will be automatically submitted.

    Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: May 4, 2019

    Additional information and application: http://www.potentialmagazine.com/national-countdown-to-college-scholarship-rules-and-requirements/

    MKH Lawyers Driver Safety Scholarship

    In addition to being an Alabama High School senior, applicants must submit an original essay detailing the dangers of texting and driving. Along with methods on how to spread awareness of these dangers. Throughout the essay, applicants must discuss public awareness strategies and practical ways to reduce automobile accidents.

    Amount: 3 Awards of $1,000 – $2,000

    Deadline: April 12, 2019

    Additional information and application: https://www.mkhlawyers.com/scholarship/#apply

    Paradigm Challenge

    For this scholarship, you must create an original, creative solution for common problems that affect students. Submissions must be presented in the form of posters, videos, events, websites or applications. Altogether, your strategy must be made clear in order to qualify. Applicants may work with a team if they wish.

    Amount: $100,000

    Deadline: May 5, 2019

    Additional information and application: https://www.projectparadigm.org/

    Heritage Scholarships

    KASF (Korean-American Scholarship Foundation) – Southern Region

    This scholarship is open to applicants who plan to be a full-time student in one of the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina or Tennessee. In addition, a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and a need for financial aid is required.

    Amount: $500 to $5,000

    Deadline: June 30, 2019 

    Additional information and application: www.kasf.org/southern


    A college education opens an extensive amount of doors, so don’t allow money to be the deciding factor.

    Find Additional General Scholarships here and Additional State-Based  Scholarships here!

  • Health

    Buying healthy groceries on a budget

    Eating healthy may seem difficult when you find yourself always going over your weekly budget and it always seems like healthy food cost twice as much as junk food. Healthy eating shouldn’t be hard and you should be able to buy the groceries that you want without spending too much. So how do you ditch the Ramen noodles and buy food that will fuel your body and give you all the nutrients it needs?

    Grocery Cart With Item

    Make a list and set a spending limit:

    It may seem like simple advice but making a list of your favorite healthy foods will keep you focused. You won’t be grabbing anything and everything that you see off the shelves. Every time I make a list I feel like I have no other choice but to stick with it. Another tip, use a calculator. This will give you a range of how much your groceries will cost so that you don’t end up overspending. Trust me, that has happened to me way too many times.

    Avoid Junk Food:

    No matter how bad those chips are calling your name, don’t give in. You will this save money, AND it will keep you from midnight snacking on foods full of salt and fat. Those shiny wrappers are wrapped around processed food that has a long shelf life but will not be beneficial to you, whatsoever. So focus on groceries that are more organic and stray away from foods that have 20 ingredients or more.

    Don’t by ALL your fruit and veggies fresh:

    Frozen and canned fruits and veggies are a lifesaver.  Not only do they last extremely long, but they are so CHEAP! Frozen fruit does not get rotten fast and has a lot more flavor packed into it. Canned veggies are fast, easy, and will save you a lot of money. If you can’t buy all of them fresh then these are alternatives that will still keep you on track to being healthy

    Get some grains:

    Rice is so cheap. It is a perfect side to any meal and can be made in less than ten minutes. If you are trying to eat healthy brown rice will give you the whole grain you need and keep you full long longer.

    Don’t go to the store hungry:

    I’ve found myself buying way more groceries than I needed for the week only because I was hungry, so make sure you aren’t starving when you are perusing the aisles.

    Budgeting is not easy, especially when you could easily buy cheap food that will seemingly agree more with your bank account but, if you actually take a few moments to plan your grocery store trip you can successfully walk away without a dent in your bank account and a full grocery cart.

  • Lifestyle

    Coping with Short-Lived Poverty

    Coping with Short-Lived Poverty

    To this day, I refuse to eat spaghetti in any form. When boxes of noodles are 2 for a dollar and the pasta sauce is only 95 cents, you just have to suck it up. I remember my mom would jokingly ask us what we wanted for dinner at night, and before we could even say anything she was halfway finished with cooking another pot of noodles. Sometimes she would switch it up and we would have four canned vegetables and maybe some mashed potatoes.

    Though the food situation was not ideal, it was manageable. The real problem came with needing clothes, school supplies, and wanting to do extracurricular activities. Our household income was only a thousand dollars more than what the state considered to be in need of free lunches and EBT cards. At the time I prayed for that to be the case because I was so embarrassed that I would have the lunch lady say aloud how poor I was every time she rang up my food. But as I get older, I understand that it would have been better for my parents and for me had we been offered those assists.

    When you are used to one life style and then quickly have to adjust to a new one it’s never easy. I ended up taking on two after school jobs and an internship to help pay for the things I wanted most, and then did without the things that were not so important. I joined my school’s Show Choir and was able to make the $60 monthly payments by doing fundraisers. I won every fundraiser that my group did, because I knew that I had to in order to stay in it. If you can’t find a job or don’t have the ability to fund-raise properly, then seek out sponsors. I asked a local restaurant to sponsor me and my softball team throughout school, and never had to worry about paying for equipment. When I wanted to go out of town with my friends, or even just go to the movies, I did odd jobs like gardening for my neighbors or cleaning some friends’ houses.

    If you are embarrassed of your situation, just consider that maybe you are not alone. Only one of my friends in high school knew how bad my situation was, and the rest were completely oblivious. It always made me wonder how many of them were just as good at hiding it.

    If you are worried about working and keeping up with your grades, then don’t seek an official job. Most part-time employers will work with your schedule, but sometimes you may need to look into less obvious work. I worked events on the weekends for companies that paid $20 an hour. I had little experience and was making a killing. I will add some links to those jobs down below if anyone is interested. The pay comes every 1-2 months, so make sure not to count on living paycheck to paycheck unless you work a ton of events back to back. Check with your local football or baseball stadium, sometimes the catering companies are hiring 15 and up to work weekends. Starting pay is typically pretty good and the work is not hard.

    Always make sure to ask a parent of guardian before starting a new job, because they deserve a say in what you are doing. If you are 15 years-old, then you will need a work permit that is approved by a legal guardian and your school. If you have a shopping addiction, then try working for a retail store that you like so that you can get that 15% or more discount.

    You should not be embarrassed to have a job while in school. It looks great on resumes, and lets future employers know that you can handle multiple tasks at once. If you pantry looks anything like mine did when I was in high school, you might want to consider the above suggestions.

    Links to employment:

  • Articles, Money

    What Teens Should Know About Taxes

    What Teens Should Know About Taxes

    If you have ever gone shopping then you know about sales tax, but do you know about every other tax under the sun? When you buy a house, rent an apartment, buy land, buy a car, pay for license plates, get a job, or have dinner, you are bound to pay some sort of tax. For some reason, general education does not focus enough on things that are relevant to students once they graduate high school, such as hidden tax fees.

    I recently purchased a car from a private seller and knew a little bit about taxing and that I should expect to pay it heavily on my new car. Yet, when I arrived at the dealer, I was met with a smaller amount to be paid than anticipated. Why was that, you may wonder? I was under the impression that sales tax (being around 9% or 10% in my state) was the average amount of taxes taken out of everything. I had been working multiple different jobs since graduating high school and never once stopped to ask what the percentage was being taken from my paychecks. I just accepted that the money would be automatically withdrawn and moved on.

    If someone had never purchased a car before (I.e. a recent graduate of high school or college), then finding out a tax needed to be paid at all might come as a shock. Fortunately, I had bought a car prior to this instance with my mother and had to pay taxes on it. The only problem is that the first time I bought a car, the tax was 10%, but this time it was only 3%. I asked the lady at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) why the tax was different, and she explained to me that the state I live in only does a 3% tax on vehicles, and this was a recent change. I accepted the information, paid the due, and once again moved on.

    Here is some useful information to consider when making large purchases in Alabama:

     

    1. The sales tax in Alabama is pretty high compared to other states in the nation, and in the counties nearest me it is either 9% or 10%. This means that for every dollar you spend, you pay 10 cents in taxes. If you spend $10, you will pay $1 in taxes. This only applies when shopping.
    2. Do not assume you know the exact value of the taxes on your vehicle purchase. The state now assigns an estimated value for your vehicle and taxes it according to that. So, if you purchase a car for $5500, but it is valued at $6900, then you will be paying a 3% or 4% tax on $6900.
    3. Always, always research your local taxes before making large purchases, because taxes can change. Or there could be additional taxes that you may not have even known about.

     

    Here is a link for further knowledge of taxes:

    https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-offers-tips-for-teenage-taxpayers-with-summer-jobs