Tag Archives: college

If time is money, then I’m less frugal than I thought!

Looking at my schedule for the coming semester, I suddenly came to a harsh realization:

I’ll really need to manage my time very carefully if I’m going to make it to graduation!

Yes, I’ll be graduating in December with my Associate’s degree in Liberal Studies. After that, I’m transferring to the university for my Bachelor’s in Media Writing.

The next few months will be a crucial time for me… and time itself will be crucial!

I’ll be taking six classes, working in the library part-time, caretaking at home, writing several blogs, working on other writing projects, reading close to four hundred different blogs, hopefully having something resembling a personal life…

After spending the past few days keeping track of how I actually spend my time…  I realized I waste a lot of time! Now, I’m all about living a life with broad margins (as Henry David Thoreau once wrote), but I’ve been seriously out of control! There’s really no excuse for playing twenty-seven consecutive games of Snood. That will not work when I’ve got six classes’ worth of papers and projects to do!

What I really need is to budget my time as frugally as I do my money!

Just as in learning to control your money-spending, it will take great self-discipline to rein in my rampant time-spending. I need to re-frame time as being just as valuable as money– Time is something that should be managed carefully to maximize its usefulness. Obviously, the analogy only goes so far– you can always make more money, but you’ve only got twenty-four hours in the day, and that’s it. Still, a subtle change in perception can make a huge difference.

Anyway, I’ve been working on an Excel spreadsheet, similar to my financial budget, to portion out my hours as if they were dollars. I’ll post a screenshot when it’s done.

I know I can stick to a money budget…. but can I stick to a time budget?

Stay tuned for updates….

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Filed under budget, cheap fun, frugal, money management

College town bargains

Many personal finance and college blogs lament the marketing of credit cards to jobless college students. Young people often make foolish impulse purchases to support the lifestyle they feel entitled to. True, young adults tend to be big shoppers, and often fail to see the big picture of rampant spending and credit card use.

We can spend all day clucking “tsk-tsk” over their extravagance and wastefulness. Not to mention the reality of many students continuing to pay interest on discarded items for years to come. However, their consumerism can be to your advantage if you live in a college town.

Students tend to leave vast piles of stuff behind when they leave campus for the summer. Many colleges have big year-end sales to liquidate all that stuff.

In fact, I went to the annual Clean Sweep Sale at Bates College (Lewiston, Maine) this morning. Each year, Bates manages to fill an entire hockey rink with students’ abandoned belongings (and some donations from the community). The sale is completely volunteer-run, and all proceeds go to various local charities. Bates, by the way, is an elite college located in the middle of a very poor city. I think it’s a great support service for the community– great bargains for shoppers and needed assistance for charities. Not to mention all that perfectly good stuff being re-used instead of going into landfills.

At the Bates sale, you’ll find piles and piles of clothing, electronics, appliances, dorm/household items, sporting goods, furniture, books, and more. Sure, some of it is pure crap, and the early birds get all the good stuff. Still, there are always treasures to be found. I picked up a few paperbacks and a nice (practically new) purple v-neck top. Total purchase: three dollars. (I hemmed and hawed over one particular solid oak desk with a hutch selling for $25. It wouldn’t fit in my car.)

Anyway, if you live in a college town, it’s worth your while to find out if similar sales are going on. Also, check your local craigslist site for free and inexpensive student discards. It’s daunting to think about the waste involved, but you can help re-use and recycle these discarded items. Always try to take advantage of these opportunities in your area!

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Filed under cheap fun, frugal, shopping