Saturday, March 28, 2015

Three Tips for College Money Management

Money management can be a tricky thing when you're young. As my oldest daughter just turned 18 in December, she will soon be on her own and off to college. That means that she will be free to make her own financial decisions as well. I can only hope that I've taught her well. The trick with finances is this: You can't be careless!

You are never too young to start learning to save money and invest it wisely. If more people learned these skills at an early age, there would not be the large amount of people in difficult financial situations as they grow older. Unfortunately, young people and college students are not always surrounded by adults who can effectively mentor them when it comes to financial matters. These young people are left to fend for themselves, learning as they go, and sometimes - learning the hard way. 

This is the postcard we just received in the mail from CSU, Sacramento.
Yes, I snapped a picture of it!

California State University, Sacramento is one of the colleges on my daughter's list of possible schools to attend. She received her acceptance letter a few weeks ago. If she decides on this school, I will stress the importance that she and anyone else in the area should learn money management and the importance of buying insurance in Sacramento even more. Bills are going to be a fairly new thing for her, and it's important that she budgets and takes into account all of the necessities, like insurance, because it's not always something we think about right away - especially if it hasn't been an expense in the past, but now will be.

Being young and newly independent can be exciting, but young adults need to know that money matters are very important. Below are three more tips for college money management.

1. Student Loans: Remember that you have to pay them back!

Attending college is costly. Students should apply for as many scholarships as possible. People say it's "free money," but really, it is money earned by way of an application process and writing essays. However, scholarship money IS money that does not need to be paid back. Every little bit helps, and scholarships are a great way to help pay for college costs.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) due date is always March 2nd for the state of California. My daughter and I went to a Financial Aid Info Night at her school about a month ago, where we submitted the online application, and she was entered for a scholarship giveaway. (That's right, all we had to do was attend the event, and she was entered. We're still crossing our fingers!) This application counts for both state and federal funds, for grants (which do not have to be paid back) and student loans.

If planning to go to a four year institution, student loans are probably going to be needed. Students should have a goal to borrow as little as possible, because this money will have to  be paid back. This is why scholarships, grants, and spending money wisely are so important. 

Paying off student loans is the primary financial burden for many young people. It is critical to pay these off as quickly as possible in order to gain financial stability. If possible, pay more than the minimum payment allowed. If you only pay the minimum, you will end up paying an enormous amount in interest. Why give so much money to your lender? Make paying off your student loans your number one priority.

2. Do not use credit cards, unless in an emergency.

It is common on many college campuses for credit card companies to set up booths in an attempt to attract students to apply for their cards, many times offering incentives for signing up - a free t-shirt, or something else. This is usually as easy as taking candy from a baby. These students, on their own for the first time in their lives, can be very naive and impressionable when it comes to the world of finances. They have been supported by their parents all their lives. Therefore, they are not aware of the dangers of credit card abuse and the devastating effect it can have on the rest of your life. 

One credit card is OK to use if you are caught in an emergency situation without any cash. You certainly do not need more than one! If you do buy something with a credit card, pay the entire balance immediately to avoid any interest being added to your total. If you must make monthly payments, pay the maximum amount that your budget can handle. Paying off the credit card needs to be a priority. Having good credit is important.

Simple. Classy. Everyday.

* The above is a collection from my favorites at my Polyvore.

3. Avoid frivolous purchases.

When you are young, it is OK to enjoy yourself every once in a while. 
However, you should also be concerned about the future. It's so easy to live in the moment, but try to avoid spending money on foolish items that you might not want and are never going to use, or that you know you can't afford. Do you really need that new outfit? Probably not. Make smaller purchases over a period of time instead of splurging on a shopping spree all at once. 

Budget your money wisely and focus on saving at least one-third of any money you earn. Developing this type of discipline when it comes to money will benefit you greatly in years to come. It becomes a habit, a good one, that you will be thankful for later.

Those are just a few quick tips for money matters in college. 
What financial advice would you give to a college student on his/her own for the first time?

***Disclosure: Thank you for supporting my blog and letting me share sponsored content with you from time to time. This is a paid sponsored post. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 10 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Easter Egg Nail Art

Hi! My name is May and I'm the fashion/beauty blogger behind La Vie en May. I love experimenting with different products, styles and colors. My personal style is very feminine and simplistic; I live by the Leonardo Da Vinci quote, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

With Easter coming soon, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to create some fun nail art! The first thing I think of when someone says "Easter" is eggs. I remember running outside our backyard trying to find the hidden eggs my parents laid around. My sister and I would always compete with each other on who could find the most eggs. Once we were done, we would sit in the kitchen and bite into our delicious sweets (my mom always put mini chocolates in the eggs). Then, in the afternoon, we would paint our eggs and draw silly designs until all the eggs we had were painted.

Today's nail art is a tribute to eggs and all the fun Easter activities that use them. Easter eggs are really bright and colorful. I wanted to imitate that, so I chose light, pastel colors for the base of my nails.

Colors Used (from left to right):

After that, I used a small nail art brush and a dotting tool to make the designs. You can get them for fairly cheap on Amazon. It only costs me $1-2, but the shipping might take about 2 weeks. Buy the brush here and the dotting tool here.

I tried to keep the designs similar to what I used to draw on my eggs: polka dots, stripes, etc. What designs do you draw on your eggs?

Big thanks goes out to May for being a guest blogger here at 2justByou and sharing her fun Easter nail art. Be sure and visit her blog and/or follow on social media with the links above. =0)

Are you a fan of spring pastels?

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

More Circle Talk {G+ Tips at #GrowingCirclesHop}

This week we continue our conversation about Google Plus Circles and what they do for us. Last week we started shedding light on using Interest Circles to our advantage. We shared Sinea's testimonial of how she was able to target her preschool blog post to a G+ Circle specific to preschool parents. That's powerful! But some of you might have asked, where are these Interest Circles, and how do I find them?

Interest Circles is another name for your Circle Categories. We interchange the names Interest Circles and Circle Categories. There are a few pre-set categories within G+, but you have the ability to create new Circle Categories too, based on interests. Creating these categories - or "interest circles" - allows you to better target your specific posts to specific groups of people.

Some of the pre-set Circles are: Following, Acquaintances, Friends, Family.

Some categories (or, interests) that I have included: Foodie, Mommy, Fitness, Blogger Resource, and - of course! - #GrowingCirclesHop. There are more, but you get the idea!

You can add people to more than one Interest Circle too! If you're a regular #GrowingCirclesHop partier, then you're a part of my Growing Circles Hop circle. If you're also a food blogger, then you're in my food circle too. Scroll up and down to choose which circles you want to add the person to, and check each box you wish to select.

Important Note: It's really important to follow, no matter what other circles you add. For bloggers, it is often times the "follow" number that counts for blogger opportunities. This goes for profiles as well as pages (we'll talk about the difference between the two later).

Now last week, Sinea was talking about a drop-down menu that allowed her to select an Interest Circle. Some of you asked, 
"Where is that drop-down menu?"
When you start a G+ post, you add your text at the top of the box. Then, you add a photo, link, or other media attachments. Lastly, before sharing with the "share" button, you have the ability to choose WHO you share the post with. G+ defaults to the public share setting, which is great - if you want everyone in your circles to see it. 

However, if you want to share a specific post with a more targeted audience, then you can choose the circle(s) to do so. Like last week, Sinea shared a preschool post with preschool parents. This is another great thing about circles, and another reason that circles are important.

Similarly, if you're a small business, you can categorize your circles and create an interest circle for online shoppers. This circle can include people that love online shopping and want to be notified of new products/items and sales/discounts. Say you've been sold out of a particular item for a few weeks. You just restocked your inventory, and now you want to share it with your customers and potential buyers. Click that "online shopping" Interest Circle and share your product!

So your completed post would look something like this (right before you click the "share" button):

As you can see with the sample post above, I targeted this particular post to everyone in my GrowingCirclesHop Interest Circle and added our hosts individually by name.

I hope I've effectively explained how to use the Interest Circles. Have questions? Leave them in a blog comment. 

~ Kim, 2justByou Blog

*** We're also extending this week's party. It will stay open until Friday night!

Don't forget to use the party hashtag:


To make the most of this link party, please follow the rules below.
1. You MUST add your hosts and co-hosts to one of your circles before linking up. 
2. Link up your personal Google+ profile, blog or business G+ pagesOR -- you can link up a specific G+ post of yours - but NOT your blog URL. 
3. Publicly share a post - (new or old) on G+ and use the party hashtag #GrowingCirclesHop
4. Connect with others by clicking on your #growingcircleshop hashtag, or enter "growingcircleshop" in the search box at the top. Engage with at least 2-3 others by a Share, +1 and/or Comment. 
5. Add new friends to your circles! Be social. 
6. Grab a button for your blog, if you'd like. Help us spread the word so we can keep trending on Google Plus each week! (You can edit size to fit your blog in the code).
Throughout the next 12 hours, check back on G+ and +1 posts with the hashtag #growingcircleshop.

LINK UP below!!! You can now link up your G+ profile page -OR- you can link up a specific G+ post that you've already publicly shared using our party hashtag!  

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