“SEO is a marketing function for sure,
but it needs to be baked into a product,
not slapped on like icing
after the cake is baked.”

Duane Forrester

Back-to-School Shopping on a College Budget

Lets face it, we have all found ourselves at some point in our college lives cashing in cans from the night before just to make it through the rest of the weekend. You couldn’t tell your parents where you actually spent your allowance, and the idea of asking for more money was out of the question. Eating outside of the dining hall wasn’t an option, but if you didn’t go back to the mall and buy the dress that you just needed to have, life simply wouldn’t go on. You even hid it in the back of the rack in the opposite side of the store because it was the last in your size and you didn’t want anyone else finding it before your return. Oldest trick in the book. No one ever said being the best dressed was easy, but below are tips to help cut down the cost.


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Grocery Shopping 101: How to save money on food while away at college.

One of the most exciting rites of passage for a college student, in my opinion, is moving off campus when becoming an upperclassman. With this comes a whole new level of independence, and unfortunately a new batch of responsibilities. No more room and board and no meal plan. It will make you wish you had your dinning hall taco night back on the agenda.

Although it seems impossible for anything to compare to your mom’s home-cooked dinners, eating out for every meal is no way to live. Not to mention the wear and tear it must take on your (parent’s) wallet. Say you spend around $5 per breakfast, $10 at lunch, and $10-20 on dinner everyday, you are looking at $125-175 per school-week on food alone!


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How to Keep Expenses Low on Football Sunday

The school year has officially started, and while everything else is beginning to fall into place, it’s hard to find anyone that isn’t excited for football season! Fans of all ages are already rocking their jerseys and fantasy football players are excited to see what their teams will bring them this season. Now let’s not forget about what comes along with football sundays, which is the abundance of delicious food. This includes, but isn’t limited to pizza, wings, chips, dip, beer, beer, and more beer.

For my college students on a budget, don’t you fret. Although it may not be mom’s homemade mac and cheese baking in the oven, there are some quick and cheap alternatives to ensuring all of your favorite snacks make it to the table on football sunday. Each recipe below can feed an average of 5 people, or 3 hungry and hungover college students.


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3 Childhood Lessons that will Follow You to College

For some, moving into your freshman dorm is the first time you will ever have to share a room with another person. And what makes it worse, is that this certain someone hasbeen a complete stranger in your life up until now. Sure, we can Facebook creep and Google their names all we want, but seeing what sports they play or what their favorite movies are, is no indication of how good, or bad, of a roommate they will be. What you can control however, is how great of a roommate you can be!

The following guidelines should ring a bell and will probably bring you back to the days of snack time and building blocks.


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Party Ideas: 4th of July Edition

What’s better than throwing a party to celebrate America? Good food and drinks, good friends, good music, all in the land of the free and home of the brave! Nowadays, it seems that people look for any possible excuse to throw a party- from birthdays to anniversaries to holidays that don’t even pertain to us or make sense, like St. Patty’s Day, National Pizza Party Day, and National Mole day.

However, on a limited budget it can be hard to have the funds for all of these celebrations – that’s where we come in. We’re going to run through some tips on how to throw a party, without making a huge dent in your wallet. Since it’s summer time, we chose to talk about planning an inexpensive Independence Day party.

What kind of party?!
You will probably want to have a backyard BBQ for your July 4th celebration – BBQ’s are traditionally the best type of summer holiday party!

To make life easier, send out invitations through a social media website, like Facebook; this makes it simple to always be aware of how many people can and cannot attend, along with giving you a real time way of communicating with your invitees. It’s also completely free!


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Why And How To Get A Credit Score

What is a credit score?

Say you want to apply for a loan to pay for an apartment. The loan is going to come from a bank and that bank wants to get to know you before it lends you a heap of money. So the bank is going to review pages and pages of you: your credit history, work history, your income, your bill payments, and much more. Finally, your data is analyzed by a credit analysis agency and you are given a three digit score ranging from 350 to 800. The higher the score, the better shape you’re in and the more likely you are to get awesome rates on that apartment loan.

When applying for a credit score, you want to voice your “economic confidence.” This basically gives the bank assurance that, since you pay bills on time and you’re not in debt, you’re going to handle this loan really well and pay it back on time. To earn a high score, clear up any doubtful signs like pending credit card applications and outstanding debts. You can start building credit or improve a score by making credit card payments on time and consistently but be wary — credit cards will make heavy impacts on your score depending on how you treat them.

Banks look at the number of credit cards a loan applicant has. One is fine so long as it’s paid off consistently. However, some part of the population has grown to know credit as a means of disposable income rather than a high interest loan. This presents a problem for banks and splits a great divide between responsible card holders and irresponsible card holders. Having too many credit cards make banks question if you’re able to make all of the respective payments and puts you in danger of debt and staying out of debt is paramount in keeping your score high. Maintaining good credit is literally the same as managing frequent loans.


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Comparing Card Payments [INFOGRAPHIC]

Simply put, there are three different methods of plastic or card payments: credit cards, debit cards and prepaid cards. Each has its own function as well as particular pros and cons. Even though they all look the same, your financial situation and spending tendencies greatly dictate which card is the right one for you. Take a look at our breakdown of your three options, but make sure to do your research because no two cards are alike.


Review Sites On The Rise

It’s hard to remember a time where we didn’t use technology for almost everything we do. I mean, where would we be without our friends’ moment to moment Facebook status updates or our DVR’s to prevent us from ever missing an episode of our mindless TV shows?! But on a serious note, technology has drastically improved our lives. Customer review websites have made our daily decisions far more efficient and simpler. We have access to  consumers’ past experiences and opinions on businesses, products, and services, consequently allowing us to make the best purchasing decisions while avoiding bad purchases and negative experiences. From consumer review sites like Yelp, to browsing product reviews on your favorite online store, consumer reviews are plentiful. So the real question  is, why are we now trusting consumer reviews so much?


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The Ins & Outs of Direct Deposit

Let’s face it, we all make mistakes. Big or small, they’re nearly impossible to avoid and they tend to butt into the quality of our lives. When I lose a pen, that pen is forever gone, into some far off void, never to be found. That’s small. Losing your paycheck? Not so small. That’s why direct deposit was brought into existence.

Direct deposit is a modern day answer to conventional salary distribution, or payday. What happens is this: when it’s time for employers to pay their employees, the employers deposit funds directly from the employer source into the bank account of the employee.  You can probably already see how advantageous it can be for many, but on the other hand, there are always caveats when it comes to “too much of a good thing”.

How does it work?

Your personal checks have a slew of numbers on the bottom left side. The first nine of those number make up something called a routing number. The routing number is essentially an address for banks to have checks sent to. When it’s time to be paid, your employer uses your bank’s routing number to direct your paycheck to your bank.

The account number is located to the right of your routing number on one of your checks and may vary in length depending on who you bank with. The bank then uses your checking account number to deposit that check into your account.


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Spotting Good & Bad Reviews

Review Sites

As you learned from our last blog on reviews, there are a ton of customer reviews out there. From the cornucopia of review websites and their tens of millions of reviews, how are we supposed to differentiate the good ones from the bad ones? Today we’re going to run through the top signs of “fake” and “real” customer reviews, and then we’ll cover how to decipher a helpful customer review from an unhelpful one once we know it is authentic.


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3 Simple Ways to Fundraise in College

When joining a club or team away at college, expenses can add up quickly. And after adding these extra curricular activities to your class schedule, you are left with no time to squeeze in a job. Although many students save money over the summer to spend during the school year, they often don’t consider club dues, sports equipment, or overnight trips. However, there is an easy solution to this dilemma and that’s good ol’ fundraising! Some of you may even have prior experience from your childhood, like selling Girl Scout cookies, Cub Scout popcorn or Joe Corbi’s Pizza.

Fundraising not only lets you pick your own hours, but can also better your communication skills by giving you a real feel of what it’s like to be a salesman out in the field. Sales and promotion is just one of many ideas of how to get the best out of fundraising. Below is a list of suggestions to help you raise money for a variety of causes. Whether it’s a pizza night for your residents or an overnight ski trip requiring hotels and transportation, there is a solution!


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A Caffeine Break Down By The Numbers [Infographic]

However you want to look at it, most people regularly enjoy some kind of caffeine “pick me up”. We know it’s hard to break a habit, but have you ever thought about what the best value drink is or how much you could be saving if you switched? Below we break it down, by the numbers.

How much caffeine do you drink in a day? How much money could you be saving a year?

9 Things You Can Share with Your Roommate

College is expensive… duh. But did you know there are ridiculously easy ways to prevent yourself from spending more than necessary? After the price of tuition, room and board, books, and a meal plan, you still need to stock up your dorm (or house/apartment) with the essentials! Before you spontaneously buy every item that is on the normal “dorm list,” check with this list of items that can be shared with a roommate. Wait until you move into your room and buy these essentials with your roommate so you can split the costs. Along with saving space in your car by waiting to purchase these items until you get to school, you will also save tons of money by splitting the costs.


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10 Things You Must Watchout For When Buying A Daily Deal

Daily deals are great since they’re pretty much free money off your favorite products and services. But what many consumers don’t know is that more and more merchants who are distributing deals through daily deal websites, like Groupon, are including restrictions within the fine print. You know those “Terms and Conditions” boxes you always check off that you’ve read and agreed to without actually reading? The main thing to keep in mind is read the “fine print” sections of a deal that generally spell out the restrictions. Without reviewing a deal’s conditions, you may purchase a deal that you cannot use because of its limitations which ultimately may cause you to lose money.


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