Resources To Help You Plan Your Education Abroad Experience

If you weren’t able to walk by our booth at the Education Abroad Fair earlier today, no worries! We have a couple resources for you that can help you plan for the cost of your education abroad experience and help you save money as well.

If you are trying to compare multiple education abroad opportunities or if you know which program you will attend, you can use our Study Abroad Budget worksheet to help you plan for how much you will need to save up or borrow to pay for your time abroad. You must remember that you will probably not be working while you are abroad, so money will only be going out, not coming in. On this worksheet you can estimate all of the sources of income that you will have for your education abroad experience. Then, you can compare that to what your total expenses will be for your time abroad. Comparing these two numbers will tell you how much you need to work and how much you need to save to help you reach your goal.

Another resource we have for you is our Study Abroad Checklist. This handout has many tips for you as you financially prepare for your education abroad experience and also tells you ways that you can save money while you are abroad.

If you’d like one or both of these resources stop by our office in room 237 of the City Union. We want to help you make your financial goals a reality!

How to Get Free Coupons Online

Did you know that you can print off manufacturer’s coupons online for free? Coupons are great because you can save money on the things you already buy. Two of my favorites are target.com and coupons.com. Both websites have many of the same manufacturer’s coupons available. The Target website also has coupons you can only use at Target and the coupons.com website has coupons you can only use at Walmart, Walgreen’s, and other stores. I would suggest checking both websites to save the most money possible. On either website, you will need to download the “coupon printer”. Once downloaded, you don’t have to do it again. You just go search for coupons, and you can print them quickly after the initial set-up. Here’s how to do it:

To get coupons from target.com, just search Target coupons on a search engine to find the website or search coupons in the search bar on target.com. At the top of the coupons page, click the bubble next to Target if you want to view coupons that can only be used at Target, or click the button next to manufacturer if you want to see coupons that can be used at any store that accepts coupons. Be sure to hover over the coupon to see the expiration date. If you see a coupon that you’ll use, click “Select to Print.” This will add the coupon to your list, but will not start printing it yet. Once you have selected all of the coupons that you want to print, click “Print Selected Coupons” at the left or top of the screen. If you have already downloaded the coupon printer, make sure your printer is on, and your coupons should start printing. If you haven’t downloaded the coupon printer yet, it will prompt you to do so before your coupons will print.

On coupons.com, the process for getting free coupons is similar. Simply click the plus sign on the bottom right of each coupon that you want added to your list. Once you have chosen all of your coupons, click “Print Coupons” at the top right of the page. Then just cut out your coupons, and use them to save money! Even a couple dollars of coupon savings a week can add up.

If you have a printer, the only cost to you will be paper and ink. If you have to pay to print on-campus, be sure that you are actually going to use the coupons that you print, and that the value of the coupons is greater than the cost to print them. The coupons will print 3 per page, so do the math!

*Pro Tip: Make a list of the things you need first, THEN look for coupons to match those items. If you do it the other way around, you might be tempted to buy things that you don’t need just because you have a coupon for them. Make sure you make a budget and stick to it.

Tips for Saving $$$ on Game Day!

1.  Join Husker Ticket Exchange on Facebook
If you bought student tickets but don’t plan on going to every game, consider selling your tickets to other students by joining a Facebook group. Only going to a game or two? Skip out on getting season tickets and buy from another student. Make sure you shop around for the best deal! Student tickets only cost $23/ticket so you won’t want to spend much more than that.

2.  If you’re 21 and Up: Resist the Bars
It’s tempting to want to go downtown for drinks before and after every home game, but your wallet probably won’t be able to handle this every weekend.  Buy your own alcohol from the store and stay home or find a tailgate – you can still go to the bars sometimes, just pass on purchasing super expensive drinks!

3.  Bring Cash
There are two reasons you should carry cash. 1) Some food/drink places only take cash, so you’ll avoid a possible foreign ATM fee if you lack cash and need to make a withdrawal.  2) It’s easy to spend a lot of money on food/drinks/etc. at games, so if you only have cash you can easily make a budget for the day and control your spending.

4.  Ride Your Bike
If you live within a reasonable distance from campus, consider riding your bike to save money on parking.  Bike UNL has a game day bike valet service that allows you to park your bike at Cook Pavilion until one hour after the game.

5.  Watch From Home
Even though there’s nothing that competes with Memorial Stadium, sometimes it’s nice just to watch the game in the comfort of your own home.  If you have basic cable, you should be able to watch most Nebraska games on ABC, ESPN or Big Ten Network (BTN).  If the game is on a channel you don’t have, plan ahead in advance to go to a friend’s house. For cheap game day snack ideas, check out our Pinterest board.

Have fun, don’t overspend, and Go Big Red!

Fall Semester Student Bill Due Sept. 12!

It’s September already, which means the UNL fall semester student bill is due soon! It is due Monday, September 12th, and if you don’t pay it on-time, there is a $35 late fee (increase from last year).

Not sure how much you owe? Go to MyRed. The Student Accounts tab shows you all of the charges (tuition, housing, fees, parking, etc.) to your account, and also all of the credits, shown with minus signs (scholarships, loans, grants, payments, etc.) The amount that you owe at the top is how much you must pay by Sept. 12th. For directions on how to pay your student bill, check out this article. Remember to pay by electronic check to avoid the extra fee that goes along with debit and credit card payments!

Have some of your scholarships or loans not been applied yet? Check out the Financial Aid tab- it shows all of the scholarships, loans, and grants that the UNL Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid is aware of. It shows the amounts you will receive this semester and next semester. If you have accepted the scholarship/loan/grant, the amount will show under “Accepted.” If you still need to accept financial aid, click on “Accept/Decline Awards.” If the scholarship/loan/grant has been credited to your account balance, it will show the amount as “disbursed.” If it is not disbursed yet, see the notifications on the left side of the screen- there might be something you need to do before you can receive the money. If you don’t see a scholarship on there, contact whoever gave you the scholarship to make sure they are sending the money to UNL. If a scholarship/loan/grant has not been disbursed and you don’t know why, talk to the Financial Aid office in room 17 of the Canfield Administration building (next to the union).

Can’t pay your entire student bill? There is a new option called the Husker Payment Plan that will split up how much you owe into 3 payments. The first payment will be due when you enroll for the plan, the 2nd will be due Oct. 12, and the 3rd will be due Nov. 12. It costs $20 to enroll for the payment plan each semester, and you must enroll by Sept. 12 for this semester. (You must re-enroll each semester that you want to use the payment plan). For more information and for details on how to sign up for the Husker payment plan, go here.

As always, if you have questions on your financial aid options, feel free to come in to our office for help!

Happy Fall Semester!

Today marks the start of the fall 2016 semester! We had a very busy week last week welcoming new students to campus and welcoming back returning students. We got to present 14 workshops and attend 5 booth events where we told students about SMMC services and gave out free prizes. Some of the events we were at included:

-RA & RD training
-First Husker
-New Graduate Student Welcome Fair
-New International Student Orientation
-NUBE
-Fraternity New Member Summit
-Party at the Union
-Big Red Welcome Street Festival

If you didn’t get to play plinko and get free stuff from us last week, come find us at the East Campus Welcome Back Fair this Thursday from 4:30-7:00 pm outside the East Campus Union. To keep up with the events that we will be at, check out http://www.unl.edu/smmc/events.shtml

It was so much fun to be able to give almost 2600 students money management tips before the semester even began! If you have an event that you would like us to attend, please contact us at smmc@unl.edu or 402-472-9093.

5 Tips For Shopping at Aldi

Last week, I had my first experience shopping at Aldi, a global discount supermarket chain.  I’ve heard my friends and family rave again and again how much they saved shopping at Aldi, and I finally decided to give it a try.  I wasn’t disappointed – I probably saved a third or more than if I had gone to a traditional grocery store.

What makes Aldi special?  They cut costs in almost every way possible to pass the savings onto you.  Here’s what you’ll need to do for a successful Aldi experience:

1)  Forget Brand Names
Most of the items in the store were not popular brand names you may be used to buying.  Aldi sells a majority of private label items, which is cheaper for the company and thus, the customer.  So far, everything “off-brand” I’ve purchased tastes just as good as the major brand names!

2)  Bring a Quarter
You’ll have to deposit a quarter in order to use a shopping cart.  This reduces costs because the store doesn’t have to pay someone to collect shopping carts all day.  You get your quarter back when you’re done shopping and put your cart away with the others.

3)  Supply Your Own Bags
To save on bags, customers must bring their own bag or pay a very small price for paper or plastic.  Personally, I bought my own reusable bag from Aldi, which I recommend because it was large enough to fit all my groceries.  You must bag your own groceries as well.

4) Expect No Frills
Aldi is definitely not arranged like a regular grocery store.  Items are displayed in boxes, not shelves, as this is more efficient for restocking.  The store is much smaller in size than other grocers, and don’t expect to find an excess of workers available.

5)  Prepare For Multiple Trips
If you have a lengthy and specific grocery list, don’t expect to find everything. Aldi typically carries only the most popular grocery items (out of my list of 20 items Aldi carried 15 of them). You may have to run to another grocery store, but don’t let this turn you away. The savings are definitely worth the trip!

Post written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant

Build Your Resume! Volunteer with SMMC

Are you looking for an on-campus volunteer opportunity that is diverse, flexible, and resume-enhancing?  Check out the many opportunities we offer at the Student Money Management Center!
Diverse
No matter what your strongest talents and abilities are, we likely have something that showcases yours!  If you’re a people-person, you can represent us at various booth events around campus.  Enjoy public speaking?  We give numerous presentations to a wide variety of groups on campus every month.  Is writing more your style? You can write blog posts for us on any financial topic as well.

Flexible
No matter what your schedule is like, we can work with you!  We book presentations anytime from the early morning to late at night.  There are also plenty of tasks you can work on on your own time, like finding articles for social media posts or designing bulletin boards.  You also don’t need to commit to a specific amount of hours, just let us know what you can handle.
Resume-Enhancing
If you’re currently studying finance or any other business-related field, this is a great addition to your resume.  But if you’re not studying business, don’t worry! Volunteers go through training, so don’t worry about how much you know now.  Volunteering with us can enhance your writing and public speaking skills as well.  And who knows?  Maybe you’ll find a passion for personal finance which will lead to a career!
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, you can:

Post written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant