Great Money Management Tips for College Bound Students

If you are just starting out in college, these are some of the best money management skills you can take with you throughout your college career and even after college. For many college kids they think that once they start out away from home it is all going to be fun and games but this could not be any further from the truth.

This starts a whole new level of responsibility and whatever the amount of student assistance you are receiving from grants and student loans you will have to setup a solid money/debt management plan that will help you get through this new stage of life. Below are some tips for making money and managing your college budget.

1. You can start off by getting a Job!

The first step in starting your life in college is to get a job. Unless you have a large sum of money in student loans, are going to be dependent on money from your family or saved up before leaving you will need a job to have a source of income while you are away from home.

Establish an income. Many college campuses will have job opportunities for students. Many campus employers will post job openings on a centralized bulletin board where they post the openings. If you are not able to locate one, check your school newspaper, speak with current student employees when you are around campus at the bookstore, the library, the cafeteria, etc.

Depending on your major you may ask your professor if they are hiring students for positions in their department, this could be a good way to earn college credit or career experience not to mention a nice referral when you are looking for a job.

2. Distinguishing Wants from Needs

Once you have established a source of income you need to sit down and look at what you are currently spending your money on and what you can do without. When you are looking at your list of where your money is going cut out unneeded purchases like money for going to the club, late night pizza, etc. While you do not have to cut out fun completely if you are working with limited funds it is something you may have to put into perspective the needs and the wants.

3. Other great helpful tips

Below is a list of tips and advice to help you manage the money you do have coming in to help keep you from overspending and prepare you for a stable budgeting style for after you graduate. You may even find yourself giving tips to your college friends who may not be as savvy with their spending as you are.

Be Realistic. There will be some unexpected costs at college so will need to make sure you have enough overhead to ensure you will not have to break out your emergency credit card.

If you have money leftover at the end of the month. This is the best time to start setting up your emergency funds.

Keep Track. Keep a documented record of your transactions. Generally the easiest is through bank statements. Balance your statement as soon as it comes in so you can avoid Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) fees on your account.

Stick to your budget. If you are tight on funds you will find yourself overspending early on in the month and you will have to have Ramen noodle dinners for the rest of the week. You could also check with your campus loan officer and find out if they offer any meal programs through your student loan program.

While you will have to pay this back when you begin paying back your student loans it will save your current budget as you won’t have to worry about how you are going to afford your next meal.

Keep track of due dates to avoid late fees. Make sure whatever bills you do have are paid on time. Keep a calendar above your desk or download an app on your phone or tablet to help you keep track of important dates.

Be ready to make hard decisions. If you start making difficult decisions now than when it comes to life after college you will be more likely to make the right decisions when it comes to finances and life in general.

Save where you can and find the best deals. Aside from classes the next biggest expense is books. There is never a need to spend a fortune on text books, there are a number of avenues to find used books. Your college bookstore may even have a section specifically for used text books.

Some outside sources may even offer a better deal on used books, check with some of the biggest online stores like Amazon and Barnes and Noble for used text books. Take advantage of college book buy-back programs so you can get money for books you will no longer need. Finding used books can help you save hundreds of dollars.

About the author:  Celeste Whitehead is an independent contractor, freelance writer and owner of the blog, Organic Mommy Today.  When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children, you can find Celeste contributing to the CareOne Debt Relief Services blog, a community that provides debt consolidation and money-saving advice.


GPS Vehicle Tracking and the Law – A Must Read for Fleet Managers

Technology has made it easier for businesses to monitor employer activity. A GPS vehicle tracking device is helpful to understanding what happens when an employee is in the field. The device works by recording information at intervals and sending it to the employer. Data collected includes: time, date and location. This information can be analysed by employers to explain an employee’s daily activity.

The device attaches directly to the vehicle. Employers with multiple employees will need to purchase a tracker for each employee’s vehicle. This will help employers match data to the right employee. There are some implications that question the device’s use and an employee’s right to privacy.

Workplace Surveillance Act and Employee Tracking

An employee’s right to privacy is protected by the Workplace Surveillance Act. Turnbull Hill lawyers have provided basic information for employers to consider when installing GPS tracking devices. Employers must understand that the device is only to track business activity. In order that an employee’s privacy is protected, the device should not be used when an employee is not working.

It is each employer’s responsibility to educate themselves on the ever changing workplace surveillance laws. Employers must notify their employees that they are being monitored. This notification must be completed in writing. Furthermore, the employees must be notified days before the surveillance starts. In fact, at least fourteen days is required before an employer can begin tracking an employee’s activities.

Employee Notification Requirements

The written employee notification must contain several elements. Employers must detail how they will track employees’ activity. The exact details of how the surveillance will be carried out are necessary. The employer should detail when the surveillance will begin and end.

If there are any limits or restrictions to the surveillance, the employee must be informed. Also, written notice must be inside of the vehicle. The notice (sign) should state that the vehicle is under GPS tracking surveillance. It must be visible and in plain view. There is no hiding the tracking from the employee.

Why Track an Employee?

Several reasons exist for employers to consider tracking their employees’ locations. Businesses are able to improve their efficiency through GPS tracking Not only does tracking specify where an employee has been, it provides service specific information to a business. Traffic affects service time. When traffic is heavy, employees can find that they are rushed to complete a job. Tracking data will provide drive time information to prevent bad traffic routes.

Also, fuel consumption data is provided. Fuel consumption is very important for businesses with multiple vehicles. A large component of fleet management is making the most out of fuel prices and consumption. The speed of a vehicle and the route taken can be managed through GPS tracking. Also, businesses are able to track toll positions and employee’s use for the best practices.

Data Gathered from Tracking

The downside to managing a business fleet is employee’s misuse. Many companies first consider GPS surveillance when they suspect an employee is misusing a company’s vehicle or time. Simply put, no one knows what the employee is doing when they leave the office.

Many employees are responsible and follow companies’ rules. Other employees leave and conduct personal business on the company’s time. GPS tracking will detail to companies three pieces of information to detail misuse to a company:

  1. What time the employee arrived to a site?
  2. How long the employee stayed at the location?
  3. Where the employee went after they left the location?

Also, this information is helpful for companies that billed by time. They can confirm the amount of time spent on a job site. A customer dispute is a great time to use this feature.

Benefits of Employee Training

Unfortunately, company vehicles are the target for theft. Vehicles with GPS tracking can quickly be located. Companies will be informed anytime the vehicle moves. Parameters can be set by companies with notifications. These are alerts for specific actions.

Great examples of these include: a moving vehicle, movement outside of approved time, movement into restricted areas and speeding. Speeding can have consequences for the driver and company. Also, speeding is a predictor of a future accident. Therefore, it is helpful to know the driving habits of employees.

Because employees know they are being tracked, they may change their bad driving habits. Safe driving and company efficacy are the goals.

Some of the top GPS Fleet Tracking companies in Australia are fleetcare, intellitrac and navmanwireless

Contributor bio: Melissa Routledge writes for the auto industry. Connect with Mel on Google+.


Business – Mobile App Design Mistakes Businesses Should Avoid

As users continue to put down their laptops and desktops and flock to mobile devices, marketers are left with a unique challenge. They must package products and services in a way that is easy to understand on the device held in the palm of the consumer’s hand. In many cases, a mobile application is the answer. However, not all apps are created equal.

Here are 9 mobile design mistakes that, if avoided, can help your app be truly useful to your consumer.

1. Poor Planning

Spending hours agonizing over the title screen is going to do little more than infuriate your designer. Think of your desired end result first. What would you like the last action your consumer takes before he/she closes your app to be? Is it request a quote, make a purchase, enter an e-mail etc.? Once you’ve decided what your goal is, all of your design efforts should hinge around that goal. Every menu and button should be designed to drive your end action.

2. Ignore the KISS Model

No offense to the techy grannies out there, but chances are your grandparents aren’t the most tech savvy and that’s why the user experience of your design should be created with them in mind. Details like button and font size can dramatically impact how useable your app is. Keep the classic KISS model in your mind and Keep It Simple Stupid! You may not need a rotating logo on your start screen. In fact, it may make more sense to downsize your logo in favor of more detailed login instructions. Often times the most trivial details are the details that are most loved or hated by users.

3. Don’t Build For the Future

Iteration is huge for mobile applications. It is pivotal that you plan for how your app will evolve. A design roadmap can help keep the general look and feel the same across iterations. Spend some time thinking about how functional changes should be portrayed visually. If you’re following rule number two, these changes should be relatively small, but have a big impact on ease of use or end product.

4. Think Ergonomically

Take out your cell phone. Chances are, you are holding it in one hand using your other hand to navigate. Think about this when designing your app. Making buttons too far to one side of the app or too low or high can cause strain on a user’s hand an in the end cause them to stop using your app.

5. Don’t Address Scrolling

As a rule, users hate scrolling. Your design should reflect that. Keep your main functionality concise. Once a scroll bar appears you risk losing the fickle attention of your user. Maintaining a focus on actions can help cut down the clutter. Focus on what you want them to do. Not what you want to say.

6. Overlook Sharing Aspect

Ideally, you’d like your users to share your app with friends, family, colleagues — you get the point. Design it that way. Sharing icons for social media and e-mail are must haves at this point, but I recommend going a step further. Allow new users to use the app without any kind of sign in. Guest mode as it’s often referred to is a great way to show off your app without making users feel like they’ve committed to anything. Once you’ve got them hooked you can start messaging premium “Members Only” functionality that will encourage them to sign up or sign in.

7. Skimp On Security

Your user’s info is even more valuable to them than it is to you. Protect it. One security slip can be the downfall of your entire project. We see data breaches every day in the headlines. Don’t be one of them. Spend more time than you think is necessary on security.

8. Fail to Properly Test

No doubt you’ll be excited to launch your app, but glitches and crashes can be a real buzzkill. Take the time to test across many devices and operating systems. The ghost in the machine can be lurking around every corner, so it’s your job to exorcise it.

9. Miss In-App Engagement Opportunities

Is it shameless? Sure, but promoting interesting features within your app is sometimes the only way users discover the most useful parts. We all know tutorials are about as well received as socks on Christmas, so teach them while they’re using the app and without interrupting. They’ll think they discovered it themselves and that’s even better than you telling them where it is.

These tips should help you make sure that your app doesn’t end up in internet purgatory.

How The Most Successful People Spend Their Day

How do you stay productive each day in the midst of so many distractions that could take away your productive hours?  Being productive means you complete your tasks and milestones on time and get more done the day, week or month. It means to deliver projects without delay, release your projects when the time is due etc. Your daily activities either gets you closer to your goals or delays your date of completion.

Make the first few hours of the day count!

The first few hours of the day before midday is a crucial part of the day to accomplish most of what can be done in the day. You could try to schedule all the important tasks in the morning–marketing, writing, programming, designing or anything that’s essential should be done before midday. In the morning you have the best chance to complete your task faster and better. Just get something done and tick it off the to-do list for the day.

How you begin your morning can derail or direct your focus

“How you begin your morning often sets the tone and your attitude for the day. It can also derail or direct your focus. If you remain committed to good morning work habits, you won’t fall prey to feeling unproductive and distracted at the end of the day or week.” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant; How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.

A famous quote from Steve Jobs:

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Do your worst task first thing in the morning

Every given day, most people have  one major to-do that’s highest priority. But when you’ve got the whole day stretching out ahead of you, it’s easy to put it off until after you get your coffee, check our email, or go to that meeting.

Eat your frog first thing in the morning!

According to Mark Twain, you should: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Author Brian Tracy calls this “eating your frog,” quoting Mark Twain. He recommends that you complete the most unwanted task (task you’re most likely to procrastinate) you can think of for that day (= the frog). This tasks should be defined  in the evening of the previous day.

Completing an uncomfortable task gets you fulfilled in the early part of the day and it gives you great energy because you get the feeling you’ve accomplished something worthwhile. And guess what, you will still have lots of hours ahead of you to get other things done.

Make a list and start crossing things off

J.T. O’Donnell, Founder & CEO of and a LinkedIn influencer recommends the following from his 10 Things To Do Every Workday post, which has proven to be one of the most popular posts of all time on LinkedIn Today.

  1. Read something related to your industry.
  2. Check in with each team member on their progress.
  3. Review your top three goals for your company that are focused on its growth.
  4. Identify and execute one task to support each of your top three goals.
  5. Post five valuable pieces of content on all my major social media accounts.

Not everything is a priority

“It’s important to stay focused on what really matters. Spend some time on upfront planning to determine the most critical tasks that you need to take on. It’s usually much better to concentrate on one or two priorities and do them really well, instead of being spread so thin that you have mediocre output.” —Ben Rubenstein, Yodle

Take control of your emails

Tumblr founder David Karp “try hard” not to check his email until 9:30 or 10 a.m., according to an Inc. profile of him. “Reading e-mails at home never feels good or productive,” Karp said. “If something urgently needs my attention, someone will call or text me.”

 Get Organized for today!

In the words of David Shindler, founder of The Employability Hub, you should “Leave any crap from yesterday behind, tap into what’s happening at the outset of the day, get organized and ready or hit the ground running, if that’s what is needed,”

Getting things done is a habit, start each day by accomplishing something important right from the beginning.