2015 Challenge Week 2: Did you know?

Spending just 15 minutes each week thinking about your finances is a great way to increase your financial awareness, which will make you more likely to show positive money-management behaviors, such as paying your bills on time, setting aside some money for savings and staying on track toward your financial goals. For this week’s challenge, write down one or more things you recently discovered about managing your money, then share it with the $tart with Change community by submitted a comment below. It can be anything money-related, such as setting or reaching financial goals, saving money, cutting costs, bargain hunting, limiting student loans, repaying debt, improving your credit, debt management or protecting your identity. The sky’s the limit!

To get your thinking wheels in motion, here are a couple of favorites from a few of my colleagues here at Higher One:

Using the Rule of 72 is pretty cool way to estimate how long it would take to double the amount of money you have at a given interest. You simply divide 72 by the interest rate. For example, if the interest rate is 8 percent, it will take you about 9 years to double your money (72 ÷ 8 = 9).   —Submitted by Amy
An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure! Make sure to keep up-to-date with any dental and other health appointments while under your parents’ insurance policies. Your dental provider will often keep you supplied with free toothbrushes, floss and sometimes toothpaste!   —Submitted by  Eileen
Your local public library has a lot more to offer than just books! You’ll find movies, music, ebooks and magazines—all FREE at your local public library. It might be tempting to pick up that magazine with the eye-grabbing headline on the cover while I’m checking out at the grocery store, but at $4.99 for a single issue, no thanks. I’ll just go read it in the peace and quiet of my library.   —Submitted by Katie
My son will be a junior next year and wants to “upgrade” to an apartment that costs $267 more than what I have budgeted per month. He says he would cover the difference by taking additional part-time jobs. However, if he stays where is and saves that money, he’d have more than $6,500 by the time he graduates. Would he rather have the cash, or the experience of living in a nicer apartment a little closer to campus? It’s all about choices.    —Submitted by Ben
As a young adult buying a home for the first time, I am learning firsthand how all of my financial decisions and behaviors have impacted important life events like this. Being a first-time homebuyer has taught me valuable lessons in personal money management and reinforced the notion that your financial decisions—everything from your utilization of credit to employment history to credit inquiries—will have an effect on the type of mortgage you are eligible for, your interest rate, and how much the bank is willing to loan you.    —Submitted by Lauren

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Showing 20 comments
  • Renae

    Just that! I have started to become more conscientious of my money and I have planned to save some. It feels good to know that i”ll have a little for a rainy day and thous unexcepted events in life!

  • Catherine Leslie-Faye

    I found out that if I buy my norwescon four day membership for next year’s convention online this month that I pay $50 instead of the $75 I would pay if I bought my membership at the door. Always check and see if you can buy next years event tickets at the event you are attending and see how much you can save.

  • AlexisElac18

    As I community college student, I have to commute to school and there are days where taking the bus is my only option. Luckily there is a program where college students can qualify and apply for a reduced fare monthly bus pass. The discounted bus pass is valid for several months and you can ride various bus and rail lines. With this reduced fare pass I save money and I can ride the bus any day I feel the need to.


    I really think that I’m over spending when it comes to survival that’s in ways such as buying for hunger thirst an even items such as gas or small parts. I’m going to prepare a budget that will cut cost on my supplies in hope that that will allow me to save over half the amount that I spend weekly allowing me to pay more on my end of month bills.

  • Maria

    I have found that the easiest way to save is to have the savings amount I have allotted from each pay direct deposited into a seperate saving account apart from my regular checking account. That way I don’t ever have to touch these funds.

  • Katie

    There are new laws and new limits for 401(k) in recent years. For 2015, the limit for personal contributions for 401(k) is now $18,000 per year. There are also tax credits for retirement savings accounts. Unfortunately, you are not eligible to claim this credit for any tax year in which you were a full-time student for five calendar months.

  • Joselyn

    If you are a student who needs to take out loans to pay for school like me, make your financial counselor/adviser your best friend. Seriously. They know about all the rules and regulations concerning your loans per your institution. It is much easier to discuss options and rules with a person than hope to find it on your own online. Also, start paying off that balance even though you don’t need to (yet). Got an extra $20 bucks to spare? As tempting as it may be to go out for dinner or enjoy a movie, consider putting towards a loan payment. It will bring down your principle balance so when interest does begin to be a factor, it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg to pay your full balance off.

  • Christine

    Well I made a mistake of going to a trade school and now I got loans and bad credit if you want to have a career do it the right way it my take 4 or more years and at time depending on your dedication 2years with and AA. Save your credit and the hassle of debt collectors. Leave loans alone you can do it with financial aid alone. Its there to pay your books and supplies and other needs.

  • Christine

    Having a bike can be beneficial in a lot of ways like excercise and getting back and forth to school even work.

    Wal-Mart can be a great place to save big on grocery, also the 99cent only store or dollar tree for is a great place to say on supplies.

    Instead of going out to eat for lunch, pack a lunch when going to work, school, or outing, don’t be tempted to buy things you can make at home.

  • Christine

    Having a bike can be beneficial in a lot of ways like excercise and getting back and forth to school even work.

    Wal-Mart can be a great place to save big on grocery, also the 99cent only store or dollar tree is a great place to save on supplies.

    Instead of going out to eat for lunch, pack a lunch when going to work, school, or outing, don’t be tempted to buy things you can make at home.

  • La Terese Buckley

    I’ve learned that writing down your daily spending will help you to see exactly where your money is going. After a week look over your spending records and make any adjustment. It is really helping me to open my eyes, and think before I buy.

  • Jean Paul G

    Another great idea, is creating a list of spending, where when a person receives money, they tend to forget what they need to spend for, and spend at the impulse of the economy. setting a standard of living monthly budget is generally a great goal to work for.
    Leverage Equity Trade Corporation
    Jean Paul G

  • Joanna

    One thing I have discovered about myself is this nasty little habit of mine in spending money on food whenever I have funds. I am very good when it comes to taking my own lunch to work, and snacks to school. Unfortunately whenever I have extra money I will ingnore my homemade meals n spend on unnecessary junk! Not only am I cheating my wallet but diet as well.

  • Robin Stumps

    Well I’m real bad at saving but this year I am going to really put a plane together so I can start to learn how to budget my money and my schools I have to many and still have about 6 years of school left. to all you young people out there please listen to anyone trying to help you on budgeting and saving.

  • Anise Corbett

    I really liked the comment about renting movies from libraries for free. I live in a rural area and although we have cable/satellite in main areas of the house; I do not have it in my bedroom. I rent TV series from the library (I can get 5 and keep them for a week) for free and watch in my room. The library also have new releases that you can rent for one day. If you rent the new releases on a Saturday you do not have to return them until Monday.

  • Todd Hill

    There are tons of tools (I like Mint and Mint bill) that connect directly to your accounts and credit cards and help you budget. I used to be horrible at maintaining a budget. These tools convert my spending into easy-to-read charts and graphs and help me keep my bills paid. Plus, they are free!

  • albert

    Protecting your identity and credit card :TIP
    There are some credit cards in which you can use a created virtual number instead of use the real numbers on the credit card.

  • AT Otto

    I am realizing that I need to think more about how I am spending my money. I am a college freshman and I was buying coffee drinks every day. Quickly, I found that the money in my account was gone. I am now on a budget of $10 spending money a week and no more coffee drinks. I found the places on campus where I can get a free cup of coffee to wake me up.


    One great way that I save money is to give myself a weekly allowance. I give myself $30 cash weekly for my fun money. This is the only money I use to go shopping, go to the movies, ect. I know if I were to not set these limits I would go way over my allowance.

  • Michelle G

    I find that if I put a couple $100 away out of each disbursement, I can save for those unexpected rainy days later. It’s a relief to know, I’ll be ok.

  • Regina Hamilton

    I recently decided to stop wasting money on buying lottery tickets. taking chances on luck is no substitution for determination and hard work, to get where you want to be. don’t get me wrong i am not saying everyone should stop playing the lotto; I am simply saying i decided not to depend on the “luck of the draw” but on the ability to save up instead.