Category Archives: College

Budgeting for College

I have many great qualities, and then I have some iffy ones… (name that movie!) but I think no one will ever say that I’m great at handing my money. I had a job for 6 months in my senior year of high school, and aside for some clothes and shoes, I really didn’t do anything responsible with my money, like start to save it.

However, I recently got a job at a Best Buy near my school, and if everything goes well I should begin making money on Sunday! I also recently began separating myself from my joint bank account I hold with my father. It was time I start making my own money and saving it responsibly! I opened a student account at PNC Bank with virtual wallet – highly recommend!

Yesterday I made two giant steps in the right direction. I created a budget spreadsheet and a list of things I want, both using Google Drive. For the moment, these aren’t for any other purpose than just tracking what I tend to spend money on. Once I have that info, I’ll be able to decide what I need to spend less on.


 

In my To Buy spreadsheet, I list major purchases (I consider them major if they aren’t coffee or gum) in two categories: things I will buy with my own money, and things my dad will buy for me. I am *super lucky* that my dad will still help me out with things that I need for school.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 6.40.05 PM

As you can see, the only two items I have listed for my dad to get for me right now are a laptop case and some nail stuff I needed to make my nails presentable before I start work. Items on the left are color coded based on urgency – green for immediate and yellow for priority. First and foremost, my money has to going to paying my dad back for a camera he bought me. However, other things have prior time constraints, like my brother’s birthday which is in 3 weeks. I’m going to have to buy his present before I send the money to my dad, but I want to keep my priorities straight. I will cross out items I purchase.

Next, I have the actual spending tracker. I’m going to make a new sheet each month so I can track the totals.

September 2014

September 2014

I have this spreadsheet separated into individual days… I will write the total amount I spend via my shared account or personal, and if I put money into savings, and every time I get paid or receive some sort of gift money.


Hopefully this helps if you have any questions on how to create a budget! Both of these documents only took me a matter of minutes to construct, so it should be pretty easy for you to do the same!

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Fall 2014 Semester!

All moved in! Mostly unpacked…. minus my suitcase…

it's only a little full!

it’s only a little full!

Today was the first day of classes, and I only had one, 18th Century British Literature from noon to 1 PM, so now I have a ton of time to relax. I had some errands to run, which I did right after class, and got accepted to work as a tutor for the Fall semester! I’m super excited to help out people who were in the same boat as me last year.

Anyway, enjoy some pictures of my half of my dorm room! I won’t be posting pictures of my whole room setup until I ask my roommate if it’s okay.

view from my doorway

view from my doorway

Mid Classes

Never would I have ever thought that blogging would seem like a job for me! The classes that I’m in right now are really opening my eyes to how much thought should go into blogging to make it good, and I always just post what I’m thinking about at the moment. I like to think that my thoughts are cohesive and work together, but I’ve been spending more time on my homework assignments than I think I should be. I think I’m the youngest in my classes, and I’m definitely lacking in a lot of the communications background that many students have, so I feel like I have to try more to get to the same level they are all on. I’m surprisingly okay with that, and have actually been enjoying my time working on these projects immensely. With the exception of the first day when my email malfunctioned and sent the readings to my spam folder, I’ve been okay with deadlines and haven’t felt too rushed. Like tonight, I’ve been done with my work for about an hour and am free to do whatever! I do have class tomorrow, so I have to get up, but still. It’s a good feeling.

All Moved In

Immaculata Hall is nothing like what I would have imagined. I have seen pictures, but I don’t think anything fully prepared me for how ratty the rooms were. They have carpet, and walls, which is good I guess, but for what I’m paying…. sheesh. The two worst parts of the room are the door that bangs around even when it’s closed and deadbolted and the weird temperature thing that is constantly hissing at me. I don’t know how I’m going to fall asleep, but I better do it before 11pm so I can get a good night’s rest before my 4 and a half hour journey to Philadelphia tomorrow morning at 5am.

Currently I’m laying on my newly made bed that’s really hard and moves a lot to binge watch Supernatural until when it gets dark, and then I’ll switch over to House M.D., a little less exciting so I don’t lay awake thinking about dragons and soulless Sam.

Tomorrow is the day classes begin, so I think that’s when we’ll start our new blogs for the duration of the next six weeks. I’ll be sure to post the link here in case anyone wants to check out what I’m up to!

IRELAND TRIP

Well, the time is almost upon us – I leave home to go back to Marywood for summer classes in 7 short days, and I’m actually kind of scared. I’m taking two classes, Multimedia Composition & Storytelling and Travel Writing. Both require a ton of reading/work. However, I just finished reading the 17 page syllabus for the communications class, and the major projects we need to turn out are INTERNET RELATED and I’m really stoked! I’m also nervous, because there is a lot of work to be done, but I’m excited for the opportunities and the actual trip itself. We move in to Immaculata Hall on the 13th of this month and begin classes the next day.

We are all required to run our own blogs, so I’ll post the link here if anyone reads this and is interested in my adventures overseas. There will be stories, video blogs, photos, and more random tidbits! Hope to have you guys along for the journey.

DECLARED MAJOR!!!

I’m pretty damn excited! I met with the director of the Social Work program today who handled the paperwork and double checked the classes I signed up for next semester – they’re all good, so I’m on track. That means I can graduate in another 4 years with a master’s degree, how cool is that? The time will fly by, and I only have two more semesters of gen eds before it’s all social work, all the time. Hopefully more cool stuff to come!

New Computer Adventures

I’ve had many a computer in my day. It’s not that I’m picky, I just haven’t found the setup that works for me, you know? I first came to school armed with an ancient Mac desktop and the laptop I’m typing on now, an Asus 15″ that’s seen better days. After being shuffled around to 2 different dorm rooms, I decided that the stationary desktop just wasn’t working – it was too slow, and took up too much desk space. Home it went! Now all I had was my somewhat monstrous laptop, but ironically it’s the closest I’ve gotten to finding the right computing style for me. I’ve noticed that I have a ton of electronics around me, and I’m usually staring at some sort of screen for 90% of my day – better try and condense that number down, and make those hours less frustrating.

Now my dad (an angel) told me that he would buy me a new one, with everything I wanted and needed for school. I took a leap, and asked for a MacBook Pro, 13″. After some deliberation, dad said that he thinks he can buy it for me! That’s awesome news, because if this all happens according to plan I’ll have a computer that I can carry with me for the rest of college and grad school, and maybe even longer!

Hauntings in Scranton

Maybe it’s my new habit of binging on Supernatural before bed, but I’ve been recently feeling like many haunted places have been coming to my attention. Scranton isn’t a new town, so it’s natural that there will be some local lore and legend, but I have been to some places that have freaked me out. For one, there’s a pub a few miles from campus called Andy Gavin’s, and it’s rumored that there is a ghost there named George who supposedly moves dishes around and silly things like that. However, when I went there for dinner with my dad, we stumbled upon the coldest of cold spots – it sent major chills down my spine, and lasted for almost 45 minutes!! Second would have to be my class trip to the Clarks Summit State Hospital, where we stayed for over 2 hours. It was majorly strange to me, and although I never encountered anything that I could definitively call supernatural, I got a weird vibe from the place.

Feeling Good!

This week has been a turnaround of sorts for me. After slacking off for quite a while, I got my act together last night and majorly cleaned my room. I always consider that to be the first step in anything you can do — if you don’t have a clean room, you can’t have a clean life. So I picked up everything off the floor, threw out 3 bags of trash (3 whole bags!), and wiped out my fridge, sink, and desk.

I woke up today with a better perspective, and promised myself I’d buckle down. After dragging myself to church (I made a commitment, I have to keep it) and having brunch with some friends, I came back to my nice clean room to do some work. I printed out the 20 page scholarly article on the zoot-suit riots in LA, and got reading. An hour later, it was done, with highlighting and notes in the margins so I could formulate some awesome discussion questions for class. Then, I picked up my “textbook” — it’s basically some guy’s dissertation — and began reading the huge chunk that was assigned for tomorrow.

Although I’m still not completely done, I only have 16 pages left. I plan on getting up well before it’s time for class tomorrow to finish it and write up my discussion questions. Progress! It is possible, my friends. I may be in another rut soon, but I can always look back at this post and remind myself of how a few easy changes can bring about a positive attitude.

2nd Week Update

It’s exactly 2 weeks since I’ve been back at classes. The work load has been surprisingly light – only 1 page of written homework, but hundreds of pages of reading. Especially in my Youth Revolt class, the professor openly admits that she regularly gets complaints from her students about the crazy assignments. Today, 130 total pages of reading was due, and it’s not easy stuff.

We’ve been experiencing what’s called the “Polar Vortex”… it’s crazy!! High temp today was 9 degrees, with lows tonight of around -11. Good ol’ Marywood apparently thinks it’s cool to have windows in dorms that have leaks, so I’m stuck basically sucking all of the heating out the window.

I have discovered Law and Order: SVU. I’ve been watching nonstop, and today I saw a commercial for the newest episode on ABC. I wish I had a TV up here on campus, that’d be cool. I could watch the shows I want when I actually want to, instead of having to watch them online the day after.