Money Saving Tips for University Students

University can be a tough time for students. There are so many things that one has to keep an eye on: Grades, tests, finances, loans, etc. It is a financially difficult time for students, and it’s a great time to learn how to live frugally, especially if you’re using student loans. It’s a time when every penny counts. I did some looking around and I’ve written up a list of what I consider to be the top 10 ways for students to save money and monitor their finances.

Money Saving/Monitoring Hacks for Students:

1) Pay with cash. This will allow you to see what you’re spending, and you’ll be less likely to spend on things that you don’t actually need. I.e.: If you want a coffee, you’ll be less likely to break a $20 in your wallet for it if that’s all you have left, where as a debit card doesn’t offer you the ability to actually “see” what you’re spending.

2) Utilize your student discount. Some schools have a student ID card that act as a discount card, others offer a Student Price Card at a rather small price up front, but the ability to save using this card far outweighs the initial investment used in purchasing the card.

3) For a night out, check with your school’s student association. Sometimes they will have cheap movie or sports venue tickets for sale, and usually at a discount over the full price.

4) Build a budget and post it somewhere that you will always see it. Being able to look at this at a glance will let you know where you stand for the month and also allow you to track expenses eaiser.

5) Textbooks. This is a huge one. Every university student knows the pain of having to purchase texts books. It can easily add up to $1000 or more. Check around with other students and keep an eye out on social media. Sometimes students have set up a “black market” for textbook sales at a fraction of the price that the bookstore charges.

6) Word Processing Software: Most schools mandate that students get Microsoft Word, but in most cases, Apache Open Office will work just fine. Apache Open Office is completely free.

7) Stop paying for credit monitoring services. Credit Karma will allow you to monitor your credit for free, and they will give you a run down of things that are affecting your credit at the moment.

8) Check your phone bill, track your data, texting and phone call needs over the last few months and make sure that you’re on the right plan that fits your needs. Take a look at what phone companies offer. Sometimes they offer deals for students that they don’t advertise. If you are completely strapped, look into options like Fongo, which are Wifi-calling services that offer texting packages for a nominal fee.

9) Only carry a certain amount of cash on you for every week. Once that cash is gone, that’s it. Stop relying on plastic to get your through. (This is one that I’m switching over to full time, as plastic tends to get me in trouble. I have a really nasty plastic habit.)

10) Need a scientific calculator? Have a smartphone? Look into RealCalc. There’s an app for that.

11) Loyalty cards for stores. It doesn’t matter how infrequently you shop at a store, those points will eventually add up for free product and discounts. If you find you don’t want to carry all those cards around, there are a few different loyalty card apps out there. Personally, I use Apple wallet and Stocard.

List of possibly useful links:
https://www.studentuniverse.com – Flights/Hotels

https://www.topcashback.com – Cashback from purchases.
https://mint.intuit.com – Have all your finances in one place.

Banff Coffee Trip

Well, Japan didn’t happen this year. I’ve also switched jobs and I’m now working for Starbucks. I was hired on as a Shift Supervisor, and my life has been hectic in that regards. I haven’t really had time to post much, but I thought you guys would want to see what I’ve been up to in some of my spare time. I went to Banff for coffee.

I’m still working on Japan, but it’s been delayed until next summer at the moment, and I’ll be going on my own time. I’m going to use the time to work on my journalism portfolio, so I’m considering it a bit of a self-study while I’m over there.

Trip to Winnipeg!

By the time this post is released, I will already (hopefully) be on the way to my sister’s house, but I wanted to make a post and show you folks the route I’m travelling across this glorious country. I wanted to share this journey with you as much as I can, so I may bite the bullet on phone charges and live tweet along the way, along with shots of google maps of my current locations when I stop for rest breaks.

The first leg of my trip will be from Edmonton to Lloydminster. Lloydminster is an interesting place to be, because half of the town is in Alberta and half of it is in Saskatchewan. Once I reach this point, I will be making a detour to Onion Lake to drop off a commission of etched glass I did for someone and pick up some gas money. It’s about half an hour north of Lloydminster, so that will be an hour added on to the trek, but I’ll make it work. I’ll try and make up time somewhere along the trail. Lloydminster is about 2 hours and 50 minutes east of Edmonton Alberta.

From Lloydminster, I will be heading to Battleford Saskatchewan. It’s a place I’ve never been, but unfortunately, other than rest breaks along the way, I won’t really have much time for sight seeing. Battleford is 1 hour and 18 minutes east of Lloydminster.

From Battleford, I will follow Highway 16 down to Saskatoon and might stop for a quick bite here, along with making much needed phone calls. Unfortunately, my phone is with Wind Mobile, which isn’t much good outside of major metropolitan areas, as it puts me in roaming or away status. Again, I’m going to try and live tweet as I go, so keep an eye on my twitter @blazewing2010

Saskatoon is 1 hour 27 minutes east of Battleford

From Saskatoon I will continue to travel east towards Dafoe SK. This trek will take approximately 1 hour and 43 minutes and put me almost right on the shore of Quill Lakes. I might take some time on the way back for sight seeing, but we will see how things go. Along this leg of the trek, I continue to follow Highway 16.

 

From Dafoe, I head south-east to the Winnipeg border. The closest point I could find on Google Maps to point to was a place called Marchwell SK. This puts me almost on top of the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border and will take approximately 2 hours and 29 minutes. Are you watching my twitter for live-tweets? I wouldn’t mind interacting at this point when I pull over for rest breaks. I’m pretty sure this is going to be a pretty long and boring drive. Apparently the prairies are all flat land. Who would have thought?

The last leg of the trip will probably be split up into 2 sections, as this takes me from the SK/MB border to Winnipeg and will last approximately 4 to 4 and a half hours. It’s quite a long haul, but at this point, the end of this part of the trek is in sight. I’m pretty sure at this point, I’ll be looking forward to bed.

Anyways, that’s the trek I’m planning on making. A week later, I’ll be taking it up again to head home. I’m going to try and grab some video and pictures for upload. It’ll probably be put up split somehow between blog post, youtube and my Patreon.

I’m planning to end up in Winnipeg sometime Sunday night, having left Edmonton around 5 am or so. I’ll be coming back on that Friday, so it’ll only be a short trip, but I live for this kind of adventure. I love exploring new places.

I’ll post on Wednesday and let you guys know how the trip actually went. I might even try to record times that I get to certain places.

That’s pretty much it for now. I’ll see you all on the trails.

-Blazewing.

Goodbye Granny

Today has been an emotionally charged day in the life of this travelling spirit. It’s been one of the toughest days I’ve had to face in a while. I’m scheduling this post to release on May 24, 2017 in order to give the family time to make the necessary arrangements needed, but I’m writing it on May 9th 2017. I need to vent and get my feelings out, and I don’t feel right posting this on Facebook just yet for all the world to see.

On May 9th, 2017, Muriel Schubert moved from this world into the next at 1020 hours MST. She is survived by several children and many grandchildren, a few great grand children, and even one great great grand child that I know of. Muriel Schubert was my grandmother. She was someone I was close to. She was someone I respected and adored, and there are many things I regret not making the time to do, but this is neither her nor there. The fact is that she passed on after a long battle with health-related illnesses and she spent the last 2 weeks of her life in the hospital. What makes it just a little bit more real and a strike close to home is that she was my last remaining biological grandparent.

I don’t deal well with death. I never have. I don’t know how to function, so I compartmentalize. I mourn and move on, but I never really get over something that sends shockwaves through the very core of my being like this. I remember every person I know that has died, and I try and honour their spirit and memory by bettering myself.

I’ve done a lot of thinking today, and while my emotions have mostly been numb, I’ve come to a decision. My schooling, everything that I achieve through school will be in honour of my grandmother. She was always a proponent of higher education, and she was absolutely tickled by the fact that I’d gone back to school. While I’m remembering her, I think this is the best way to honour her. When I graduate from my bachelor’s degree, I will be dedicating it to her in what ever way I can.

I’m going to miss her, but she is on a glorious adventure, travelling between this world and the next. I firmly believe that our spirits will cross paths again, even if we don’t recognize each other physically. From here on out, I make a solemn promise to do the best I can in school, to graduate with the best marks I can, and where ever she is, I know she’ll be proud of me. She was always proud of me.

Her obituary can be found at http://www.mmcfunerals.com/obituary/muriel-schubert

Safe Travels Granny.
I’ll see you on the trails.
Love you always.
-Blaze.

Blaze Pizza: Review

Today was an emotionally charged day for me. I came to the realization that JAPN 101 in 3 weeks wasn’t going to work for me, and as such, I decided to drop both it and JAPN 102. This sucks because it’s one of the courses I was looking forward to this year. While I pulled a lot of valuable information out of the course, I think I’m going to wait for a full semester course instead of the accelerated court I’d immersed myself into. After talking with sensee and my program advisor, I hit the withdrew button and looked at the empty space on my roster. It kind of sucks, but here we are. I’m not going to lie, I cried a little bit. I almost cried in front of sensee, which in Japanese culture is a huge no-no, from what I understand.

Whisper picked me up and we went for a consolation supper at a new place in town called Blaze Pizza. I was pleasantly surprised at the food, to be honest. When you walk in, it’s like a Quizno’s style lineup where you tell them what kind of crust you want (Original, Gluten Free, or Rising Crust), and they have a menu of pre-built pizzas you can choose from, or you can build your own pizza.

I chose to have their Meat Eater’s Pizza which had pepperoni, crumbled meatballs, red onion, mozzarella and red sauce. I also opted for mushroom, crumbled beef gorgonzola cheese and whole garlic cloves. They keep sliding you down the line towards the cash, where you pay, and then they throw your pizza in a nice big oven with open flame, where your pizza cooks for three minutes before they pull it, box it and hand it to you. If you’ve purchased a drink, they hand you a cup and you fill your cup up at the drink dispenser.

I don’t think there was a bite of that pizza that I took that wan’t full of rich, mouthwatering flavour, but then again, I hadn’t eaten since breakfast because I’m an idiot like that. The pizza I had looked absolutely delicious and I’d more than likely go back and eat one again. The pictures I have here really don’t do this place justice.

If you’d like to check them out, they are located in the Brewery District of Edmonton at 12010-104 Ave. NW, Ste 2-106 or in Calgary at 2032 4th St.

You can find their website at http://www.blazepizza.com.

Apparently they are all over the United States, but Edmonton and Calgary appear to be the only place in Canada where they have locations so far. It was definitely a nice meal.

Winnipeg Road Trip

I have been planning a road trip to visit my sister in Winnipeg Manitoba at the end of May. This will mean a road trip from Edmonton to Winnipeg. It’s a 13 hour road trip, and I’m really looking forward to it. I haven’t seen my little sister in almost a decade. I was out of touch with her for a long while due to family issues, but we’ve been reconnecting over the last year and I’m glad to have her back in my life.

I like being out on the road, travelling and exploring new places. Considering I’ve already driven from Edmonton to Vancouver, I think it will be a worthwhile venture to add to my list of places I’ve been. When I head out to visit my sister, I will have been in or driven through most of Canada. The only exception to this is Newfoundland & Labrador and the territories which ARE on my list of places to go.

I’ve been trying to figure out what I will need for gas and I’ve also been looking in to plotting a route with the help of google maps.

In this direction of travel, I’ve been as far as LloydMinster, which is a decent little down that sits with the Alberta/Saskatchewan border smack dab in the middle of it. If you check out the facebook page, you’ll be able to see the pictures I took when I was in Lloydminster a while back.

As always, I will try and grab pictures on my way through, but I hold no promises, as I won’t have my travel companions for this trek.

Upwards and onwards to better things I guess. It’s time to see where the road of this great country take me.

See you on the trails.

-Blaze

Facebook’s Real Name Policy.

Facebook’s Real Name Policy has struck again. Those of you that know me, know I am an advocate for using preferred names. Whether or not it’s the name you were born with, your name is your name. This has been an ongoing battle with me, as I’m quite upfront with all sorts of different people about the fact that I stand up for LGBT and Pagan rights.

Yesterday and the day previous, I had a rather lengthy exchange with a bunch of Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists because I sent a message to Senator Don Plett who is trying to have any and all trans rights repealed at a federal level. I stood up for the rights of myself and those around me, and someone decided to outright insult me for it. Instead of doing what I probably should have (blocked them), I went to the individual’s Facebook page and let loose. She and her friends immediately jumped down my throat. It took a couple of days, but they all decided to report my profile for incorrect name usage.

As of this moment, I’m waiting for Facebook to get back to me and let me know if I’m getting my account back. I’ve uploaded all the documentation they require, but at this point, it’s a waiting game.

Please stay tuned for further information.

Blazewing

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