saving money using Amazon Prime

How I Save Money Using Amazon Prime

save money using amazon prime

 

In honor of Amazon Prime Day, I thought I would share some of the ways I use  Amazon Prime to save money. You can sign up below to get a free month of Amazon Prime and see if it is something that works for you. The regular membership rate is $99/year, which equates to $8.25 per month. If you have a .edu email address, you can sign up for a reduced student rate (which I did with my faculty email address). Even at $99, however, it would be a value for me.

 

Here’s what you get:

  • Free two-day shipping
  • Free Prime Instant Video (Amazon’s version of Netflix)
  • Free Prime Music (Amazon’s version of Pandora or Spotify)
  • Unlimited photo storage
  • Access to one free Kindle book per month through the Amazon lending library

 

I save money with Amazon Prime because I got to cancel Netflix and all of my music app subscriptions (other than Sirius for my car). I also save about $10 a month using that Kindle lending library. That alone exceeds the monthly cost of Prime.

 

More importantly, using Prime I am able to avoid a lot of extra money spent on gas and impulse buys when I have to leave the house and go to a store. Realistically, what would happen if I drove to Target to buy printer ink (which I need all the time during the school year)? I’d end up with the Target $100 PLUS my $20 ink and a Starbucks on the way out the door. With Amazon Prime, I get what I need shipped to my door in two days and get a great price. Plus, I don’t have to find time in my schedule to go to a store and don’t buy anything other than what I actually need. I also keep a lot of wish lists of items that I might like to purchase in the future for school or gifts. Because prices change pretty frequently on Amazon, I can go check my wish list (or set up an alert) to look for deals on those specific items. When the price goes down, I can go ahead and place my order (kind of like electronic stock trading haha).

 

Plus, Amazon loves its Prime Members so much that we get a special holiday once a year. Today you can grab deals like this:

 

Amazon Fire starting at $33.33! I got one a few weeks ago, and it’s great. You seriously can’t beat what you get for the price.

 

 

Click below to sign up (Amazon affiliate link):

frugal fun valentine gift idea

Frugal But Fun Valentine Gift Ideas

frugal fun valentine gift idea

 

 

So, you are looking for a way to show your love for you significant other without breaking the bank? Believe me when I tell you that I have been there and made the biggest Valentine mistake of all time. One year, I bought my husband a brand new motorcycle for Valentine’s Day. We were not even married yet. So, yes, I have been young and dumb. Very dumb. On the other hand, I still pull out the “motorcycle card” every Valentine’s Day thinking that the gift should still have some value many years later. If you need something in between motorcycle and cheesy coupon book, here are a few relatively inexpensive gift ideas:

 

  • Movie night at home (the ultimate Netflix and chill)
  • Favorite candy or snack (a gift basket full of them and maybe a favorite beer or wine to go with it)
  • Have lunch delivered to the office
  • Make his favorite dinner
  • Breakfast in bed (this is the biggest luxury to me)
  • Make a scrapbook with pictures and love notes collected over the years (this is like the coupon book idea but not quite as cheesy)
  • What are your ideas??
top career mistakes college students make

Top Five Career Mistakes That College Students Make

top career mistakes college students make

 

It’s the start of a new semester at the university, which means graduation is just months away for many college seniors. The “real world” is just around the corner, and yet I see so few students really prepared for that moment. Now, I will admit to you that in many ways I was not all that different. At this time, I did not have a job lined up waiting for me after graduation. I didn’t know exactly where I was going or what I would be doing. I was, however, actively looking for work. I had a plan, and I had been putting in the time and taking opportunities throughout my college years that would eventually lead me in the right direction.

 

When I graduated from college I went home for a couple of weeks and then left to take a summer job as a lab assistant. It did not pay much money, and I lived in a large house with about 25 other college students. Still, I took the opportunity to work in my field. While I was there, I got a call with a job offer related to an application I submitted months earlier. I moved hundreds of miles away, and the rest is history. The point is that I was always working towards something and answered the door when opportunity knocked. Unfortunately, I don’t see that attitude in a lot of college students today. They seem to be making a lot of mistakes when it comes to their career search and prospects.

 

  1. Unrealistic salary expectations. Long before the first interview, you should have a good idea about what starting salaries in your field actually are. Unfortunately, a lot of college students seem to have inflated salary expectations. Talk to recent graduates and find out what kinds of jobs and salaries offered to them. Research average salaries here and understand how those numbers vary by location. For example, working in NYC, you will likely be at the high end while in Mississippi you could be at or below the bottom of the range.
  2. Unwillingness to relocate. My first job out of college took me from the Northeast to the foreign land of Mississippi. I had never stepped foot in the state before the day I moved there to start my career. It never occurred to me not to take the job because I would have to relocate. Life is an adventure, and in today’s economy, you cannot afford to limit your options to a small geographic region. Your dream job could be waiting across the country, so step outside your comfort zone and go for it!
  3. Feelings of entitlement. A college degree entitles you to nothing other than a piece of paper that you can hang in an expensive frame. Graduation is just the first hurdle and likely makes you no different from any of the hundreds of other applicants for a job. You are entitled to nothing. Consider yourself fortunate to get an interview and fortunate to get a chance to prove yourself to an employer. Be willing to work hard and do what is required even if you think you can handle more. Show that you can succeed in the small tasks, and bigger things will come your way. Plus, we all started at the bottom. Good colleagues are willing to pay their dues just like everyone else.
  4. Lack of professionalism. I’m not sure what makes students want to call me by my first name, call me Mrs. Goodwin, text emojis to me, or expect me to answer their emails at 2 am. I’m thinking it’s the same thing that causes them to show up to a professional event in shorts and a T-shirt or short skirt and 5-inch heels. I don’t think this behavior is unique to their interactions with me, and I worry about how this translates into an overall lack of professionalism that extends beyond the classroom.  Wear a suit and nice shoes, lose the backpack, and stop sending emails that use “hey” as the salutation.
  5. Not using the social network. Millennials are great at liking on Facebook, instantly Gramming, and snapping their Chat. Despite this social fluency, they tend to miss the mark when it comes to the actual value of developing their social network. Networking is crucial to career development and advancement. Take every opportunity you have as a student to meet people working in fields that interest you, get their business card, write them an email, and add them to your LinkedIn network. You never know what door that connection can open for you one day.