If you haven’t signed up for SmarterBucks yet, you should. It’s a revolutionary rewards program that helps you earn extra student loan payments that automatically pay down any student loan. Plus signing up is free. That’s right, gratis. Complimentary. On the house. Earn rewards this holiday season by:
- Getting a head start on your holiday shopping in the SmarterBucks Marketplace. Our marketplace is full of brands you already shop with — Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Banana Republic, Zappos, and way more. The only difference is now you can score up to 10% back in rewards. Plus, from now until the end of the year, we’re offering DOUBLE rewards when you shop through the marketplace!
- Taking surveys. Share your opinions with the world’s coolest brands and earn rewards that pay down your student loans. It’s a free way to pay down your debt.
- Winning our giveaways. Once a month, every month, we give away up to $2,500 in SmarterBucks to one lucky member. The best part? You’re always entered to win!
- Inviting family and friends to get in on the action. Our SmarterBucks Gifter accounts allow your family and friends to sign up for SmarterBucks and earn rewards on your behalf. Every month they earn rewards, we give them to you — automatically!
- Getting involved with our community. Check out our blog, where SmarterBucks members like you share tips on how to get debt-free faster and for less.
Fact: Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. Theory: if you’re not going home, you probably still want to celebrate with your friends. The good news is you definitely can feast your way to fatness this holiday season even if you’re stuck at school. We call it “Friendsgiving”. Here’s what you do:
- Cook a turkey — in your microwave. According to the USDA, you can successfully cook a whole turkey in the microwave. Their advice: don’t stuff the bird. Make sure the turkey is under 14 pounds. Microwave it inside an oven-cooking bag for better heat distribution. Allow 3 inches of clearance around the bird. Cooking time is 9 to 10 minutes per pound on medium power. Rotate during cooking.
- Make a no-bake pumpkin pie. It’s easier than you think. Check out this recipe.
- Make it a potluck. Have your guests bring their favorite side dish, dessert, or beverage. The more dishes you have, the better!
- Get help from your guests. It can be a good way to interact, elongate the party, and have fun while preparing. Invite people over early and ask them to help you decorate.
- Play Thanksgiving themed games. You can play Charades and Pictionary with clues such as “pilgrim”, “turkey”, and “harvest”. Also, remember to go around a say what you’re most thankful for!
- If you haven’t already, compare your private student loan options. Knowing where your money is coming from before you need it is one of the wisest financial decisions you can make. Plus we help you compare private student loan options by lender, interest rate, total cost, and more. The best part? We do it for free!
- Buy or rent textbooks for up to 90% off list price. Why pay expensive bookstore prices when you can shop from our sister-company, ValoreBooks? There you can find the books you need for prices you can actually afford. Plus, for every book you buy or rent using ValoreBooks (from now until September 30, 2013), you get an entry into our Vegas Weekend Giveaway!
- Sell your old books from last year. If you’ve got any used textbooks from last year, score some extra cash by selling them using ValoreBooks. Our Highest Buyback Price Guarantee means we’ll pay more than anyone else out there. Plus price quotes are instant, shipping is free, and you get paid fast.
- Create a budget. It’s important to know how much money you have, how much money you can expect to earn, and how much you plan on spending this semester. Why? Simply put: you don’t want to run out of money.
If you feel best when your head is stuffed in a book, or when a pen is in your hand with a stack of blank paper in front of you, then you might be a writer. What’s more, chances are you might want to pursue that passion in school. If so, why not go to one where the written word is all the rage? Check out the best colleges for writers:
- Kenyon College. Located in rural Gambier, Ohio, this college is more of a sanctuary than anything. Putting emphasis on imaginative thinking skills that go along with a liberal arts education—as well as writing, of course—the peaceful landscape only brings out the best that your writer’s mind has to offer.
- Emory University. Emory truly considers writing an art, which ensures that you won’t be looked down upon as “one of those writers,” but instead as someone whose craft is taken seriously, which is nothing to sniff at.
- New York University. Located in the writer’s heart of the nation—New York is the home of major publishing, after all—the energy of the city is an absolute force to be reckoned with, which only attracts formidable authors of all stripes. Lucky for you, a few of those very authors are teaching at NYU. If you want to make a literary juggernaut your mentor, then start here.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology. You might be surprised to see MIT on this list—after all, it’s most famous for being a scientific giant—but it’s true. MIT offers a fantastic writing program, and equally as fantastic support to its students. What’s more, the institution understands the rigors of the real world and so prepares students by also offering scientific and digital writing, helping you to hone communication skills that will likely go unmatched.
- Colorado College. Here, students are truly pushed to get their creative juices flowing. For instance, if you so choose, you can make a major part of your curriculum include several facets of writing, like film writing.
Of course if you want to pursue writing seriously, then no college is the wrong college for you. Like all things, you get what you put in. So if you’re a writer then just write–wherever you are, you’ll be just fine.
Congratulations! All that finger crossing worked out, and you got that big summer internship you were hoping for. Of course, it’s important to keep the long-term in mind, so now that you’re momentarily employed, don’t forget that you want to be employed in the future, too. With that in mind, it’s entirely possible that your internship could eventually turn into a full-time job. Here’s how to swing it:
- Make a good impression. It’s true that first impressions are everything, but if you want your internship to lead to full-time employment then you should do your best to make the best impression you can every day. Show up on time, work hard, and show that you’re grateful for the opportunity. After all, your application was likely chosen out of a huge pile of others. Show your value.
- Offer what you can. Without being overbearing, show your employer all that you’re capable of, even if it’s not in your job description. That doesn’t mean you should try to be superman or superwoman, but it’s good to show that you have a wide range of abilities.
- Keep in touch. There’s no way your current internship will lead to full-time employment if you don’t keep in touch. Make an effort to build workplace relationships so that it’s not awkward when you leave, and that keeping in touch becomes natural. That way, if a full-time position comes up you could be first in line to hear about it. You already have that foot in the door, so take advantage of it.
- Watch your lunch break. Of course you deserve a relaxing lunch break, but make sure you don’t turn it into a mini one-day vacation. If your employer notices that you’re gone from your desk more often than you should be, then the end result won’t likely be to your favor. That being said, don’t sell yourself short: definitely take a breather when you need it.
- Smile. No one wants a full-time sour puss in their midst, so even if you’re having a bad day, show that you’re a good workplace personality by smiling for the camera, or at least your fellow peers.