College Funding Checklist for the Final Days of Summer

   Posted by Deborah Fox on 29 Aug, 2011

I took the liberty of taking the summer off from blogging, but now that fall is just around the corner I felt compelled to fire up the Pay for College Blog again. Our family is beginning to implement our own college funding strategies for the fall semester so I thought I’d share some of the items on our list. If you have a student heading off to college this month or next you will want to make sure you have also set yourself up to minimize your college costs.

My son just left last week to head back to Pittsburgh to complete his senior year at Carnegie Mellon University. He couldn’t wait to get back because he is so looking forward to both his classes and extracurricular activities this year. He called me this evening in a very perky mood anticipating his first day of classes tomorrow. (Hint: This is one of the signs you should get from your child if he or she has picked a great fit college!)

Checklist to Minimize Costs for the Coming Year:

Make sure any scholarship money awarded by the college has been credited to your student’s account.

Make sure any private scholarships your child has won for this year has been credited to your student’s account.

Have your student check with the Financial Aid Office for any school-specific or local area private scholarships that might be available for your student to apply to this year. (My son won a $5,000 school-specific private scholarship last year and he found out he can re-apply this year.)

Don’t purchase textbooks at the retail price from the campus bookstore. Instead, buy used or rent which should save you 50% - 80%. During this past year a number of campus bookstores, by the way, have started renting books. Here are some places to save on books:,, or

Don’t choose the most expensive meal plan offered by the college. Most students will never eat that many meals per week in the campus eateries.

Work out a realistic monthly budget for your student’s personal expenses. To monitor his progress, have your student set up an account on so he can set up an itemized monthly spending plan to help stay within budget. (Have your student be responsible for earning his yearly personal expenses through part-time work so he learns how to ration income over the year.)

Purchase an Entertainment Book ( for your child for the city or town  in which she is attending college for lots of 2-for-1 deals and other discounts on everyday items and dining.

Shop the back-to-school sales online to get free shipping and save sales tax to buy the clothes, toiletries, supplies and dorm room items your child will need this year.

Opt out of campus-provided health insurance if keeping your child on your family’s policy will save you money. (This saved our family over $1,000 per year.)

If your student won’t be driving at college, cancel his car insurance. Some auto policies, by the way, will allow you to lower coverage – and therefore your premiums - to only cover your child while he is home on breaks. (Boy can that save a bundle for a teenager!)

If your child will be a plane flight away, plan ahead when your child will be coming home or when you will go visit her. You can sign up for airline alerts and monitor when fares go on sale. (Tip: Fares often go on sale Wednesday and Sunday nights. I just bought a ticket to the east coast for $100 less on Sunday than it was the few days before.)

Bottom line, your college bills will add up to a lot less if you work on reducing your expenses in multiple areas. The items on the checklist above could easily save you at least $5,000 this year alone!

All the best,
Deborah Fox

Deborah Fox is the founder of Fox College Funding®, a nationwide company that helps families find creative ways to reduce their college costs.

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Raise Cash for College with Private Scholarships

   Posted by Deborah Fox on 28 Aug, 2011

As the lazy days of summer slip away, high school students can take advantage of their free time to help fill the family college coffers with private scholarship winnings. And why should your child consider giving up precious time at the beach or the mall? Simple. If you’re like most parents, the net cost of college will need to be considered when your child makes his or her final college choice. So the sooner your child can help the family raise cash for college, the odds are he or she will have more colleges from which to choose to identify a great fit college. Here are some tips to increase your child’s chances of winning private scholarship money for college.

Avoid the Crowds

Have your student apply to scholarships that have less competition. The biggest tip I can give you is to not focus on national scholarships; instead, have your child seek out local and regional ones. These will have much less competition. Students applying to national scholarships will likely be competing with hundreds, if not thousands of other applicants - definitely not the odds you want.

One of the easiest places to uncover possibilities is to ask the high school counseling office for their scholarship collection since local sponsors will send information about their scholarships directly to the local high schools. See if local alumni, or trusts or foundations set up by alumni, offer awards. Also look for other scholarships offered by local service organizations, community groups and corporations. The harder the scholarship is to find, the less competition it will likely have. Have your student ask older siblings of their friends which scholarships they found. Network with everyone you know to see if they are aware of any scholarships or can lead you to someone who does.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Students should finish their college admissions applications before summer ends because classmates will be focusing on the college admission process the first couple months of senior year and won’t have time to work on scholarship applications. Your child can take advantage of this time by applying to scholarships that have fall deadlines.

Get to Know the Scholarship Sponsor

The more students know about a scholarship and its sponsor, the better job they can do on the application. Before filling out the application, have your student research a few items. First, what is the mission statement of the sponsoring organization? Second, what type of candidate has been chosen in past years? (Your student may be able to find this information online or in a press release where there is a description of the previous winner.) Third, who will be judging the applications? The answers to these three questions can greatly help students in determining how to best approach the application because they will have a clearer picture as to what type of candidate the sponsor may be looking for and from what perspective they will be judged.

Seniors Aren’t the Only Lucky Ones

Students can begin applying to scholarships as soon as they are in high school (and even earlier in some cases). High school freshman, sophomores and juniors will have much less competition for winning private scholarships than high school seniors because these younger classmen aren’t typically thinking about winning college scholarships.

And don’t make the mistake in thinking that after your child graduates from high school the opportunity ends. There are private scholarships for college students too.

All the best,
Deborah Fox

Deborah Fox is the founder of Fox College Funding®, a nationwide company that helps families find creative ways to reduce their college costs.

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Raising a Budget-Conscious Child: Getting a Job

   Posted by Deborah Fox on 20 May, 2011

Last post I began sharing with you some simple steps you can take to teach your student how to be more budget-conscious by discussing how to educate your child by including him or her in your personal budgeting habits.

Today, in Part 2, I want to encourage you to take the next step. If you want to help your child learn to manage money on his own, (s)he will need to have some to work with. That’s why my second tip is to:

Let Them Work.

In an effort to help their students focus on other pursuits–grades, athletics, and other extra-curricular activities–many parents have begun discouraging their children from working a part-time job until college (or even after!). While these things are important, it is also crucial to your child’s future that he or she learn how to balance work and play, as well as interpersonal and fiscal responsibility.

Working a part-time job–even just during summer or on the weekends–can help students do just that. A new video game or pair of jeans will seem more valuable when students realizes how many hours of work they have to engage in to pay for it.

(This will not only help students understand the value of a dollar, but will hopefully encourage them to be more mindful about taking care of their belongings because their worth–and what it costs to replace them–will be easier to comprehend.)

Preparing the Way

Before your student starts a part-time job, you’ll want to have a conversation or two about what you both expect out of this new experience. You may want to lay ground rules about what happens to the money, such as setting a predetermined amount or percentage to go toward spending and another portion going into savings.

You may also wish to discuss the practical side of things, for example:

  • How will your child get to work (car, public transportation, bike)?
  • What consequence will he or she face if grades or other activities are affected by having a job?
  • How should your child dress and behave in the job he or she wants?
  • How many hours per week can he or she handle working (I recommend 15 or less)?

Understanding the importance of responsibility is a happy side-effect of working, as well. Having to report on-time, doing the job well, and facing the consequences of failing at these tasks is a healthy experience that can help prepare your child for more important jobs in the future.

Putting it into Practice

Once your child has decided to get a job, he or she may need help figuring out what to do next. You can help your student:

  • Search for a job in the paper, online, or by word-of-mouth,
  • Apply for and obtain a work-permit if he or she is under 18,
  • Create a basic resume (if necessary),
  • Fill out a job application,
  • Practice interview questions, etc.

And remember, first jobs are exciting–especially cashing that first paycheck! Help your child enjoy this step into adulthood and independence!

All the best,
Deborah Fox

Deborah Fox is the founder of Fox College Funding®, a nationwide company that helps families find creative ways to reduce their college costs.


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Raising a Budget-Conscious Child: Show and Tell

   Posted by Deborah Fox on 18 May, 2011

With a huge number of Americans still trying to bounce back from the recession, it is more important than ever for parents to teach budgeting, and encourage their children to put it into practice. If this task seems more than a little overwhelming to you, you’re not alone. Why do you think so many parents have welcomed home “boomerang children”–college graduates returning to the nest to let Mom and Dad foot the bills?

Teaching your child to budget doesn’t have to be daunting if you break it down into small steps. That’s why I wanted to share a few simple ideas about how to raise budget-conscious teens. I hope these five steps will help you and your child begin a dialogue and give him or her some practice handling money on his or her own. This post is one of two on this topic. Today, I just want you to think about:

Show and Tell.

Your budget, that is. There may be no better way to help your child understand budgeting than by involving him or her in managing your own. Your child needs to be aware that you make decisions about money many times every day, and how those decisions effect today, tomorrow, and longer term.

Preparing the Way

In this particular case, I am not recommending you sit your child down and go over spreadsheets  about the budget. I think you will find it more comfortable and find your child more receptive if you discuss the topic more casually (most students don’t get too excited about sitting down with their parents to discuss finances). Instead, try to integrate the message you are trying to convey into everyday life. Read on, and I’ll give you an idea of how to get started.

Putting it into Practice

You’ve decided to let your child in on how family financial decisions are made–but where do you begin? Whether your household budget is barely under control or a well-oiled machine, it probably has too many components for your student to grasp all at once. Begin with baby steps.

  • Let your child see you paying bills, and ask if he or she knows much about it. You can talk about how you manage and track each expenditure, pay each bill (online, automatic payments, writing checks, etc.) and how often (weekly, monthly, etc.). Don’t forget to let your child know what happens if you’re late on a payment.
  • Use once-a-year bills, such as your car registration, as a starting point for talking about irregular expenses with your child. He or she may have seen you paying bills on a monthly basis, but now you can talk about how you fit those yearly or unexpected payments — tax payments, surprise medical bills or scheduled car maintenance– in with the monthly ones.
  • Send your child grocery shopping. Give him or her a grocery list and set amount to spend (cash will make this easier than handing over a credit card) and have him or her try to stay within the budget.
  • Explain what is and isn’t in your budget. For example, if your child wants to go out for dinner but you’ve spent your dining-out funds for the month, simply say so. Along this same vein, when you take a weekend trip you might explain that you saved a certain amount each month in order to cover the costs of the vacation, and that this amount was included in your monthly budget, too.

There are a myriad ways to let your child become more aware of and involved with your family’s spending plan, so watch for them to present themselves in your everyday life. You don’t need to set up a curriculum, just take advantage of the teaching moments as they appear.

Once your child heads off to college and begins to manage their daily affairs, he or she will likely appreciate the tips and education you provided ahead of time on how to manage a budget. (My son actually made a special phone call to me from college in his freshman year thanking me for making sure he knew how to manage his money and time, do his laundry and cook as he watched some of his friends struggle with these tasks. To me, that day was one of the most satisfying compliments I have received about being a mom!)

All the best,
Deborah Fox

Deborah Fox is the founder of Fox College Funding®, a nationwide company that helps families find creative ways to reduce their college costs.


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3 Reasons Your Student Should Consider Taking Summer Classes

   Posted by Deborah Fox on 12 May, 2011

Looking for ways to help your student stay productive this summer? Taking a college-level course or two at a community college could be the perfect fit. Here are three reasons your student should consider adding academics this summer:

1. Saving time.

For many students, summer hours are wasted away in front of the TV (or worse yet–sleeping well into the afternoon!); but taking a course at a community college could help your student get ahead of the game when fall rolls around. Earning college credits now can save time during the college years, and may even help your student graduate with a degree a semester early.

Another bonus of taking summer courses? Many community colleges offer accelerated classes, so with a little extra work your student could earn credit for a semester-long course in a matter of weeks instead of months.

2. Saving money.

Let’s face it–the college years are expensive. Community colleges, however, charge much less tuition per course than a 4-year college or university, so if your child can finish the same (or equivalent) class at a community college now, why pay more for him or her to take it at a 4-year college later? It can translate into getting a discount on those college credits!

3. Staying “fit” for the school year.

One of the hardest parts about the “back-to-school” season is that many students feel their study and writing skills–as well as their enthusiasm for and motivation to pursue schoolwork–have atrophied over the summer break. Too much play and no work makes the transition back to a class schedule and exams tough. Completing one or two classes over the long vacation may help your student remain focused and in the learning zone for the next school year.

If summer classes sound appealing, I encourage your to do more research. Talk to your student’s high school counselor or a college admissions officer and find out which courses offered at your local community college will transfer for credit at your child’s future (or current) college or university.

All the best,
Deborah Fox

Deborah Fox is the founder of Fox College Funding®, a nationwide company that helps families find creative ways to reduce their college costs.


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New College Rankings: Best Return on Investment

   Posted by Deborah Fox on 09 May, 2011

For years parents have turned to the rankings of popular magazines like the U.S. News and World Report or Forbes to help them choose the best school for their child. While I would argue that a magazine’s rank list is not usually the best tool for making your final decision, it can be helpful as an overview of what each school has to offer.

This year, Bloomburg Businessweek and PayScale have unveiled an improved version of their new ranking system: listing schools by their return on investment (ROI).

College as an Investment

Most students and their families are willing to make financial sacrifices for a college degree because they feel that college is an investment worth making. With that thought in mind, Bloomburg Businessweek’s report took a look at the schools that give their students the best return based on the cost of attendance and their pay scale after graduation.

The 2011 top twenty colleges based on ROI over 30 years are:

  1. The California Institute of Technology
  2. Harvey Mudd College
  3. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  4. Princeton University
  5. Stanford University
  6. Dartmouth College
  7. Duke University
  8. Harvard University
  9. University of Pennsylvania
  10. University of Notre Dame
  11. Babson College
  12. Yale University
  13. Columbia University
  14. Lehigh University
  15. Amherst College
  16. Colgate University
  17. Worcester Polytechnic Insitute
  18. University of California, Berkeley
  19. Cornell University
  20. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The first three of these schools gave their graduates an estimated ROI in excess of $1.5 million over 30 years.

One the other hand, the PayScale study showed one college–the College of the Ozarks in Missouri–whose graduates actually earned $133,000 less over 15 years than typical high school graduates!


You may find this list interesting to use as a comparison tool, but you might wonder how each school earned their rank on the list. The methodology used was fairly straightforward:

  • For the college price portion, the study looked at total college cost (tuition, room and board, supplies, etc.) as well as how that cost might be reduced by typical amounts of grants-in-aid at each school. They multiplied that cost of attendance by the average number of years a 2010 graduate took to graduate from each school.
  • For the earnings portion of the ranking, PayScale used approximately 1,000 pay reports per school from alumni who graduated between 1981 and 2010.
  • Graduation rates for each school also came into play, as funds spent at a college from which a student did not graduate would decrease the average ROI for that school.

All in all, this study adds a nice twist on the traditional college ranking measures. This study provides a different frame of reference for college comparisons by analyzing, in hard dollars, the benefits of earning a college degree from various colleges. It sure sure beats just focusing on a college’s sticker price, doesn’t it?

All the best,
Deborah Fox

Deborah Fox is the founder of Fox College Funding®, a nationwide company that helps families find creative ways to reduce their college costs.


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Win Free Shutterfly Graduation Announcements & Photobooks!

   Posted by Deborah Fox on 28 Apr, 2011

I’m pleased to announce the Pay For College Blog’s very first giveaway event!

The generous people at Shutterfly have offered our readers some wonderful prizes–read on to find out what they are, and how you could win!

The Giveaway

As a way of saying “thank you” to my readers, I have partnered with Shutterfly to offer an opportunity to win some wonderful gifts. (Wouldn’t these would be perfect for graduation?) Enter today and you could win:

  • A $50 giftcard good for anything on, including photo prints, cards, gifts, and photobooks,
  • An 8×8 photobook with up to 20 pages, or
  • 100 5×7 graduation announcements.

Shutterfly’s graduation announcements are beautiful and tasteful. Below is a sampling of what they have to offer (and don’t forget to keep reading to find out how you could win).

How to Enter

There are three ways you can enter to win:

1. Leave a comment sharing your biggest worry about paying for college,

2. Tweet or share a link on Facebook about this giveaway, and leave a comment letting me know, and/or

3. Subscribe to the Pay for College Blog RSS feed and leave a comment letting me know.

Good luck to all of you! You have until Tuesday, May 3nd to enter. Our winners will be selected using and announced next week.

(And if you’re looking for another way to win, consider entering Shutterfly’s springtime contest. They are offering the chance to win 50 free cards or a photobook to anyone who blogs about their springtime announcements. See their site for more information.)

Enter our giveaway today–it is as easy as adding a comment!

All the best,
Deborah Fox

Deborah Fox is the founder of Fox College Funding®, a nationwide company that helps families find creative ways to reduce their college costs.

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Spring Cleaning your Spending: Save on Groceries

   Posted by Deborah Fox on 22 Apr, 2011

If you have a teenager, you’ve probably noticed that your refrigerator is more money-pit than food storage space. Groceries can disappear almost as fast as you bring them in–which is why it is so important to your budget that you save as much at the store cash register as you can.

Plan Ahead

Do you see dollar signs when you find half-eaten leftovers or spoiling produce tucked away in your fridge? One of the best ways to reduce food waste is to plan ahead. Meal planning will help you buy only what you need at the grocery store, because you’ll have your week of cooking already mapped out. It will also help you be sure that you use everything you buy–you can even plan a night for leftovers so you get the extra lasagna out of its Tupperware before its too late.

Planning with your local store’s sale flyer can also help trim grocery bills. Planning your meals around current sales instead of the whim of your family’s palate can really help lower the total on the cash register receipt. Eating in-season fruits and vegetables, which usually cost much less than out-of-season ones (think greenhouses or shipping costs from warmer or cooler climates) can also save you money.

Shop Less

Let’s face it: the more often we go to the store, the more chance we’ll fall prey to impulse buys (especially if you shop hungry–avoid that at all costs!), and those can add up fast.

Cutting back your shopping trips will help you stay within your budget and be more likely to try to use what you already have at home–and that helps cut out waste.

Join the Club

Most stores have free “club cards” that will automatically save you money on their specially marked items. The cards often keep track of your purchase preferences so that you are more likely to get useful coupons with your receipt.

Use Coupons and Sales Together

Using coupons for groceries is such a popular money-saving right now that dozens of useful “couponing” blogs have popped up all over the blogosphere. These sites teach their readers to do several things to help them pay much less than retail for groceries:

  • Watch the sales. Stores tend to operate on a 6 week cycle, with the lowest price of an item coming on sale about every 6 weeks. Many couponing websites will tell you when this is, or you can try to keep an eye out for yourself. Stock up on non-perishables or freezable items when they are at their lowest price.
  • “Stack” coupons. Most stores allow you to use several coupons for one item, as long as it isn’t the same exact coupon. For example, if you have a $1.00 cereal coupon and a $0.55 coupon for the same cereal, you may be able to “stack” them to save $1.55.
  • Combine coupons and sales. For the best price, you’ll want to use coupons on items that are already on sale.

Interested in learning more about coupons? Try this couponing tutorial at hip2save for some good starting points.

All the best,
Deborah Fox

Deborah Fox is the founder of Fox College Funding®, a nationwide company that helps families find creative ways to reduce their college costs.


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Spring Cleaning your Spending: Trim Your Fixed Bills

   Posted by Deborah Fox on 19 Apr, 2011

Last post I wrote about how to save on the little luxuries you choose to buy every month. In the second part of the trilogy on reducing everyday spending, I want to look at your fixed costs–things that you routinely pay for every month when the bill comes due. Obviously your electric bill or car loan payments are non-negotiable, but you may be able to lower the cost of services like cable, internet, home phone and cell phone coverage.

Ask for a Discount

It sounds too easy, doesn’t it? Yet many companies are willing to give you a discount on their services if you simply call and ask–just remember to be friendly, not aggressive, and lead off by telling them you’ve been pleased with their services, but that you’re concerned about your budget. Ask if there is anything they can do.

If they initially seem unwilling to change the rate, you can try one (or all) of these tactics. (Again, remember to remain friendly.)

  • If another similar company is having a sale or discount deal, have the competitor’s rates handy, and ask if your company can beat or at least match that price.
  • If you’ve been a customer for some time, ask if they have a loyalty discount.
  • Ask if there are any unadvertised deals going, or
  • Ask if they can offer you, an existing customer, a deal you saw advertised for new customers.

Don’t be intimidated by the process–just remind yourself that it never hurts to ask. The worst case scenario is you keep paying what you’re already paying, but the best: a few minutes on the phone could save you a bundle on your next year’s costs! (I used this tactic for our family and was able to save over $30 per month on our cable, phone and internet service package!)

Talk About (or Consider) Change

One of the best ways to get a discount is to talk to your service provider about closing your account. Quite frankly, they want your monthly payment to keep rolling in, and most companies will make an effort to keep you around. If your yearly contract is up (or if you don’t have one), you could add that you are considering a switch to a different company when you are having a phone call such as the one suggested above. Most companies will have you transferred to their customer retention department if you tell them you want to cancel your account–and they are usually pretty good about trying to help you work out a good deal.

Make sure you’ve done your research on competitor prices so you can ask them to meet or beat that price (and in case you need to actually make a switch to save money).

Also, if you have a contract, be sure it is up before you close your account–many companies will charge you a hefty fee for canceling early.

Cut Down

If you can’t get a discount on what you already have, you can choose to cut a portion of your services to reduce your monthly costs.

For example, with a cable bill you could:

  • Switch to basic cable,
  • Cut out premium channels, or
  • Forgo a DVR or HD programming.

With a cell phone bill you could:

  • Lower your monthly minute allotment,
  • Lower or forgo texting (just be sure to inform your texting teens!), or
  • If you have a data plan, you could cut back or switch to a regular cell phone.

If you decide to go this route, I suggest you call in rather than making changes online. Talking to a live person can often help you get an unadvertised plan (or discounts) you might not otherwise be able to get. Let your customer service rep know what you need out of your service, and ask for suggestions about how you can cut down your bill.

Happy saving, and stay tuned for more money-saving tips in the spring cleaning series!

All the best,
Deborah Fox

Deborah Fox is the founder of Fox College Funding®, a nationwide company that helps families find creative ways to reduce their college costs.


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Spring Cleaning your Spending: Becoming a Smart Spender

   Posted by Deborah Fox on 30 Mar, 2011

Starting to feel the pinch of those ever rising tuition fees? Springtime is the perfect time to clear the cobwebs off your budget and find new ways to fund your child’s college education!

Small changes can make a big difference, so in this springtime trilogy, I’ll be sharing a few easy ways you can trim your spending to free up more cash for college. Today we’re going to look at a few simple ways to save by being a smart spender.

You Don’t Have to “Go Without”

One of the hardest parts of convincing yourself to budget better is fighting the feeling of being deprived. Many parents feel they have to sacrifice the little luxuries they love just to keep their finances in line, but in reality, being a “smart spender” can help you maintain your funds to pay for college without forfeiting the things you enjoy the most.

Let’s assume you would like to try to cut your clothing expenditures, spend less on eating out, or shave what you shell out on movie tickets. You have two options to make this happen: you can either buy less (let’s all pout!), or you can look for ways to make your money go further. Read on for examples!

  • Eating Out. While you can save a lot by simply cooking for yourself, you can also look for ways to save on the retail price of a dine-out meal so you can still treat yourself to the fun of being served a delicious meal you didn’t have to make.
    • is a website that offers you discounted gift certificates to local restaurants. At their regular price you can get a $25 gift certificate for $10, but you can save even more with online coupon codes–sometimes up to 80% where the same $25 gift certificate will cost you just $2! Just sign up at and you will receive emails periodically when the discounts are being offered.
    • Get it to go (even if its not “fast food”). Most casual dining restaurants (like Chili’s, etc.) offer to-go options, too. Getting it to go not only lets you escape the noisy atmosphere but also helps you choose only what you want–you can’t get talked into coffee or dessert if you’ve already made your escape. And you save the tip too!
    • Entertainment Book is full of 2 for 1 deals on restaurants and other discounts on everything from groceries to movie tickets to travel. There is an Entertainment Book for many cities around the country. All the books are being sold for 50% off right now so you’ll likely make back the cost of the book the very first time you use it! Go to to order.
  • Clothing. Brand name clothing has a certain appeal–aside from the label, brand name apparel often tends to be higher quality (so it lasts longer).
    • Outlets are a great source for brand name clothing, and larger chains such as the nationwide Tanger outlets often have sales and coupons on top of their low prices. Browse for a list of outlets in your area, as well as the number of true factory outlet stores in each.
    • Discount retailers like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross offer name brand clothing for a fraction of the price. You may have to spend a little more time searching the racks, but in this case time really is money.
  • Movies. Whether you want to hit the theaters or rent for the night, there’s always a way to save a dollar or two on a movie.
    • Prepay and get discount tickets through stores like Costco, which offers bulk quantities of tickets for large chains like Cinemark, Regal, and AMC theaters.
    • Go online for your rentals at sites like or and rent as many DVDs as you can watch and return for as low as $9.99 per month. Plus, view their “instant watch” movies and TV shows any time online.
    • Redbox has $1 per night rentals for new release DVDs. You can even sign up to be texted a coupon code for a free rental on the first Monday of each month (make sure you mark that you don’t want any other text messages from them, though!)

A little “thinking outside the box” can go a long way in helping you get the splurges in your life for less–all while freeing up more money for college. Stay tuned for more ways to spring clean your spending practices!

All the best,
Deborah Fox

Deborah Fox is the founder of Fox College Funding®, a nationwide company that helps families find creative ways to reduce their college costs.


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