Category Archives: Intellectual
Our minds need to be continually inspired and exercised just as our bodies do. The intellectual dimension encourages openness to new ideas, motivation to master new skills, a sense of humor, creativity, and curiosity. People who possess a high level of intellectual wellness have an active mind and never stop learning. Striving for personal growth and a willingness to seek out and use new information are also characteristics of an intellectually-well individual
Set your goals for National Money Smart Week!
Last week was Money Smart Week.
It’s like January 1st for your finances! A week where we can all reflect on our money saving – or not saving – habits, loans and other debts, and budgeting skills. Then, we can make a resolution; not the “I’m going to hit the gym for 3 hours every day for an entire year and never come near to chocolate,” kind of goal. But a SMART goal. One that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely!
What’s the point of making a goal if you can’t accomplish it? At UND Financial Wellness, we believe when this method is followed, the likelihood that you will accomplish your goals will increase greatly.
Let’s first do some brainstorming. Where in your financial life do you need a tune up? Perhaps you know nothing about your student loans or how you are going to pay for school. Or, while it may be hard to believe from looking outside, summer is just around the corner. Have a plan for summer employment or summer classes? Maybe you are scrambling to find money for groceries and to pay rent at the end of the month. Whatever it is, you know your struggles – don’t hide them, use this week as a time to make changes!
When you determine this goal, make sure it is specific. A goal such as “I want to pay for more of my school instead of using loans,” has little merit. While the overarching idea is spot on, it lacks specifics to make it accomplishable. You can’t fix every financial problem in one sitting; instead, take one problem and create a solution. To revise the previously stated goal, let’s try, “I will pay half of my tuition out of pocket.”
How about a measurement? If you are trying to pay for half of your tuition, what is the dollar amount? To revise this goal, “I will pay $2000 out of pocket for my tuition,” Setting your goal so that you can measure it is vital to tracking your progress and success.
Now that you have a specific goal that can be measured with simple math, ensure that the goal is attainable. When trying to pay $2000 out of pocket, don’t plan on picking dollars off the money tree in your backyard. Determine if this goal is attainable. For the tuition goal, does this require some extra hours of work in the summer or applying for scholarships? Include this in your goal so you have the means to accomplish this. “I will pay $2000 out of pocket for my tuition by working 40 hours a week this summer.”
We can have all sorts of financial goals. Some people may hope to travel the world or own a house. For our goals for Money Smart Week, we want to focus on something relevant to our lives. As students, our financial resources are likely tighter and many of our goals are focused on necessities. Purchasing a large house or planning an extravagant trip may not be relevant to our lives at this point. Instead, a goal focused on what is pertinent to our life, such as tuition, is most important.
Finally, make your goal timely. To check up on your progress and ensure success, set a deadline. For example, “I will pay $2000 out of pocket for my tuition by working 40 hours a week this summer and saving $500 each month from May to August.”
Now that you have the steps to make healthy decisions, determine what it is that you want to change in your financial life, and take a stab at it! Track your progress and revise for your circumstances! If you need help, feel free to make an appointment: http://www.UND.edu/financial-wellness
Good luck and Happy Saving!
*Blog written by Kaitlin Bezdicek. Kaitlin is a student at UND and a peer educator for Financial Wellness.
Spring break is two weeks away and you can’t wait to relax! But while you’ve been studying and stressing over midterms exams, you might not have made any big plans- or have a ton of cash set aside.
Don’t worry. UND financial wellness has got your back.
You don’t need to drain your life savings and sell a kidney to afford a fun spring break. What you do need is a place to travel, a way to get there, somewhere to stay, cheap grub, (and for those of the appropriate age, maybe a drink or two). So here are some tips to have a great spring break without breaking the bank.
- Plan ahead. With two weeks to go, it might be a little late for extensive planning and advanced ticket purchasing but it’s important to plan what you can. Knowing where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and what you need will lead to you being less stressed and less likely to spend more on last minute rate increases.
- Getting there. Whether you are planning to drive or fly, money can be saved. If you’re driving, take the most fuel efficient car you can get. If you fly, you need to be flexible, especially this late in the game. Mid-week or middle-of-the-night flights are often the cheapest. Also flying out of Minneapolis can save you hundreds over flying out of Grand Forks.
- Look for deals. Groupon and LivingSocial can provide deals for areas you are heading to or traveling through. It is also a good idea to look for online promotional deals when you are booking hotels or looking for places to eat. Hotels also often provide deal books in their tourist information area- you’ll find both things to do and coupons for them!
- Be outgoing. When you’re traveling, it is no time to be shy. Talk to the locals you meet. First of all, meeting new people can be fun and secondly, they can tell you what places are worth checking out and which places are the overpriced tourist traps.
- Don’t buy cheesy souvenirs. We like to cut loose on vacation, and sometimes we do so with our wallets. It may be fun to be impulsive on the places you visit, but don’t give in to the tourist junk. Most likely it is poor quality and way overpriced.
- Know the local laws. Whether you are visiting a different state, or a different country it is important to know the local laws. Some laws like speed limits are obvious, but other places may have different rules about driving that could get you pulled over. Many states have laws against talking on the phone and driving. The last thing you want on vacation is a brush with the law a heavy fine. There also may be noise ordinances and restrictions on what you can carry with you. The one place you don’t want to save is with free lodging at the local jail.
- Your Friends. Traveling with your friends can be a blast no matter where you go. Spring break will also be more cost effective with your friends. Cost sharing is a great way to cut car, hotel, and other travel expenses.
- Bring all the necessities. If you’re the kind of person that waits until the last minute to pack, you might end up forgetting something. Make yourself a list of stuff you know you’ll need throughout the week prior to leaving. Remembering to pack important stuff like your sunglasses, swimsuit, sandals, and camera will keep you from having to buy them at your destination.
- Pack groceries. Save some cash by cooking/bringing a couple of meals and snacks. Especially if you’re driving, bring a cooler. You can pack water, pop, lunch meat, and other goodies for the trip. This way you can avoid frequently stopping and convenience store prices.
Now you’re ready to go! Just don’t do anything UND Financial Wellness wouldn’t do: In other words, don’t waste your money.
Ballenger, B. (2013, February 25). 26 Tips to Save on Spring Break 2013. Retrieved from Money Talks News: http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2013/02/25/26-tips-to-save-on-spring-break-2013/
Have you seen the funny looking bar code squares around campus? You may or may not know what they are but QR Codes are very useful to get quick information on products, services and promotions. The UND Financial Wellness Services team is utilizing these codes as well to offer discounts for businesses in the area. Check out a door hanger they used for the Student Discount Program that has a QR Code on it:
Most smart phones with cameras are able to scan these QR Codes and get directed to a specific website on your cell phone instantly. Follow the steps and images below to get started using QR Codes:
1. Start by searching your app store for a QR Code Reader such as Google Goggles or RedLaser.
2. After opening up the app take a picture of the code by clicking the “SCAN” button and hover over your QR Code Square like in the image below:
3.Once your QR Code has been successfully scanned the link to the website of the QR Code will pop-up! All you have to do is click on the link:
4.And there you go! You have reached your QR Codes Destination:
QR Codes can be used with ALL types of Smart Phones. There are a variety of scanners and they each have different features. Explore which one makes the most sense for you and start scanning the world.
See if you can find a QR code for the UND Student Discount Program to test out your new skills.
Are you stuck at a plateau for exercising?
We’ve all been there with all different approaches on how to change up our routine or possibly not change up the routine at all and hoping that it’s just a minor phase in exercising.
After doing some research there is a fun new piece of equipment that can help in your exercise routine while helping to improve on your power and performance with weightlifting/powerlifting. This piece of equipment is called kettlebells. What makes a kettlebell so unique is the continuous and never-ending improvement which gives you a full body workout. The kettlebell appears to have something to do with the cannonball shape and the offset handle, which allow you to manipulate the kettlebell much differently than you could with a dumbbell, barbell, or any other training device. The shape and the handle allow you to perform ballistics and grinds. Ballistics are fast, explosive movements, while grinds are slow and deliberate. I have added kettlebell into my exercise routine and afterwards I feel the workout instantly. I wish I would’ve know about this piece of equipment before but now that I have I want to let everyone else in on this secret for a full body workout and to help improve on their exercise routine.
The best way to get started is to find a certified instructor and get qualified instruction from the beginning, if you can. This will ensure you get started off the right way and get results, faster and more safely than trying to figure it out on your own. For total body strengthening and conditioning, kettlebells are definitely a very special fitness and performance training tool to incorporate into your program.
– FLEX Intern Kelsey Olson