5 Things Every Successful 20-Something Knows About

beauty, broke, broke-ass students, budget, budgeting, cheap, fashion, money saving, thought catalog, tips

Ella Ceron at Thought Catalog posted an incredibly insightful post into what successful 20-year-olds think when they are deciding what to wear in the morning – and we wanted to share it with you. Even though we are Broke-Ass Students, this doesn’t mean that we can’t dress to impress.

Before getting to the incredible article, we wanted to add our thoughts on what is great to wear. Wear what makes you feel comfortable and good – don’t try to overdo what is fashionable if you don’t feel good in it. Confidence is the key to looking fantastic – and we think that if you love what you wear, you will own it.

Our other tip on this subject matter is you should dress like you, not just like the fashion world tells you to. Unless the fashion world is your thing, then go for it!

Remember Broke-Ass Students – don’t spend too much money on clothes you are only going to wear once. A dress that you’re only going to wear once to a 21st doesn’t warrant the $250 price tag! Be smart with your choices and buy dresses you can rock more than once. We believe you can do it!

1. Fit is more important than size. The day the number on the label in the back of your pants matters is the day when every brand decides on one standard sizing pattern…Which is to say, it’s never going to happen. You could be a 4 in a shirt from Old Navy but a 6 in jeans from the Gap and a large in that one coat at Forever 21. Buy what fits instead of what the label says will fit you. A well-fitting size medium is going to look way better than the minor ego boost that society says comes with fitting into a small. (Besides, you’re the only one who’s going to know what the label says, anyway. Nobody goes around championing their size to everyone who will listen (because really, nobody else cares all that much).

2. The more you spend on staple items, the less you spend in the long run. A $60 button-down is going to last you way longer than three $20 button-downs will, and investing in a coat that sees through a few seasons is more practical than buying one that wears out from three months of everyday wear. You don’t have to blow your entire budget on designer labels, but searching for key pieces that have a great fit and solid construction is clutch.

3. When in doubt, create a uniform. Stick to a certain color scheme, or buy things of a similar cut and fit as frequently as you can. (If you know it works, why fix it, right?) Hell, buy 10 of the same shirt if you find one you really love. Cutting those 30 minutes you spend deciding what to wear out of your morning leaves more room to cook your breakfast, buy your coffee, get to work early— or just, y’know, sleep in..)

4. Work is not the place to be taking fashion risks. Well, unless you work in a really creative environment, all those mesh crop tops, plunging necklines and crazy accessories are probably best left for the weekend. Spend less time trying to see how you can bend the office rules, and more time in doing your best work at the office. (It’ll show, and you can go and blow your hard-earned bonus on the weekend in whatever crazy clothes you want.)

5. Dressing for the job you want is not a completely ridiculous adage. There’s an old office trick that says you should mirror what your boss wears; it’s less of being a copycat and more of an emulation. While it might be impossible to match what they wear with your smaller salary (and if you’re an intern, you might not even have that salary at all), take mental notes of a few details here and there, and then polish up your look so that you look capable, presentable, and like someone who is hirable or promotable. We all take cues from appearance, and doing your part to present the picture of someone who has their look together won’t hurt in the eyes of the people who have your future in mind.

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How to deal with a break-up when you’re a Broke-Ass Student

break-ups, college, dating, happiness, romance, student life, uni

Break-ups are hard. It doesn’t matter how long you went out for, or who broke up with you, or even if you split up on good terms – it’s always difficult to lose that one person who used to be your best friend. It doesn’t help that people naturally expect you to be fine straight away – this just isn’t always the case!

When people tell you ‘just go out and meet new people’, if you’re strapped for cash this obviously is not going to work. People also don’t realise that it isn’t just that simple to go out straight away – you’re not ready yet! (Unless you are, in which case go for it!)

Here are some easy things to do that will help you get over your broken heart.

  1. Cry (if you need to)

Listen to all those break up songs, and cry your heart out. It’s a terrible situation, and you’ve been badly hurt. Sometimes crying can be really therapeutic. It’s also way better than keeping it all in inside. Do remember though – this can only be a temporary solution, keep it to one-two days MAXIMUM. If you let yourself be consumed by your situation you will find it incredibly hard to feel better.

  1. Exercise!

Not only will you instantly feel better (get an angry pump up playlist going), but you’re doing great things for your body. When you exercise, you release a chemical called ‘serotonin’, one that instantly improves your mood and wellbeing. You’re also sure to be feeling way better than you would if you were stuffing your face with chocolate and ice-cream (which ideally we would love to do, but in this situation you want to beat the cravings!)

  1. Hang out with friends (for free!)

Make sure that your time is spent hanging with friends (the ones that make you feel good). The less time you spend alone wallowing alone in your own sadness, the better you will feel. If you make sure that your time is well spent doing things that make you happy, you will resent this breakup less. Get your best friend on the phone and organise to do a (preferably free) activity ASAP.

  1. Delete (or hide) him/her from your newsfeed

You may not want to do this, but in order to get over this person, you’re going to need to make sure you can’t see when they’re going out or hooking up with someone new. If the break-up ends on a negative, it is okay for you to delete them off Facey, unfollow them on Instagram and to say sayonara to them on Snapchat. Out of sight, out of mind as the old saying goes.

  1. Think positively

As unhelpful as the saying ‘don’t be sad because it’s over, be happy because it happens’ is, it does have an element of truth to it. Think about the lessons you have learned, and the great things that have happened. Don’t let a breakup bring you down, or stop you from being the incredible, happy, amazing you! Everything does happen for a reason, and good things will come to you soon, we promise!

Broke and Beautiful: Beauty Tips

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Just because you’re broke doesn’t mean you have to skimp out on treating your skin, hair or generally just looking awesome! Here are our favourite products to keep you beautiful on a budget.

Vaseline: Perfect for skin softening on dry problem areas such as the elbows, knees and back of the legs. It can also help for dry lips, nappy rash, chaffing and insect bites. If you have short, thin lashes try applying a small amount 10 minutes before curling your lashes and you’ll see a noticeable difference, plus it keeps them from breaking!

Bonus: Top make-up artists use Vaseline to give models that desirable dewy glow. Use it sparingly on the face though as it is quite thick and gluggy. Because it’s so thick you only need to use a small amount at a time meaning it’ll last you longer.

Aspirin: Have a red and swollen breakout? The acetylsalicylic acid in aspirin is great for oily, acne-prone skin. If you dissolve three to five uncoated aspirin in water and apply to red areas and blemishes for 20 minutes the aspirin can penetrate the pores reducing redness and promoting healing.

Apple Cider Vinegar: The liquid of the gods. Dandruff? Digestion problems? Dry skin or eczema? ACV can help them all. Mix 1:1 parts ACV and water into a spray bottle and spray I areas where the skin feels dry or irritated. It not only sooths the skin it even outs skin tone, kills bacteria and balances out the skins PH levels. For dandruff add ACV to your bath and gently massage your scalp for a few minutes, a few times a week and the bacteria and yeast causing your flaky scalp will be gone in no time. 

Bonus: Mix a tablespoon with warm water before breakfast each morning to help stimulate your digestion and purify your blood!

Egg: This staple protein is a cheap and easy way to mend that dry brittle hair AND give you an instant face lift. Create a hair mask from one egg, a teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of olive oil and apply to clean wet hair. Cover with a shower cap and leave for an hour before washing out and styling as normal. If you’re feeling a little dull from your late night study sessions and those bags underneath your eyes are starting to become a suitcases try whipping up some egg whites until they become a white froth. Apply the froth generously to the face and neck and let it set for twenty minutes. Moments after applying it you’ll start feeling the ‘tightening’ effects. Rinse with water when finished and head on out with your new bright and tight complexion.

Olive Oil & Sugar: Need to exfoliate fast? Open a sugar packet and add a few drops of olive oil, gently apply to your face and rinse with tepid water.

Bonus: Mix instant oatmeal and water for another wonderful homemade exfoliating mask with the added moisturising benefit of oats.

We chose our favourite tips from: http://www.brokeass-student.com/beauty-on-a-budget-some-of-my-favorite-beauty-secrets/ head there for more helpful beauty tips on a budget.

-KL

Why it benefits to be a HEALTHY Broke-Ass Student

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Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 2.07.09 PM Can having a healthy diet actually save you money?

According to researchers the answer is YES (Flynn et al. 2013 – thought we’d throw that one in there to show how science-y and smart our tips are.)

Ways in which having a healthy lifestyle can save you money include:

– Eliminate your expensive vices

The number one expensive vice that drains your bank account and damages your health is smoking. If you kick your 10-a-day smoking habit you could save yourself over $2500 a year! If you’re not a smoker cutting out other vices like soft drinks or chocolate can have an impact on your wallet and your waistline. If you are a daily drinker of Coca-Cola you may be spending around $1200 over the course of a year, or if you cave into your daily 3 o’clock chocolate bar craving you could be spending around $500 a year. Think of all the $3 schooners (or rent, whatever) you could spend that money on.

– Cut down on transport costs

Car maintenance, petrol, parking, and public transport fees are all daily expenses that can be drastically cut with a changes in your lifestyle. – Try riding your bike places – Not only is it good for your overall fitness but you can usual lock your bike up right out the front. Talk about convenience. – Park further away from your destination (to avoid paid parking) and walk. – Get off a few stops earlier – With Opal cards being introduced getting off a few steps earlier may save you money in the long run. When you’re fit and healthy these suggestions do not seem like the worst idea ever because not are you saving money but you are getting your daily dose of exercise which you love.

– Reduce medical costs

By being healthy you may reap the benefits of looking and feeling better but losing a few kg’s and incorporating exercise into your daily routine could also help your sleep improve, reduce the regularity of headaches and boost your immune system. This will, in turn, save you the money you may normally spend on over the counter medicines. With a healthy immune system you a less likely to get sick, therefore saving both time and money avoiding a visit to the doctor.

– Reduce monthly food bills

Switching pre-packaged, processed foods for homemade meals can have a huge impact on your monthly food spending. For the price of a pre-packaged soup that would last you two days, you can buy the ingredients to make a portion of soup that would last you five. Not mention the savings you’d gain from giving up or cutting down on expensive takeout. A takeaway meal can cost anywhere from two to five times the amount a home made meal, and packs on almost double the amount of calories.

What’s more, switching to fresh, homemade meals can also significantly improve your body’s processing of the food. It has been scientifically demonstrated that your body prepares for the intake of foods during the cooking phase and can thus digest them a lot better.

While a healthy diet is thought to be expensive, if certain food are cut out (unhealthy snacks, desserts, soft drinks, and some meat) a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables can help you save money and help your waistline all while preventing chronic disease!

References: Flynn MM, Reinert S, Schiff AR. A Six-Week Cooking Program of Plant-Based Recipes Improves Food Security, Body Weight, and Food Purchases for Food Pantry Clients. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 2013; 8 (1): 73 DOI: 10.1080/19320248.2012.758066

-KL

Why Poor Students Struggle – A reflection

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On a slightly more serious note: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/22/opinion/why-poor-students-struggle.html?smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

All Broke-Ass Students should have a read of this Vicki Madden opinion piece in the New York Times. Although the piece references the American higher education system, many low-income Australian students also struggle to finish university, whether it be due to work commitments affecting their ability to study, academic reasons or feeling a sense of alienation or loneliness.

Madden mentions the inadequate student aid system where a slight increase in the parents income can lead to a reduction in the financial aid given to the students. While many might not think an extra $20 per week would make a substantial difference, when you are trying to buy groceries for $50 a week – it make the struggle much harder.

She speaks of the obstacles faced by students from low socio-ecomonic backgrounds to students feeling alienated from their hometowns when relocating and starting university.

If you feel alienated, depressed or just need someone to speak to, Headspace provides a range of counselling services for people between the ages of 12 – 25 at http://www.headspace.com OR we encourage you to call Youth Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 OR go to your university counselling service.

If you are struggling with academically with your studies speak to a tutor or lecturer as they can often help or point you in the right direction.

-KL

GADGETS & GAMES: Cheap for Aussie Students

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In need of some new gadgets or games, but don’t want to splash too much cash? Buying electronics can often break the budget when you’re a Broke-Ass Student. Thanks to shopping express students can get discounts on these products but just entering the code at the checkout. Head to http://www.shoppingexpress.com.au/

Enter the promo code when you checkout online.
15% off gaming: STUDENTGAMINGDISCOUNT
20% off notebooks: STUDENTNOTEBOOKDISCOUNT
15% off storage: STUDENTSTORAGEDISCOUNT

-KL

Perks of Being a Student: UNiDAYS

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“NO-NONSENSE, JUST FREE, INSTANT ACCESS TO STUDENT DISCOUNT

Be a part of something great! Join over 3.7m students saving everyday with UNiDAYS® — the official source of student discount across the globe.

Start saving today!

UNiDAYS service is based completely online so you don’t need to be issued a card – this means you can start saving immediately! All you need to do is verify your student status and you’re all set!

How is this possible?

Retailers have always wanted to operate a single cohesive student programme, but until now there was no universally accepted, sure-fire way of identifying ANY student. Step forward UNiDAYS. Working with universities, colleges and leading retailers around the world we’ve developed a new, innovative way of verifying student status online.

So what’s next?

UNiDAYS already working with some great retailers like ASOS,THE ICONIC and Topshop, and they’re just for starters — they’re in talks with a load of lovely retailers, so you should see UNiDAYS® collaborating with more of our favourite brands very soon…

What are you waiting for? Join UNiDAYS today and start saving now. It’s fast, it’s simple and best of all it’s FREE.”

Head to: https://www.myunidays.com/

-KL

Cheap eating – Recipes for Broke-Ass Students

budgeting, cheap, food, money, savings, Uncategorized

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Sometimes it can be difficult to think of recipes each night of the week! It can be even harder to think of something delicious, nutritious but still cheap! Jump onto http://studentrecipes.com/ to find a range of cheap recipes for students.  Founded in 2004 by first year university student, James Bailey, it has many quick, easy and most importantly CHEAP recipes. Some are healthy, some are not so healthy. You can search for recipes via meat choice, for snacks, for parties and there are vegetarian options (eating vegetarian was one of our 10 Money Saving Life Hacks)! Here’s to delicious and cheap food.

Some of our favourites include:

Spicy Chicken Enchiladas:

http://studentrecipes.com/recipes/chicken/spicy-chicken-enchiladas/

Banana & Dried Fruit Breakfast Loaf:

http://studentrecipes.com/recipes/healthy/banana-amp-dried-fruit-breakfast-loaf/

Healthy Moroccan Stew:

http://studentrecipes.com/recipes/healthy/healthy-moroccan-stew-1/

– KL

10 Money-Saving Life Hacks Every Broke-Ass Student Should Know

budgeting, cheap, food, money, savings, students

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1. PAY WITH CASH – that thing called “science” has shown that people are more likely to buy something when using a credit or debit card instead of cash. Try taking out a (reasonable) lump sum of cash at the beginning of each week and only using that for the whole week instead of your card.

2. Before you go shopping consult a coupon website – yes we get that even though your broke as shit you do not want to look like a stingy hobo but WHO CARES? The stores put out these coupons for a reason, for YOU the consumer, to go to their store and use them. Our recommendations – Groupon, Scroupon, The Living Social.

3. Spotify – If you don’t have an account get one NOW. Spotify is possibly the greatest digital music service you could ever download. Imagine having a music library that has pretty much every single song you could ever want. You can get the free version on your computer and mobile (but listen to a couple of ads every so often) or you can get the paid version. You can also create collaborative playlists with friends. Did someone say Mexican Dance Party Remix?

4. Buy a coffee machine – Okay so this may seem like a huge amount of money to fork out but think of it as a long term investment, you can buy a semi-decent coffee machine for just $150. Buy a reusable cup and you’ll also be saving the environment while saving your wallet.

5. Eat like a vegetarian at least once a week – Already I can hear some of you saying “pffft as ifff” BUT I promise you that you can have a cheap, tasty-ass meal without meat. Do it twice a week and you’ll notice the difference in your grocery bill. Head to the FOOD section of the blog to find cheap and easy recipes (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian for those who insist on eating meat daily).

6. GUMTREE, GUMTREE, GUMTREE- Whatever you need check Gumtree first. White goods (washers, dryers & fridges) are well priced and usually still in pretty good knick.

7. Use generic prescriptions – So many prescriptions come in generic form now. You can save HEAPS by using them—just check with your doctor first.

8. Learn to say NO – do you really need that extra large jar of Nutella to get you through the week? Enough said.

9. Buy neutral clothing – Wearing black, white, and grey clothes means that you can mix and match easier without having too many different outfits.

10. Daily deals – Research to see where does cheap steaks on Monday, $3 beers on Thursday, 2 for one Tacos on Friday, and student discounts… Well, I guess that’s what we’re here for. Check here regularly fellow Broke-Ass Students.

-KL