Summertime is the perfect time for college students to use the sudden abundance of free time to pad the college fund a bit, or, perhaps more realistically, to earn a little party money. Summer jobs for college students offer a wonderful opportunity to gain critical work experience to add to their resume or experience a taste of blue collar work prior to becoming a master of the universe. Keep reading to find out 5 summer jobs that can help you pay down those student loans a bit quicker or put a few more ramen noodles in your belly come Fall.

Freelance Writing

The ability to write, more specifically the ability to write well, is a skill that translates well to almost any vocation. In the social media-ridden world we inhabit the art of writing has been usurped by shorthand and acronyms crammed into 140 characters or less. In the real world, however, the ability to text mindless dribble at a blistering pace is less valuable then the ability to communicate via written word both clearly and eloquently. Freelance writing also teaches valuable research skills and lets you explore a number of topics you otherwise might ignore.

Internships

Ok, so maybe internships aren’t going to keep your mini-fridge stocked with brewskis all semester, since most are inexplicably unpaid, but they will do wonders in helping you land a decent job after graduation. If you browsed the Craigslist job listings recently you’ll notice that every job, even unskilled labor, requires some level of experience. Without experience you will soon find yourself facing the all too common catch-22 most college graduates face which is that you need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience. Internships offer relevant experience that looks super sexy on a resume, and many times can lead directly to a job at the institution you intern at.

Landscaping

Here’s an easy to land job that will let you work on that golden tan and keep you in shape for the ladies. It might not be the highest paying gig, and it’s not going blow future employers away, but it’s a great way to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and fresh air before heading back to campus to spend long hours in a stuffy dorm room studying. Plus, you can learn a lot of things from a summer spent sweating through hours of manual labor, like the value of a hard days work, and how important that degree is so that you don’t have to spend your entire life mowing lawns and trimming hedges.

Customer Service Representative

College will teach you the hard skills you’ll need to pursue your career of choice, but many college grads leave the comfort of campus without developing the soft skills needed to make it in the workplace. No matter what field you find yourself in, you’re going to have to work with others. Working in customer service lets you develop those social and interpersonal skills while getting paid! Once you’ve spent a summer solving problems for angry customers you’ll be ready for the dog-eat-dog world of office politics. Not to mention, in a service based economy, such as the U.S., the ability to deal with the public is a major bonus.

Entrepreneurship

If you’ve always had a business idea bouncing around in your head, or if it’s already the middle of July and you still haven’t found a summer job, start your own business venture. Mow lawns, walk dogs, or babysit the neighborhood kids. Take the initiative and make something happen! This, more than anything, will look stupendous on a college graduates resume because it shows a desire to work and a self-starting attitude that is severely lacking in many Millennials. The biggest perk of course is being your own boss. You’ll have plenty of time to let someone boss you around once you graduate. Take the summer to experience the bliss that is answering to no one. You may find that you really like it!
There you have it, 5 summer jobs for college students that will keep you out of trouble, pad your conspicuously bare resume and put a little cash in your pocket. Don’t forget to manage that money once you have it with the best financial management tool around.

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Holiday Gifts that Give Back

During the holidays, some of the very best gifts to give are the holiday gifts that give back and keep giving to others. Every time you purchase a gift that gives back, you help make this world a better place. Make this an extra special, life-saving holiday season for all. I put together a list of several great companies that can help you in your attempts to be more giving during this holiday season.
1) The Hunger Site - In addition to being able to donate daily with a just a click of your mouse for a wide variety of charitable causes, you can also purchase jewelry and clothing as gifts with partial proceeds going to helping others.
2) One Hope Wine - When you make a gift purchase here, half the proceeds will go to Provide Clean Water. This charity helps bring safe and clean drinking water to developing nations. Lack of basic sanitation kills more people every year than violence and war. Provide Clean water has helped more the 20 developing countries and over 6,000 water projects helping more than 2.5 million people.
3) The Giving Keys - This charitable cause employs people who are transitioning out of homelessness. All keys have a unique message like dream, strength and courage. Once the gift receiver finds someone who needs the message more than they need it, the wearer must give the key to that person.4) Save the Children - It is beyond true that children truly are our future. We must treat them well and what better way to do this than to give a gift that gives extra care to a child in need. Help a child receive health care, education and more.5) World Wildlife Fund Animal Umbrella - If you have friends or loved ones who love trendy, cute umbrellas check out this site. Purchase one and help support the WWF continue their global conservation efforts.

6) UNICEF Inspired Gifts - Make a donation in honor of a friend or loved one and send them a personalized gift card to let them know. Every single day 18,000 children die from preventable causes. This holiday season and every holiday season, help save countless lives.

7) fashionABLE scarves - The mission of fashionABLE is to eliminate poverty and create opportunities for vulnerable women. Purchase a beautiful, stylish scarf and help create sustainable business in Africa. It is a purchase you will always remember.

8) Hand in Hand Sustainable Suds - For every bar of soap purchased, 1 month of clean water will be donated and 50 square feet of rain forest will be saved. This is truly an incredible charity gift that keeps on giving.

9) Far & Wide Collective - Purchasing a gift from here, helps empower women. Choose from a wide variety of jewelry, clothing and home decor.

10) 7 Hopes United Fair Trade Gifts - The purchase of just one fair trade gift per year can help one million families who are currently living in a state of poverty. Search for table linens, handbags, and more. The gift idea tab will definitely help you find the perfect present.

11) Heifer International - There are many people who survive on small farms. Giving a goat as a gift to a family in need can help feed them for countless days to come. Goats provide butter, cheese, milk, wool and fertilizer. Help save a family and make this an unforgettable holiday season.

From all of us here at The Birdy we hope you are able to have a wonderful holiday season and hope that you can use some of that hard earned cash you have been saving all year long to help someone else in the world. If you know of any other great companies that help give back like these above please feel free to list them in the comments.

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Is there anyone out there…….

It has been a while since there has been any activity on The Birdy’s blog, that should be changing starting now. We will be much more active with the blog going forward. Plus there are some changes going on around her at The Birdy that Cory and I will be talking about soon. But for now I just thought I would write a quick post.

As I am typing this I am waiting to board my flight to FINCON13 or FINCON 2013, I am not sure the correct abbreviation for it, but I am headed to the financial bloggers conference in St. Louis. Basically everyone in the personal finance blogging world will be there, is kind of a big thing for all of us personal finance nerds. This will be my first year attending and I am pretty excited for it. I will take a lot of pictures for to share for sure.

Be sure to drop me a line if you are going to be at FINCON.

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The folks over at homeinsurance.com have put together a great list of ways to save. I added one of my favorite tips. Check it out here!

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Happy holidays!

by corey

Happy holidays! I hope you all had a wonderful time with friends and family, celebrating whatever you might or might not believe  in :-) I also hope you didn’t spend too much, of course.

It’s been a really interesting year for the Birdy, with a lot of ups and downs, but I’m thrilled with how many people we were able to help this year.

What can you look forward to in 2013? We’re working hard on re-building the Birdy almost from the ground up, which with make it easier for you to track your spending on any device, with email, or text. Yes, mobile apps *finally*!

Thank you for your continued support, participation and feedback! Let’s make 2013 the best ever!

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I don’t love re-posting things that someone else posted, but this is great. http://thegodfounder.com/image/36365013208

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We’ve recently updated our budgeting feature!

Originally, if you were a subscriber to our premium features, you were able to set ONE single budget. We recently updated it so that you can set multiple budgets! We hope it helps you keep track of where your money is going.

If you’re a subscriber, when you log in, click on the “budget” button next to “income”. This should take you to a page that says

“It’s November. How much you want to spend this month? In addition, it also shows you how much your budget was for last month.

 

First, you can set a monthly TOTAL. Enter in your budget for the month – let’s say $400. Remember to click  on the “update your categories” button, otherwise, your budget will not be saved. Once you set your total for the month, you can then break down your TOTAL monthly budget into categories by clicking on the “add another category” drop down list. The drop down list allows you to choose from the different tags you have created so far. For example, I want to set my transportation budget for the month. I click on the drop down list and look for “transportation”. Once I see the tag “transportation”, I can then set a budget for that category. Let’s say I also want to budget my “dinners” for the month. I look for the category “dinner” in the drop down list and add it to my budget. Once you’ve identified all your categories you want to budget for, click the “set your budget” button and this should update your budget page. You can then drag the arrows left and right to adjust your budget accordingly. This will enable you to be more flexible with your money. Maybe you figured out that you budgeted too much or too little money for transportation, so use the arrow to either increase or decrease your transportation budget. You can also remove categories from your budget by pressing the “remove” button under the category name. I forgot to mention that if you need to create a new category for your budget, but don’t see it on the drop down list, create a new #hashtag and it should show up on your drop down list.

Once you start keeping track of your expenses, you can see your budget numbers moving according to the money you spent so far. Remember, you can always edit your budget, anytime. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact us. We want to make sure this budgeting tool works for you and helps you reach your financial goals!

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Recently, I lost my wallet. I don’t even remember the last time I lost my wallet because it was so long ago. My initial reaction was disbelief. “No, it must be here – somewhere” I said to myself. I tried to think of the last time I used my wallet. It was well over three hours ago! Yikes! Now, I’m sitting in my apartment with an empty purse. After the initial stage of denial, the next stage was panic. How many cards do I have in my wallet? Was it two or three cards and a debit card?  I had to think carefully. Once I determined the number, I started to call the banks to deactivate my credit cards and debit card. Funny enough, whoever found my wallet started to use my credit cards.  The reason I know this is because the nice customer service representatives asked me to verify my recent purchases. For example:

Bank employee: ”How about this $4.95 at Starbucks?”

Bank employee: ”How about this $62.95 at Duane Reade?”

Bank employee: “How about his one – $80.34” at White Castle?

If you’re like me, my short term memory is unreliable. I don’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning, let alone what I purchased the last couple of days. Luckily, I keep track of every purchase using my Birdy account. I was able to log on to the website and easily verify which purchases I did make and which purchases I did not. It was an unexpected usefulness that I did not think of. The $4.95 at Starbucks – that’s me. The $62.95 at Duane Reade – not me. And neither is the $80.34 at White Castle. Whoever stole my wallet had a king’s feast at White Castle!

Hope this helps! Keep the Birdy in mind the next time you need to verify purchases.

 

 

 

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You can add the Birdy mobile app to your iphone or ipod home screen in three easy steps!

 

First, open a web browser and type in http://m.thebirdy.com. Basil should be the first image you see. Along the bottom of the screen should be a row of icons.

 

Second, press the middle icon with the box and arrow. Pressing that icon should pull up your home screen. The Birdy automatically appears with “add to home screen”. Press the Birdy icon and it will take you to a confirmation page. Press the “add” button on the top right hand corner. AND

 

Viola! The Birdy should show up on your home screen.

Adding the Birdy to your home screen lets you access the web app quickly and easily. Once you sign in, you can stayed signed in by pressing the check box.

 

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Check our snazzy new graphs!

Well, what’s new?

- Bolder colors!

- Pie chart or bar graph! Whichever you fancy.

- Option to see purchases, expenses or income graphs.

         Purchases graph – All of our members have a “What you spent the most money on: purchases”. Here you can see a

breakdown of your monthly purchases.

         Expenses & Income – Our premium subscribers can create two additional graphs – one for expenses and one for income.

These two additional graphs gives you a complete picture of your saving and spending habits!

- Amount of money spent and percentages! (You can do this by placing the cursor over a slice or bar)

- Plus two additional features – “Save this graph” and “Edit this graph”.

Save this graph” lets you choose which purchases you want to see in pie or graph form. You can choose all purchases or

select a few you that you want to focus on. It’s up to you! Just remember to press the “save this graph” button to save your

settings.

Edit this graph” allows you to see all your purchases at once, but it also allows you to see specific purchases for

subcategories. For example, if I wanted to see how much money I spent on #dinner vs. #coffee, I click on “Edit this graph”

and click the boxes “dinner” and “coffee” and press the button “Update your graph”. This will show me which category I

spent the most money on. My graph tells me I have a coffee addiction! Well, let’s say I want to see which brand has more of

my hard earned money. I click on “Edit your graph” and unclick “dinner”, but click on all the coffee brands I spent my

money on (ie. Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts). Don’t forget to press “Update your graph”. The next graph shows me a

breakdown of which brands I spent my money on.

That’s it for now. Hope you like the new graphs! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us.

 

 

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