Friday, August 31, 2018

No Bake Energy Bites: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip

Need a healthy treat or energy to get you through the week? These super easy No Bake Energy Bites are perfect. Only a few simple ingredients, these energy bites taste just like a cookie and are easy to adjust depending on your taste preferences, dietary needs or to add in your favourite treats, nuts or candy!

  • 1 cup dry oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

  1. In a small-medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir. The mixture should be a little sticky.
  2. Refrigerate mixture for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Take mixture by the spoonfuls and roll into he shape of a ball. You should be able to get approximately 10-12 energy balls out of this mixture.
  4. Refrigerate the balls as you enjoy them throughout the week!

Monday, August 27, 2018

How I Graduated Debt FREE

Graduating completely debt free sounds like a dream for many, but what if I told you ... that dream is possible! I was able to pay for my University Degree as I went, without any student loans or assistance! I was  working part-time, saving my money and sticking to a budget.

Not only was I able to pay for my tuition, textbooks, parking passes and more, but while in university I was able to travel more than I have in my whole life. I saved my money and travelled to Florida (TWICE), Boston, New Hampshire, and Ireland. Anything is possible with a little hard work and savings!

Below are some tips and tricks that helped me graduate debt free:

1. Maintain a part-time job: The most important reason as to why I was able to graduate debt free was that I worked a part time job while in school and full time hours during the summer months. Everyones situation is different, everyone has different class schedules, commitments, extra-curiculars, etc. But if you can commit from as little as 8 hours a week to even 20 hours a week,  that can make huge difference in your income.

After a year or two of attending University, I realized that you are able to "manipulate" your schedule  (for the most part) to make it to fit your schedule. I made it so although my days were longer, I only had classes on Tuesday's and Thursdays, leaving Monday's, Wednesday's and Fridays free to work on top of my already weekend availability.

2. Living at home: Although living at home is not ideal, it was one of the smartest financial decisions I have made.  I was able to save THOUSANDS of dollars A YEAR, putting that money towards tuition, travel, social outings.

3. Make a budget: This may sounds silly and obvious, but making a budget and sticking with it is key. Saving for school was a top priority on my budget, followed by textbooks, parking pass, gas, insurance and other bills. I would make sure that once those were all paid for, then I would be able to spend money on things such as clothing, home decor, fast food, etc.  By planning ahead, I knew that September and January (months tuition was due) would be hard on my income so I made sure that I had a comfortable cushion in my account.

4. Textbooks: I will never understand why textbooks are so expensive, I die a little inside every time I step inside my schools bookstore. My first piece of advice is ALWAYS look for a used copy, whether you check facebook buy and sell pages, classifieds, your local thrift store, flyers posted around campus, this can save you hundreds of dollars. My second piece of advice is to always sell your textbooks once you have completed your course. If you plan on selling your textbooks, remember to keep them in sellable shape and limit highlight and pen marks.

5. Resources: To help save money, take advantage of your schools resources, more than likely you are already paying them as part of your tuition. Whether that be the gym, fitness classes, academic workshops,  free lunches, tutors, bus passes etc.

6. Scholarships: Although you may think that you "don't have a shot", it it always worth a try! A scholarship can go a long way with most schools offering entrance scholarships based on your high school grades, it is very possible to be rewarded for your hard work!

7. Plan Ahead: Always plan ahead, an easy way to do this is to pack a lunch. I have friends who were spending roughly $12 dollars a day on lunches, coffee and snacks at the school cafeteria and vending machines. Multiply that number by a semester and you will be amazed at how much was spent on overpriced food.

I hope you take some of these tips and tricks and apply them to your life when saving for your post secondary education! They have really helped me and there is no better feeling than graduating DEBT FREE!
© Sarah Lillian. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.