8 Smart Money Tips Every College Student Should Know

8 Smart Money Tips Every College Student Should Know

Budgeting and saving can seem daunting and sooo not fun, but managing finances effectively now not only sets a foundation for the future, but also reduces money-related stress and anxiety that can impact sleep, concentration and overall well-being. With the help of DISD Financial Guru Jackie Gloria, we’ve put together a list of tips and resources to help you manage master your finances and be a successful, well-slept student.


TIP 1: Budget, budget, budgetbudget

When you live on a budget, you are in control of your money. Identifying monthly expenses is the first step in creating a spending plan. Every dollar counts, so be sure you don’t overlook anything, including that $10 Netflix charge.


TIP 2: Write it Down

Everyone has their own way of organizing their budget. You can write it down on paper, create a spreadsheet, download an app or chisel it in stone. The Mint app by Intuit provides an easy-to-use budgeting tool that gives you the ability to track spending each month and compare it to previous months. It doesn’t matter how you organize your budget, but you must do it in a way that works best for you.


TIP 3: Free money is good money

Apply for as many scholarships as you qualify for. A simple Google search provides opportunities to apply for design-specific scholarships. Each application requires different information, but a written essay is most common. Visit our scholarships page on the DISD website for specific information. Click here for a list of the 10 best sites to search for scholarships. One caveat to keep in mind – you should never have to pay an application fee for a scholarship so avoid those that ask for a fee!


TIP 4: Start Smallbusiness-money-pink-coins

Establish a good habit by making small loan payments while you are still in school, so you are ready when they go into repayment. Being informed about your loans and how they work is key. Learn about What to Know Before You Borrow & Repayment Planning and the 15 Ways to Deal With Your Debt.


TIP 5: Take Advantage of Student Perks

Amazon is typically the best place to find textbooks for a fair price, but it also offers great deals on school supplies, everyday household items and more. Students receive 50% off of a Prime membership, which offers free two-day shipping. Besides books, it’s safe to say a computer is the next most important tool as a student. A number of companies offer discounts on their computers for students including Dell, Apple and HP.


TIP 6: Back to Basicsfuture

Ditch the pricey lattes and invest in a good, old-fashioned coffee pot (not a pricey Keurig), a reusable water bottle, a lunch bag and a travel mug. Make your meals at home and bring them to campus­. Cutting out three lattes a week adds up to $663 in savings every year!


TIP 7: Finish what you start

Repeating and dropping courses costs big money, so use your resources to create a plan of action. School counselors and advisers are available to help you navigate your academic plans. If you are struggling, schedule a time to chat with your professor. They want to see your success and assist you in any way they can. Take advantage of that.

start finish

 TIP 8: Ignorance is not bliss

Unfortunately, credit is something not nearly enough of us know enough about, as proven by this Nerd Wallet Survey. Don’t feel bad; but don’t continue being ignorant and unaware. Learn about credit, check your credit score and always be aware of it as your credit will have huge implications on your future. Sign up with Mint or Credit Karma to stay on top of your credit score.

Hand writing Credit Score with marker, Business concept

Between managing coursework, working a job and trying to have a social life, being a student is not easy. However, not creating a budget and tracking your money properly will just make your life even more difficult. Implement these eight simple tips and we guarantee your life will be far less stressful and give you the energy to focus entirely on the things that truly matter!

2017 Gift Guide

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Best Stocking Stuffers

By: Mae Case, DISD

The presents under the tree always take center stage during the holidays, but this year, we think the trinkets in your stocking can be fierce competition. With the holidays quickly approaching, we’ve put together a list of some splendid gifts to sneak into the stockings hanging on the mantle this year. Here is our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Best Stocking Stuffers edition:

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Interior Design Trends Autumn Winter 2017

Interior Design Trends for Autumn and Winter 2017

By: Mae Case, DISD

As the weather turn cooler, cozier and mellower days come to mind as the holiday season surrounds us. The home becomes a place to gather for countless celebrations and conversations with friends and family. Though family traditions always shine, there are several non-traditional home décor trends that are catching our eye this season. These interior trends will welcome autumn and winter into your home and provide a stylish backdrop for your family gatherings.

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50 Shades of Black: Going Bold with Dark Interiors

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD

Often equated with elegance, boldness and mystery, black in interior design is usually reserved for accents within a space. Rarely are whole rooms dedicated to this dramatic, neutral shade – until now. Some may say that black is “back,” however, many will rightly say that it never really went anywhere. It has always been a popular, classic color choice in design, but we are now seeing an evolution in its use. Various shades of black are at the forefront of interior trends. From matte black surfaces and chalkboard accent walls, to stained concrete flooring and a general love of sleek, modern design, drenching whole rooms in this dark hue rather than teaming it up with other, subtler shades is as “in” as you can be at the moment.

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Daylighting and Interior Design cover

Daylighting and Interior Design

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD

Taking advantage of natural resources in the built environment brings numerous benefits, and natural light can transform a space. Daylighting is the practice of bringing natural sunlight into our spaces both to conserve energy by using less artificial lighting and to maximize comfort within the interior. Daylighting can be an important component of sustainable design, but its other benefits can be equally valuable.

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The Millennial Office

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case

The traditional office environment sure has come a long way from that of the mid-century Mad Men era. As workplace interiors evolve to cater to the Millennial generation, we discover that personal desks are not a requirement, spaces for meetings can be large and open without necessarily being centered around a table, and places to decompress in the middle of the workday are increasingly common.

“The composition of the workforce has also been changing, with Millennials surpassing Gen Xers as the generation making up the largest percentage of the U.S. workforce in 2015. We can expect that technological change, urbanization and continuing global economic integration will cause further disruptions to the ways that we live, work and play by the time Millennials become an outright majority of the U.S. workforce in 2020,” according to Gensler.

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10 Incredible Rooftops

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD

Magnificent views are a sought-after amenity for any space. Utilizing the rooftop of a building can take the breathtaking scenery to a whole new level by bringing you just a step closer to nature. It’s also a great way to have an outdoor experience when you’re in a densely populated area where yards are uncommon. Whether it’s a high-rise hotel located smack-dab in the middle of a bustling downtown city or a secluded residence hidden in a rainforest, converting the roof of a building to a livable area adds value not only to the space but to one’s personal experience as well.

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Interior Design + Globalization

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD

Today, you can simply click on a button and instantaneously be connected to someone several time zones and thousands of miles away. Distance no longer poses the same challenges it used to prior to the age of the Internet, allowing relationships to evolve in ways that were impossible before. Because we now have the world at our fingertips, many businesses are finding that the best and possibly fastest way to grow is to look beyond their national borders. Globalization is “a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology,” according to the SUNY Levin Institute. Interior design and architectural firms, like other companies, are embracing this and making changes to their business strategies. We identified three major aspects of globalization that designers and architects should consider in order to move to the forefront of the design industry: Cultural Knowledge and Research, Identifying Global Trends, and Education. – Read More –


Inspiration in Unlikely Places

By: Lisa Schattman, DISD Librarian


What goes into a successful interior design project? Certainly knowledge is crucial: knowledge of space planning, human behavior, client needs and wishes, building codes and systems, textiles and other materials, furniture, the basic elements of design, color, lighting, energy efficiency and other issues of sustainability, historical styles, current trends, and much more inform a design solution. As you might expect, the DISD Library at Design Institute of San Diego supports our students by providing information in all of the areas they need to craft residential, commercial and institutional spaces.

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Summer Recap – Top National Park Destinations

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD

You don’t have to be a seasoned outdoorsman to appreciate the majestic beauty of our national parks. There are 58 national parks throughout the country, and while most know of the marquee destinations such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite, less well known destinations, like Grand Teton National Park and Crater Lake National Park, have just as much to boast about when it comes to sightseeing and outdoor activities for visitors craving adventure. As this month marks the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, and as summer quickly winds down yet again, we celebrate the pockets of natural magnificence found within our borders.

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