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!


Building Your Interior Design Portfolio

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD

In the design world, a breathtaking portfolio is everything. You have just a few moments to leave a lasting, show-stopping impression with the design firm of your dreams. The work you share, along with how you decide to present it, has to be fresh, unique and memorable. Whether you are looking to land a great interior design or architecture job or just spice up your current portfolio, we have you covered. Design Institute of San Diego explores the do’s and don’ts of building your interior design portfolio to propel your career forward. From using typography in your favor to taking advantage of digital tools and outlets, here are some of our top tips to get you started. – Read More –


Theme Park Design

By: Rick Hess/Mae Case, DISD

If you ask us, nothing beats a trip to a theme park in the summertime. It’s the one destination where those looking for an escape can satiate their appetites for adventure, fantasy and excitement. Whether you’re a thrill seeker looking to spend your day plunging down 150-ft. drops and riding out strong G forces, or a hopeful child with the goal of collecting photos and autographs of all your favorite theme park characters, these popular summer destinations have been designed with the sole purpose of giving you the experience of a lifetime. But have you ever stopped to think about just how much time and technical planning goes into providing that feeling of wonder and whimsy when you step through the turnstiles?

A great deal, actually. Just as important as the engineers who design and build the latest and greatest roller coasters are the designers who provide their expertise to create the built environment surrounding these attractions. Believe it or not, some interior designers only work on theme parks, using fantasy, sights, sounds and smells to develop exciting and colorful visual components that are consistent with the park theme, and to enhance the rides, walkways and exhibits.  Theme park designers are responsible for developing permanent and temporary animated displays, unique signs, specialized fixtures, and many exciting visual displays that together create the look and feel of an amusement park. – Read More –


Killer Interior Design Portfolios

By: Rick Hess, DISD

Graduation is here and many interior design students are prepping their portfolios for the big interview right around the corner.  Design Institute of San Diego took a look at some of the strongest portfolios our students have created over the past several years.  This post is designed to inspire, motivate, and provide some of the most creative strategies in designing a killer interior design portfolio that will leave a lasting impression upon your viewers.
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Interior Design Degree: Quick Sketching Progression

Quick sketching has been one of the most valuable tools in design development for hundreds of years.  Design Institute of San Diego’s quick sketching class taught by Ann Parker gives its students the opportunity to develop and communicate ideas and concepts by utilizing quick freehand sketch styles.  Rapid visualization and perspective drawing techniques are key elements in communicating ideas with clients in the real world of interior design.  The below examples (done by our very own interior design students and instructor Ann Parker) exemplify not only the communication of ideas, but also the progression and development of various design decisions.

By: Rick Hess, DISD
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Interior Design Degree: From Concept to Reality

By: Rick Hess, DISD

Obtaining an Interior Design Degree isn’t just about creating beautiful spaces. Its about exploring all creative outlets in order to produce logical and intelligent design solutions. Design Institute of San Diego pushes its students to design based on client needs. These design solutions develop into projects that not only challenge the students, but also inspire ideas related to conceptual development, sustainability, universal design, and space planning. This blog post is the start of a long series of entries stressing the importance of interior design education and the impact it has on the professional field. – Read More –