Starving Student's Survival Strategies

07/26/2010

Don’t use your driveway?

Filed under: Money Making Tips — pranajules @ 10:51 am
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Do you have a driveway but no car, or a wide driveway with room for an extra car? It doesn’t matter whether you rent or own your house/apartment, read on…

This is what you do:

  1. Assess your neighbourhood to see if there are any “institutions” such as your school or office buildings or any commercial/industrial establishments that have pay parking lots by checking the aerial/hybrid view of your area on the net, and walking or biking in the area.  If so, and you find that legal, free parking during regular business hours is scarce in the area, then you can continue to step 2.
  2. Time how long it takes to walk directly from your place to the nearest office buildings/institutions with pay parking lots.  Write down the time in minutes, and write down the daily rates for parking.  If they are not easy to find, go to the outdoor smoking area and ask someone there how much parking is for the day for them.
  3. Write up a ‘Parking Spot for Rent’ flyer using this simple template that you can download for free and include the following: Monthly rate (make it about 20-25% cheaper than the going rate in the area) and your first name and email or phone number. Note: You can also create a new email account that forwards to your own account with a name such as cheap_parking_spot@hotmail( dot) com.
  4. Post it semi-discreetly within view of the smoking zone/area outside of the building.  People will see it, talk about it and tell their peers.  If you are able to post on a bulletin board inside (with or without permission) by all means go for it!

When someone contacts you and you are negotiating details, be sure to negotiate parking times (for example: available only from 7am to 7pm, that way your guests can still make use of the spot), duration of availability (3 months, 6 months, a year?!?) and that you require 30 days advance notice if they plan to discontinue parking in your driveway.  Reassure them that you will also provide them 30 days notice as well.  If you can agree on something,

This is what you do:

cont’d 

  • Get their full name and contact number, and write down the vehicle licence plate, model and colour.  Parking will only apply to that vehicle. 
  • Make sure to provide them with further contact information for you as well. 
  • You CAN formulate a contract, but in reality, you have full access to do whatever you want to their vehicle (not that you would) and as well, they know where you live.  So it’s not likely that anyone would dare break the verbal contract (at least write up a quick draft with details of expectations/rules that you both sign and both have a copy of). 
  • If you don’t own your property, the legalities of “subletting a parking space” to a stranger by a tenant may be a concern to your landlord if they KNOW.  Keep that in mind.  Key part of that statement: if they know.
  • Take cash or cheques, either post-dated or arrange for personal or mailbox drop-off for the first weekday of every month.

In total, you may invest approximately:

  • 20-60 minutes scouting out your neighborhood for possible clients, and finding the “smoking zones/areas”.
  • 20-30 minutes creating the flyer which you can email to yourself and print at school if you do not have a printer (using a highlighter/marker afterwards on the flyer will improve it’s potential to be looked at).
  • 15-30 minutes meeting with potential clients.
  • 15-45 minutes drafting up a document that you both sign.
  • $1-$2 in printing.

That’s a total of 1.5-2.5 hours of your time.  And for a value of, for example: $12/hour, that’s only $18- $30 of your time which you will be sure to get back with your first month’s rent of the parking space.

parking spot for rent

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02/04/2010

Why should you set goals?

Think you don’t have time for goal setting? Or that it’s too much work and not worth your time?

A University study (I’m so sorry, unable to site source at this time) found that 3% of University students write down their goals an average of 4 times per year…  And when a group of those were tracked down 25 years later, the 3% who had a habit of setting goals, had a combined wealth greater than the remaining 97% combined.

Still not convinced?  If there’s anyone that knows anything about procrastination, it’s me.   Just have a look at when my last bunch of posts are dated at (bad example, but you’re gonna have to trust me on this one).   Lately though, I’ve started taking this “goal thing” seriously and in a little over a year, I have:

– acquired a car to supplement the Vespa for winter road trips

– certified as a Personal Training Specialist

– certified nationally as a Snowboard Instructor

– graduated from a Life Coaching Diploma Program (while working full time)

– got myself in the best shape of my life

– increased my annual income by 20%

– did not miss out on any adventures

– learned how to trade effectively in the stock market

– read more inspirational books in a year than ever before

– decided what I want my life to be like and am moving towards that, full steam ahead

Goal-setting may feel overwhelming to think about, but it’s really not.  Start small.  Start with things you can accomplish in one day.  With those small successes, you build the confidence to take on bigger goals.   You may start with things you “feel you need to do” but be creative and start doing things you “want” to do.  Feel the joy of accomplishing your goals and get addicted to that great feeling!

Once you are ready to take on bigger goals, make a list of things you want to accomplish in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years.  NOTHING is ridiculous or too far-fetched.  If you are moving towards it, you are doing more than if you didn’t even start it in the first place.  You WILL find a groove and you will impress yourself at what you are capable of achieving…

Need some tools to help you on your way?

Try 43things .  You create a profile (private) that you list your goals in, in whatever order of priority you wish and you can easily rearrange them as things evolve over time.  Then you can set it up so that you are sent a reminder email either every couple of weeks, couple of months, 6 months or a year.  The emails are what makes this such an effective tool.

Lululemon also has a great platform called Goaltender where you can brainstorm ideas, and create and track your goals. 

Have any recent successes or inspirational stories, leave a comment below!

11/18/2009

What’s better than Facebook, Twitter and Skype?

“Better” is a relative term, depending on your feature preferences and priorities.   But the latest and greatest in features that will seriously save you some cash with some serious advantages, surprisingly comes from a small Canadian company.  That company is itiBiti Systems Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Intertainment Media Inc.  In Canada (TSX-V: INT), US (OTC:ITMTF). 

ItiBiti’s first major brand client is NBC, where they have released the first version of the product as the NBC Communicator

Not only can you stream tv shows, twit itiBiti style, and connect with people and log in using your Windows Live account and use all of its services from within the integrated itiBiti platform,  you can also make computer to cell phone long distance calls for free.  Yes, free long distance phone calls.   Beat that Skype, Facebook and Twitter. 

Some of the company’s previous news releases have hinted that they’re working on a smart phone application which would really make this system untouchable by the competition.

(more…)

10/01/2009

Are YOU ready for Halloween?

Are you ready for Halloween? Halloween is one of those holidays (if you can call it that) where you can easily make the most of it and fill it with several fun events or simply do nothing and watch it quickly pass.  Why not make the most of it and hit at least two halloween parties and plan some kind of an adventure!  If you’re going to be handing out candy… you can take the traditional route OR you can make a difference by providing more ethical and ecologically sound treats.  You’ll feel better about yourself for passively educating the kids and their parents by supplying these treats, and when gorging on the leftovers.  Even more, you can even take part in reverse trick-or-treating!

Want some last minute costume ideas? Try this alphabetized list here, and this list here but be SURE to check out these details here.  And you too can be David Suzuki !

Having a Halloween Party? For a killer environment (no pun intended) string up some spider webbing from your walls to your ceiling (as seen in picture below) and plug in a couple of blacklights.  Spider webbing can be attached to walls and ceiling easily, using poster tack.

If you’re in the Toronto area, you might want to check out this year’s “Halloween Haunt” at Canada’s Wonderland.  It’s sure to be a blast!

Enjoy!

Halloween Party

07/23/2009

Have a memorable date watching the Perseids Meteor Shower

Forget the fact that it’s romantic, watching a meteor shower is great for recalibrating your perspective on things… all things.   

There isn’t much that allows you to feel your place spatially on this planet more, than to look up at a clear night sky at the wonders of the universe.  Take the time to search out this experience and it may forever change your perception of life.   Again, a good meteor shower can also be quite a romantic experience to share with a partner or potential partner.   The next notable meteor shower will be presented to us from the star constellation of Perseus, peaking in intensity on August 12, 2009 and is known as “the Perseids meteor shower” which occurs annually.  Here’s a good introduction to what you can expect.   If you’re really keen and already own (or can borrow) a telescope, you can actually watch the meteors colliding with the moon.   This would probably be a less romantic and more frustrating venture as there would only be one eyepiece per telescope and you may or may not see anything happen, but it is still worth a mention.   It is also important to note that in the evening of Tuesday August 11th between 9-11pm EST will be the best display of “earthgrazers” which are the bright colourful fireballs that skim slowly across the atmosphere.   NASA has THIS excellent article explaining the phenomenon.

So, this is what you need to do….

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07/22/2009

Here’s looking at you, kid… (Part 2 of 2)

If you haven’t read Part 1, here it is and please read it first…

If you are interested in kicking it up a notch, here’s what you can do…

1) Do an internet search for “yacht clubs”, “sailing clubs” and “sailing lessons” for your area/vicinity and bookmark or write down contact numbers…

2)  Find out when their next “Open House” is going to be for their sailing school and RSVP for you and a friend.

3)  Learn a little bit about sailing on your spare time (library, internet, etc.) because it’s just that interesting that you won’t be able to not want to know a little bit more about it.

What usually happens, is there’s a bbq, snacks and pop for sale (very affordable, to cover their costs usually).  There’s time to mingle with the instructors and club members, and they take you on a FREE 20-30 minute boat ride on a 27-33 ft sailboat with a few other prospective students.   Great place to get trigger-happy with each others cameras again.  They’ll even get you to steer the boat if you want to, which would be a pretty sweet photo-op.   And who knows, you might fall in love with it and when you’re not a starving student anymore…. You might just take up sailing.  There’s a lot to be said about the freedom of going wherever you want to go, using a minimal amount of fossil fuels to get around and having a 2 bedroom mini-cottage ( with a kitchen, bathroom, bar, etc.) below deck.

NOTE:  Your “word-of-mouth advertising of your experience together will only help the club in the future anyway, so you don’t need to feel guilty for the free ride.

Enjoy!!

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