Saturday, May 31, 2014

Interesting site

I found an interesting blog that has a lot of great tips and interesting posts: the Two Cents blog is a Lifehacker website, where there is a post pretty much every day (and sometimes multiple posts in one day!). It's definitely worth checking out--enjoy!

Happy saving!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

'Afford' vs. 'Can pay for'

Many people are afraid to say it, or can't find words for it, or assume that people implicitly understand this concept. It is absolutely the underlying principle necessary for financial responsibility, and for your personal financial well-being. 

And it is this:

Just because you have the money to pay for something, does not mean that you can afford it! 

Image from website; the 2014 Ford Focus costs around $20k

Monday, May 26, 2014

Social media

I've caved in...The Froogal Stoodent is now on Twitter! Follow me at  or @FroogalStoodent if you prefer.

You can also find me on or on Reddit, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, or Google+ by searching for Froogal Stoodent (you may have to run it together into one word).

I can also be found on, though that's not necessarily a social media site--but it does have lots of great information! (And despite the similarities in our names, I'm not affiliated with

I recently got a Bloglovin and Pinterest account: Check them out!

You can find my Facebook at
Facebook suspended my activity for using the Froogal Stoodent name, instead of making a "Celebrity Page," which must be linked to an account with a real name. If you have an unusual name, they may do it to you, too. So I won't bother trying to reinstate my Facebook account.

Happy saving!

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day all! Of course, it's a day to commemorate the individuals who lost their lives in the struggle to bring freedom to our country, so it's not necessarily a happy occasion. But we take this opportunity to celebrate our freedom, and enjoy the company of our families and friends on this day--as I'm sure those soldiers would want us to do. So, in their memory, I offer this tribute:

Image from

To all who have served in the military, or fought for freedom and human rights in any capacity: 
Thank you. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

The benefits of credit unions

There is a great post by the blog at, a website dedicated to giving people practical financial advice. The post (link at the bottom of this page) deals with the topic of credit unions.

I wanted to take the opportunity to chime in on the topic myself. In case you don't already know, a credit union is a financial institution similar to a bank. The difference is that banks are established to make a profit; credit unions are not-for-profit institutions, as established by federal law. So you can go to a credit union to open a savings account, take out a loan, open investments like a 401(k), and so on. Anything you can do at a bank, you can do at a credit union. The only restriction on membership for many credit unions is that you have to live in a certain geographical area.

The benefit of using a credit union is that the loans usually feature a lower interest rate, and the savings/checking accounts sometimes pay higher interest rates as well. Granted, this varies from institution to institution, as well as from one point in time to another. But the general trend holds--since credit unions aren't out to make a buck, they can be a little more generous to their members.

1000 views--thanks!

Image of unknown origin, found on
*on a semi-related note, handwritten notes are a genuine, thoughtful way to communicate gratitude--it takes more time than buying a Hallmark card, but it's a lot cheaper! It's obviously difficult to put a handwritten card online, so this picture is intended to communicate the message instead :)

Just wanted to take a quick moment to thank everyone--as of yesterday, May 22, there were 1000 total pageviews--less than 3 weeks after my very first post!

So thanks a bunch for all your support, and I hope you'll continue to visit The Froogal Stoodent for tips on how to save money and adopt the Millionaire Mindset! (Try bookmarking the homepage, at, so that you'll be reminded to see the latest posts).

Stay tuned--within the next couple days (once I've recovered from my sunburn!), I plan to put up a useful new post about what it really means to be able to afford something.

Happy saving!

-Zach B, The Froogal Stoodent :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The "Don't buy stuff" budget

This SNL skit is both funny and accurate:

I'm tempted to say things are more complicated than that, but it really isn't. Unless you're buying a house, if you can't pay for it--right now--and still have money left over to pay your bills, don't buy it!

How 'saving money' really works

Along the same lines as my post on the Millionaire Mindset, I want to make the notion of saving quite clear. What a lot of people do to save money is actually doing the opposite! Despite what retailers will tell you, buying a product at a discount does not mean you are saving money!

Monday, May 19, 2014


Thanks to StumbleUpon, I found a great site that you may find useful:

They list free offers on a variety of things. Each category is separated on the homepage (categories include free mobile phone stuff, free Internet access, free samples, free software, "family freebies" (i.e. household/family stuff), free graphics, prizes and contests, miscellaneous freebies, and more), so you can find free stuff for whatever specific category you're looking for.

For some more ideas to save money, check out my lists at or  

I really like the idea of organizing these links into categories; it's useful for people who have a specific need and want to find free resources quickly.

And who doesn't like free stuff?!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Wal-Mart Trap

Bargain hunters beware!

Though Wal-Mart has great prices on certain items, they're not always the cheapest option around. They built a very successful business based on advertising their low prices, and then having such a wide selection that people don't bother to go anywhere else for their other goods.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Why Samsung doesn't deserve your money

I just happened to run into this, and it's shocking:  It's infuriating that Samsung thinks they can put conditions on a warranty for a defective product, and use legal bullying to get someone to remove a video that states a fact about that defective product!

How to $ave big on your phone bill

*For an up-to-date list of my smartphone recommendations, please see this link.*

As promised in my earlier post on The Millionaire Mindset (, here's a tip for those of you who are paying too much for your cell phone bill (pretty much everyone!): get a prepaid monthly plan.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

More great sources of information

I found two links that have great information, and I found them to be very helpful, so I figured I'd pass them along.

They're both written by Kraig Mathias of Create My Independence. He's promoting the same lifestyle I am in my post on The Millionaire Mindset.

The links are here:

The Millionaire Mindset

The Millionaire Mindset

I want to get this idea out there now: your mindset is far more important than your income level. Many people think a large income leads to financial security...and they're dead wrong. I'll show you why. 

Monday, May 5, 2014


Image from imgur
I just found this meme, and I thought it was both funny and applicable to this blog :)

I think this serves as an example to illustrate a larger point about planning ahead, and having the self-control to say 'no' to products or services that you see as a poor value. With all the stuff that's available in this world, all the different manufacturers offering products, companies offering services, charities, and other organizations each trying to get some of your money, it's up to you to be a smart and discriminating shopper. 

6 (+5 more) simple ways to save

If you have your own apartment (or house) and you're responsible for paying utilities, there are simple ways to cut waste and save $$$. Here, you'll find 6 that you may not have thought of:

A way to make (a little) ca$h on the side

Just ran across this article, which advances a new idea for making a little money:  I didn't know this was even possible, but it holds a lot of promise! Just a thought for those of you with experiences to share.

But be aware that it will probably require good writing skills. So if your teachers have told you that you have trouble communicating an idea clearly and concisely, or if you hate English or writing composition classes with a burning passion, this may not be a good money-making method for you.

How to listen to the music you want, for free

I found the following web page thought-provoking:

This is an interesting analysis, but is a false dichotomy (i.e. that you have to pay to stream vs. pay to buy a song). There are other options, as mentioned by a few people in the comments. For example, Pandora, Grooveshark, Spotify, and are well-known free music streaming services. Lesser-known ones are listed on Lifehacker, along with strengths of each:

YouTube is also an overlooked option: it offers auto-playlists based on certain songs or bands that you like, or you can create your own playlists and add songs to them. You'll have to put up with ads on some of the videos, but it does allow customization and a high degree of user control--all for free!

Interesting story

Though this doesn't necessarily apply to college students, it's a good tip if you're wondering how to make ends meet: Try re-considering your 'must-haves.' (Story found courtesy the +Financial Literacy Google+ community)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Tips for college students

Despite what books, TV ads, financial planners, and others would have you believe, there is no big 'secret' to being financially successful. There are, of course, lots of tax loopholes, complicated investment methods, and other such tricks to making money.

Unless you are a CPA, tax lawyer, investment banker or otherwise want to be involved in studying the myriad financial laws of this country (and possibly others, as well), a simpler approach probably sounds good to you.

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Hello world, and welcome to the new Froogal Stoodent blog! The purpose of this blog (in case you couldn't tell from the title!) is to provide tips and advice on saving money. This is aimed directly at college students and graduate students, though the advice could be useful to anyone.

I will largely draw ideas from my own experience and expertise, but input is encouraged! This site will work best as a forum for people to discuss ways of saving money and living frugally. Learning how to live below your means is certainly an ongoing process, but it's up to you to make the commitment to do so. As with most things in life, the results you get will reflect the effort you put in.

So if you want to learn how to lead a frugal lifestyle that will yield benefits for many years after you graduate, you've come to the right place! After all, who doesn't want to save money?!

As difficult as it can be sometimes to sit at home while your friends go to concerts, parties, and dates to the movie theater or posh restaurants, consider how those same friends will feel when they graduate with $30,000 or $60,000 or $100,000 of debt--or even more! If that thought isn't enough motivation to seek alternative ways to have fun, go on dates, and eat well, I don't know what is!

Before we get into the heavy stuff, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Zach, I'm 25 years old, and I'm pretty easygoing. I'm a graduate student in Cognitive Psychology at a university in Ohio, but I'm originally from central Pennsylvania. My father has worked in a warehouse for about 30 years, and my mother retired from her work helping people navigate their medical insurance benefits (a minefield, to be sure!) when I was born in 1989. She has not worked since.

So, it probably goes without saying that I've never been particularly well-off. Because of this, I'm fortunate enough to have been taught the value of living below your means, so my meager pay as a grad student is actually more than enough to meet my needs--but only because I do without some things that a lot of people take for granted.

Since so many people talk about having money issues, I figured a blog such as this one would be a good way to share my knowledge and provide a forum for other people to do the same. While a grad student like myself can't increase his income, he CAN decrease his expenses--and that goes for just about everyone who doesn't make more money than he knows what to do with!

My own tips and ideas will be coming along in future posts. But for now, here's a link to a site that I found:  It's got some good ideas that you may have thought of, or you may not have. In any case, there's always more to learn. So, let the savings begin!