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Start planning for spring break

Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 11:02

springflower

Illustration by Larrauri/MCT

There are several factors to take into account when preparing for spring break. Students have to find a way to manage their time and resources in order to complete their coursework and still find the time to relax and enjoy the break. While this may seem like a difficult task, there are definite strategies for avoiding difficulties over the week off of school.

A recent article found on About.com's College Life website offers many good suggestions for managing your time when it comes to completing coursework. First and foremost, it is strongly suggested that you formulate a plan of how you will spend your time finishing your assignments and studying for any exams following the break.

The site explains, "Making a plan will prevent those ‘Oh, no! I forgot I had to do that, too!' moments that have a tendency to creep up at the worst possible times." It is also suggested that you stick to your original plan as opposed to procrastinating. In fact, putting off doing your coursework and studying until the last free moment is very much discouraged. "Of course, you've probably been hearing this advice for ages. But leaving major college coursework to the last minute is a very bad idea," the site states.            

Another thing that students should expect is the necessity to work on homework or studying for extended periods of time. Doing so actually reduces the amount of time spent on homework, because it helps your brain to better process information and complete the work you are doing if it is given time to "warm up."

With that in mind, another strategy that students should consider is letting their friends, family and roommates know that they will need to take the time to do their coursework. Doing so makes it easier to get things done as well. That way, you will most likely have the support of those around you. Knowing that you will be allowed to do your assignments in peace will make them that much easier.

Of course there is the possibility that loud neighbors or obnoxious roommates will inadvertently interfere with your ability to get your coursework done. If this proves true, About.com recommends that students go to local libraries. "They can be a great place to plant yourself and your laptop, get internet access, and work for several hours in peace and quiet," the site explains.

When it comes to managing funds during spring break, Money Management Tips.com makes the following suggestions for college students. First of all, keep track of your spending, particularly impulse spending. That way, you can see where your money is going and you can make adjustments, if necessary. If an individual realizes that, for instance, they are spending too much eating out they could spend more on groceries and enjoy more meals at home. Being frugal is the second suggestion. Take advantage of student discounts and avoid frivolous spending.

Another strong suggestion is to make a budget based upon your income and savings. Having made yourself a budget, do your best to stick to it. If you do make a few unwise purchases, however, do not be discouraged. Instead, just adhere to your budget more strictly in the future.

Another excellent recommendation is to create an emergency savings fund for whatever may come up. You never know when you will find it necessary to get work done on your vehicle, when you may have health issues or some other sudden crisis may arise. Being prepared for any eventuality will keep you in good standing.

A good way to avoid creating a financial crisis is the careful use of credit or debit cards. By spending strictly with cash, you get to keep a closer eye on your funds, and won't incur debt the way you could with credit cards. As MainStreet's website points out, "consumers generally spend more conservatively when they have to watch dollars physically disappear from their wallet." By following these simple suggestions, you can be sure that your spring break will be well spent.

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