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What to Know About Using Student Loans for Living Expenses

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Yes! Your loan came through and you have what you need to pay your tuition to go to university to get the qualification you need for your dream career in business.

But your part-time job doesn’t earn you enough to live on while you’re in learning. Or, with all the studying you’ll be doing, you won’t even have time for a part-time job.

Did you know that you can use student loans for living expenses too? Nobody will be watching over your shoulder on how you spend your living expenses loan disbursement. But you should be wise about how you use that money. It takes discipline to spend wisely and better to acquire the skill now and it will work for you later on in your business or career.

Here are some tips to steer you in the right direction.

Use Student Loans for Living Expenses

The powers that be know that just because you are attending college your living expenses don’t go away. Somehow you’ve got to pay for the costs of day-to-day life at the same time you’re going to university.

If you will be living on campus, many of these expenses are rolled into the amount you pay the school. For example, the fee for your dorm room and the right to eat in the student cafeteria.

But, living off campus is often a cheaper option. Buying your own food from the grocery store typically is as well. How do you take advantage of that if you don’t have the cash to do it?

Cost of Attendance

For this reason, your university’s financial aid office will work out your cost of attendance. This is above and beyond just the tuition charge.

The cost of attendance includes all direct and indirect costs of going further education. So they’ll include tuition, housing, food, books and other academic expenses. They’ll even consider transportation costs if you live off campus and other personal expenses.

Lenders will take your cost of attendance into account when determining that maximum amount they will lend you. Keep in mind that they won’t go over your cost of attendance, so this is an important number.

Your cost of attendance may change over time. You should check with the financial aid office for each year that you need to take out a loan.

Student Loan Disbursement

Once your tuition and other direct costs are paid, you’ll receive a student loan disbursement.

This is how you use student loans for living expenses.

This is the money above the direct costs that the school estimated you would need in the cost of attendance. What you do with it is up to you. But if you don’t use it wisely, you’ll pay for it later.

Most student loans are set up with a 10-year repayment plan. However, 60% of borrowers plan to be in their 40s by the time they pay off their loans.

You don’t want to end up in that statistic. Proper planning on your part now can help you avoid it.

Keep Costs Down

If you have to borrow money for school, your goal should be to borrow as little as possible. That means cutting out personal costs where possible and keeping your living expenses minimal.

You’ll thank yourself later when all your friends are still saddled with student loan debt and you’ve already paid yours off! Here are a few ideas on how to do that.


As much as you might want it, you don’t need a lavish apartment while you’re in school. If you’re paying for that apartment with your student loan disbursement it’s a downright dumb idea.

Remember, that money isn’t free. You will have to pay it back, with interest, later. The more you have to pay back, the longer it will take, and the more you will pay in interest.

Take a look at the cost of the dorms and school food plan. Compare it to the cost of a modest apartment nearby. It usually winds up to be a lot cheaper to live off campus. Keep in mind that you’ll need to factor in transportation and food costs as well.


While we’re on the subject, let’s talk about food. There are so many ways to save on groceries.

If you don’t take advantage of them, you’re simply leaving money on the table.

Number one is to buy your own groceries and cook your own food. Restaurants are not a necessity. Even $5 sandwiches at the sub shop is a splurge. That’s $150 a month just for lunch!

You can make your own sandwiches at home for a fraction of the cost. And, as a bonus, you can make them exactly how you like them!

Fun Stuff

The college years are supposed to be about partying and having fun, right? Well, not unless you want to pay for it for the next 20 years.

Use your student loans for living expenses not expensive partying. Alcohol is expensive and won’t help you graduate any faster. If you spend every weekend partying you could even end up falling behind in school.

Trips to Mexico for spring break aren’t a wise idea either. You think you’re having fun now, but you won’t be when you’re drowning in debt later. Save that stuff for after school, when you have the money to do it.

That’s not to say that you can’t have fun while you’re going to school. There are plenty of free or inexpensive things that you can do in town with your friends. You just need to get a little creative about it.

Extra Money

If you manage your student loans for living expenses right you may end up with extra money.

What do you do with it?

You can return money to the lender within 120 days without ever having to pay interest on it. This is a great choice as you’ll have less to pay back. Plus, with a lower principal, less interest will be piling up.

If you want a buffer for emergencies, you can squirrel some away. But keep in mind that money will get more expensive once the interest kicks in.

You could even use a little for starting a business while you’re still in college! That could give you the jumpstart you need to get ahead and get your loans paid off quickly.

Focus on School

Be frugal and focus on school. If you’re wise about using your student loans for living expenses, you will be setting yourself up for success.

Once you get out of school, you’ll pay off your debt faster and have money to realize your dreams. Now you can take that vacation, or build your own business. the possibilities are endless!

Check out our education section for more useful education information!

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Think You Don’t Need to Buy an Air Compressor? Think Again

air pollution

If you’re in the manufacturing business, it comes as no surprise that over 70% of manufacturers use a compressed air system.

Such systems drive several types of equipment, such as material handling and separation equipment, machine tools, spray painting equipment, and so on. 

Air compressors use either fuel or electricity to compress air, store it in a tank, then release it as needed. We tend to think about air compression systems for industrial and manufacturing environments only.

However, many commercial setups also need air compressors, even office spaces and retail outlets.

If you are a small business, consider investing in an air compressor if you haven’t purchased one already. If yours is a larger manufacturing company, then it’s wise to have a backup air compressor on hand.

This article discusses why you should buy an air compressor. You will also learn where to buy an air compressor and what to expect in terms of cost.

Benefits of Air Compressors for Small Business

If you are a small business owner, you may have already discovered the benefit of having an air compressor.

If your business involves any construction or carpentry work, then adding a compressor will no doubt increase your productivity.

Next, are the benefits that come with owning an air compressor for small businesses.

Cleaner Air

Did you know that an air compressor cleans air for air conditioners? Outside air contains pollutants. Any HVAC system requires an air compressor.

If yours requires replacement, consider investing in a quality unit for the sake of healthier air for you and your employees.

Also, air compressors regulate the flow of air through the HVAC system. A quiet air compressor means a more pleasant working environment.

Office Cleaning

If you are in the cleaning business, a good air compressor is a must. Regular blowers and vacuum cleaners are often not enough to handle commercial and retail cleaning.

An industrial air compressor is also quiet enough to clean during business hours when your clients are still at work.

Fast Drying

You can also use an air compressor to dry carpets and other large space. Naturally, this applies to carpet cleaning service providers.

Though water damage restoration companies also find these invaluable for drying areas quickly. Minimizing water damage means racing the clock to dry out soggy floors and drywall.

Construction and Carpentry

A reliable portable air compressor is a must if your business is in construction or carpentry. A portable air compressor functions the same as a standard one. A typical tank holds up to eight gallons.

They also come with the same safety devices as regular-sized compressors, plus wheels for easier transport to your job sites.

Why Do I Need a Backup Air Compressor?

In your business, compressed air is no doubt vital for operations. If your compressor goes down, production stops. You lose time and money. Your compressed air system was a substantial investment.

It may not seem feasible to double that investment with a second system. Keep in mind, though, that’s your back up compressor doesn’t have to equal the main one.

You need a unit that provides enough air to get you by for a short while until your main compressor comes back on.

Most manufacturing businesses don’t have a full backup system. They do have enough to run vital equipment and the main projects through the line and out the door.

Here’s another situation. Many times, facilities like yours will outgrow their current compressor. In that case, invest in a new one. But you should keep the old as a backup.

If your operations are large enough, you may have more than one compressor already. If that’s the case, you can use one as a backup. If you don’t already have multiple air compressors, it’s time to consider acquiring one.

Product Spoilage

Depending on your product, you may also lose the current product on the line when the compressor fails.

Food manufacturers, for instance, risk losing whatever was running on the production line. When the line doesn’t work as it should, processes halt, and the product spoils.

Ease of Maintenance

Having a backup air compressor means you can perform maintenance at any time. Rather than stopping your only compressed air system for maintenance, you can switch to the backup generator.

Technicians can come out and perform scheduled maintenance without halting production. Not only does this mean uninterrupted production time, but it also means no more making up lost time on the weekends, holiday, or after hours.

Buying Air Compressors: Know the Types

While you know what you need an air compressor for, you should still be familiar with the three main types of industrial air compressors.

1. Reciprocating Air Compressors

Reciprocating air compressors are also known as piston and cylinder compressors or piston-driving compressors. They create a vacuum that compresses air and then forces it into a storage tank.

The technology has been around for a long time, which makes a reciprocating air compressor affordable and reliable.

2. Rotary Screw Air Compressors

Rotary screw air compressors use two rotors to force air up into a casing. From there, the air becomes more pressurized. These compressors are powerful even though they are compact.

They output air more smoothly compared to reciprocating compressors. Many rotary screw air compressors employ oil to cool and compress air.

Other models are oil-free, which means you can use them for spray-painting and other similar applications.

3. Centrifugal Air Compressors

A centrifugal compressor uses rotating blades, similar to a turbine engine. This creates highly-pressurized air. This type of compressor is powerful and ideal for continuous use.

Of course, they are also pricey. Most often they are the choice for large-scale operations like moving natural gas or oil through a pipeline. Another common use is making snow at ski resorts.

How to Buy an Air Compressor

The type of air compressor you choose depends on the tools or heavy machinery the compressor will power. Next is a refresher on the terminology that will help you select the right air compression system for your needs.

Air Pressure

You measure air pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI). Whatever machine or tool you are powering with an air compressor will list the minimum amount of PSI required to run it.

Air Flow

You measure airflow in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Like PSI, the compressor you buy must be able to supply the correct amount of CFM for the machine or tool you are powering.

The higher the CFM requirements for the tool, the more power you’ll need from the compressor.

Storage Tank

Storage tank capacity, which you measure in gallons, varied per model. The larger the tank, the more CFM the unit delivers. But, a larger tank doesn’t always mean more PSI.


You rate an air compressor’s power in horsepower (HP) like you would a car or truck. An industrial air compressor can run off of electricity, gasoline, or diesel

How Much Is a Compressor?

Industrial air compressors vary in price according to their capabilities. Here is just a general idea of the approximate costs by type

A 5 HP reciprocating industrial air compressor $1,000 – $2,500

5 HP rotary air compressor $2,500 – $5,000

10 HP air compressor $3,500 – $7,000

25 HP reciprocating industrial air compressor $8,000 – $12,000

25 HP rotary air compressor $7,500 – $10,000

50 HP rotary air compressor $12,000 – $18,000

100 HP industrial air compressor $20,000 – $35,000

200 HP air compressor $40,000 – $70,000

The average price for industrial air compressors goes from about $3,000 to $30,000 for a rotary machine. They range from $2,000 – $2,500 for a reciprocating machine.

And you can expect to pay $5,000 – $7,500 for previously-owned air compressors.

Where to Buy an Air Compressor

As with most commercial tools and equipment, you can find the right type of compressor locally as well as online.

An authorized air compressor seller like can help you understand what CFM and PSI you need.

If you already have a relationship with a supplier, contact them for price quotes. Shop around as well for air compressor deals. Your supplier may be able to beat the lowest price.

Many smaller businesses opt for purchasing used compressors for the cost savings. This often serves them well in supplying the backup compressor.

Consider the shorter life span that comes with buying any used machinery or equipment.

Buy an Air Compressor Today

You already know how much your business either depends on an air compressor, or how much it could benefit from having one.

If your compressor breaks down, how long can your business go without it before losing product or production time?

Adding a backup compressor could pay for itself almost immediately in this instance. After all, even the best machinery can fail at any time.

If you are still deciding whether to buy an air compressor or wait, you may be risking more than you should. Let today be the day you start looking into investing in a quality air compressor for your business.

If you found this article helpful, please revisit us for more informative articles. Also, feel free to contact us with feedback and suggestions for new article topics.

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How to Professionalize Your Business From Top to Bottom

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You are quite envious of businesses that are well established in their industry. People know and respect their brand because of the decisions they have made over the years. You want your business to follow in the same footsteps, because you are ready to achieve success. You want to improve your business by professionalizing every element from top to bottom.

Whether you’re overhauling your website or taking a second look at your branding ideas, there will always be a way to upgrade your company. Take some of the following notions into account and you will be ready to improve every element of your business for the better.

Communicate Professionally

Many businesses fail miserably because they are unable to communicate professionally with potential employees, clients and external companies they are associated with. If you think your business could improve on this, there are sources that can help you out. Whether you’re trying to draft the perfect job rejection email or understand how to negotiate well with a potential, big investing client, there are certain protocols you can follow.

As soon as your company starts communicating effectively, you will see a noticeable improvement in your sales and the levels of respect that others show to your business.

Employ People With Excellent Customer Service Skills

Your business is going to thrive if you employees are passionate about what they’re doing. There is nothing more off putting than rude and unenthusiastic workers who don’t have the time of day for potential clients.

During the hiring process you need to make sure every potential candidate is fully trained in every aspect of customer service, so that you don’t have to worry about their performance during the working day. You also need to be able to trust they have the business’ best interests at heart.

As long as you trust your employees you will be able to ensure a professional business from top to bottom.

Don’t Make Marketing Mistakes

There have been many high profile marketing errors made by massive companies in the recent years. You don’t want to be involved in this sort of mess that ruins your reputation, so make sure you think carefully about every marketing choice you make during your business career. It’s always best to enlist the help of a marketing expert so that you don’t land yourself in any unnecessary hot water.

Check over the wording and concept of every campaign before you set it free into the world and you will never have anything to worry about.

Focus on Quality Over Quantity

If you are obsessed over the quantities associated with your business, you are never going to get as far as you might like to.

Focusing on the quality of your products, the quality of your social media followers and the quality of your returning customers is much more important than any of the quantities. Of course, you want to achieve huge sales and earn a tonne of money, but that’s not always the most important thing in business.

Realign your priorities and you will feel much more fulfilled and professional.

Upscale Your Website

Every super professional business has a wonderful website to go with it. If your customers are greeted with a site full of glitches and errors, they aren’t going to want to part with their hard earned money. Enlist the help of an expert web designer and they will be able to help you create a smooth and slick website to be proud of.

Respond to Queries Quickly

There is nothing more annoying than waiting around for a company to reply to your important and pressing query.

Not only does it make you feel reluctant to spend your money as a customer, but the business owner may come across as rude or ignorant. You need to learn how to reply quickly and appropriately to queries from potential customers, so that you don’t have this effect on the people who are trying to communicate with you.

Obviously, you need to take the time to find the correct response to their question, but you need to prioritize this on a daily basis. If you allow your inbox to pile up, you are going to lose a lot of custom along the way.

So instead of longing for business success, why not do something about it? You don’t have to watch other companies thrive whilst you are sitting on the back burner waiting for great things to happen. Sometimes you have to go above and beyond to attain your goals, so make some much needed changes and enjoy the results as they roll in.

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The Comeback of Books: How to Make Yours Stand Out in 2019


The innovation of electronic books has changed the reading world. Now that phones, tablets and other portable devices have the option to browse and buy books, bookworms can read anywhere they go. The percentage of adults who read has shown an increase since this convenient technology has blossomed.

Publishing your book as an e-book would be the best way to catch the attention of a reader. With as much time as we spend online and the increase in mobile readers, it is a path to success especially if you self-publish. Self-publishing has led many authors to having a best seller by saving them time and energy.


As the online world continues to open opportunities through innovation of the internet, it is possible for people to learn and do things independently – things that might not have been an option before. Self-publishing is something that has become much easier with the use of the internet.

As an author it can be exhausting finding an agent and a publisher willing to give your book the time of day. Free self-publishing websites now allow self-sustaining authors to upload their stories or non-fiction online to have it published within just a couple of days. The success of it depends on the work put in before, during and after the publishing.


The first part of making sure your book stands out is quite obviously assuring it is well written. Writing a book is way more complicated than just picking up a pencil and letting words flow out. There are techniques and processes that only the most experienced writers have perfected. But what are the chances you could learn from a best seller?

Properly preparing would also include taking classes to learn about the self-publishing process. Websites that offer online courses can be the easiest and cheapest route to getting basic information needed to make your publication’s popularity skyrocket. Veteran self-publishers often check out MasterClass for access to lessons taught by the best in the industry.


This bold move turns an outdated and all too tedious process entirely around 180 degrees. Instead of wasting time finding a publisher, who are notorious for rejecting manuscripts without even looking at them, you can comfortably manage the editing process yourself.

The responsibility to take the steps required for publishing fall on you when you decide to do it yourself. Unlike the standard procedure, there will not be an agent involved to handle the actual process. Following the proper guidelines for self-publishing will put you in the best position to release a best selling book.


Once the book has been published and priced, your job is not over yet. You are responsible for launching the book in a way that will set it up for success. Just releasing the book online will go right under the radar while having launch promotions will make yours stick out. Hold a few days where it is on sale or free and have your team spread the word!

Utilizing supporters and fans of the book, have them write reviews or influence your book. This will help get the word out and give interested buyers a chance to see what others have thought about the book. Social media’s huge impact on marketing can also help with reaching as many readers as possible.

The key to making your book stand out in 2019 is making sure you are in charge of the whole process. Who would work harder than you, the author, at ensuring your work becomes a bestseller? That’s right, no one!

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Get A New Career Without Leaving Your Own

on the job training

The worry that people have when trying to find a new career, is that they’re going to have to leave their own. The problem with leaving a career that you’ve been so settled in for so long, is that you’re not too sure of what the outside working world is like. Not only that, but you’re risking a lot.

If you’re leaving your current job, you’re most likely going on the hunt for more money or a better working environment. But that’s not to say that the place where you would go to next would be able to offer this for you. Often you will find that a career is fake to begin with.

During the interview process and the first week or so, they will do anything they can do to impress you and make their company stand out, because they believe doing so will bring you into their company.

Once you’re locked in, the true colours start to come out, and you wonder why it was that you ever joined the company in the first place. But enough with that, because you don’t necessarily have to leave the company you’re working for to find a few job, and here’s how!

Train On The Job

The biggest mistake people make is aiming for a role that they’re underqualified for. Because if there’s one thing we all know that a company wants, it’s either experience or education.

Lately you will find that a lot of jobs are demanding both, which can be hard for some people who just can’t afford to drop out entirely and go back to education. But this is where the power of the internet comes in handy.

There are so many online courses that you could take that would boost your knowledge and understanding of the career that you perhaps want to go into, and give you recognised qualifications that would make you more than qualified to apply for the role. One career that’s becoming more popular at the minute is border control, because it’s just such a stable career to have, and it’s well paid.

You can take a border diploma course online that would easily put you into that spectrum of being employable, and will put you a cut above the rest of any applicants.

What’s even better, you’ll have such a good knowledge and understanding of the role and the components to it, you’ll feel more than confident to try and go for the career! The same applies for pretty much any job you can think of out there, there’s always going to be a course that can push you towards it.

Do Your Research

If you’re going to go to a new career eventually, you really need to do your research. This is where we feel a lot of people fail. They’re so desperate to get out of the role they’re in, they jump to another one that is just as bad. So, get to know the line of work that you’re going into to begin with. Know everything that the job is going to demand from you, and figure out whether you would be up for the task.

You’re going to have to be hard working as it is to cope with training in a new job, but can you handle all of the tasks that come with it? You then need to find out what it’s actually like to work for the company you’re intending to work for.

You should be able to find plenty of reviews on the internet left by staff, and if not customers.  If you find out what the level of customer service is like from there, at least you have a starting point to go on! But employees reviews are going to be the best time find if you can do.

Don’t Rush Into Anything

This is the important one. As we said, a lot of you might rush to leave the company you’re working for because you think the grass is greener on the other side, but this isn’t always going to be the case.

It might be best for you to try and progress through your own company to a role where you’re in a position of power, so that you don’t feel like you’re being bossed around all of the time.

More responsibility brings more money as well, which is always something good to go by! You have to figure out what is going to be the best decision for you financially, and mentally.

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What Is a One Point Lesson? Learn How It Can Help Your Business Succeed

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In 2017, US companies spent more than $90 billion on employee training. Business owners are more interested than ever in helping employees develop.

This has led to significant interest in new ways to help employees learn, even while they’re on the job. Some employers have been using apps to deliver bite-sized lessons to their employees.

One method you may have overlooked is the one point lesson. This tried and true classic is more important than ever in a busy work environment. New technology is also helping it evolve for the 21st-century workforce.

Defining a One Point Lesson

Before we begin, you’re probably wondering what a one point lesson even is.

It’s all in the name. It’s a short lesson that covers exactly one point. Most one point lesson templates suggest using a mix of words and visuals. A good breakdown is usually 20 percent words and 80 percent images.

A one point lesson is typically one sheet of paper. It should take you no more than 15 minutes to write. The point is that it’s quick and easy for your employees to understand.

Using OPLs

Now that we’ve gone over OPL meaning, it’s time to explore how you can use them in your business.

OPLs were used in industrial settings to help employees understand common tasks. In fact, many manufacturers still make use of OPLs today.

A typical one point lesson template might show an employee how to change a machine’s air filter. Another might show how to lubricate the machine.

Today, OPLs are much more versatile. As employers embrace microlearning, OPLs are being adopted in many businesses.

Think about an app that delivers a quick, 5- or 10-minute lesson. It could instruct employees about how to use new computer software or how to conduct payroll. A one point English lesson teaches one point about English grammar.

An OPL can be used to teach almost anything.

OPLs for the 21st Century

As we mentioned, one point lessons are usually a single sheet of paper with drawings and some text. Today, technology is reinventing the OPL.

We’ve already talked a little about apps, which can deliver one point style lessons through a mix of visuals, text, and sound. Animations, quizzes, and more can be used.

You can even create a one point lesson using video. This short video could combine visuals, audio, and even text to help employees with a task. Videos are easier to create than ever before.

Benefits of OPLs

Why would you use one point lessons in your business? There are several benefits to consider.

First of all, they help your employees do their jobs. They provide quick instruction on routine tasks. They’re also short and simple, which helps employees get back to work sooner.

This means your employees can increase their productivity. It also makes it easy to learn a new skill or task.

It can also reduce employees’ need to rely on others. They can become self-starters with OPLs. Finally, it also means help is always near at hand.

Building a Better Training Program

The versatile one point lesson is a training option you should make ample use of. Both your employees and your business can benefit from it.

Looking for more great advice about employee training and development? Have a look around the blog. We have tons of tips to help you create a better training program for your business.

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How To Organise Your Team So Your Startup Succeeds

people meeting

A successful start-up business, is a careful mixture of a great idea, good planning, investment capital, and a team of people who can work together like a well-oiled machine.

There’s, sadly, no simple formula to successful team organisation when it comes to start-ups but many who have been there before have shared some wisdom on the subject.

Below, in this article,  we will explore the pieces of advice that surface most often when the conversation turns to successful team organisation and start-up management.

If you’re curious to see whether you could implement some of the ideas, then read on.


The people you hire to work at your start-up will be responsible for bringing your idea to life and sustaining it through growth. Hiring is then the most important issue that needs utmost care and attention.

What makes start-ups different from traditional businesses is agility an opportunity to do things differently.

Look beyond the ‘CV’

With this in mind, consider whether you’d rather hire ‘good on paper’ candidates or look beyond the CV to find candidates that are truly passionate and open to learning.

The latter is typically what start-up owners tend to lean towards as hard skills (beyond certain specifics) can be taught whilst intuitive working, flexibility, and curiosity are more or less innate and impossible to cultivate if not present from the start.


When a team is small there’s usually some resistance to implementing too many official processes since most things can be dealt with by email or through informal conversations. This, however, is short-term thinking that will be prohibitive once the business begins to grow and other tasks take priority.

Think about implementing tools and processes from the start, paying special attention to scalability that’ll future-proof your start-up against disruption caused by rapid growth.

Automate Tasks

Automating administrative tasks by using resource management software can help to streamline and alleviate issues that are likely to arise as the team starts to work together on a series of projects.

Innovative companies need innovative solutions and automation of admin offers an innovative way of working for start-up teams.


Once start-up operations are in full swing and employees have had some time to work together, differences in working styles and business strategy may arise. This is unavoidable and also completely natural as passionate individuals will sometimes clash.


The mark of a successful start-up is dealing with conflict and disagreements in a productive way that doesn’t cause upset to individuals or affect the team’s ability to work together.

Communication is a skill that isn’t available to all but, thankfully, it can be taught and improved upon with practice.

Set up formal ‘dates’ between colleagues where they will have an opportunity to get to know each other outside the rigidity of the work day, building more positive and authentic relationships.

Raising concerns as soon as they arise should be encouraged and appropriate communication channels must be built to make this possible; it’s always better to address initial negativity before it has a chance to mutate into serious problems.

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