Finding funds to put aside for college can be tough. With so many expenses pulling at your pocket book, it’s hard to determine which of them can most easily be eliminated. But, like loose change in the proverbial couch cushion of life, if you look hard enough, you’ll find tons of ways to save money on a day-to-day basis. Take these small steps to cut back on unnecessary costs, and you and your family will be saving cash in no time.
One of the easiest ways to save energy (and reduce your energy bills) is to adjust your thermostat when you're sleeping or away from home to minimize heating and cooling costs. Even better, programmable thermostats can do the work for you so you don't have to remember to adjust it each time you leave. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, committing to this simple act alone can save you up to 10 percent on your household heating and cooling costs1.
Instead of springing for more expensive drinks like a cappuccino or a latte, order regular coffee to get your caffeine fix. Saving $2 here and there might not seem like a lot, but if you're in the habit of drinking one cup a day, making the switch could save you up to $500 over the course of a year.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, basic cable service has increased an average of 6.1 percent annually since 19953. Luckily, it's 2015 and streaming services like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime exist. Consider dropping cable in favor of one or two streaming services to keep up with current TV shows, browse movies, or binge watch your favorite Shonda Rhimes' drama in its entirety (again) while cutting down on your overall entertainment expenses.
Wednesday is reportedly the best day of the week to go grocery shopping. Why? Most stores start their new set of weekly discounts, giving you early access to the best deals. Some stores also honor the previous week's ad on Wednesdays, too, meaning double the discounts. And keeping track of what's on sale is easier than ever; many major grocery stores now have free mobile apps to give you instant access to coupons.
Instead of buying your lunch at school or work, pack your own lunch at home everyday. The same goes for your spouse and/or kiddos too. Eating just two lunches out a week costs about $15-25, which can add up to $750-$1,250 a year. Packing lunches for the whole family is a cheaper, and often healthier, alternative.
The average consumer pays about $600 per year on their cellphone bill. Be a smart shopper – review your plan regularly to make sure you are using the minutes and data you're paying for, and do research on other carriers to make sure you are getting the best deal for your budget.
It's important to remember that while the decision to give up your daily latte won't fund your entire education, committing to several small changes in how you budget your money will start to add up. When it comes to saving, every cent counts.
If you’ve taken any prescription medications, you’ve no doubt interacted with a pharmacy technician. These professionals are most recognizable as the folks at your local drug store – handing you a prescription bag and ringing up your purchase on the cash register.
Retail pharmacies aren’t the only places pharm techs work, though. Pharmacy technicians work in a variety of settings, from hospitals to mail-order prescription facilities. And their job tasks can vary greatly depending on where they work.
About half of all pharm techs work in drug stores, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In a retail environment, pharmacy technicians work under the direction of the registered pharmacist to handle a number of important tasks, including:
Most pharmacy technicians employed in a retail setting work full time, sometimes in shifts that include nights and weekends. The median pharmacy technician salary in retail drug stores is about $30,000 per year, and demand for pharm techs is expected to grow rapidly as the Baby Boomer population continues to age.
Some pharm techs don’t want to interact with the public as much as required in a drug store setting. If that sounds like you, then you may be interested to know that hospitals employ many pharmacy technicians “behind the scenes” to prepare medications for patients. Like their retail peers, hospital-based pharm techs also work under the supervision of a registered pharmacist, but they may perform more complex tasks, including:
Working in a hospital is tops for pharmacy technician pay: the median salary for these professionals comes in at nearly $37,000 per year.
Many people receive their medications through the mail these days, and while it’s true that big machines count and package those pills, the prescriptions still must be processed by someone who has passed a pharmacy technician exam.
In a mail-order pharmacy, a pharm tech might:
Pharmacy technician hourly pay in a mail-order facility might run as high as $15.50, for a median annual salary of about $31,000.
Pharm techs work in other settings, too, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities, where they may package and dispense medications to patients.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a pharmacy technician, our Admission Advisors can put you on the path to enter this this fast-growing field. Learn more about the online pharmacy technician program at Ashworth College. Call 1-800-957-5412 or request free information today!
In our GO AFTER IT blog series, you'll meet fellow students and grads who committed themselves to chasing their dreams and proving it pays to GO AHEAD toward better opportunities -- no matter the obstacles to be overcome.
When Dan Brennanhusen* attained his role as the new director of safety and security for a major school district, his qualifications included nearly two decades of law enforcement and corporate security experience. He had also earned his Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Ashworth College and is a strong believer in the power of education to achieve success.
“I believe higher education is a leveraging tool to seek higher positions,” says Brennanhusen, “and with higher positions you typically are better compensated.”
While Brennanhusen was rewarded with better compensation, he feels that his Ashworth College program provided him with something much more valuable than the promise of higher pay. Even after working as a professional in law enforcement for so many years, he learned new concepts and techniques from the books and lessons in the Master of Criminal Justice Degree Program. He also discovered the practicality of his education, since he is using what he learned every day in his new job.
“I found the program to be contemporary and directly applicable to my profession. The core principles and components of my studies positively impact my career daily,” he says.
The quality of the program was unquestionably relevant to Brennanhusen’s career, but there were other benefits of an Ashworth College education that drew him into attending in the first place.
“Because I had a really busy work and family life, including two kids, I had to find a flexible program. I had been promoted to new assignments and divisions so life was as busy as it could possibly be. Ashworth College offered the accreditation and flexibility I needed to attain my objectives. The cost was also a plus.”
One might ask why a successful criminal justice professional who was already promoted would want to continue their education. According to Brennanhusen, the answer was twofold: career advancement and personal growth. At the time, he was a police sergeant and wanted to become a member of his department’s executive leadership team by working his way up to chief. After being promoted to commander, Brennanhusen realized that he would need a master’s degree to be considered for the next step up. And he knew that a higher-level degree would help him in his role for future promotions.
Says Brennanhusen, “Hiring someone always comes with some risks. I view degrees and higher education as an important piece of the puzzle. Having ‘missing pieces’ may cause a potential employer to find someone who has a more complete puzzle.”
As Brennanhusen completed his educational “puzzle,” he took his time. Aside from his competing priorities of earning a living and caring for a busy family, he says he didn’t want to merely pass assignments – he wanted to get good grades, do well and truly learn. He even paused his studies for a while so he could regroup and refocus.
Congratulations to Brennanhusen on completing his master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and the opportunities it has afforded him. If you’re interested in this field, or other fields of study, we recommend you contact an Admissions Advisor at 1-800-957-5412 who will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have.
* At the request of the student in the interest of job privacy and security, a pseudonym is being used; otherwise, all quotes and information in this blog are actual and verifiable.
What’s your dream career? Working in the booming healthcare field? Criminal justice? Owning your own business?
All too often, people’s dreams get derailed because they think they can’t get the education they need to turn their vision into reality. The Ashworth College graduates in these videos will tell you otherwise. Hear their inspiring stories, and then talk to an admissions advisor today so you can stop dreaming and start pursuing your ideal career!
Wouldn’t you love to star in your own graduation video, dressed in a gown and mortarboard like these students? We would certainly love to see you walk the stage at our live commencement event to receive the certificate, diploma, or degree you earned at Ashworth College.
Learn more about the many flexible, afforedable programs available to help you start turning your dream career into a reality: Talk to an admissions advisor today!