Frugal College Grad Wins Best Student Money Tips Twitter Contest

From work-study to dorm decor, the winners of's Tweet Us Your Best Money Saving Tips and Win a Laptop! contest have all the money-saving angles covered. congratulates University of Missouri - Columbia grad Tamra Hines, the winner of our Tweet Us Your Best Money Saving Tips and Win a Laptop! contest!

We recently caught up with Tamra to discuss how she came up with her winning money-saving tip and about her plans to go back to school. We also spoke to runners-up Pat and Dina to get the inside story on their tips.

Get Money and Experience

Twitter Contest Winner Tamra Hines

A self-professed frugal girl, Tamra heard about our Twitter contest when many of the people she follows began tweeting their best advice, so she decided to also share some of the tips and tricks that got her through school. At a time when getting real work experience in college, often in the form of unpaid internships, might end up putting students further in the red, her winning advice reminds us to take advantage of opportunities during the school year itself: 'college work-study is a great way to save money during school. You get great real-world experience AND a paycheck!'

Tamra took her own advice as an undergrad, working at a file clerk's office during her first two years of college. She says, 'it was the perfect job because I was able to go in there in-between classes or after school every now and then, and just work a couple of hours.' In addition to the flexibility most work-study employers give students, these jobs offer 'real world experience in an office setting' and, unlike so many internships nowadays, students 'get a paycheck too.'

Finding the contest on Twitter had Tamra exploring's site as well, and picking back up on her own grad school search. 'I have actually been considering going back to school to get my master's degree in either marketing or communications.' She told us that the website turned out to be quite a time-saver during her research, since 'it is a lot easier to type in what you are looking for on ( than it is to go to all the school websites individually and get all the information that way. It just seems like a big time saver to go to you guys first.'

$140 for 140

Because we knew that there'd be lots of good advice from current and ex-students, we also picked two runners-up to win $140 for their 140 characters of wisdom. also got an inside look at where their advice came from during recent conversations with runners-up Pat Omandam and Dina Lindquist.

Leave the Car at Home

Twitter Contest Runner-up Pat Omandam

Pat's piece of advice hits on a sometimes underestimated source of student expense: transportation costs. When a recent Facebook post asked students about what they spend their money on, we were somewhat surprised that, next to books, transportation was the most popular response. To reduce this expense, Pat advises: 'use (alternative) ways to get around campus. Bike, shuttle, walk, skate, bus - anything to save money on parking fees and gas.'

An editor by trade, Pat hasn't lost touch with the struggles students face in order to obtain an education. 'The average college tuition just keeps going higher and higher. When (students) are in high school, if they are looking at (tuition prices), they already feel priced out of the market. So there are ways that they can save money or at least try to cut down the cost of the education.'

It's All about Reuse

Twitter Contest Runner-up Dina Lindquist

Not all students can take furniture from home when they go to school, and the costs of furnishing a dorm room or apartment can add up quickly. But that doesn't mean that using milk crates as furniture is the only way to save money when decorating your student pad. Runner-up advice writer Dina Lindquist recommends using 'the Freecycle Network to furnish dorms/ apartments. It's all about reuse!' Started in 2003 to save perfectly good furniture and household items from being thrown away, this non-profit now boasts close to 5,000 local groups exchanging info on available items. Dina mentioned that she signed up for her area's email list and routinely learns about 'tables, bed frames - so many things you can get for free. And many people don't know about it so…'

Have other ideas about how students can save money? Want to see all the tips we got? Tweet us @Studydotcom.

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