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Leveraging Financial Resources to Your Best Advantage

Posted by Randi Boelkes, Financial Aid Coordinator on May 2, 2017 10:49:00 AM

My Love of Shoes

RandiBoelkes.jpgI love shoes - and am always looking for the next, flashy pair. I am a shoe subscriber, meaning I have a monthly shoe subscription to ShoeDazzle.com. I can’t say that I have actually used it for its main purpose, but I get really great deals off and on throughout the year that are amazing. Just recently I bought a brand new pair of shoes for $12!  I have a daily shoe calendar, and if you have been in my office in Financial Aid, you might have seen a shoe or two on my wall.

Keds.jpgThis isn’t a recent obsession, I’ve always been this way. I remember having a pair of pink and purple Keds in elementary school and being obsessed with a white pair of Reebok high tops—to the point of getting a second pair when the first died.
My shoe quest’s crowning moment was the completion of my walk-in closet. My husband and I have been putting in a lot of time and effort, but minimal funds, to complete our basement to include a master suite, a laundry room, and living space. I am officially a proud owner of a glass shelved, massive walk-in closet!

Closet - Shoes.jpgWhy should you care about my love of shoes?

Simply put, I leverage community resources that result in savings like the following:

  • Search for and use promotional codes online prior to purchasing anything.
  • Take advantage of rebates (Menards 11%) can save hundreds of dollars.
  • On Wednesdays, Von Maur does mark downs in the ‘Shoe Closet’, also known as the clearance room in the shoe department.
  • Pay special attention to the tags in stores (Target, when the price ends with eight cents; $12.38, etc. the price will go lower the next round of discounts). 
  • Garage sailing for home remodeling items as well as other items on the cheap (discovered a new chest freezer for only $25 and a fairly new Keurig for $15)
  • Consider joining Facebook For Sale groups (search for DSM Area Swap if looking to add for this area)
  • Consignment shops because “gently used” can sometimes mean “still with tags” at a fraction of the original, brand new price.

I spend a lot of time at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. The entire closet organizer system is a trophy case my husband and I found at ReStore in 2013, something that could easily retail for thousands of dollars. It wasn’t built to fit any space of ours; instead, we ripped it down to fit the closet and only spent $500 on the whole thing. We’ve gotten all of our flooring and our door knobs ($5 for simple lever-knobs, $7 for locking lever-knobs) at ReStore as well. This store is a fantastic home remodeling resource, but you have to go often. The items are usually a unique find or limited in number, and almost all of the inventory is donated from individual or business remodel excess.

Access Mercy College Financial Aid Resources

These are things you can easily do, too! If you are willing to spend a little more time on a hidden gem, you can spend a little (or a lot!) less money at the register.

Closet Space - Before Closet - Completed
Closet - Before-068139-edited-208445-edited.jpg  Closet - After.jpg


Topics: Saving Money, Financial Aid Expert