Koodo Mobile

Koodo Mobile

August 18, 2009 08:30 ET

Koodo Mobile and W Network's The Smart Cookies Bake a Simple Lesson Plan to Teach Financial Fundamentals to Freshmen

Koodonomics 101 teaches youth easy ways to stay solvent at school

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 18, 2009) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this Press Release.

Since March, Koodo Mobile has been teaching Canadians the language of savings by asking them to say no to 'bigbillification' and encouraging them to get a 'fee-ectomy'. As part of their ongoing commitment to keep cash in the hands of hardworking Canadian youth, they're now working with W Network's The Smart Cookies to serve post-secondary students oven-fresh tips for financial solvency with Koodonomics 101.

"The recession has generated a lot of talk about money, but we found little in the way of proactive financial advice that's relevant to our target demographic," says Kevin Banderk, Chief Koodo Officer. "Many are students or just starting out and need to learn the basics of managing their money. Our marketing focuses on teaching Canada the language of savings - working with The Smart Cookies to teach the nation's youth financial literacy is a natural next step for us," adds Banderk.

Back-to-School Spending Squeezes Canadians

"We've travelled across the country and Canadians tell us there are two times during the year when money becomes a big worry - the holiday season and back-to-school," says Smart Cookie Angela Self. "The transition between high-school and post-secondary life is one that each of The Smart Cookies struggled with. We see this as the perfect time to get real and share some helpful money moves that we wish someone had shared with us," she says.

"I remember my own phone bill increasing every September as I called friends who'd moved across the country for school. It's great to work with a company like Koodo that recognizes the communication needs of young people at school and offers solutions like optional add-ons for Canadian or North American long-distance and unlimited text," adds Self.

Cookies to Crisscross Canada with Money-Saving Message

Koodonomics 101 with The Smart Cookies is visiting cities across Canada to teach tips for stretching your savings throughout the semester, including their Koodo-rific Krib Sheet for Save-tastic Spending at School:

1. Start a Syllabus for Spending

One of the biggest mistakes young people make is spending money without any pre-planning. You map out your classes for the year; you map out your summer road trip to Spring Break. To successfully arrive at the end, you've got to have a plan to get there from the beginning. Figure out how much money you have, what's necessary, what's a luxury, and then budget (on paper!) how much you need to stay afloat over the year.

When it comes to phone services, one way to avoid sinking your budget is by choosing a provider like Koodo Mobile that offers unlimited add-ons for features you may use a lot, like text and long-distance (important when your friends and family are across the country).

2. Swap Your Old Stuff for New Swag

Odds are if you don't want something, somebody else at your school will. From purses and shoes to textbooks and hockey equipment, you can easily turn that old clutter in your closet into cash or trade it for something else you need. Auction sites and classified ads are great, but don't restrict yourself to online outlets - posting signs around campus or hosting a swap soiree can achieve the same goal and you'll have a lot more fun. An added bonus is by reducing waste, you're also helping the environment!

3. Academic Life is An Active Life

Classes, student clubs, travelling to and from campus - the academic life is a very active life. Mobile phones aren't just a great way to stay in touch on the move; they're an important tool for ensuring your safety and security: late nights at the library cramming for the chemistry final, winter road trips home for the holidays - a mobile phone can be your lifeline! As an added bonus, a mobile phone can be your lifeline to great credit. Applying for wireless service is the first time many young people receive credit. Paying the bill punctually can be the first step towards a sound credit score, increasing the likelihood of getting mortgages and car loans later in life.

And you can ensure your monthly wireless charges are manageable and not 'bigbillified' by choosing a provider like Koodo. You pay no System Access Fee, get per second billing and with add-ons like Five Essentials, you can have unlimited nationwide talk and text to the top five numbers you call. So you can keep in touch with your crew in Kelowna while you pursue higher-education in Edmonton.

4. Get Carded

Under normal circumstances, being asked for ID can be a bit of a buzz kill. But if you're in school, there are two magic words you need to add to your vocabulary - student discount. Whether you're having dinner, going out to a movie, buying a computer or travelling, flashing your student card can often save 15 per cent. And don't be afraid to ask - even places with unadvertised discounts or no formal policy will typically give a student a break.

5. Advanced Credit Isn't Just for Courses

Post-secondary school is typically the first exposure many students have to credit - charge cards, utilities (like phone and internet), etc. Educate yourself about consumer credit, including credit scores, interest rates and payment periods. You're in a very transitional period, establishing good (or bad) habits that you'll likely carry with you for years to come. Paying your credit card, internet and wireless bills on time is a good way to ensure freshman year doesn't flunk-out your credit for life. Setting up email notifications and automatic bill payments are a great way to ensure your payments aren't tardy, but perhaps the most important rule is pay cash if you can.

6. Kick-it Old School and Share

In primary school, they taught you to share. As a teen, your behaviour was a little more selfish - or at least that's what your parents said. It's time to take it back to the playground and share. If you're driving home over the holidays, offer others a ride in exchange for a portion of the gas money. Sharing things like DVDs, textbooks for half-year classes and XBox games can be equally elementary when it comes to keeping your coin. And if you're on Facebook, sometimes all it takes to borrow what you need is a note in your status.

7. "Used" is not a Four-Letter Word

For those of you destined for business school, your marketing professors will tell you the allure of what's 'new' is one of the reasons consumers spend themselves into insolvency. Your microeconomics professors will tell you that the use you get out of an object justifies the money you spend on it - that is, a book's value is in being read; a car's value is in being driven. Listen to your learned academics. A used car can still take empties back to the store and a used textbook will still give you a headache before your psychology midterm - you'll just spend less.

8. Bling from Being Green

Leonardo DeCaprio, Brad Pitt, Jay-Z and even Miley Cyrus are actively involved in environmental causes. It's clearly cool to be kind to the planet. However, the Earth's forests aren't the only green you'll save by being environmentally responsible. According to CAA, a 2005 Toyota Echo has an annual ownership cost of about $6,209.77, excluding the cost of parking. Walking or biking to campus is free and a transit pass costs about $100/month in most Canadian cities. Other ways you can save cash while saving the planet include:

- Wearing more layers in that drafty student house instead of turning up the thermostat;

- Using compact fluorescent light bulbs whenever possible;

- Taking timed showers - hot water heating uses one-third of the energy in a home. A shower schedule also prevents the battle for the bathroom with housemates.

9. Picture Your Purchases, then Spend the Scratch

Have your eye on a new computer? Thinking about a reading week holiday to the Bahamas? Want to graduate without a government loan? It's easier to save money for a purchase when you're constantly reminded about it. Download photos of what you're saving for and put them on your cell phone, day planner or on your computer's desktop. This technique will also help you avoid 'impulse buys' that typically get charged to a credit card - you'll save the money and have lots of time to contemplate if you REALLY want it.

10. Spend the Evening In

A glamorous night on the town seems like a perfect way to spend time with a special someone or blow off some steam after an exam. But the next morning, all you'll be left with is a headache from the house music and a back pocket full of bar change that used to be a back pocket full of bills. Staying in is an economical, yet equally fun alternative to going out (think high school house party). It won't solve the headache, but at least you'll know the pain in the brain isn't stress because you're concerned about making rent.

Consumers can also visit Koodomobile.com for links to The Smart Cookies Koodo-rific Krib Sheet for Save-tastic Spending at School.

About The Smart Cookies

Canada's darlings of debt destruction, The Smart Cookies' story began a few years ago when five young women found their personal finances scored a failing grade. As a group, they developed simple, but proven methods for effective money management that got them out of nearly $50,000 of debt in just one year. Their success story caught the media's attention, including the reigning small-screen sage of self-help, Oprah Winfrey. The Smart Cookies have gone on to host their own television series on the W Network, author their own bestselling book and speak across the nation about how to save more and spend less.

About Koodo

Launched in March 2008, Koodo Mobile is Canada's simple, affordable and flexible mobile alternative for those who just want to talk and text. Koodo Mobile offers a transparent approach to cellular service with per-second billing and no fixed-term contracts or activation fee. Service plans are pre-packaged or build-your-own. Customers have the option to purchase a phone or take advantage of the revolutionary Koodo Tab. Up to $150 of the phone cost can be put on the Koodo Tab and Koodo Mobile contributes 10 per cent of the customer's monthly bill towards paying the Tab. When it's cleared, they accumulate points toward a new Tab for future phone purchases. Visit koodomobile.com for information and retailers.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20090817-TheSmartCookiesLG.jpg.

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