Mellody's Math: Everyday Money-Saving Secrets

Old is definitely new again. Shopping at vintage and resale stores is not only a great way to save money, but a hip way as well. When it comes to your next cup of gourmet coffee, consider brewing a cup at home instead of picking it up on the way to the office.

Drinking bottled water is another very expensive habit. The average price of bottled water is $.90 per gallon. An average consumer drinks about 40 gallons of water every 2 months at a cost of $216 per year. If drinking tap water is not an option in your area, try choosing a filtering system like Brita, which would cut the cost of water to about 20 to 25 cents per gallon, and save you more than $160 a year.

Raise an Honor Student

Almost every college awards discounts to students based on their scholastic performance. In fact, about 76 percent of first-year students got some form of discount this year at 331 private schools, winning an average award of $7,000. According to the National Center for Education Statistics there are 750,000 scholarships earmarked for qualified students, totaling more than $1.2 billion.

After making the grades or excelling in something outside of the classroom, the second hardest part of securing a scholarship is finding out about it.

The Internet is an excellent resource for parents and students to find out about scholarship opportunities for students of all abilities. Web sites like and connect students to financial aid opportunities at no charge. A prospective college student simply inputs basic information and then is notified if there are any scholarships that match their profile. The scholarships are out there — it just takes a little work for students to find them. In fact, a typical high school student should be eligible to apply for 30 to 40 different scholarships.

Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Capital Management in Chicago, is GoodMorning America's personal finance expert. Click here to visit her Web site, Ariel Mutual Ariel associate Matthew Yale contributed to this report.

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