Don’t Forget Your Student Discount!

24 Aug

Student discounts are awesome. It’s the best surprise when you flash a cashier your student ID and automatically save money. There are so many opportunities to save just a bit when you buy that you’ve probably never even realized it. Certain companies even cater towards students by giving them special deals.

First, let’s start off with the two most important student discounts: NO TAX IN THE UNION and RIDING CITY BUS FOR FREE! Every time you dine in the Union (or buy a Starbucks treat) and show your student ID, you don’t have to pay taxes! Also, City Bus will take you anywhere on their routes for free with your student ID. Here are a few more vendors that offer deals just for students:

Amazon: Joining Amazon Student gets you free two-day shipping for six months and exclusive email offers. The only drawback is after the six months, you will be automatically upgraded to Amazon Prime. BUT, you will receive it at the discounted student price of $39/year instead of $79/year it is now and the reduced price can be used for up to 4 years. And with the Amazon store location in Krach, students can get free shipping directly to the campus store!UAXILBRNUL.jpg

AT&T: Purdue students and employees can get 20% off standard voice and data plans! This includes the latest iPhone 4, other smart phones, regular cell phones, and Laptop Connect. Already have AT&T? You’re still eligible too! They’ll attach the discount to your existing plan and it can even extend to your family plan if you’re the primary user on the FamilyTalk account. Go here for more details.

Apple: If you buy a Mac or an iPad from the Apple Online Store for Education or the Apple store you’ll receive a $100 gift card for apps for a Mac and $50 gift card for apps for an iPad. Click here for more details on their current deal.

Apple logo

Can’t afford to buy a Mac or iPad now but need a new one for the school year? You’re in luck! Apple offers a monthly payment plan for students, click here!

Need to go grocery shopping? Sam’s Club has a discounted student membership. It’s $40 to start up a membership AND they give you a $15 Sam’s Club gift card! If you love buying in bulk, this is the deal for you. Also, certain Krogersupermarkets (known in the Lafayette area as ‘Payless’) offer 5% off your purchase.

What about insurance?

Worried about staying healthy through the long Indiana winter? If you don’t have health insurance, or are worried about your health insurance not working all the way out here in Indiana, you’re in luck! Purdue offers its own health insurance plan for students! You can go here to view the details on what insurance plan works best for you. If that doesn’t sound like the right plan for you, you can also go here and enter in your information.  The website will come up with cheapest rates that are only for students! I entered in my information, and my plans started at $68.50/month. While all the prices you see for health insurance seem steep, you have to remember that paying ahead of time will help you later in life when it is needed the most. It’s important to support good health in college, and having that reassurance of a health insurance is nice to have if you do get sick.

Another avenue student can receive discounts on is car insurance.  Most insurers have discount policies in place for students who receive good grades, if you are a student that only drives the parent’s car while on break, and if you drive a small amount of miles with your own car.  The best way to find more information about student discount policies is to contact your insurer.

Don’t feel like cooking? Here’s a list of restaurants that offer student discounts:

pizza

Burger King: 10% off – ask your local restaurant if they take part

McDonalds: 10% off – ask your local restaurant if they take part.

Dairy Queen: 10% off

Domino’s Pizza: Different discounts depending on your college location

Papa Johns: Different discounts depending on your college location

Pizza Hut: 10-20% off depending on location

Qdoba: $5 student burrito meals

Subway: 10% off

I found all of these here: In addition to the list above, below is a helpful list for if you find yourself needing to go on a shopping spree with all the money you’re saving:

Ann Taylor LOFT: 15% off

Ann Taylor: 20% off

shopping bags

Banana Republic: 15% off

Charlotte Russe: 10% off

Club Monaco: 20% off regular priced items

J. Crew: 15% off

The Limited: 15% off

Ralph Lauren Rugby: 15% off

Urban Outfitters: 10% off on select dates

Top Shop: 10% off

The best tip I found during my search for student discounts? Flash your student ID EVERYWHERE! You never know who will offer a student discount, and it can’t hurt to ask! You’d be surprised how many off-the-wall places you’ll end up saving money at.

Still want to save more? Here’s some websites that are solely dedicated to finding the best discounts for college students:

http://www.studentadvantage.com/content/?id=762

http://www.thesimpledollar.com/60-awesome-student-discounts-on-clothes-tech-travel-and-more

http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/100-stores-that-give-a-student-discount/

 

Happy First Day of Classes New & Returning Boilermakers!

22 Aug 212

BellTower_CentenialMall6546.jpg

“HAIL PURDUE”*

To your call once more we rally, Alma Mater, hear our praise; Where the Wabash spreads its valley, Filled with joy our voices raise. From the skies in swelling echoes Come the cheers that tell the tale Of your vic’tries and your heroes, Hail Purdue! We sing all hail!

Hail, Hail to Old Purdue! All hail to our old gold and black! Hail, Hail to Old Purdue! Our friendship may she never lack, Ever grateful, ever true, Thus we raise our song anew, Of the days we’ve spent with you All hail our own Purdue.

When in after years we’re turning, Alma Mater, back to you, May our hearts with love be yearning, For the scenes of old Purdue.

Back among your pathways winding, Let us seek what lies before, Fondest hopes and aim e’er finding, While we sing of days of yore.

*The Purdue fight song copyrighted in 1913. Music by E.J. Wotowa, class of 1912; lyrics by J. Morrison, class of 1915.

The Purdue Area Bus System

19 Aug

http://www.purdue.edu/mymoney

Lafayette CitBus

Don’t want to bother with biking? Is it too far orjust too cold to walk? Say hello to the City Bus, the Greater Lafayette area bus system. This bus system is free for all Purdue students. All you need is your Purdue ID and you’re off and running.

The buses have different colored names with a sign at the top of the bus and a colored route on the bus map matching the name to help you determine if that’s the bus you want. Even though you’ll mainly just use the campus and regular loops in West Lafayette, this is not the limit of your map! You can take the bus to Lafayette as well. And if you’re out late at night, there’s no need to fear, there are actually two campus loops that run really late at night so you can take the bus home (or back to your car) when it gets dark.

students catching the bus

Catching the bus is easy. Just figure out which stop you need to get you where you want to go, stand at the sign, and when you see your bus approaching stick out your arm so the driver sees you. The bus will stop for you and you can be on your way!

We all have those days where we are running a bit late, but that is alright! There are several ways to see when your bus is coming and when to be at the stop:

Text: There is a bus stop ID on the signs. You just need to text RT4 followed by the bus stop ID and Route to 41411. They will send you the next three departure times via text.

Double Map: Like the Marauder’s Map in Harry Potter, double map lets you see a bus’s location in real time. You can use this through the CityBus website or download the Double Map app on your smartphone.

MyRide: This smartphone friendly search allows you to enter in the bus stop number or street names to access information on your bus’s arrival time.

There are some stops where pulling the ‘stop’ wire just isn’t needed. So you don’t have to hear that annoying ring, the Ross-Ade bus always stops at the top of the hill for the parking lot. The Silver Loop bus almost always stops at Class of 1950. It’s like magic! All buses will stop at the transfer station across the bridge in Lafayette too.

So the next time you’re in for an adventure, try out City Bus. It’s much easier to use than you’d think!

Work Study Positions vs. Non-Work Study Positions

18 Aug

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What is Work Study and How Do I Get It?

I’m sure at some point in your search for a job on campus you’ve stumbled across jobs that require ‘Federal Work Study’ but you’ve probably also seen plenty of jobs that don’t require it. In order to have a Federal Work Study (FWS) job, you have to have FWS eligibility in your financial aid awards. Being awarded FWS does require that you file a FAFSA and have a low Expected Family Contribution. Therefore, not everyone is eligible for FWS.

Don’t have FWS eligibility? That’s okay! Jobs that don’t require FWS are open for any student to apply for (as long as you meet their job criteria, of course). There are plenty of options for employment on campus for students!

So, what’s the difference?

The biggest difference really comes down to how you’re getting paid. If you’re working a regular job, then your employer is paying 100% of your paycheck. If you’re working a FWS job, you’re typically at a federal, state, local, or non-profit organization and your employer is paying about 30% of your paycheck (or 0% if you’re a reading/math tutor at an elementary school!), and the FWS program funding is paying the rest of your paycheck. It’s a huge benefit for non-profit employers because since they’re only paying a portion of their students’ paychecks, they can hire a more students.

But, how does having a FWS job affect ME?

Students who work FWS jobs report the income they made from FWS job, just like any other job, on the FAFSA but there is a second question that asks, “How much of the money you earned was from a Federal Need Based Program?” Reporting your FWS earnings on this question deducts it from your wages so it doesn’t count towards your Expected Family Contribution!

If you’re curious about whether or not you are eligible for Federal Work Study, you can log in and check your financial aid eligibility on your myPurdue account.

How to Save Money on your Textbooks

15 Aug

The cost of college today is all over the news. From every media outlet you can read, watch, or listen to, a professional talk about how student loan debt is at an all-time high and tuition and fees are rising. While this all may be true, talking about the issues over and over does not help any student attending college.

Per CollegeBoard.org,students can expect to pay almost $1300 per year for textbooks, and that number continues to rise year after year.Outlined below are some simple tips below to help you cut your overall college costs by spending less on your textbooks.

Rent if possible.

For the average college course, renting books is cheaper and less of a hassle for buying your textbooks. Everyone knows that buying a used book is cheaper than buying a new book, but when you go to sell your book back your “buy-back price” is much less than the buy price and in many cases the book store will not even purchase the book back. Plus, you may have to wait in long lines with unpredictable end-of-semester-weather for little recovery of your first investment. When you rent a book you pay a flat fee and return it by the end of your semester. If you use an online source like cheapbooks.com or www.chegg.com you can FedEx your textbook back to them within a reasonable time period after your semester ends. Local bookstores may also have an option to rent.

Look for an older edition of your textbook.

Calculus has not changed in 2000 years, but the story problems have. It’s not a bad idea to check with your professor to see if you can buy an older edition. I took a tax class where the new book was $300 and I refused to pay that price for one textbook. I bought an edition that was three years older for $0.62 on Amazon and received the updated tax codes (which were the only difference between the two textbooks) from my professor.

open notebook and coffee mug; text overlay: how to save money on college textbooks

Look for the e-book.

An e-version could be an option offered by the publisher of your textbook. The online version sells for a fraction of the price of a new or used book. The only downside of purchasing the e-book version is sometimes there is a limited time frame you can use the textbook. If you want to keep the book for referring to after the class is over, this may not be the route for you. In addition, reading off of a computer or tablet screen doesn’t always feel the same as the paper version.

GOOGLE it.

It’s not just a phrase but a way of life for most college students. What will surprise you is how many titles are available on Google books.

Check Craigslist.

Besides garage sales, housing, and boats, you can find used books for sale from students who have taken your class. They want to find a way to get a few dollars back themselves on their old books.

Borrow the book from a friend who has previously taken the class. 

Maybe they weren’t able to sell the book back at the end of the year and you can help take that burden off their hands!

Share a book with a classmate and split the costs.

In this scenario I would still recommend buying a cheaper book and splitting the cost for even higher savings.

Check it out of the library.

Your campus library should have the textbook required by your class. You may not be able to leave the library with the book, but you could at least get some free studying done. Well, until the library closes that is.

Speak with your professor.

A lot of time the department requires a textbook to be purchased but the professor barely uses the material or provides the material needed in class. Try sending your professor or department head an email asking about the course materials. Plus, it never hurts to get to know your instructors better!

Let us know any suggestions you have to keep textbook prices low in the comments! 

Decorating Your Dorm at Purdue

11 Aug

 

Moving to college is a big adjustment! Out on your own, on your own schedule, it’s a massive change, and one often accompanied by homesickness. Decorating your dorm room is a great way to get that “home away from home” feeling and help reduce your home town blues. You can achieve decorating greatness without breaking the bank! Here are some tips on decorating your room.

Talk to your roommate(s):dorm room decor windsor_tall_loft_dimensions.jpg

Who’s bringing what? Do you really need two microwaves, and two fridges, and two futons? Deciding who brings what can really help save on costs and space.

Knick-knacks:

Honestly, dorm rooms are not suite-sized. There is only a finite amount of space within your room or within your space if you are sharing a room. Finding items that double as storage and decoration are often a good bet. For example, decorative jars to store small things on your desk or dresser top.  Not only are you saving money by not buying two separate items, but you also don’t need to buy/rent storage space for any extras.

Remember to pack light! You won’t be able to fit everything you own into a room that you’re sharing with someone else, so be efficient and courteous to your roommates.

Added advice: Command Strips are a life saver! Seriously, these things can be used for anything. Add a hook to one for a towel rack, or a necklace hanger. You can also hang wall art without damaging the walls. You would be amazed at all of the things that can be engineered with these things.

Furniture pieces:

Each residence hall comes with a bed, a desk, and a dresser. Do you need a futon and two chairs?  Probably not. Decide early with your roommate who’s bringing what and you can save space, confusion, time, and money. As a personal preference, one futon is awesome instead of two chairs. It’s a space saver and great to nap in, can you say the same about two chairs?

Flooring:

Believe it or nPhoto by:  Debbie Saenzot, all dorm floors at Purdue are tile. In the summer that’s fine, but it can get a little chilly in the winter, not to mention that it’s much easier to see and feel how dirty it is without carpeting.

While you can purchase a rug from any superstore, one of the best things I did for my dorm room was taking a trip to a carpet store. Left over pieces of carpet rolls are often discounted and buying the “scrap” is a cheap way to get a lot of floor covering and keep your feet warm! When I lived in Windsor, I got padded carpet that was left over from a carpet roll really cheap and it covered my floor completely. It’s definitely something to think about when pricing rugs.

Still lacking decoration inspiration? Check out some of these boards on Pinterest for some ‘pinspiration’ for your dorm this fall: this college’s dorm décor & DIY board, this girl’s dorm DIY board, and this blogger’s dorm décor board. Be sure to share any of your finds or advice below for other readers!

10 Steps to Financial Success

9 Aug 10 financial tips lscape

  1. Assess your station in life

    Taking an honest look at your wants and needs can help you prioritize what is most important to you right now. Do you feel good about your current station in life? Are you headed in the right direction?

  2. Plan for life changes

    Almost without exception, your needs are going to be different in five years than they are now. Whether you will be graduating, getting married, having children, or switching careers, there will be changes to account for. The best thing you can do is to be prepared for them.

  3. Invest in yourself10 financial tips portrait.jpg

    The one person you have to live with your entire life is you. Taking care of yourself mentally, financially, and physically on a consistent basis will reap lifelong benefits. In addition, challenge yourself to improve and try new things because a good investment should focus on growth, not staying the same.

  4. Write down your goals

    Having goals gives you something to work toward. Writing these goals down makes your plans concrete and more likely to materialize.

  5. Keep adequate records

    In addition to keeping track of tax and other documents for an appropriate length of time, you also want to keep records of your spending habits. You might feel like you’re spending too much on something, like eating out, but being able to track your spending will help you find out for sure.

  6. Pay yourself first

    Saving money can be simple or nearly impossible. If you take money from your paycheck and immediately deposit it into a savings account, it’s easy (completely effortless if via direct deposit). If you try to scrape together what’s left at the end of a pay period and deposit it to savings, or keep it sitting in your checking account, it’s almost impossible. Be sure your bills are paid, but consider setting aside a certain amount for savings each pay period.

  7. Cut expenses

    Even the most frugal among us have places where we can afford to cut costs in some capacity. For the average person, things like reducing bills, food costs, or under-used entertainment and gym memberships can make a significant financial impact in the short term.

  8. Spend much less than you earn

    Spending just a little less than you earn is a good way to perpetually live paycheck to paycheck. However, if you can reshape your

  9. Pay down your debt

    Debt can be an enormous stressor and it doesn’t get better by itself. Every dollar that you can pay back ahead of time is a dollar that doesn’t collect interest. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.

  10. Create a budget and stick to it

    After you’ve gone through the first nine steps, this one is easy. Once you have an honest assessment of where you are and where you’re hoping to go, you can begin creating your budget. Design your budget so that you can pay for your needs, as well as the wants you have prioritized. The key is following through on your budget! Remember that the budget is simply a spending plan of where you want your funds to go. If you fail to follow through, you will hurt yourself, both now and in the future.

Need a part-time job during the school year?

3 Aug

www.purdue.edu/mymoney

Purdue student at work

Are you worried you won’t have enough money to have fun while you’re on campus this fall? If your parents have finally gotten sick of you asking them for money, you might consider getting a part-time job on campus. I know, I know, being a student is a full-time job, but how else are you supposed to keep up with the latest trends and enjoy a cup of Starbucks every few days? Especially without racking up more debt than you may already have from student loans? Earning a little extra cash during the school year not only helps you financially, but as reported by Student Employment Services at Purdue University, working 8-12 hours per week may actually help in academic performance and student retention.  Probably because working students learn better time management skills.

Now that you’ve decided (or have been bullied into by your parents) to get a part-time job during the school year, START EARLY! This will give you an edge on everyone else searching for part-time jobs near campus.  If you want to work on-campus you have a variety of options, or if you’re willing to go off-campus, you will have even more options! To start your search for on-campus employment I would recommend you start here:

Start here for specific student employment options. Purdue University’s Student Employment website is a comprehensive job posting website with on and off campus opportunities.  This site is especially helpful if you need to search specifically for a work-study position.

Are you looking for other employment opportunities on campus?  Check out the different employment websites listed below.

Other options for employment near campus include the bookstores (either Follett’s or University Bookstore.) Also, there are plenty of restaurants and stores around campus that hire students. Just walking down the Chauncey Hill or the Levee opens more options for employment. There are plenty of restaurants there and a few shops that hire students. Make sure you get there early though; they often have to wait and see if their regular employees will be returning in the fall, so it’s good to get your name and face in their brains. There are enough employers hiring at any given time, that if you want a job you should be able to find one!

Can’t find anything there? If you are looking through alternative resources to search for jobs online BE CAREFUL!  Some online job postings sites may not screen their job postings and it could lead to a scam.  You can research the company’s track record and see if any complaints have been made through the Better Business Bureau. A safer option would be visiting a particular company’s website to see if they are hiring, or you could even call or stop by and ask for an application. Both West Lafayette and Lafayette have companies that hire part-time workers, and most of them are often hiring. If your job search isn’t going as well as you would like, don’t give up! Maybe you could work at Starbucks instead of that little coffee shop on Chauncey. If you have a close friend who works somewhere, ask if they can get you an “in” and have them tell their boss how great you are.

Good luck in your search!

Be sure to leave any job openings nearby or job searching tips in the comments! 

Making Your Schedule: Advice to Students from Students

27 Jul

Recent Purdue Graduate Words of wisdom to the class of 2020
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

I’ll be honest. When you think of that girl in class who has her entire week planned out, even down to what meal she is going to cook on what night, that’s me.

My favorite two days every semester occur during syllabus week, a time when I can write every assignment from every professor for the entire semester. For all new Boilermakers, syllabus week happens the first week of classes every semester and you review the syllabus in class … for most classes. Take advance of this time while you are reviewing the semester’s assignments and due dates by completing your planner.

I love planning and I love schedules. I like to think of my planning addiction as a type of goal setting exercise. I write what I want to accomplish every week, and it’s not complete until I actually mark the line through it. That’s actually another one of my greatest joys—crossing off tasks that I want to do after they are finished. I honestly believe that without weekly goals, I would never get anything accomplished.

cartoon calendarWriting things down is a motivation for me because I hate seeing things in my planner that I didn’t get to cross off. The feeling is comparable to my grandparents saying they are disappointed in me; it’s that serious! This technique can also be used for long-term goals too, which is basically a glorified way of me saying I want to plan my work outs so I can get my high school body back by the end of summer.

It’s still the same concept, though. I plan out what I want to do, week by week, to get to my end result. It worked well for me during college, so I am more than optimistic that it will also work after college.

The things I’ve mentioned for goal-setting are fairly juvenile. I mean, it’s not like I am setting goals for my ten-year plan or anything, even though now that I think about it, I probably should start that soon.

The key aspects of goal setting I have learned through college and personal life are to be realistic with yourself. Don’t tell anyone how much you love to plan things. Make sure your goals are attainable

Cartoon Family Portrait

for you, or else you will get discouraged. It doesn’t make sense to say you are going to work out for three hours after you get home from work and then cook a five course meal. That doesn’t even sound enjoyable! And I’m really stressing here, keep your planning addiction to yourself because people love to mess with you. They will start inviting you to things, like the bars when they know you have an exam tomorrow morning, just because they know that it will torment you and ruin your chances of getting your goals accomplished for the day. Just do what I do, think to yourself: “what would my grandparents want me to do”… and you will usually make the right decision.

Which Jobs Should You Be Applying For?

15 Jul featured image

Searching for your first job out of college can be a daunting task. While it may seem like graduation is forever away, it’s actually right around the corner. Not only do you have to learn how to apply for your first real job, you have to figure out which jobs you even want to apply for. Between tweaking your resume and creating cover letters, you’ll quickly realize you can’t apply for every opening. With your limited time, you have to choose which jobs to apply for and what jobs end up being passed over. So here are five tips on figuring out which jobs you should be applying for.first job search post college advice.jpg

#1. Pick your priority

Figure out what your priority is when job searching. Many people won’t even consider job searching outside of the area in which they live, while others are looking for an escape. There are a lot of factors that go into figuring out which job you’ll want, and if you know what your #1 priority is, deciding whether or not to apply for a job makes it that much easier. Here are some different factors to help you find your priority:

  • Location – Many people are tied to one area due to family or their significant others. To them, relocating isn’t an option. Others would like nothing more than a change of scenery; therefore, relocating isn’t a problem.
  • Pay/ Salary – We all need money, but for some people the desire for high pay trumps all other potential priorities.
  • Opportunity for Advancement – Especially if it’s your first job, potential advancement opportunities can make a big difference, as you don’t have to switch employers for upward mobility.
  • Specific Job Field – This may seem like a given for your search, but if you found a job outside of your field that meet all your other requirements, would the field matter?
  • Benefits Package – Typically not the #1 priority, but flexibility, vacation time, healthcare, dental, daycare, or even student loan repayment vary greatly from one employer to the next.
  • Making a Difference – Not all jobs pay well monetarily, but instead rely more on the feeling of making a positive difference in the world.
  • Employer Size – Working at a major company has a lot of exciting benefits to some people. Or maybe you’d feel more comfortable in a smaller, more intimate type of setting?
  • Job Security – Getting that first job is no good if you are laid off right away. If this is your priority, you may be willing to compromise for a job with decent security.

#2 Remember, it’s your first job, not your dream job

If your first job happens to end up being your dream job, congratulations! For the rest of us who make an average of seven career changes in our working lives, the key to a successful first job is using it as a launching pad. Look for jobs that have advancement opportunities or marketable skills to help you propel yourself throughout your career.

You don’t want to end up in a job you hate, but it’s important to remember that this job can be a valuable experience to help land you your dream job down the road. This is especially true if you are leaving college without a lot of experience in your field.

Keep in mind that the salary will be entry-level, as well. Don’t be surprised if you’re not offered the median salary in your industry since you don’t have much, if any, field experience. If you do well, you can earn your advancement in pay or position by moving up within the company or with another employer.

#3 Know yourself

Before you accept a job, be sure that it’s a job you want and not one that parents, counselors, or friends want for you. Hopefully you have had enough life experience to know not only what your priorities are, but what equates to a deal-breaker for you. Does a typical 9-5 sound ideal or does working varied hours sound more appealing? Do you prefer to travel for work or would you prefer to be in the same location every day? Be sure it’s what you actually want or you could be back to job searching again before you know it. This job needs to fit your current lifestyle, not only the “what-if” scenarios you’ve considered for your future.

#4 It takes time (and it might be your job for a while)

Unemployment is not much fun after the first couple weeks, as concerns about being able to pay your bills—and eventually student loans—become reality. It takes time to fill out applications and tweak your resume for each job. Remember that until you find your full-time job, your job is to job search. It is exhausting applying for various jobs for eight hours a day, but it’s better than not being able to make your ends meet.

#5 Utilize your network

If you’re still in school, you’re going to want to take advantage of all those free lunches and other events put on to meet your professors and other staff. Not only do these people have connections outside of your college, they can also be great resources for the future. Talk to them and find out how they got their foot in the door! Don’t be shy about asking for an informational interview from these people. Many have a vested interest in seeing you succeed and will go out of their way to help you. Just be sure to make a good impression while you still can!

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