Need a part-time job during the school year?

27 Aug

Raysha Duncan, Financial Aid Administrator
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.

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 BBB.  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!

Happy First Day of Classes, Boilermakers!

24 Aug

Boilermaker Special

“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 Muggle Bus System

20 Aug

Hannah Stewart, Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

Lafayette CitBus

Have you misplaced your Nimbus 2000? Still recovering from a battle with a grindylow? …or is it just 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 without your invisibility cloak, there’s no need to fear, there are actually two campus loops that run really late at night (like the Knight Bus for wizards) so you can take the bus home (or back to your car) when it gets dark.

students catching the bus

By: Purdue Student Life

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 wand arm. The bus will stop for you.

Not all of us have a Time Turner and there’s a chance that at some point you’ll be running a little late. 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, 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.

My Bus: This is a little more involved, but it’s a great one to access if you’re in your apartment and don’t have the bus stop number in front of you. Drop-down menus allow you to choose which route you are on and then two additional drop-down menus allow you to choose the direction you’re traveling and which stop you need information for.

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 and don’t have a hippogriff handy, try out City Bus. It’s much easier to use than you’d think!

Learning How to Grocery Shop

17 Aug

Jo Marshall, Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

You have decided to take the leap—the leap from childhood to adulthood. You are going to try to make your own food! …but first you have to buy ingredients. Grocery shopping can be an adventure in and of itself. Just finding the correct items in the grocery store and maintaining your budget can be a challenge.

The first time I decided to buy groceries, I chose to go to Walmart. I didn’t have a car and I knew that the bus route would take me directly to the store and back to campus. Even so, I was terrified that I was somehow going to end up stranded. I boarded the correct bus, but once the bus reached Lafayette, the driver announced that we were changing routes. Purdue’s campus was far off in the distance and I didn’t know what to do. Surely I could find another bus, but what if it also changed routes? I had to think fast. I found another bus that was heading to Walmart and decided to take my chances. Luckily, this bus stayed on route.

It wouldn’t have been that stressful, had I taken the time to look around on http://www.gocitybus.com/ to see which routes could get me there. Go City Bus even has a smartphone app that allows you to see where the bus is at any time. Because I hadn’t prepared myself for the trip, going to the store took longer than normal, and I was hungry upon arrival.

bus floor and seats; text overlay: Grocery Shopping in College

When I reached Walmart, I grabbed a cart and very slowly walked around the store. It’s not that I wanted to be lackadaisical, but rather that I wanted to find the items and I had no idea where they would be. I arrived in the aisle for my first item and was bombarded by the immense array of colorful advertisements and choices. I had never realized how many different kinds of cereal there were! Not only are there lots of different kinds of cereal, there are also lots of different brands of every single kind.

The thing about having a lot of choices available is that you are frequently faced with the choice of buying a cheaper and potentially lesser quality item, or spending more and getting an item that may not be better than the cheaper option. On this particular shopping trip, I made some poor choices when it came to which brand to buy. I spent more money than I had planned and came home with things that I didn’t need because I had been hungry. I also forgot several of the items that I needed the first few times that I went to the store.

As I learned after a few shopping trips, it’s best if I follow a few rules when I go. First and foremost, I no longer go grocery shopping if I’m hungry. If I go shopping when I’m hungry, I buy way too much junk food. It’s better if I take the time to eat beforehand. Secondly, I have learned that it’s best if I carry a grocery list. This helps me not to forget anything and prevents me from buying items I don’t need. It also enables me to estimate how much money I will be spending so that I know whether or not I am going to stay within my budget. Finally, I have learned from experience which items are okay to buy cheaply and which items are worth spending more money on. This is my personal preference but it’s definitely worth trying different brands to find the best and cheapest option for you.

I hope that you can learn from my mistakes in order to stay within your budget and experience less frustration than I did the first time you go grocery shopping. Shop away!

Don’t Forget Your Student Discount!

13 Aug

Raysha Duncan, Financial Aid Administrator
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

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!

blackberries

blackberries

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

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 Kroger supermarkets (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

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

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://globestudentdiscount.com/

http://www.studentbistro.com/

Cooking 101

10 Aug

Heather Kessler, Purdue University Student & Peer Counselor
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

coffee mug filled with raspberries

Okay, so you took our advice. You made a list and set a budget for your first grocery shopping trip. You now have lots of healthy food, including vegetables, fruit, meat, and starches. But now what do you do? At home, Mom was the chef, and the only time you walked in the kitchen was to pop a bag of popcorn, or make boxed mac and cheese in one pot on the stove. Well, never fear! This article will arm you with the knowledge needed to not only cook, but also become a great chef! I’ll give you some information on where to find recipes for different meals, and also equip you with some cooking basics (for example: raw meat is normally not a good thing!).

The internet will be a great resource, especially if your mom lives far from campus. There are many websites to help with cooking how-tos. WebMD has an article titled Cooking 101: Kitchen Basics that covers different facts about bread, chicken, and pasta, which can be helpful before making these items for the first time,. WikiHow has articles from “boiling noodles” to “making an omelet”.

For actual recipes, there are many sites to help with ideas and options. Food Network, All Recipes, and, of course, Pinterest are just a few great options out there to find good recipes on the web. You can also ask your mom, grandma, or other great family chefs for that favorite recipe you had as a child. I am sure they would be happy to pass that information down to another generation! You can also invest in a cookbook to get a lot of options to keep right in your kitchen. Some good generic cookbooks include Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book for a generic recipe book that ranges from drinks to salads, to main dishes, and desserts; or you can get a cookbook that is specific to what you are interested in making.  Love Italian food? Giada De Laurentiis is an Italian chef who has many cookbooks, and Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes could be a great place to start. There are many options to choose from, so find something you are interested in and start cooking!

How to Save Money on College Textbooks

6 Aug

Brandon Endsley, Purdue Alumnus
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

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 faster than inflation.  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 around $1200 per year for textbooks…and that number continues to rise year after year. I’ve outlined 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 weather (if you’re in the Midwest) 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 text-book 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.  I recommend checking 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.

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.

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… 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.

15 to Finish Indiana

3 Aug

Tuition. Books. Supplies. Parking. Housing.

Every year of college is expensive.

But on average, if you take 15 credits each semester, you’ll have an associate degree in 2 years or a bachelor’s degree in 4. And then, instead of letting the expenses of college drag on for years, you’ll be out in the world using your degree to jumpstart your career, get a better job, and earn more money.

 

Indiana’s 15 to Finish campaign is sponsored by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education in partnership with the state’s colleges and universities.

Graduation Bucket List

30 Jul

Leah Bergman, Purdue Alum
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

graduation cap

Whether you’re starting your first day at Purdue or finishing up your last semester, these are some traditions you should take part in before you walk across the stage in your cap and gown.

  1. Boiler Traditions

It is said if you walk under the bell tower you will not graduate in 4 years so be sure you wait until after you have your diploma in hand. Some also say if you kiss your true love at midnight then you will get married or when a couple walks under the bell tower after graduation they will get engaged.

Fun Fact: If you look closely you will notice the “4” on the clock face is actually“IIII” instead of the Roman number “IV”. This is because the Roman numeral “IV” resembles Indiana State University’s abbreviation “IU” and Purdue does not want anything on their campus to represent their rival.students running through fountain

Whether you’re celebrating your first week of college, the end of finals week, or graduation a fountain run is always a good way to do it (might be difficult for you December grads). A fountain run involves running around in Loeb Fountain, which is located next to Beering Hall, and then running across campus to the Engineering Fountain. It is a great way to cool off and celebrate with friends!

  1. Grand Prix Race

Grand Prix is a week-long event filled with parties, activities, costumes, and more. It all ends with the annual Grand Prix race where several people compete in a Go-Kart race in cars they built themselves. This is a week everyone talks about for years to come and many alumni will come back just to celebrate and partake in this tradition.

  1. Football! Boiler Up, Hammer Down!

football

Whether it’s at Ross-Ade or Mackey Arena you need to attend at least one rivalry game during your time at Purdue. IU is Purdue’s biggest rivalry so these games are sure to always be exciting. Within the first quarter you will learn there are many traditions within sports itself.  Quietly watch your peers and join in once you get the hang of it, participation just increases your comradery and the entertainment value exponentially.

The football game is known as the Old Oaken Bucket because Purdue and IU compete for the trophy (which is literally an old oaken bucket) with this name each year. No matter which type of game you attend, a Purdue vs. IU game will be memorable. Spirits are high those days and it is a great day to show your Boilermaker pride and help show that we are better than Hoosiers.

Once you are of age, you will want to make sure you participate in Breakfast Club at least once before graduation.  Imagine walking down State Street early one Saturday morning and seeing Mario and Luigi, some Disney Princesses, and Superman. But it’s not even October yet. No, it’s Breakfast Club! Every Saturday morning of a home football game and the Saturday of Grand Prix students of age partake in this crazy tradition. Students dress up in creative costumes and line up outside the bars starting at about 5 or 6 in the morning and keep partying until the game, or race on Grand Prix, starts.

  1. Go Sledding at Slayter Hill

Winter takes up a huge chunk of the time while students are in classes at Purdue. A great way to celebrate the first snow, finals being done, or just a weekend with friends is sledding down Slayter Hill. Don’t have a sled? No problem! You can use a laundry basket, mattress, pool toys, or even a tray from the dining courts (although it is not encouraged to steal the trays, some are usually laying around the bottom of the hill during the winter). Get creative with your sledding device and slide down Slayter Hill.

  1. students filling up fountain pops

    Photo By: Purdue Marketing & Media

    Have a Den Pop

If you have 60 cents you can do this one now! Den Pops are sodas that are as big as your head. You get them from the Discount Den and on the wall is a list of creatively named recipes for different Den Pop flavors to create. Or, if the creative juices are flowing, you can create a unique drink and your own recipe. These are a great way to cool down during those last few weeks of class, a refreshing drink after a hard exam, or really anytime!

These are just a few of the many traditions Purdue has. Look around for more to add to your bucket list or create your own with your friends. Boiler Up!

Being Social on a Budget

27 Jul

Raysha Duncan, Financial Aid Administrator
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

table with coffee mugs; text overlay: being social on a budget

In college (and in life in general), people want to do things and they want you to do things with them. However, when you’re on a college student budget, and just want to make sure you can afford Ramen next week, this can get really overwhelming! But, you don’t have to stop hanging out with your friends just because you’re on a budget.

Your friends want to go out to eat?

If you just can’t say no, see if you can pick the place. Pick something where everyone either splits the bill for one BIG entrée (like a pizza!) or go somewhere with cheaper meal options. But, if your friends pick a place outside of your price range, make sure you opt for water (free!). As for food: get an appetizer, see if you can order a smaller portion of an entrée (lunch portions are generally cheaper), go vegetarian for the night (typically cheaper options), or just order dessert!

Your friends want to hit the mall?

If you have issues with impulse spending, don’t go. Even if you leave your wallet at home, you’ll see things that you’re tempted to buy and come back for them later. Offer to meet up with your friends later if you know you won’t be able to stop yourself from spending money. If you think you won’t be tempted to spend any money, go with them and be their personal stylist for the trip. Just remember two big things: 1) don’t make them spend more money just because you’re not spending money and 2) don’t judge them for spending money just because you can’t.

Your friends want to take an expensive weekend trip?

First of all, don’t be a mooch…that’s just tacky. Be open and ask how much the trip will cost, then take some time to determine if you can make room in your budget for it. Be honest with yourself on how much you’re REALLY able to spend on a weekend trip right now Where else in your budget will you have to make sacrifices? What funds will you need to tap into to afford this trip? Is this a good way to spend your hard-earned cash? Do you really want to go…or is fear of missing out (FOMO) motivating you?

If you go, stick to your budget: bring your own snacks for the road and your stay, drink water with dinner, don’t give into impulse purchases, bring something to do for nights in, etc.

If you don’t go, then find something free and fun to do while you’re home for the weekend. Go out and volunteer, read a book, go for a walk…do something and don’t just sit around all weekend while they’re out having fun. You can have fun too!

These are just a few examples, of course. There are many more ways that you’ll feel pressured into spending money. Just remember: you have a budget for a reason. You’re living like a college student now, so you don’t have to live like a college student later.

 

How do you manage being social on a budget? Let us know in the comments below!

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