It's Your Money

Learn the Basics of Wise Investing at this Free Presentation at the Library


Ever think about growing your money through investing, but weren’t sure where to start (or who to listen to for advice)? Unbiased answers will be provided by Dr. Richard Shockley, Associate Professor of Finance at IU’s Kelley School of Business this Thursday night—and you won’t want to miss it. Dr. Shockley introduces you to different types of investments, how to think about risks versus returns, and where you can learn more about growing your money.

No pressure, no sales pitches, no product endorsements—just unbiased information to make you a wise investor. To register, go to the Library’s events calendar or call 812-349-3263.

Fun Around Town with No Money Down


Lots of free entertainment, culture, and education can be found in Monroe County (aren't we lucky?). Here’s a selection for the upcoming week: Read more »

Pick Up Money Concepts Quickly with Love Your Money


Love Your Money is a new series of interactive video-based money lessons that's fun (and free!) to use. A project of the University of Tennessee extension, LYM offers a light-hearted approach to understanding debt, savings, and more through practical scenarios and sharp-looking presentation. And you'll do more than just watch and listen—the calculators, downloads, and quizzes built in to the topics make Love Your Money more than just another passive-learning experience.

Proposed Indiana Law Would Give Students a Clear Picture of Debt



The author of a recent opinion piece in the Bloomington Herald-Times voices her support for House Bill 1042, a proposed law that would require Indiana colleges to provide students with a detailed snapshot of their school debts each year. The report, provided annually, would be designed to provide students with an idea of what repayment of their loans will look like—and discourage unecessary borrowing. Indiana University already provides such documentation, notes StateImpact, and their  efforts to keep students informed might serve as the template for the law's requirements.


Money-Saving March Energy Challenge: Search & Destroy Air Leaks


The Monroe County Energy Challenge is in full swing, with a suggested new task each month for saving pennies as well as kilowatts. This month the challenge is to seal those tiny leaks and cracks that allow cold air into our homes—to the tune of up to $70 a year.

MCEC's Task of the Month Poster, as well as their year-round energy-saving checklist, can be downloaded and shared with your friends and family; be sure to check out the Library's display of books and DVDs on home energy conservation for more money-saving ideas. Thanks for doing your part!

Don't Get Taken to the Cleaners—Make Your Own! DIY Cleaning Products


Making your own cleaning supplies is better for the environment, keeps harmful chemicals out of your house, and often times is cheaper than buying ready-made products. By keeping a few go-to cleaners on hand, you can dramatically cut your cleaning products bill.

The Big Three

The three most useful cleaning ingredients to have in your cupboard are vinegar, baking soda and borax. Vinegar's antimicrobial properties make it one of the best natural cleaning products, baking soda is great for removing dirt and grease because it’s a mild alkali (it deodorizes as Read more »

Easy, Every Day Money-Saving Tips, Part 2


PHOTO: Neerav Bhatt

Getting control of your finances can be overwhelming.  Here are some easy, everyday steps you can take to get on track.

Plan Your Meals. It's tempting at the end of a long work day to opt for take-out instead of deciding what to cook for dinner at home.  Make it harder to eat out by planning meals for the week before trips to the grocery store. Just by having a plan, and sticking to your shopping list, you'll save money by curbing impulse purchasing, and by eating at home.

Pro-tip: Plan meals with similar ingredients to use up the food you purchase.  Trent at The Simple Dollar, for example, writes about how he used a whole chicken to make two different meals, plus one leftover meal for a family of four—along with chicken stock for future meals.

Wash Laundry in Cold Water. On average, washing a load of laundry with hot water costs 68 cents, whereas washing clothes in cold water costs a whopping 4 cents.  You are literally throwing money down the drain exclusively washing in warm water.

Plan a Night Out In. Socializing doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.  Invite your friends for dinner at your place, with each of them bringing their specialty dish. You’ll get to try different dishes, save money, and have a night with friends; what could be better?

Keep Your Money in Your Pocket… Not in the Bank’s. If you’re using an ATM to take out money frequently (not a great idea anyhow), make sure you’re at least using one of your bank's, so you aren’t hit with a $2-$3 fee each time.  Better yet, join a bank that doesn’t charge fees for ATM withdrawals from any machine. If neither of those work for you, then pull out money in larger amounts less frequently to save on the number of transaction fees.

Signing a Lease This Summer? Smart Renters Think Ahead, Part 2


This is Part Two of our Smart Renters series. Read Part One: Apartment Hunting

Part Two: Applying for a Rental Property

You've done your homework on finding an apartment or a house, looked at the places on your list, and narrowed them down to one that seems to fit the bill. Time to get the moving truck, right?

Well, not just yet. You still need to go through the process of submitting an application, and (if you're approved) signing a contract Read more »

Fun Around Town with No Money Down


Lots of free entertainment, culture, and education can be found in Monroe County (aren't we lucky?). Here’s a selection for the upcoming week:

Thursday, February 19 Read more »

Signing a Lease This Summer? Smart Renters Think Ahead, Part 1


Whether you're signing your first lease or your twentieth, renting smart is the key to avoiding unnecessary costs and legal headaches. At our recent Rent Smart program here at the Library, we learned how to find a rental property that's well-suited to your lifestyle and budget, ensure a smooth application process, and spot potential roommate and landlord trouble before it becomes expensive.

Part One: Apartment Hunting

Summer may be the prime season for moving in, but in a college town like Bloomington, you'll see ads for those properties available in August while there's still snow on the ground. Take advantage of looking at potential rentals early, following these tips:

Know what you're looking for. Apartment or house? Going solo, or need enough space for roommates? Within walking distance to Read more »

It's Your Money is made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through Smart investing@your library®, a partnership with the American Library Association.

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