It's Your Money

Fun Around Town with No Money Down

 

Fun Around Town

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 »

Easy, Every Day Money-Saving Tips, Part 2

Savings

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.

Fun Around Town with No Money Down

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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

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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 »

You'll Pay Less at the Pump This Year—So Be Smart with the Savings

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PHOTO: CURTIS PERRY

The United States Energy Information Administration predicts Americans will spend $550 less on gasoline in 2015 than they did last year. What’s the smartest way to put those savings to use?  MarketWatch offers four ideas (none of them involves splurging on something cool, sorry).

How will you use this year's gas savings? Reply in the comments.

Fun Around Town with No Money Down

Fun Around Town

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.

How Much Should I Save, and for What?

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PHOTO: Mark Oakley

If you’re getting a handle on your finances, you know that one of the first steps is learning to save money—but that’s easier said than done.  The folks at Money Crashers have put together a list to help you prioritize how and where to start your savings journey; check out their article on prioritizing what you save, How Much Should I Save Each Month?

For keeping track of your progress, don't forget about great free online tools like PowerPay. Of course, there's always the option to speak to an unbiased financial expert one-to-one, free of charge, through our Talk to an Expert sessions too.

Fun Around Town with No Money Down

Fun around town


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 5

Exposed

7:00pm

IU Cinema, 1213 East 7th St., IU Campus, Bloomington

Beth B takes us into the 21st century underground and reveals a secret world where cutting-edge performers are taking hold of a taboo art form, Burlesque, and driving it to extremes that most people have never seen. It's satire. It's parody. It's a populist blend of art and entertainment that gives new meaning to the word "transgression." Above all, it's a lot of fun, and it will blow your mind.

Filmmaker Beth B is scheduled to be present.

 

Friday, February 6

February F1RST FR1DAY: Tour de Chocolat' & Chocolat' Challenge

Downtown Bloomington

5:00-8:00pm

This month participating downtown businesses will offer free samples of chocolate! Join downtown merchants, restaurants, art galleries and attractions in celebrating downtown Bloomington through special offers and events. See more at visitbloomington.com.


Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture Series: Beth B

3:00-4:30pm

IU Cinema, 1213 East 7th St., IU Campus, Bloomington

Beth B exploded onto the New York underground scene after receiving her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1977, creating installation art works and directing Super-8 films.


Fountain Square Poetry Series

Fountain Square Poetry Series

Fountain Square Mall, 101 W. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington

5:30-7:30pm

Presented by the Writers Guild at Bloomington and By Hand Gallery

Featuring: poets Hilda Davis, Adam Henze, Joshua Johnston, and Bre Robinson with guest musician Brandon Pfeiffer

- See more at: http://visitbead.com/events/fountain-square-poetry-series-4/#.VNE2ky6rE-s

 

Presented by the Writers Guild at Bloomington and By Hand Gallery

Featuring: poets Hilda Davis, Adam Henze, Joshua Johnston, and Bre Robinson with guest musician Brandon Pfeiffer

- See more at: http://visitbead.com/events/fountain-square-poetry-series-4/#.VNE2ky6rE-s

 

Featuring poets Hilda Davis, Adam Henze, Joshua Johnston, and Bre Robinson, with guest musician Brandon Pfeiffer. Presented by the Writers Guild at Bloomington and By Hand Gallery.


Saturday, February 7

Thematic tour: Light Totem

IU Art Museum, 1133 E. 7th Street
http://www.artmuseum.iu.edu

Saturday, February 7, 2015, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

- See more at: http://www.magbloom.com/events/thematic-tour-light-totem/#sthash.d9ZhFD7s.dpuf

 

IU Art Museum, 1133 E. 7th Street
http://www.artmuseum.iu.edu

Saturday, February 7, 2015, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

- See more at: http://www.magbloom.com/events/thematic-tour-light-totem/#sthash.d9ZhFD7s.dpuf

 

IU Art Museum, 1133 E. 7th Street

IU Art Museum, 1133 E. 7th St., IU Campus, Bloomington

2:00-3:00pm


Sunday, February 8

 

Family Craft Day: Milagros, Khamsa, and more

Mathers Museum of World Cultures, 416 N. Indiana Ave., IU Campus, Bloomington

2:00-3:30pm

Milagros, khamsa, and prayer flags are objects of prayer or protection. Explore their meaning and make your own during this free craft day for all ages.


The Exiles

IU Cinema, 1213 East 7th St., IU Campus, Bloomington

3:00pm

The Exiles explores how Native Americans of the 1950s coped with the “relocation programs” designed to assimilate them into mainstream society.


Monday, February 9

Covering Islam 2015: Muslims, Politics, and the Media with Arsalan Iftikhar

Grand Hall, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave., IU Campus, Bloomington

4:00-6:00pm

Covering Islam 2015 brings together journalists and scholars to consider the complex intersection of Islam, politics, and the media on a global and local stage. Panelists include Rosemary Pennington (Managing Editor, Muslim Voices), Nazif Shahrani (IU Professor, Anthropology, Central Eurasian Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures), and Matthew Tully (Columnist, Indianapolis Star).


Tuesday, February 10

Rent Smart: Apartment-Hunting Seminar

Monroe County Public Library, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington.  Program Room 2B

7-8:30pm

Plan to sign a lease this summer? Smart renters start now! We cover finding a great apartment that fits your budget, evaluating leases and landlords, avoiding common rental property problems, and more. Refreshments provided. Registration Required.

 

Wednesday, February 11

Over a Cup of Tea presents: Cara Caddoo, “Mobilizing an Envisioned Community"

Asian Culture Center, 807 E. 10th St., Bloomington

“Why should Asian-Americans study African-American history?” To answer this question, Assistant Professor of American Studies Cara Caddoo discusses her own career trajectory, ideas about social justice, and a chapter of her book Envisioning Freedom, which demonstrates why African-American and black diasporic history is essential to racial understanding in America.

 

NOTE: Events mentioned here are advertised as free of charge by their sponsors, hosts, or promoters. Though we do our best to verify that these events are completely free, the Library has no control over inaccurately advertised events. We welcome corrections to our listings, but please direct any questions or concerns about a particular event to its sponsoring entity.

The Best Personal Finance Book

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...according to the folks over at Lifehacker, anyhow. [EDIT: Lifehacker readers' votes are in. See the results]

If you're not familiar with Lifehacker, I recommend checking them out—they're full of innovative money-saving tips, from the latest high-tech hacks to low-tech solutions involving everyday items.

And speaking of saving money... I know a great place where you can get most of the books the article mentions absolutely free.

What's your favorite book on being money smart? Reply in the comments.

 

 

Don't Miss Out on a Tax Break—See If You Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit

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PHOTO: Bill Smith

One in five people who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit don't claim it; that's like throwing away free money. As part of the Free Community Tax Service offered this tax season, we're partnering with United Way of Monroe County to ensure that everyone entitled to the EITC claims it.

To see if you qualify (or just to learn more about getting help filing your taxes), stop by United Way's information table this Friday, January 30 from 3 to 5pm in the first floor atrium of the Main Library. Don't miss out on tax savings this year!

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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