6 Perks of Having a Part-Time Job While Going to School

by Nicole Ryan, Student Blogger  

Piggy with briefcase As a college student, there never seems to be enough money. Between tuition and books, rent and groceries, those late night coffee needs and adventures with your friends, checking your bank account can become painful. One of the best things you can do as a student is to find a part-time job. CU Boulder offers thousands of on campus jobs for students. When working on campus you can be assured your job will work with your school schedule and you can often make your own hours. Having a part time job comes with tons of perks, here are just a few:

        1. Staying on top of college debt: Like many college students, I have student loans. Thinking about the interest my student loans are acquiring as I go through school is a pretty scary thought. One of the nice things about having a part-time job while in school is that you can start making regular interest payments. This way, when you graduate and have to begin paying off those loans, you won't have to pay the interest on top of that.

2. More Cash In Your Pocket:

It’s always nice to have spending money. Even if your parents give you money for living expenses, it’s probably just enough to get by. If you want some extra cash for clothes, trips with your friends, eating out, or other entertainment, you may find yourself struggling. Making your own money allows you the independence to be able to purchase those personal items without having to run to your parents to ask for money or getting yourself into even more debt with student credit cards. This is also a great way to start or add to a savings account.

3. Learn How to Manage Money

Managing your money is an important skill to learn sooner rather than later. As an adult it’s essential to have strong money management skills in order to avoid unnecessary spending and debt. Having a part time job in college gives you an opportunity to practice these money management skills while you’re still young. This way, by the time you graduate you’ll be a pro and ready for the real world (kind of…).

4. Experience in the Work Place

Having a part-time job while in college can give you valuable working experience. Often if you work on campus you can find a job working in an area that corresponds with your major. For example, as an English major, working as a student blogger has given me valuable job experience that relates directly with what I want to do when I graduate. It’s a great way to begin building a resume and a way to put yourself ahead of the competition in the workforce.

5. On-Campus Presence

If you have an on campus job this can be an excellent way to have a more prominent on-campus presence. You will have the opportunity to be more connected to what’s going on at school, while getting paid for it. This can be a great way to become more involved and meet new people!

6. Time Management

One of the most valuable skills you can possess is time management. With poor time management skills it becomes increasingly easy to get overwhelmed. The nice thing about having a job while going to school is that you learn quickly how to balance your time between classes, schoolwork, your job, and free time. This can ultimately help you be more productive in school and work, and keep you from scrambling to do piles of last minute work. In my experience, working my way through school has given me structure and the valuable tools to being more productive which will be useful for the rest of my life. *** Working while in school may not be for you, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Check either your MyCUinfo or local listings for hundreds of different job postings. Find something that looks interesting to you and go for it! Let the job hunting begin!

4 Tricks For Creating A Cheap DIY Halloween Costume

By Nicole Ryan, Student Blogger


It’s officially October, which means Halloween is just around the corner! If you’re like me you’ve probably already begun to yourself that age-old question, “What am I going to be this year?” If you’ve been thinking about buying an expensive Halloween costume, don’t! There are plenty of costumes you can throw together and make your own that’ll be much cheaper than buying one. For college students on a budget, making your own costume instead of buying an over-priced one at the store can be a big savings. Use some creativity (and have plenty of fun in the process), and come up with your own unique Halloween creation!

Here are 4 tricks for coming up with the perfect Halloween costume without breaking the bank.

1. Find Out What You Already Have

Dig through your closet to see what you might have lying around. Some old, torn jeans and a worn-out flannel could be the beginning of an epic zombie costume! Don’t rush out to buy things before checking out what you already have. You’ll be surprised what you find. There may be some clothes you forgot you even had.

 2. Thrift Stores

If you’re looking for some cheap materials to help you create the ultimate DIY Halloween costume, be sure to check out some thrift stores. Goodwill, for example, is a great place to pick up any items you may need to complete your look. They have every type of clothing and accessory imaginable. Often times, during October Goodwill will have a Halloween section with a lot of the same things you would find in the pricey Halloween stores, but for a much more affordable price.

3. Collaborate With Friends

Ask your friends what they’re doing for Halloween. Maybe you can collaborate on a fun group costume! A classic example of this would be you and your friends going as the mystery gang from Scooby Doo. When you do a group costume, you can borrow clothes from each other, split costs, and shop around to find the cheapest deals. This can often times prove to be cheaper and more fun than trying to come up with and make a costume on your own.

4. Stick To Your Skill Level

When making your own Halloween costume, don’t try to tackle an elaborate idea if you know you don’t have the skill level to make it. Halloween should be fun, not stressful! Making your costume should be easy and enjoyable to do. When you try to accomplish a project without the skill level to do so, you could end up wasting a lot of materials. So save your money and frustration and stick to a costume that you know you can conquer! If you’re struggling to decide what you want to be this year check out this website for 99 cheap and easy Halloween costume ideas! http://livingonthecheap.com/cheap-easy-halloween-costumes/
Keep in mind, some costumes could be seen as offensive and hurtful by perpetuating cultural stereotypes. CU has a campaign called, "We're a culture, not a costume" which reminds students that some costumes can negatively impact people and cultures that are valued members of our community. Please consider this while coming up with and creating your costume!   Good luck and happy creating!

5 Fun (and Free) Fall Activities to do in Boulder

5 Fun (and Free) Fall Activities to do in Boulderby Nicole Ryan, CU Student Blogger   Fall is fast approaching which means it’s time for cool air and crunchy leaves. Personally, fall is my favorite time of year. The cozy vibe set off my warm coffee and orange tinted skies never gets old. Whether fall is your favorite season, or you’re just looking for some excitement, grab your flannels and pumpkin spice latte because here are 5 fun and affordable fall activities you can do in Boulder!  
  1. Boulder Farmers Market; Cost: Free
Located in Central Park on 13th Street between Canyon & Arapahoe, the Famers Market is a great place to pick up locally grown fruits, veggies, flowers, and plants. There are also unique crafts and gifts for you to check out. The farmers market will be open every Saturday from now until November 28th. For more information check out: http://bcfm.org  
  1. Open Studios Fall Artists Tour; Cost: Free
For 20 years Boulder has enjoyed the Fall Artists Tour. From October 3rd-4th and 10th-11th 125 local artists will open their studios and allow people to stop by and visit, ask questions, and purchase some art. This is free to anyone who wishes to stop by the studios. So, if you love art be sure to check it out! Take a look at the website here: http://www.openstudios.org  
  1. Cottonwood Farm Halloween Pumpkin Patch; Cost: Free
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from now until October 31st, Cottonwood Farm will be hosting a fall festival including a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, a straw bale maze, farm animals, a hay ride, and more! Everything is free of cost except the hay ride ($3) and if you choose to purchase a pumpkin. Cottonwood Farm is located east of Boulder on 75th Street & Arapahoe Rd. Check out the website here: https://www.cottonwoodfarms.com  
  1. Royal Arch Hike; Cost: Free
This hike takes you through the coniferous forest which proves to be especially beautiful during the fall. The Royal Arch is a gorgeous sight and from the arch you can see the entire city of Boulder. It’s the perfect fall hike, allowing you to see the changing colors of Boulder. Follow this link for more information: http://www.protrails.com/trail/69/boulder-denver-golden-fort-collins-lyons-royal-arch  
  1. Pearl Street Stampede; Cost: Free
Kick off the home football games the right way and stop by the Stampede on Pearl Street! Football games can be costly, but this awesome event is free for everyone. The stampede begins when the members of the Golden Buffalo Marching Band start performing at 7 p.m. on the 1300 block of Pearl Street. The stampede is lead by Stephen Tebo’s vintage 1948 fire truck. Take a look at more information here: http://www.boulderdowntown.com/events/pearl-street-stampedes
  You don’t have to go broke trying to have some fun this fall! There are plenty of cheap and free fall activities you can do all around Boulder. Whether it’s carving a pumpkin or going on a hike, take time to enjoy the simple things about fall. I guarantee you’ll enjoy it!

5 Reasons Why You Should Start Saving for Retirement Now

by Nicole Ryan, Student Blogger

I know what you are probably thinking, "I'm way to young to start saving for retirement." You're college students with your whole lives ahead of you, why start thinking about something so far down the road now? Well, the truth of the matter is that right now, time is on your side. It doesn't matter how much you put away, it could be as simple as five dollars a month. No matter how much it is, getting an early start on saving for retirement can only benefit you in the end.

Starting Early: Obviously, the earlier you start saving, the more money you will be able to save. Starting early with a retirement savings will help you through those rough patches where you really can't afford to save, job changes, and spares you the fear and stress of having to scramble to start saving when you're getting closer to nearing retirement.

Compound Interest: If you are saving your money in an account that gives you compound interest, you will have plenty of time to actually receive the benefits compound interest can offer.

Starting Good Habits: Beginning to save for retirement now can help you develop beneficial saving habits that you can carry with you throughout your life. Learning these habits now can help you avoid financial trouble in the future.

Preparation: If you start saving now, you'll already know what you need to do to continue to save for retirement once your graduate school and begin working. Not only are you saving, but you're learning at the same time.

Developing Good Credit: Using credit cards may not seem like a way to save for retirement but in the long run it does impact an individual's ability to contribute to a retirement account and/or to take other steps toward a financially secured retirement. If you have credit cards, use them wisely and make sure you make all payment on time and you will be helping yourself save for retirement.

None of us want to think about retirement right now. We're busy being students and trying to get our lives started, retirement is just a far off idea. Even so, whether we want to think about it or not, there will come a day where we are ready to retire and it's important to make sure you are prepared. All it takes is a little bit of saving now, and you could really help yourself out in the long run. Thinking about and planning for the future is always a good skill to have. So, begin saving now so when the time comes to head off to your cozy condo somewhere in Florida, you'll have the money to be able to have a relaxing and comfortable retirement.

Taking Advantage of Student Discounts

by Nicole Ryan, Student Blogger

I think it's safe to say we all enjoy saving money.  Especially as we make our way through college, we can find that at times money can be pretty tight.  But don't fear!  There are ways to save and make your money go farther.  One of the easiest, and often over-looked, is student discounts.  Almost every place you go, whether it be a store, restaurant, amusement park, and so on has some sort of student discount.  All you have to do is present your student ID for some major deals!  Here are some sites that can help guide you on what discounts are out there for you!

100 Stores with Student Discounts
This page is great because not only does it give you 100 different locations that offer student discounts but it also breaks them up into categories such as 'school supplies' or 'clothing.'

Ways to Save with Student Discounts
This is another awesome site that give you multiple companies that offer student discounts and what types of discounts those are.

Student ID Discounts via Pinterest

Pinterest is a great place to look up student ID discounts.  The site is able to connect you with many other sites and sources of information.

10 Clothing Stores with Student Discounts You Didn't Know About
Here you can find all of the most popular clothing stores and their discounts listed.  This is perfect for us students who are trying to maintain a fashionable wardrobe on a small budget.  your student discount can save you a decent amount of money at any of these stores.

Some local places in Colorado that offer discounts for student ID's are The Denver Museum of Nature and Science, season passes at almost all the Colorado ski resorts, and admission to the Denver Art Museum.

Being a college student isn't cheap.  That's why it's important to know what places offer discounts so you aren't over-spending when you don't need to be.  Some of your favorite clothing stores or restaurants could offer student discounts of 10 or even 15 percent without you even knowing!  All you have to do is ask!

Stay in the loop with student discounts and you can save some serious money!