Ryan S.'s blog

How Much Credit Do You Get? Find Out at Tuesday's Free Info Session at the Library



Some well-off people are fortunate enough to avoid debt altogether; for the rest of us, though, it's difficult to get things like cars, education, businesses, and homes without borrowing the money. Of course, it's all too easy to take on debt for any number of less worthwhile things, too: the latest electronic gadgets, expensive clothing, and even dinners out all seem to find their way onto our credit card statements if we're not careful.

And while high-interest lenders are often happy to front you more money than you're easily able to pay back—it's the reason they exist, in fact—you'll end up repaying far more than you borrowed if don't learn to say "Thanks, but no thanks" when the pre-approved enticements to go deeper into debt come calling.

But you need to show you're creditworthy, and you do that by borrowing, right? So how much is enough when it comes to credit (also known by its less sexy name: debt)? Is it possible to play the credit game without getting burned?

Sandra Ross, an unbiased credit expert, leads Give Me Some Credit!, a free info session at the Library Tuesday night. She says you can safely take on a certain amount of debt—IF you're smart about what you're doing. On Tuesday Sandra shows you how to calculate the amount of debt that's right for you, how to spot debt traps, and how taking on certain kinds of debt can actually help you build wealth. You can register on the Library's website, by calling 812-349-3263, or by emailing rstacy [at] mcpl [dot] info. See you there!

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!

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 »

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



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.

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