Ryan S.'s blog

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 »

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.

How Much Should I Save, and for What?


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.

The Best Personal Finance Book


...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


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!

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, January 22

Monthly Lunch & Discussion: Who are Asian Pacific Americans? How Our Brains Perceive Race


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

Discussion about the root causes of racial prejudice.  Free to attend, but reservations are required. Contacti acc [at] indiana [dot] edu.

Winter Exploration Hike Series: Pate Hollow Hills, Monroe Lake

Paynetown State Recreation Area


From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website:

DNR’s Winter Exploration Hike Series features off-trail hiking through lesser-known areas of Monroe Lake. These are exploratory in nature so there is no “set” path; they’ll have a general route in mind, but plenty of freedom to veer off as things of interest catch our eyes. Hikers should be prepared for the possibility of rugged terrain, lack of formal toilet facilities, and lots of fun! All of the Winter Exploration Hikes are FREE, but online PREREGISTRATION is required for each hike.

Email jvance [at] dnr [dot] IN [dot] gov for more information.


Friday, January 23

Opening Reception, Secret Impressions: The Reproduction of Erotica Prior to the Camera


Kinsey Institute, 1165 E 3rd St. #313, IU Campus, Bloomington

"Secret Impressions" presents a selection of lithographs, engravings, etchings and woodblock prints from the mid-19th century and earlier. These artworks from France, England, Italy, Germany, Holland, and Japan illustrate the means by which pornographic and erotic images were mass produced before the invention of the camera. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.



IU Cinema, 1213 East 7th Street, IU Campus, Bloomington

Assemblage is a recently rediscovered lost film featuring the groundbreaking dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham and his early dance company performing in a public happening in San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square in November 1968.

Open to the public.

Saturday January, 24

The Incredible Shrinking Man


IU Cinema, 1213 East 7th Street, IU Campus, Bloomington

From the IU Cinema website:

A benchmark of 1950s sci-fi cinema, The Incredible Shrinking Man boasts groundbreaking special effects for its time and a surprisingly existential screenplay by veteran Twilight Zone writer Richard Matheson.

Open to the public.

2015 Iris Film Festival


IU Cinema, 1213 East 7th Street, IU Campus, Bloomington

The Indiana University Department of Communication and Culture's Iris Film Festival showcases innovative, inspired and engaging films and videos in the short format, many of which originate from members of the Bloomington and Indiana University communities.


Sunday, January 25

Stranger by the Lake/L’Inconnu du lac


IU Cinema, 1213 East 7th Street, IU Campus, Bloomington

This film is presented in partnership with the Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival.    


Monday, January 26

Lunch with Nature Series: The Science of Snow


Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Paynetown Recreational Area

Participants can bring a sack lunch to eat during the main presentation, which is held indoors. Afterwards, the naturalist takes attendees outside for a short hike that follows up on the program’s theme. The Lunch with Nature Series is free, but attendance for each session is limited to 12 people and preregistration is required.

Night Train


IU Cinema, 1213 East 7th Street, IU Campus, Bloomington

An intimate psychological study and a poetic tale of loneliness, Night Train brings two passengers together accidentally in a train compartment. A coquette, bored with her husband, attempts to seduce every available man; a former prisoner of a concentration camp fights his insomnia; old women go on a pilgrimage; and a skirt-chaser seeks his prey. With the arrival of police searching for a murderer, everything changes. It soon turns out that this seemingly average community is able to behave in a most unforeseen manner.


Tuesday, January 28

Zoran Dukic, guitar


Jacobs School of Music, Auer Hall, 200 S. Jordan Ave, IU Campus, Bloomington

Zoran Dukic is one of the most distinguished classical guitarists of our time. His concert performances, both as a soloist or with an orchestra, leave long-lasting impressions on audiences and critics alike.


Wednesday, January 28

University Orchestra David Neely, guest conductor


Jacobs School of Music, IU Musical Arts Center, 101 North Jordan Avenue, IU Campus, Bloomington


Tradition and Authenticity in Southwestern Native American Art


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

Raymond and Laura Wielgus Gallery of the Arts of Africa, the South Pacific, and the Americas, third floor

The terms tradition and authenticity, although commonly used in discussing Native American art, are frequently misunderstood. Emma Kessler, curatorial assistant for the Arts of Africa, the South Pacific, and the Americas, will consider the development of traditions and the nuances of authenticity as seen in objects.


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.

Free Event: Help a High Schooler With College Financial Aid


PHOTO: moodboard

If you're close to someone who's in high school, you know that cost is a major factor in their decisions about where—even whether—they go to college. You'd hate to see them miss the opportunity for higher education; is financial aid an option?

Let an expert answer your questions about navigating financial aid next Tuesday, January 27 at 6pm at a free program called College Planning: How to File for Financial Aid here at the Library. Chase McCoySenior Assistant Director of Admissions at IU-Bloomington, goes over the FAFSA application process, calculating the true cost of college, and choosing the right aid package for your family.

No registration is necessary; find more information about the program on the Library's events calendar.

Money Talks—Are You Listening? The Ins & Outs of Money on WFHB


The It's Your Money project helps our community get money smart in lots of ways—including over the airwaves. On The Ins & Outs of Money, our weekly radio segment on Bloomington's own WFHB, my guests and I give you quick, practical tips on managing your money, point you toward free resources in our community, and more.

The Ins & Outs of Money airs twice every Tuesday—right around 7:55am and 5:55pm—at the tail-end of WFHB's excellent Daily Local News. You can also listen to and download past episodes, or get the show as an RSS feed. See you on the air!

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