How To

HOW TO: Do Laundry in College

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laundry

Prepare: Make sure to put all your dirty clothes in a hamper or basket (get one that’s easy to carry, its possible you will have to carry it up and down stairs). Also, buy detergent that works with all your clothes (and separate bleach if you want, but I don’t). Make sure you have either quarters or whatever you need to pay for the campus laundry machines, before you head down.

 Step 1: Separate out your white clothes from your dark clothes (if you want- I personally just put everything in on cold and it usually works fine). You should also make sure to take out anything that says “Dry Clean Only.”

 Step 2: Put whichever load you are doing into the washing machine.

 Step 3: Make sure to put the detergent in the right place (because sometimes you don’t and then it will come out feeling weird….).

 Step 4: Put the machine on the right settings. (I tend to always put on delicate cold, but that’s just me- if you took the time to separate your clothes, look at the tag and see what it says.)

 Step 5: Pay the laundry machine to do your bidding.

 Step 6: Turn on the machine. Stay until you can see (or hear) that the machine is on and laundering your clothes.

 Step 7: Set a reminder on your phone for however long the machine says it will take. If it doesn’t, set it for about 45 minutes. That way you can come down and check on your clothes and hopefully not find them left on top of a dryer with a couple wet socks having fallen off, gathering dust on the grimy laundry room floor.

Step 8: Transfer your clothing to the working dryer. (It may take a few tries to find out which machines work and which machines don’t dry your clothes no matter how much money you give them…) OR bring your wet clothes to your room and set up a drying rack, but I DON’T recommend this as it takes up a lot of room and for a long time.

 Step 9: Set the dryer to the right settings.

Step 10: Give the machine your money for the hope of dry clothing.

 Step 11: Repeat step 7, but with only the possibility of dry clothing ending up on top of the dryers.

 Step 12: Make sure that your clothes are dry. Having to run it twice isn’t abnormal, more than that is- if you have to, move it to a different dryer and hope that one works.

 Step 13: Bring the hamper/basket upstairs and IMMEDIATELY fold and/or hang up your clothing. Or don’t. But then you’ll be living out of your hamper and not have a hamper to put your new dirty clothes in.

The End – Congrats you have done laundry in college!

A New Way to Keep in Touch With Friends

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Keeping in touch with friends when school isn’t in session is like drunkenly planning to make pancakes in the morning.  It sounds great in theory but then life happens–you wake up with a headache and the boss wants you to come in for the third Saturday in a row.  Suddenly pancakes, i.e. your friends, become lower on the priority list.  The next thing you know, your Bisquick’s gone bad and you missed a big event in your friend’s life.

If visiting your friends often isn’t feasible,  there are always the obvious ways to stay in touch, Gchat, Facebook, Skype, (dare we say it?) the phone.

I find these methods lacking since I stumbled onto turntable.fm.

Everyone in the office has been using turntable.fm to get a good mix of  music going rather than the tired 90’s Pandora playlist we’d had going forever, the only playlist we could all agree on.  One of the guys sent out an invite to our own DJ room.  All of us chose a little head bopping DJ avatar, played obscure tunes, old favorites or just plain irony/weirdness.  The ‘rock on’ or ‘skip song’ feature is by far the best thing about this room.  If enough people don’t want to hear your song and hit ‘skip it’, your meter goes down and the song is skipped.  If anyone likes it, they hit ‘rock on’ and you accumulate DJ points.  You won’t even believe how much pride you’ll take in your DJ points until you actually possess them.  Trust me on this.

Even better, even within the office we were communicating more frequently through the session, and then it dawned on me – this is what we’ve been doing with our college friends for 4 years.  Whether it’s making fun of that horrible Friday song, or realizing that everyone in the room knows the lyrics to ‘On a Boat,’ music was the stuff we bonded over.

It hits that sweet spot between a personal phone call and a G-chat message, it’s “hanging out”.  It doesn’t have the potential for awkwardness of a one-on-one phone call (also is it just me, or does everyone hate the phone these days?), or the impersonal feel of a tiny window in Gchat.  Turntable.fm is quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to keep up with old friends–give it a try!

 

SeanJohn

I’m reading Understanding Business

Planning a Summer Road Trip

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Tired of drinking on home turf?  Looking for a last blow-out with your college buddies before you all go off your separate ways?  Plan a road trip!  There is nothing like being piled into a car rubbing elbows synching bathroom breaks and sharing moon pies to form familial bonds.  You’ll thank me later when you’ve got a full mailbox at Christmastime.  In this blog post I’ll talk about the major source of your budget drain, gas, how to make sure you’re still friends at the end (hint, it’s odor-related), and do a quick highlight of a trip planner I found helpful to plan my last epic cross-country trip.

Gas

If your car isn’t digital…

You can be allergic to math and figure out your gas mileage with this link. http://www.milesgallon.com/.  Google Maps will tell you your miles, highball the average gas prices, and you will have a gas budget and a cushion.

If you have a smart phone, and you’re not already using the www.gasbuddy.com app, do it.  GasBuddy relies on its user hive to report gas prices to help you find the cheapest spot to fill up.  It’s a pain-free way to save money on gas.  I use it all the time and it’s saved me up to 25¢ a gallon.

To save even more money on gas, there’s a methodology to up your gas mileage called “hypermiling,” the efficacy of which you will only know if you know your gas mileage, which handily, you have already calculated.  Some of the concepts are basic, like accelerating slowly after stops, one will make you look silly–turning your car off at red lights.  Overinflating tires, another concept of hypermiling, is probably dangerous.  I don’t recommend it.  Using cruise control to accelerate and decelerate was the most helpful tip I gleaned from my research.  The precise and slow incremental changes will increase your gas mileage, and it’s not a pain in the ass on the highway.  Hypermiling’s not for everyone but if you’re on a budget, have a full car and a lot of luggage dragging your car down, it might be worth looking into.

Febreeze

You will not be showering regularly, full car, hot summer, you do the math.

Trip Planners:

Though not without their faults, enumerated here: http://www.roadtripamerica.com/travelplanning/userguidefree.htm, these planners have their place.  They definitely help with the planning phase and any spontaneous stops that might happen on the way.  I mapped my route on TripTik and it looks like this:

This particular route starts in NYC, loops to Las Vegas for the epic Electric Daisy Festival (300 electronica acts and a carnival in one?  Yes, please!), swings back through my hometown and drops off friends in Kentucky to ultimately culminate back in NY.  This part of the planner isn’t particularly impressive since Google Maps can do the same thing, but the next tab over, Places, I did find impressive.  AAA has a huge database of restaurants, hotels, gas stations, campgrounds, events, bars, playhouses, art galleries, etc., and they give away their program for free.

What I love the most about this is it’s like getting the town guides you see in hotels, all in one place with no pamphlets, and you’re never surprised by prices in restaurants.  Free Wi-fi is everywhere now (McDonald’s, Starbucks, hotel lobbies) so this ends up being decently mobile even if you’re camping out.

I hope this helps!  Be safe, and take lots of pictures!

 

WonderBread

I’m reading Abnormal Psychology

STILL trying to deal with a bad roommate?

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Still dealing with a bad roommate?
This summer we asked students how they would get rid of a bad roommate. Some students seemed to offer some suggestions that went to extreme measures. Okay, so you have tried everything the video blog suggested, and your roommate is STILL getting on your nerves.

Sometimes living with a complete stranger is hard, but if done the right way, could be very beneficial and have a positive ending.

Speaking from personal experience, I can say that I have been in the same boat as you. My current roommate and I had major issues, and recently we have agreed to try and work it out. I will let you all in on a little secret. Your roommate might not like you just as much as you don’t like them. Keep that in mind…

I found that trying to have an adult conversation about your current feelings is the best way to try and settle your differences. Start by writing down a list. On this list are all of the things that bother you about what your roommate does. This is not a personality attack checklist. Meaning, you are not trying to attack who they are, just their habits and behaviors. Use this list to address each and every problem you are having. Your roommate might think, “Wow, you made a list of all of things that you don’t like about what I do?” If the list alone doesn’t make an impact hopefully you expressing your feelings will. Using a list can insure that you bring up ALL of your past and current problems at one time. Offer your roommate an opportunity to give you feedback and off their opinion on you and your behavior. It is only fair. Keep in mind during this conversation that it should be civil and under control. After you both have expressed your thoughts and feelings, you all should brainstorm ideas of how things could change to make your living arrangement work.

It is important to remember that it is easiest to address situations right when they happen. Do not allow your feelings to build up. Usually, when you are given more time to think about a negative situation, your feelings just become more and more negative after constantly thinking about it. If your roommate leaves their clothes all over the floor, simply say “Hey, could you clean up your clothes?” Don’t let the two or three shirts on the floor pile up to mountains of shirts and socks. If you let your anger build up one day you might go nuts and totally blow up on your roommate, who might not have even known it bothered you! People are not mind readers; do not expect your roommate to know what you are thinking.

If all of this does not work, and there are no improvements to your living situation I advise you to see someone who is responsible for housing. Explain to them the situation and the measures you have gone to, to try and have successful living arrangements. No promises are ever made, but you may be able to find a way to have the problem fixed.

Hope this all helps! With love,
Kat VonD

I’m reading Personal Finance