Reading List: Personal Finance

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How we budget, save, and invest our money is something that we all must examine in our lives. Thankfully, there are several resources available to help you get started on your journey with personal finance. This reading list includes both print books and eBooks that are all about saving for retirement, paying off student debt, calculating returns, and more!

 

*book descriptions provided by the publishers c/o the library catalog

 

You Can Do The Math: Overcome Your Math Phobia And Make Better Financial Decisions by Ronald Lipsman

In You Can Do the Math, Ron Lipsman draws from over 30 years of teaching mathematics to help you take control of your financial destiny by applying basic arithmetic techniques. Step by step, he walks you through the fundamental calculations that underlie virtually every financial decision.

 

The Personal Finance Calculator: How to Calculate the Most Important Financial Decisions in Your Life by Esme Faeber (eBook)

Is it better to buy or lease a car? How does one calculate an investment return? For that matter, what exactly is an investment return? The Personal Finance Calculator provides non-complex tools and calculations for assessing current personal wealth, determining how much debt is too much debt, understanding credit card interest rates, and more.

 

How To Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide by Jane Bryant Quinn

With How to Make Your Money Last, you will learn how to turn your retirement savings into a steady paycheck that will last for life. Today, people worry that they’re going to run out of money in their older age. That won’t happen if you use a few tricks for squeezing higher payments from your assets- from your Social Security account (find the hidden values there), pension (monthly income or lump sum?), home equity (sell and invest the proceeds or take a reverse mortgage?), savings (should you buy a lifetime annuity?), and retirement accounts (how to invest and- critically- how much to withdraw from your savings each year?). The right moves will not only raise the amount you have to spend, they’ll stretch out your money over many more years.

 

No-Nonsense Finance by Errold F. Moody (eBook)

A straight-talking, real-life guide to all the aspects of personal financial planning by acclaimed web author E.F. Moody.

 

Student Debt: Rhetoric and Realities of Higher Education Financing by Sandy Baum

This book analyzes reliable evidence to tell the true story of student debt in America. One of the nation’s foremost experts on college finance, Sandy Baum exposes how misleading the widely accepted narrative on student debt is. Baum combines data, research, and analysis to show how the current discourse obscures serious problems, risks misdirecting taxpayer dollars, and could deprive too many Americans of the educational opportunities they deserve. This book and its policy recommendations provide the basis for a new and more constructive national agenda to make paying for college more manageable.

 

Taxes in America: What Everyone Needs to Know by Leonard Burman & Joel Slemrod

Most contemporary Americans know little about how their tax system works. But with heated debates over taxation now roiling Congress and the nation, an understanding of our tax system is of vital importance. In this book the authors, both tax scholars, offer explanations of how our tax system works, how it affects people and businesses, and how it might be improved. Organized in a question-and-answer format, the book describes the intricacies of the modern tax system.

 

501 Ways for Adult Students to Pay for College: Going Back to School Without Going Broke by Gen & Kelly Tanabe (eBook)

Adults can find the means to go back to school despite the pressures of work, family, and a mortgage with this guide to funding continued education. With expanded information on online and distance learning and part-time classes and new financial aid, loan, and scholarship opportunities, this updated resource teaches adult students how to find and win scholarships designed especially for them, obtain financial support from employers, get financial aid for distance learning, receive larger financial aid packages, take advantage of educational tax breaks, and trade tuition costs for volunteer service.

 

How to Have a Big Wedding on a Small Budget: Cut Your Wedding Costs in Half by Diane Warner

Provides advice on planning an economical wedding, including how to save money on wedding attire, flowers, food, and music, and offers sample budgets, current average costs, and histories of four weddings.

 

Budgeting Basics & Beyond by Jae K. Shim & Joel G. Siegel (eBook)

Financial and non-financial managers need to simplify their day-to-day work on important areas including budgeting, control, and planning, financial planning and modeling, project analysis, and capital budgeting. This updated desk reference gets to the core of every budgeting and planning issue fast.

 

The Theory of the Individual in Economics: Identity and Value by John Bryan Davis (eBook)

The concept of the individual and his/her motivations is a bedrock of philosophy. Economics, though, is guilty of taking this hugely important concept without questioning how we theorise it. This superb book remedies this oversight.

 

 

 

 

 

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Library Experience

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What can the library do for you, as a student at Union? We’re glad you asked! Read on to find out how you can get the most out of your library experience.

 

Social distance and wear a mask while you are in the Logos.

Keep us safe and open by following our COVID-19 protocols!

 

Visit us at the Circulation Desk or at the Research Desk. Ask us questions!

We love to help people, especially patrons who are excited about the library. We’ll gladly point you in the right direction (or literally walk with you there). We can also give you tips on using our library website, finding library items, checking out Reserves, ordering a book through Interlibrary Loan, etc.

 

Print, copy, and scan documents with our printers.

You can use one of our desktop computers or your own laptop to print here. Just use Paw Print if you’re printing from your laptop! Our copiers can scan books and papers for you and send them to your email. Click here for a tutorial on how to do that!

 

Dig deep into the library website.

You can do pretty much anything library-related on our website: renew your books, search for articles, schedule a Research Coach appointment, view old Cardinal and Cream magazines through our online Archives, see our operating hours . . . the list goes on! Just go to www.uu.edu/library and dive in!

 

Book a study room, the Recording Studio, the Media Room, or the Interview Room.

Need a space for something school-related (and not too loud)? We have rooms for that! Book online through our website, and reserve ahead of time to beat the crowds.

 

Borrow Expo markers, pencils, highlighters, and pens- but please bring them back!

We have a limited supply of writing materials that you can use while in the library. Please bring these items back to the Circulation Desk when you’re done so that others can use them.

 

While you’re at it, borrow a book or movie!

I’ve heard alumni say how sad they are that they didn’t take full advantage of check-out privileges when they were students. Just come to the Circulation Desk to check out, or use a Self Check Machine. It’s easy!

 

For more on all of the great things you can do at the library, check out our blog post about the library’s underrated perks!

Spotlight On “Career Transitions”

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Career Transitions is a database that can help you make the most of your job searching and career exploration efforts. Whether looking for tips about resumes, cover letters or simulating job interviews, this tool is helpful.

Using the popular O*NET OnLine system, Career Transitions can assess your career interests and allow you to browse career paths. You can also search for available schools and programs and read tips on applying.

One of the most helpful parts of Career Transitions is the resume/cover letter section. Here you will find examples of resumes and cover letters, as well as articles about how to make good ones. There are also videos provided!

To access Career Transitions, or any other database, simply go to the library website. Click on the “Databases” quick link, then scroll down the list of databases until you find Career Transitions. Accessing databases through the library website works much better than trying to Google them.

 

How To Book The Online Interview Studio

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We are excited to host the Vocatio Center’s Online Interview Studio here in the Logos building. This studio provides students with video-conference software and an aesthetic backdrop for their online interviews.

 

There are two ways that a Union student can book the Online Interview Studio:

Book online.

  1. Go to interview.vocatiocenter.com.
  2. Select the date and time for your interview. Bookings need to be made at least 24 hours in advance of your interview time.
  3. Click “Submit Times.”
  4. Fill out the online form with your student information.
  5. Click “Submit Booking.”
  6. When it’s time for your interview, arrive early at the library. Go to the Circulation Desk and check out the studio’s key and remotes using your student ID.
  7. Head to room 112 and get set up! There are instructions inside the studio.
  8. When the interview is over, please return the keys and remotes to the Circulation Desk.

 

Book at the Circulation Desk.

  1. Walk up to the Circulation Desk and ask to book the Online Interview Studio.
  2. Provide your name and email to the library employees so that they can make your booking.
  3. When it’s time for your interview, arrive early at the library. Go to the Circulation Desk and check out the studio’s key and remotes using your student ID.
  4. Head to room 112 and get set up! There are instructions inside the studio.
  5. When the interview is over, please return the keys and remotes to the Circulation Desk.

 

 

5 Tips For Proofreading

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A majority of our time in college is spent writing. We write essays, responses, critiques, and many other forms of writing throughout a given semester. With all of this writing, sometimes an important step can be left out: proofreading. So in the spirit of National Proofreading Day (March 8th), here are some tips for proofreading.

 

  1. Take A Break: After you have finished writing a draft of a paper, take a break. Leave the assignment, and if possible, give yourself around 24 hours to think about the topic you’re writing about. This method is most helpful for longer papers but requires you to get started early. If you have spent hours writing, you will lose some objectivity while looking over the paper. You will be too familiar with it and this will make finding mistakes more difficult. So get started early and allow yourself time to think about the paper before returning to proofread it.

  2. Read It Out Loud: Another great way of finding mistakes in your writing is to read it out loud. Sometimes when typing, we think something sounds correct in our heads. However, many times when we read our writing out loud we can see where an argument or sentence doesn’t make sense. This is a great way to see if your sentences are run-ons, if you repeat yourself too much, and if the paragraph or page flows well.

  3. Pay Attention To Wordiness: We all have word counts we need to meet with every paper, but many times better writing is concise writing. Sentences with too many words can be difficult to read, and you can lose your audience’s attention. Instead of adding extra words to try to finish the paper, take the time and energy to carefully choose your words. This will make your paper stronger and can lead to a better grade.

  4. Write Actively: Verbs drive language. When proofreading, look for how many times you use a “to be” verb, such as “is,” “are,” and “were.” These passive verbs make sentences weaker and can bring down an entire paper. Try to reorder the sentence so that you can remove the linking passive verbs and insert stronger, more powerful ones. To check, press “ctrl” and “f” on your keyboard and then search for those words. It may shock you to see how many times you use passive voice.

  5. Ask Someone Else To Read Your Paper: One of the best ways to proofread is to allow someone else to do it for you! Finding other students in a specific class and exchanging papers can be a great way to find mistakes in each other’s writing and make new friends! Have you ever lost something, spent minutes looking for it, and then someone else comes in the room and finds it almost immediately? As frustrating as that can be, writing is the same way. Sometimes one glance from someone who is not familiar with the writing can be all you need to improve your paper.

 

Writing is a challenge and after completing a difficult assignment, proofreading may seem like a useless check. However, if you dedicate yourself to editing and rereading your paper, you will see an improvement in your writing, and perhaps also in your grades.

*written by Brennan Kress

 

How To Contact The Library

Contact us!

 

If you have a question about finding books, articles, or DVDs, then you’ve come to the right place! We are happy to help you on your academic journey here at the library. But how can you ask us questions? There are several easy ways to contact us!

 

Face-to-face

Visit the Circulation Desk or the Research Desk on the first floor. Our library staff and student assistants will be happy to assist you!

 

Text

We have a new texting service! Text us at 731.201.4898 with your library-related questions.

 

Chat

There is a chatbox on the home page of our library website. You can use this service to ask us quick questions.

 

Call

The main library number is 731.661.5070.

 

Email

While each of the library staff have their own personal emails, you can also email the library in general at library@uu.edu.

 

Social Media

We are active on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and this blog (WordPress). Follow us for library news and updates!

 

However you choose to contact us, we are glad to help you!

Featured Book: “Getting From College To Career” by Lindsay Pollak

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There are 90 pieces of advice in the book Getting From College To Career by Lindsay Pollak. However, the author herself says to scan through her book for advice that relates the most to your specific situation- you don’t have to read the entire book, although that might help! Essentially, this book is for helping college students to launch their careers. Whether you’re a traditional or nontraditional student, a minority ethnicity, etc., there is advice here for you.

My personal favorite lines of wisdom from Getting From College To Career are about taking action:

The worst mistake you can make is not to take any action at all . . . Once I started making some phone calls, meeting some people for lunch, and sending out my resume, I built momentum and began to find opportunities. The minute I took action- any action- things started happening.

Pollak encourages college students to get out there and try new things, since you never know what might lead to a job opportunity. During your time in college, you should take advantage of your professors’ knowledge and their connections to potential employers. The university staff and faculty want to help you succeed, so it doesn’t hurt to ask questions! For Union specifically, the Vocatio Center is a great place to go for resume help, on-campus jobs, and future career prep. As Pollak says, “Do not pass GO, do not collect $200, until you’ve visited your school’s career services office.”

For more advice on what you can be doing to prepare for your next job, check out Getting From College To Career. It’s available in the library in the LB section (click this link to see the call number).

 

How To Make Time For Reading As A Busy College Student

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I’ve worked in the library for several years, and one thing I hear a lot from students is “I wish I could read that book, but I don’t have time!”

Now, I’m not here to give you a lecture on time management, or to tell you to stop doing homework so that you can read for fun! That’s definitely not what you should be doing as a student. However, I do think many students would like to find the time to read in their busy lives, so here are a few tips on how to squeeze in some reading time.

 

Read on-the-go.

Did you know that you can download eBooks from our library website? Once they’re downloaded on your Kindle, phone, or laptop, you can read the eBook even if you’re online. This is a great option for time spent waiting in line at Barefoots or sitting at the doctor’s office- those few extra minutes could be reading time!

 

Read on breaks.

From Christmas break to summer break, there’s usually a few hours to spare for leisurely reading. When I look at my Goodreads statistics, I can see that I typically read the most during J-Term, when I have a few days off of work and a less hectic schedule.

 

Read during meals.

Meal breaks are a great time to read a quick chapter or a few poems, especially if you find yourself in Cobo at a time when none of your friends are available for lunch.

 

Read before bed.

If you tend to reach for your phone before you turn out the lights, maybe you could reach for your book instead! If it’s a physical book, then its pages won’t emit sleep-disrupting light like screens do.

 

 

But what to read?

5 Financial Tips For College Students

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Recently, I have taken the Personal Financial Management class here at Union, and as I am about to graduate in the spring, I have begun to think more and more about more and more of my own finances. Here are 5 tips in personal finance:

1. Pay in cash.

If you can, try to pay for things up front and in cash. Whether it is a new phone or a new car, try to use cash. As college students, we probably already have thousands of dollars of debt anyways. We really don’t need more.

2. Pay off your student debt ASAP.

Becoming a college student is one of the best decisions you can make in your life. It can also be one of the most expensive. Once you graduate, it is important that you live meagerly and attempt to pay off your debt in a timely manner. The longer you wait, the more debt will accrue.

3. Save, save, save.

Once you start paying off your debts, you can start allocating your money to other things. One important tip I have learned is that you can just start saving the money that you were already using to pay off your debts. You already know how to live without that money, so maybe you can keep living that way.

4. Start investing early.

One of the classic and most important financial tips is investing early. Putting money into a 401K or mutual funds is critical. Money you invest now will grow exponentially, and being financially aware now can legitimately help you to become a millionaire by the time you retire.

5. Give to charity and to the Church.

This is something you should already be doing. God has told us that we should give a portion of our earnings to God. This is the most important tip I can give you. Give, not only because God will reward you, but because we are called to.

 

There are many other tips out there! Learning how to create a budget, creating an emergency fund, treating yourself every now and then, having small side jobs, and writing down your goals are just a few others. More than anything, the most important thing is to be responsible with the resources given to you!

 

*written by Donny Turner

What Is Being An Intern Really Like?

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Last semester, I wrote a blog post on how to get an internship. Over the summer, I was given a chance to work as an intern at The General Insurance in Nashville, TN. While there I learned how insurance companies determine how much insurance should actually cost for different people in different areas across the country. This was my experience:

Working as an intern in a formal office was both very similar to and extremely different from what I expected. There is a LOT of sitting. I had to be extremely intentional about getting up and walking around after work and during breaks. You definitely have to be careful about exercise when working at an office job.

I learned that the expectations were high. I hit the ground running at this internship; they immediately gave me multiple big assignments that would actually impact the team I was working for. This was one of the first times I felt like I was doing work that was genuinely fulfilling. This work was also genuinely terrifying. I had to present the work I did to the heads of our department and get critiqued on the work I had done. I loved getting to present and have positive feedback loops, but this part of the job was one of the more stressful aspects. I definitely learned more public speaking and explanation skills.

There is also significantly more downtime than I expected. Sure, there was plenty of work for me to be done, but quite a bit of it was work that I finished well ahead of deadlines, and once that is finished, you are mostly waiting for another work assignment. This aspect of the job was both wonderful and awful. On one hand it was great to get paid while doing minimal work, but also the downtime was excruciating.

One of my favorite parts of the internship was getting to meet the people. I was able to meet people from all different backgrounds from all across the country. During our internship, some of the other interns and I were given the opportunity to take a week and go to Madison, Wisconsin, the place where the main headquarters of the company are located. We were able to give a presentation on our experience on the internship and pitch an opportunity for a charity. Over the course of this week, I was able to grow extremely close with my fellow interns. We still keep up even now. I am really hoping we get to cross paths again in the future.

I think one of the best parts of an internship, besides gaining excellent experience and the people you get to meet, is getting to learn if this is something you actually want to be doing for the rest of your life. You get the opportunity to work alongside people that have been doing their job for years. You get to learn their insights and passions. Learning about a specific job and actually doing the work are two entirely different things. I went into this summer trying to decide if this was something I would want to do or if I should go to grad school. I am eternally thankful for this internship, and now I know that this kind of job is something that I would love to do after my college career has ended.

Getting an internship is a fantastic opportunity, and if you ever get the chance, you should absolutely take it!

 

*written by Donny Turner