“Let’s Make Lots of MONEY” -PSB

It’s the end of the year and a lot of people are getting rid of their stuff. How can YOU profit?

How to become a dealer (of knowledge):

Some poor guy is down the street standing in line at the campus bookstore that is out the door and around the block. He is trying to sell his textbook back to the school, knowing that at best he’s going to get 1/3 of what he paid for Satan’s incarnate in text form, that put him through hell this last semester because he didn’t even open it. Sound familiar? That was probably you. Well I’m here to tell you that you can probably get a little more than 1/3 of the price!

Here are some tips, tricks, and apps that you can use to sell your old books, but keep in mind that I am still investigating some of these apps, and that selling back to one place might not get you the biggest bang for your buck, so shop around. Remember that saving money takes a bit of time and effort so don’t give up!

Bigwords.com: This website has saved my tush when it comes to buying books for the year. You enter the books you need and it will compare prices from websites all over to find you the cheapest place to buy the book you need. Keep in mind that some of the cheaper websites will take longer to get the book to you so make sure that you order your books early enough. It works the same way in reverse! You can enter your books into the website and it will tell you on which website you can sell it for the most money! Warning! Some websites require a minimum balance, (ex: my book is only worth $5, but the website won’t pay you unless they’re paying you more that $10 so I would either have to sell more books to this website, or find another website that will take it) so watch out for that. Bigwords will give you the top 20 or so places to sell your books, and I highly recommend it. Do remember that you might be buying your books from 5 or so different stores, and that it is important to keep track of shipping dates and fees.

BookScouter: An app for iOS and Android. It works similar to Bigwords, but its main purpose is to sell books. The app links with your camera, you can scan the barcode of the book you are trying to sell or enter the ISBN #, and voila! Presto! It will tell you the highest bidders for your book. Cons: It doesn’t recognize every book ISBN, scanned or entered manually. The prices aren’t as good as Bigwords, and the range of books that it can find is limited to popularly used books, but have no fear! It works on all of my U of I books, just not any of my community college books.

Chanel your inner Oscar the Grouch:

If you’re like me and you go a school that boasts about its diversity and that about half of the students are from exotic lands (like Iowa) and the other half are foreign, then you need to make it a priority to learn how to dumpster dive. Gross, right? Not if you do it right. I’m not saying hide out in a dumpster at the end of the year and wait for people to throw their goodies at you, but if every once in a while you HAPPEN to drive by a very nice apartment complex or private certified housing at the end of the year when all of the students who will be going back to their homes across the pond, and you HAPPEN to see a bunch of really nice stuff (mirrors, electronics, generic college dorm stuff, etc.) and you HAPPEN to load it all in your truck and sell it online, essentially making free money, then no harm no foul. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure: and that statement has never been more true than at the end of the year when everyone vacates a college campus. Hate all you want, but when I’m paying college tuition without having to take up poll dancing (mostly because I’m too clutzy to ever learn anything that required any form of grace) and you’re in debt 20 years down the line, you’ll wish you had dumpster dived like me.

Testimonials:

  • My friend’s sister found a Prada bag in a dumpster. WHO DOES THAT?!
  • I found a nice looking printer next to a dumpster. Cords and all. (I looked it up- it goes on Amazon for ~$220).
  • I found a table. I’m keeping it, but it’s money that I don’t have to spend to buy a table.

Please do stay safe when dumpster diving though. There is no need to chase down the garbage man. Don’t just jump in the dumpster- that’s gross. If it’s on top, GREAT! If not, you should probably leave it. Don’t fight with the dumpster rats. They’ve been there longer than you and know the territory better. They’re more likely to form a rat gang and corner you in a dark alley at night wearing leather jackets and snapping- you get the point. Don’t do anything stupid. Fun fact: When reselling items in a manner where you have to meet up with the buyer, there are stores that have designated online selling spots (like parking spaces, or a corner of the parking lot with a sign). Stores like Walgreens and Walmart that run 24 hours and are well lit are good places to conduct your deals (that sounds kinda sketch, but you get it).

Good websites to sell your findings on are:

  • Your local VarageSale website
  • Amazon
  • Ebay (only meet in well lit, public areas- STAY SAFE)
  • Have a garage sale
  • Specialty websites (ex: book websites, furniture websites, etc.)

Cash on the go:

There are many apps that allow you to make money simply by taking surveys and allowing ads on your phone, but what are they, and what are the pros and cons? I can honestly say that I do not outwardly seek these kind of apps, as they usually come up with popups that are annoying, or I can never find one that isn’t time consuming enough to be considered an efficient use of my time. However, I have run across a couple that are worth sharing, so here they are:

Google Rewards: This app is, unfortunately and as far as I know, only for Android users- but maybe Apple phones can use it as well? I believe that all you need is a google account, and since  I have an Android, my google account is what everything backs up to. It is a very easy app to use, but you don’t get much money out of it, and what money you do get can only go towards things in the Google Play Store. You will insert basic demographic information and will receive an alert anytime there is a questionnaire to be answered. Cons include that I did not get a questionnaire right away- I had to wait for them to send them to me, and they don’t come on a regular basis (i.e.: one every Thursday or once a month like mother nature intended), and even though the questionnaires that I’ve had to fill out take about 10 seconds (convenient), I only get pocket change out of them, and I wouldn’t complain if I got more of them. But as it sits now, I’ve got $.58 in my account and I’ve taken 3 questionnaires. As a millennial I want things faster. I would happily sit here on my phone, filling out surveys about which sports I have and have not watched for hours if it meant I would earn money towards getting movies on my phone for trips and stuff. But that’s just me. You really do get paid for your time and it IS satisfying to watch the little money meter go up every time you fill out a survey.

Quick Thoughts: This app is much more forthcoming with its surveys than Google Rewards, but you can only receive money $10 at a time. You take surveys until you reach the $10 mark, and you can redeem that money through Amazon gift cards. The questions are a bit more personal, but nothing too serious, and you can choose to not respond to some, should you so choose. There is always a new survey to take which means you can sit around at your desk all day and answer questions- getting money to sit around and get money. I like that. Or I would if I didn’t have to dedicate so much time to studying….

Surveys on the Go: It is very similar to Quick Thoughts in that you are asked to do surveys and they pay you more for it, and they pay in $10 increments. However, it is different in that you are to turn on your location so that it can give you location specific surveys. So far it has paid the best out of the other survey apps, and you can redeem your rewards through three different sites (Amazon, Paypal, or Visa) meaning that you can choose how you get your money.

There are plenty of apps and websites that have surveys for money, but please be safe when using them! Don’t give away information such as, oh, idk, social security, credit card numbers, you know. The important stuff. DON’T BE STUPID PLZ. But also, earn a lot of money by sitting on your phone.

Have fun with this guys and save the money for a rainy day or your next vacation! All of my funds are going toward my vacation jar. ❤

RayeDeSol

The Office: S1E1 (The Bathroom)

At work, on my floor, there is a bathroom. This bathroom is all the way at the (opposite) end of the hall, and despite having luxurious soaps, only has two stalls. Now our building tries to be energy efficient. This means that if no one is using a room the lights are off. This applies to bathrooms. This is not an embarrassing story, but it is about my greatest fear. The point of saying that there are only two stalls shows the infrequency that this lavatory is in use. Rarely is there more than one person in there, but should someone else have the urge, there is no line and no awkward waiting for that single user to finish. However, since this is not a large room and rarely are there two people letting nature take its course at the same time, it has become muscle memory that I turn the light off when leaving the throne room. Now surely you all are wondering what my greatest office fear is that so clearly involves the bathroom. Well, here it is:

What if I turn the lights off on someone (by accident) while they are still on the throne?

The John is a sacred place, and similar to fight club, no one talks about fight club. This does not discourage small children from disclosing their secrets to their parents, but your bowel movements are not generally something you post to your Facebook page or something that gets you the most retweets (no need to prove me wrong as a social experiment). But what if- WHAT IF- I walk in, and walk out while someone is using the loo and SHUT THE LIGHTS OFF?

Do I apologize, flip the switch and run away (they could track me down later using the 50 different cameras on the way back to my office in the Hall of Presidents)? Do I calmly act like the incident didn’t occur and flip it back? What if the recipient to my blunder later recognizes me by my shoes?!

WHAT DO I DO IF IT HAPPENS TO ME?!

Should I shout indignantly and hope no one stays around to find out that it was ME that was just sent to the depths of my dark tomb labeled ‘EM-BARE-ASS-MENT’? Do I sit in silence upon the throne until my work is done? Do I carry night goggles with me at all times?

Please discuss.

RayeDeSol

Not the Color Run

Holi is a traditional Indian celebration for the coming of Spring. I was made aware of this holiday last year by my roommates and have been enamored with it ever since! Last year I brought my friend, Natallie, with me. This year I brought both Nat and my boyfriend, Jeremy, and NEXT YEAR I’ll be bringing even more people as I’ve had SO many questions about what this event is and how to become a part of it. The event that I hope becomes an annual occurrence for me is run by ASHA UIUC (for those of you who are looking forward to attending next year but don’t want to come with). This year Michael Giger Photography was there and he took such amazing pictures of my friends and I that I just HAVE to share them and get his name out there. For those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram, I’m sure you’re sick of all my Holi posts, and I’m sorry! This will be the last one! Swear!

Love you all!

RayeDeSol

I am not a nice person.

I am not a nice person. I am frank, and I can be funny, but I’m not nice. Some people take my sarcasm seriously and take my honesty as a joke. That is not my fault. That being said, this post was written out of the pettiness of my heart, and I am owning up to that. I am not disillusioned by my pettiness, nor am I going to say that it was not my fault that this situation happened.

Now, let’s begin.

Something I have learned is that when you are in a class in college, and that class is a leadership class, you need to know what parts of you to bring to that group and what parts to bury in a grave 20ft down never to see the light again. This is a social skill that you learn from a very young age: How to interact with certain groups of people. For example, when you are with your family, do you say and do the same stupid things that you would do with your friends? When you are babysitting, do you use the same tone of voice, say the same things, or do the same activities that you would do if you were teaching a group of college kids? I hope the answer is no. And of course there are many reasons for that. You don’t cuss around little kids, small children generally cannot understand advanced mathematics, and your family doesn’t understand that inside joke that you have with Betty from Theta Apple Pie about Brad from Alpha Gym Shorts.

This applies between college groups too. You have your close friends (your inner circle that you spend the most time with), your friends (people you chill with, might grab food with every once in a while, but not the ones you go on long trips to the depths of the emotional south), and your acquaintances (group project people, people from high school that add you on Facebook even though you’ve never talked to each other in real life, that one guy that works in Espresso who knows your order but not your name, etc.).

DON’T EVER GET THESE GROUPS CONFUSED.

This was mistake #1. I tried to be funny and relatable with acquaintances. When I try to be funny and relatable with acquaintances I come off as a total asshole. Props to me, I know. Mistake #2: Telling my acquaintances how I truly felt about the project (It was a waste of time and pain in my ass).

I had informed my group that I was really busy that night (we met up around 9 or 10pm) and that I would only have time for an hour or so of meeting. This being said, it means that I have A LOT of stuff to do, I’m really tired, and I don’t particularly want to be working on this project right now. All I had to do was show up, agree with the project, and then get my portion of the work done. Right?

At the time of this meeting I was exhausted. I was done with group projects, and lord help me if I had to do any more BS for a group that didn’t appreciate me. The meeting started okay. I had to come late due to prior engagements, as did another group member. When I arrived, I sat down, pulled out my laptop, and started taking notes as usual. And again, as usual, my group members all started spitting ideas at me as if they weren’t allowed to do anything until I showed up and started taking notes. We eventually come to the topic of ‘don’t we have a group evaluation coming up soon?’ to which I said ‘yes’ and they all started talking about how they were going to answer the evaluation. This seemed pointless to me, as they are INDIVIDUAL group evaluations for the whole team. I’m not going to plan out or tell you what I’m going to put on an evaluation form that I don’t have the answers to, or won’t be doing for another week. These are group members that I would have no problem on accurately reflecting for because we were not going to be working outside of class too much, class ends in a few weeks, and they would not be seeing me again because they are either graduating, or in a completely different major from me. I informed them of such and did not get a positive response. Some were very upset that I said that I would not be working with them again due to the fact that we are all going our separate ways. It’s all a matter of perspective at this point. I meant it as ‘We’re all moving next semester. I won’t get offended by what you post because it will build on feedback that I have and will be beneficial to us all because we will have honest opinions for each other’ of course I said it in a manner that came across as ‘Screw you guys, I’ll never have to work with you guys ever again so I don’t care what you write about me’. Communication guys. Communication is key.

Now some of you are like ‘Raye. That was just you asking for negative feedback. You ASKED to be ripped apart on that one.’ Yes. You are correct. But I also wanted to share with you that you get what you ask for in group projects, and that should you ever feel like you should be brutally honest with anyone outside of your inner circle, do NOT expect to get the same reaction. I had a momentary lapse in that sense of judgement, and I can guarantee that it will happen in the future. But you have to recognize your mistakes and learn from them so that they will get less and less frequent in the future. To end this petty rant, always use the long way to explain offensive things or things that might come off as offensive. It sounds prettier and your group mates won’t be as mad at you.

RayeDeSol

Plant Babies

Salutations!

To start this post off, I would just like to say that my plants are the bomb.com. My children, Dude 2.0, Freshman Plant, Mini Rose Natallie Got Me, and Violet Jeremy Got Me, are growing splendidly. But this post is to introduce the newest member to the family, Mini Dude. Granted, I’m not the most original when it comes to names, but Dude is a family name that has a lot of history. Some might even say, it has DEEP ROOTS.

STORY TIME: When my mom was in college, her mom (Grandma) got her a plant. That plant’s name is Dude. Dude was the coolest guy, only Dude had two stalks. One day, Dude was split in half and separated. Mom got a Dude and Grandma cultivated new Dude. Since that day, Mom’s Dude has died and Grandma’s Dude has been spliced by the plant whisperer herself. Now just about everyone in the family has a Dude (so my Dude is more like Dude 2.7 or something), but I have carried on the tradition of receiving a Dude in college as I got my Dude freshman year.

Today, Dude got a new baby brother. Mini Dude has been a wonderful addition to the family, and not to toot my own horn, but I’m a great plant mom. As my children are depending on me, I provide for them. I feed them (tonight I bought fertilizer and a squirty gun that all of the other pretentious plant moms of the cul de sac use too), give them sunlight, read to them from my subscription of Better Homes and Gardens, put on HGTV while I’m in class, and I make sure to play music will develop their leaf-brains- so they have a healthy dose of Panic! at the Disco and Queen. When I go on long trips they get to spend time with their grandparents (my parents), and in the true spirit of grandparenting, my kids always come back bigger, heavier, and with that guilty, wide-eyed ‘Grandma fed me everything in the fridge’ look. You know the one.

Despite my textbook expert parenting, my mom has pointed something out to me this evening (after she almost told Mini Dude that he’s adopted. Good thing he hasn’t learned that word yet) that had completely escaped my attention.

My plants are naked.

Therefore I have decided that my kids need clothes, and not only do they need clothes, they need clothes that reflect their individual personality and interests while still being practical. This being said, I have decided that they need Hufflepuff scarves, mittens, and hats until the weather warms up enough for me to keep the windows open consistently. (Not to say that I will shun my kids if they aren’t puffs. I will love them no matter what. But until they are old enough to use the computer, they will rep top haus).

It’s time for Dude’s shower, so I should go now, but I will leave you all with proud parent pictures of Dude 2.0 and Mini Dude. (The rest of the herd are at their grandparents house being spoiled)

RayeDeSol

Fun fact: It was almost this day exactly last year when I adopted my first plant baby!