“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

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The Purge

Hello friends, family, and others!

I have a wonderful new cousin who is super into this ‘cleansing’ thing- you know, where you eat the healthy food that comes in the mail that looks like a brick and tastes like dust? HOWEVER!! As I have never actually TRIED any of it, I can’t say that it’s horrible. The whole ‘don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it’ mentality and all. Back to my cousin (in-law? just cousin? who knows. I like her enough- but hate that she lives in Florida… she should have to suffer in Illinois with me. We’ll just call her Emily. She’s great. <ily Emily>) who lives in Florida (not jealous) who sent me some samples of the health foods and face masks. She is a sales rep for this company called Arbonne Essentials and asked me to try some of her stuff. In all honesty, I love trying new things but I’m a VERY picky eater (heads up), so you have the privilege of testing out these new samples with me! Here’s a pic of all the super cool stuff I get to try: 20170515_100654(I assure you that these looked newer BEFORE I left them in my backpack for a week, and please excuse the poor quality of my pics. I have shaky hands.)

Now, because I’m trying these at work and not at home- because I never remember to do anything when I get to my apartment at the end of the day- I won’t be trying the face mask. I might make another post for it, or I might update this one later (at the bottom or something)

The Chocolate Bar:

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Looks like chocolate, smells like chocolate, tastes like a s’mores bar, and has the consistency of a granola bar (go figure). Leaves my mouth feeling dry because of the consistency, but no fear! That’s what I have the tea and the fizzy drink thing for. Way better than what I was expecting (which was dirt… because it’s supposed to be healthy). Final thoughts: would eat again, but not in the same quantities that I down chocolate bars when I’m on my period.

The Tea:

Choosing the right mug is always the hardest part of drinking hot beverages because there are always so many good mugs to pick from.

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Now, I’m not a religious tea drinker by any means, nor do I like coffee. I stray from caffeine as much as possible, and I’m really glad that this tea is caffeine free. In fact, my preferred hot beverage of choice is hot chocolate (if anyone has hot chocolate recipes for me to try I will willingly do so) tea just… isn’t my cup  of tea? Any who, when I first tried it I did not let it steep enough so it tasted like watered down dead leaf juice with maybe some mint? But as a former Starbucks Barista *hair flipgiphy* I know that steeping it longer will bring out the flavor or something. So I am currently waiting for it to steep as I find more gifs to put into this post.

So it’s been steeping a while and it still tastes like dead leaf juice, but with a really nice smell- so for those of you who like tea that doesn’t have a strong flavor, I’d say that this is a great tea for you. It’s really light with a bit of mint flavor, and it smells nice. But for those of you who like stronger flavored tea, this makes a really good air freshener or something to play with at work to make you feel more sophisticated.

Keep in mind, however, that this is a cleansing tea so the purpose is to clean and not fit MY specific standards of good tea and that even if it’s not my favorite cup of tea ever (I’ve had worse), you might LOVE it 🙂 so don’t knock it ’till you try it!

Energy Fizz Stick:

I kid you not, that is what it says on the package. I can’t make this stuff up. Now, after further investigation (and by that, I mean I texted Emily and said ‘wtf is this?’), you’re supposed to put this in a water bottle and shake it- but I don’t have one of those, so we’re gonna put it in a glass, stir it, and hope for the best.

It turns out that I cannot open things that are perforated so I must now go get some scissors.

Right off the bat this reminds me of those orange tablets you drop into water and drink when you’re sick. I don’t know if any of you know what I’m talking about, but I know that my Grandma ALWAYS has them at her place and whenever I tell her I’m feeling a bit under the weather she makes me drink a glass of the fizzy orange juice stuff. Only this is pomegranate flavored. I’ve never tried pomegranates so this will be an interesting test run!

It smells like Capri-Sun pouches, is kinda fizzy when you drink it, and tastes like fizzy fruit punch.

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All in all I would like to thank the amazing Emily for letting me try her products. I’ve had so much fun with this and getting to try new things. I can’t wait to try the face stuff when I get home!!! But I want to let you know that I am still the blogger that you know and love, and treated myself to a bag of M&M cookies for all of my hard work.

See you all soon and I hope you’re enjoying the weather!

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

Day with Bex

This weekend is Mom’s Weekend at the U of I which means one thing- I avoid campus. As soon as I was dressed and ready to face the light of day I called up one of my best friends, Bekah, to see if she was free for the day!

Getting off campus was an absolute nightmare what with it being Mom’s weekend and all. The moms were out in full force this weekend, and honestly, it was pretty scary. Fraternities spilling out onto the lawn, their houses filled to the max with motherly beer drinking and frat boys that have instantly changed their weed smoking ways for the weekend in an attempt to show their mothers that they are in good hands in college. It took at least 20 minutes to get off of campus. Gross.

Bekah and I spent the morning applying Jamberry Nail Wraps (shameless promotion), drinking hot chocolate, and general gossiping. Boy have I missed my Bekah :’D. The weather was so beautiful today that we spent a good portion of that time on the porch talking and soaking up the sun before it turns cloudy and cold again like it’s supposed to on Tuesday. An unexpected visitor by the name of Holmes (we named her as she was an alley cat) who came up out of curiosity, and because she was hungry. She was really friendly, but as I’m allergic to cats, I didn’t get too close. Of course, like all cats, she has that 6th sense so that should you be allergic to cats- she KNOWS and will chase you until she is able to rub her allergens all over you. Bekah took a video of Holmes.

Bekah also said I looked cute so she took some artsy pics of me while I was laying on the railing. As a generic white girl, I feel entitled to my artsy pics. However, in light of this, please know that I do in fact lay in strange and uncomfortable looking positions such as this when holding conversations.

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Around 4:30 we got hungry so we headed to Bob Evans (I got the Country Biscuit (10/10 really good) and Bekah got the Turkey Bacon Cheddar Melt (8/10 good, but turkey to bacon ratio was a little extra and they could have cut the sandwich in half but overall really good)). Our waitress was really nice and we got free banana bread ❤ it was really good. If I were to recommend anything from Bob Evans, it would probably be the banana bread slightly warmed with a little bit of butter (assuming I have time to put butter on the bread before shoveling it into my mouth…). The family next to us was a little nosey, but we might have been a bit loud. At one point they told the waitress that we were laughing too much (in a joking manner) and we joked that they were being to loud and it was a whole socially awkward thing between a dad and two awkward college girls while his family and the waitress just looked on awkwardly. It also didn’t help that all of the tables were so close together that we were practically rubbing elbows with them. After some awkward ‘haha’s and a conversation about colleges (they were from Wisconsin headed to Indiana and we had to explain that we live in town and that Bekah goes to school in Wisconsin and I put in the mandatory ‘U of I is GREAT’ shpeel) we bolted.

We headed back to Bex’s for some more chill time before realizing that we super needed ice cream so we headed to Marble Slab. I told Bekah I wasn’t going to pay for hers, until I realized that I had two $5 off coupons (from my days as an addict), which made both of our ice creams free, so I paid and we got free ice cream. 😀 It was really good free ice cream. We took our free ice cream to Art Mart and walked around until they closed before coming back to Bekah’s house. We are now chilling and ‘doing homework’.

What a great and fulfilling day! Not excited to get back into the real world where there’s school and deadlines and stuff. Gross.

RayeDeSol

Witches and Wizards

Today was a LONG day. We’re talking 5 classes, each an hour and a half long, a meeting with the education academic advisor, and in less than an hour I will be off on a 7 hour straight meeting marathon. We’re talking APO, HPA, online, group projects, the works. However, this is a relatively short post.

FIRST I’m going to tell you all about my obsession with Harry Potter.

When I was about 6 my mom and dad were watching one of the Harry Potter marathons that was running on ABC Family. You know the ones. They run practically once a week. 6 year old Raye saw mommy and daddy watching a movie and she wanted to too! The beginning was all dark so she thought it was going to be some sort of horror movie, but stuck around anyways and has been addicted ever since.

20 year old Raye still has her room at home decorated with a Harry Potter theme, has Harry Potter posters hung in her apartment, still goes dressed as Hermione for Halloween, and has what might be according to some people an ‘unhealthy’ amount of memorabilia (including sweatshirts, t-shirts, postcards, pens, soundtracks, stickers, wallets, luggage tags, pillows, blankets, notebooks, wands, key chains, time turner, etc.). Hell, I even have a snitch hanging from my ceiling. I’ve taken the quiz about 3 times and I always get Hufflepuff (#puffpride). I have one copy of all the books (and they are sacred), I’ve visited the museum exhibits from the movies, and now, I am the event planner for the University of Illinois Harry Potter Alliance Club. (EEK! :D)

So today when I opened my door to the mailman and got a package that had a REPLICA HARRY POTTER EXERCISE BOOK, I screamed and might have scared the mailman a bit. (Another thing: I am totally obsessed with would be school/office supplies. It’s an addiction I can’t afford as a broke college student, but trust me when I say I have whole Pinterest boards dedicated to the cause. )

With tonight being my first meeting with the Harry Potter Alliance as they teach me the ropes, I can’t WAIT to put my new notebook and pencils to work!