How to Create a Job-Searching Space at Home

Your job searching workspace should be separate from all distractions in your apartment. Image: Covington Place, St. Louis, MO

Your job searching workspace should be separate from all distractions in your apartment. Image: Covington Place, St. Louis, MO

If you’ve graduated recently, we can guess what kind of conversations you’ve been having with your friends and family. When they see you, people likely offer a bright “Congratulations!” followed closely by an inquisitive “Have you found a job yet?”

If the answer is no, that question starts to get old – and after a few weeks, it’s downright annoying. We’ve been there, so we know getting your career started is hard, especially when you’re right out of school. Once you’ve thrown your graduation cap in the air, it’s time to buckle down and do some serious job searching – and what better place than your apartment? There’s an art to creating the perfect space to search for your dream job, and we’ve got a few pointers to make that happen.

Continue reading

Gift Ideas for the Recent Graduate

Your friend or family member graduated from college -- congratulations to them! Now, what to give them as a gift?

Your friend or family member graduated from college — congratulations to them! Now, what to give them as a gift?

Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment, so of course you want to honor the young scholar in your life. Just think of all the places their lives will take them!

There’s just one problem: You know that stereotype about broke college students? That’s not going to change for a while after graduation. They’ve got to find a job (which is sometimes much easier said than done), locate a place to live, and get started on being a grown-up. That’s tough to do when you’re starting from scratch.

But that’s where you come in! If you’ve got a friend or family member who’s graduating, we’ve got some gift ideas to help them embark on post-college life:

Continue reading

Student Discounts: Your Handy Cheat Sheet

Your Student ID is your ticket to savings! Check out this list of discounts for the savvy student.

Your Student ID is your ticket to savings! Feel free to crib from our list of discounts for the savvy student.

Here’s the situation: you’re working part-time to pay for college tuition, student fees, a ton of textbooks, your meal plan, and spending money so you can have some fun with your friends.

Yep, student life can be expensive, but look on the bright side. You’ve got a few years to put your Student ID to work and grab as many discounts as you can!

As you begin to settle in to your new school year, check out these strategies for finding college student discounts. We highlight some particularly great discounts for 2013, as well.

Continue reading

What Students Want in a College Apartment: Fall 2013

We take a look at the latest news about the college apartment market.

We take a look at news in the college apartment market. Check out the latest findings.

Say goodbye to the stereotype of the frivolous college student who racks up debt and spends with abandon.

Find your perfect apartment now!

Today’s students are much more budget-conscious, and they’re particularly sensitive to the costs of student housing.

Students still want the right location and great amenities, but they are looking very carefully at all their options before they commit to a lease.

Recession reality check
Students just entering college in Fall 2013 were high school freshmen during the height of the recent recession. According to rental industry publication Multifamily Executive, these students watched their families struggle with financial hardships like joblessness and upside-down mortgages. As a result, they are entering college intent on minimizing debt and stretching their rental dollars.

Continue reading

Parents, Help Your Child Find a College Apartment

Check out advice for parents to help their students settle in to their first apartment.

Check out advice for parents to help students settle in to their first apartment.

Has your college-aged child decided to move out of a dorm and into an apartment?

Living off-campus in a college apartment is a rite of passage for many students. To ease the journey for all concerned, we’ve got tips for parents ahead.

Continue reading

Create an Efficient Study Space in Your Apartment

A dedicated, organized study space could be your ticket to straight A's this semester!

A dedicated, organized study space could be your ticket to straight A’s this semester!

College students are expected to spend much of their time studying. Out of convenience, this important task is often done in front of the TV, at the kitchen table or even sprawled out on the floor. But these poor study habits can have adverse effects.

Find your perfect apartment now!

If your apartment doesn’t have the right setup for a student, it can be difficult to concentrate for long periods of time, prep for exams and write term papers. So, why not create a study nook that encourages learning? Our tips should point you in the right direction.

Continue reading

Top 10 Cities for College Grads: Post-Graduation Moving Trends (Infographic)

Click the image to view the full infographic.

Click the image to view the full infographic.

More than 70 percent of graduates are planning on moving to a new city once they say goodbye to their college campus and hello to corporate America.

Nearly half of all students are most concerned about finding an apartment in the “right” neighborhood after graduation.

Click on the infographic for more interesting insights into what post-grads want most in their next place.

Continue reading

Top Budgeting Resources for 20-Somethings

Getting your finances in order is a tough feat and can be intimidating. Use these resources to get it under control.

Graduating college and entering the so-called “real world” is an intimidating feat. You’re picking out retirement plans, selecting an insurance plan and making a down payment on your very own apartment. But when a large portion of your income goes toward all these things, will you still have enough to support your social life? The answer is yes, as long as you know how to budget your money and make smart decisions. If you’re already overwhelmed by trying to figure this entire thing out, check out these top resources to help you manage your budget without pulling out all your hair.

Budgeting
How much money do you spend on dining out with friends? What about groceries? You may be surprised to see exactly how much you spend on specific items when you have it organized, categorized and laid out in front of you. Click over to these resources to see how you can best manage your budget.

  • Mint.com – Connect all of your accounts – credit cards, checking and savings – and see all your balances and transactions in one place for free. Mint safely automatically pulls all your financial information into one place. You can set budgets for groceries, gas, going out, dining, etc., and Mint will alert you when you’re close to going over budget, and it also reminds you of upcoming bill payments. And if you have a goal of buying a house or just saving money in general, the site has tools for that, too. An added bonus is its helpful mobile apps for on-the-go 20-somethings.
  • 20 Something Finance – From significant debt after graduation and zero savings to saving more than 85 percent of his income, G.E. Miller helps you gain financial independence with his blog. He walks you through how he had a wedding that cost less than $2,500, maxed out his 401(k) and cut his budget to save money – all in his 20s.
  • The 20-Something Budget – This 20-something blog author walks her readers through how she manages her personal finance. She shares simple money-saving tips, as well as various resources to get your finances in order in your 20s. Wondering how you can gift shop on a budget? She’ll share her ideas with you. The author also compares grocery stores so you know where you can get the most bang for your buck.
  • Money Under 30 – Now that you’re making your own money, don’t spend it all in one place. No matter what your goal is – getting out of debt, getting married, having kids or buying a home – this blog, written by David Weliver, will help you get your budget right. His realistic approach to his finances and his sometimes failed attempts are relatable. The blog has now grown and includes tips from a CPA, licensed realtor and entrepreneur.

Retirement Planning
Why would you use up the little income that you have for something you won’t be able to touch until your 50s or 60s? It seems a little odd to already start planning for retirement, especially in your 20s, but it’s never too early to start. According to MSN, if you put $4,000 a year into retirement accounts starting at the age of 22, you can have close to $1 million by age 62. Starting 10 years later means having to put almost twice as much into your account annually. Talk to your employer, as well as a financial institution, and ask for retirement planning literature. To learn more about budgeting for retirement planning, check out Investopedia.

Photo Credit: iStockphoto/MikeCherim

How to Host an Apartment Tailgate Party

Can’t make it to the big game? Host a tailgate party in your apartment.

Labor Day marks the beginning of football season, an exciting part of fall. That means Saturdays spent cheering on your favorite college team and Sundays sporting the colors of your favorite professional team. If you’re lucky enough, you can spend those days tailgating hours before the big game and then heading into the stadium with 70,000 of your closest friends. But what if your team is across the country or you just simply can’t make it out to the game? Host a tailgate and viewing party in your apartment using these tips and pointers.

Guest List and Invitations
Decide who you plan to invite to your tailgate party. If your team is playing against a good friend’s team, consider inviting that friend for a friendly matchup. Keep in mind how much space you have in your home to keep guests comfortable. Also factor in seating. Do you have enough chairs for everyone? Once your guest list has been set, choose invitations. For a quick invite, use online invitations, such as Evite or throw together a tailgate-themed invitation via email. Include the date, time and whether the party is BYOB. Encourage guests to wear their best spirit wear.

Tailgate Décor and Supplies
It’s your party, and you should decorate it the way you want to. Use your favorite team’s colors as décor inspiration around your apartment. Cover tables in inexpensive tablecloths in your team’s colors. Check out your local party supply store for cheap items, like tablecloths made to resemble a football field, football-shaped balloons and cheerleading shakers. Another way to incorporate the theme is to purchase paper plates with a football print. Purchase utensils, cups and napkins in your team’s colors.

Food and Beverages
Let’s be honest; the best part of the tailgate is the food – and maybe the beverages. Decide on how much stress you want to put on yourself. Should you provide all of the food? If you have too much on your plate, consider providing the main course. Possible options are burgers, hot dogs, low country boil or smoked brisket. If your team’s opponent lends itself to a possible theme, work off that. For example, if your team is playing Maryland, you could make crabcakes. Pick a main course and ask your guests to bring their favorite side dishes or dips that go well with what you’re making. In addition to the main course, have extras for during the game, including pizza, chicken wings and nachos. Don’t forget the sweets! Keep candy in dishes. You can also bake a simple sheet cake and decorate it to resemble a football field or add your favorite decorations to it. For the beverages, provide water, soft drinks, juices and ice and have the party be BYOB. Have plenty of coolers so your guests can keep their beverages cold during the party.

Television and Entertainment
Though you may be interested in one game, consider having televisions on around your apartment, or have more than one TV in the main viewing area. This way, you can keep coverage on of other games for your guests. A fun way to keep your guests engaged in the games is to record your guests’ predictions of the games on a poster board for bragging rights later. Have prizes for the guest that correctly predicts the most amount of winners. Another way to keep your guests entertained is to play traditional tailgate games. Use your apartment’s entry way for a modified game of beanbag toss or ladder golf.

Photo Credit: iStockphoto/asiseeit