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The new MSU pocket guide is here!  Time to begin your treasure hunt; X marks the spot.  (Hint: X’s are found at the following locations).  Good Luck!

Around MSU:                                          
Admissions/New Student Services
Ask Us Desk
Bookstore
Career Services
SUB Cafeteria
Office of Student Success
Culbertson-Mullan Hall
Hannon Hall
Hapner Hall
North and South Hedges
Visual Communications Building
Langford Hall
Outdoor Recreation Center
Residence Life Central Office
Roskie
Bracken Center
Student Health Services


Around Bozeman:
Sola Cafe
Food for Thought
Joe’s Parkway
Junga Juice
Pack-Tech
College Street Cafe
Culture
Daily
Paulie’s
Spire Climbing Center
Wild Joes
Nova Cafe
Duds and Suds

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Cash-Saving Tips, Bozeman Style

 

Over half of all recent MSU graduates hold a student-loan debt of $24,000 dollars or more. To put things into perspective, that’s 3,000 hours of working at a minimum-wage job, one-tenth the cost of an average home, or 48,000 tacos. Put another way: twenty-four grand is a shit-ton of cash.
College should be a fun and rewarding experience, not a time to worry about falling into crippling debt—so start pinching pennies now instead of taking out more loans. Here’s a list of practical and creative methods to save some cash.
Get Books for Cheap
Remember that you’re in college to learn (we hope). Inevitably you’ll have to spend more money on books than you want to. Besides giving yourself time to shop around for the best prices, try a few of these tricks:
·      Ask if a friend owns the book you’re looking for. Bribe that friend with a case of beer, wash his or her car, etc. Do whatever you need to do.
·      Check out the library. Most professors will place a copy of your textbook on reserve. Read it there, take notes, or make a few photo copies to take home.
·      Make friends the first few days of class and split the costs of a single textbook. Take turns with the book or hold group study sessions.
·      Wing it like Maverick and Goose on Top Gun. Legend speaks of a chosen few who have made it through class without a book. It’s not easy, and we’re not advocating this to just anyone, but it can be done.
Stop Paying for Gas
A car is a blessing and a curse. The Bozeman area has dozens of places to visit by vehicle, so you can find out why Montana is called “the last best place.” But with gas, insurance, and maintenance, road trips can rapidly move down the priority list.

Biking, on the other hand, is away of lifefor many Bozemanites, as many ride to class year-round. What you lose in convenience, you’ll make up for in savings—the cost of maintaining a bike for a year averages a paltry three hundred bucks, compared to eight grand for a car. Not to mention that pesky MSU parking permit—$160 buys a lot of frozen burritos.

Try Bozeman’s awesome Streamline bus. As a free community service, these big yellow beasts run year-round, offer late-night service, and have routes to nearly every section of town. They’ve got racks for your bike and comfortable seating, so when you’re pooped or the weather’s crappy, hop onboard and take a break. For all you guys and gals who love to hit the powder, winter routes to Bridger Bowl and Big Sky are available on weekends and MSU holidays.
Eating & Drinking on the Cheap
If you’re not careful with your money, it will slowly sink into the quicksand of groceries, eating out, or even that daily cup of coffee. Living like a monk is one solution to saving cash, but not a fun one. Keep track of how much you spend, look for deals, and think about these tips:
·      Use coupons. You can only eat PB&J twice a day for so long, so enhance your intake with coups. In addition to the various coupon books found around MSU and Bozeman, the MSU Pocket Guide has nearly 50 cash-saving coupons,  many of which let you eat like a king on a pauper’s wage. Play “restaurant roulette” the next time you hit the town—flip through your Pocket Guide, find a coupon, invite some friends, and live beyond your means for a night.
·      The U.S. Department of Health notes that college students spend about $5.5 billion per year on alcohol, mostly beer. If you find yourself heading to the bar, bring only a predetermined amount of cash. Twenty bucks should be enough for a decent evening, especially at the Molly Brown, the Haufbrau, or the Eagles (check out the 2-for-1 drink coupon in this year’s Pocket Guide). It’s easy to get swept up in the moment and buy a round for everyone, but while this may make you a popular friend, it won’t do much for your wallet.
Be Creative with Your Leisure Time
If you think weekends in this town are a bust, you don’t know Bozeman. Music, art, outdoors; choose a topic and chances are there’s at least one event to pique your interest. If you make smart decisions and use a bit of creativity, you can have fun and save money at the same time. Try planning a picnic at the M, go window-shopping downtown, throw a disk in Rose Park, or check out a cheap concert at Reynold’s Hall. Any of these activities less than the movies and can be a lot more fun.
For additional money-saving tips, check out the MSU Pocket Guide’s Twitter feed or Facebook page for daily updates on area events, or visit our parent publication, Outside Bozeman, for an in-depth list of activities in the local area.
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Dorm-Room Décor

Your new home… yawn. Time to decorate!

As an impoverished college student, coupons and thrift stores are your two best friends. But that doesn’t mean you have to live a Spartan existence, devoid of comfort and style. Here are some affordable ways to spice up your dorm room—or your off-campus bedroom—on a limited budget.

Light it Up
Add interesting lamps for some nice mood lighting. Dorm-room lights are usually florescent and can hurt your eyes after hours of studying. Hit up local thrift stores to find funky lamps and shades. Get small Christmas lights, rope lights, or other decorative string lighting to hang on the walls and ceiling. This adds a nice touch and will make your room seem like a penthouse suite compared to those boring rooms with only an overhead light.
Outdoor Décor
Climbing shoes + hook = decor

Use outdoor gear as decoration. Instead of stashing your skis under the bed, prop them somewhere visible and useful—maybe in a corner, where they can double as a coat rack. Hang up a hook for your climbing shoes. Like the classic old snowshoes on the cabin wall, outdoor items add individuality to your room—and keep you from having to search the closet when it’s time to head outside. Just don’t forget that gear is for activity first and decoration second.

Get Creative
Make it new again with artwork. Art can come in all forms and it doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars to make your room look awesome. Once again, Bozeman’s numerous thrift stores often have cool paintings for under $10. Rummage through the fabric bin and find a makeshift tapestry. Don’t forget about garage sales; scour Craigslist and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle for locations each weekend. If you can’t find anything you like, make something yourself. You don’t have to be Picasso or Rodin; just pick a medium and go crazy. You can also alter thrift-store pieces to make them more to your liking.
Thrift stores have cool stuff for cheap

 

Other Ideas
Use old fabric as a throw for your bed—just make sure it’s been washed. Make a collage with photos of friends and family (you might not miss your parents at first, but homesickness will eventually set in). Get a small potted plant to bring life and color to your room. And when they hand out free posters on campus, look at them from an aesthetic perspective; they might just be worth hanging up.
For a full list of area thrift stores, check out this year’s MSU Pocket Guide, which will be available around campus starting August 6 and online at digital.msupocketguide.com on August 13. More style-on-a-budget ideas can be found in last year’s guide.
Becoming a part of the MSU community.

Welcome to the Pocket Guide

So you were walking around campus and happened to find a copy of the MSU Pocket Guide lying around, its sleek cover and unassuming size standing out from the ubiquitous and humdrum reading material scattered around MSU.
Maybe while flipping through the pages you found a great place to eat, 
discovered a new study spot, or read about a cool MSU program you never new existed. Perhaps a special sale on skis caught your eye or you learned that you can rent a raft from the Outdoor Rec Center for only $40/day. Maybe that column on parent-sitting kept Mom and Dad from noticing that your laundry hasn’t been done in two months, or our list of student discounts saved you enough cash to finally get off that Ramen-only diet.
Whatever caught your eye, eventually you found yourself here, at the MSU Pocket Guide blog: an ongoing companion to our once-a-year publication. This blog is a place for staying informed, engaged, and entertained—we’ll post a little bit of everything, including the best spots to go fishing, updates on what’s happening around MSU, and weekly reports on what it’s really like to be a student. Not to mention life and leisure in and around the great town of Bozeman, Montana.
You already have enough homework, so let us do the research and planning for you. In addition to this blog, we’ve got a Facebook page and Twitter feed for daily updates. Head to our website for photos, money-saving coupons, contests, and more articles and info on student life.
If the outdoors are what you’re after, check out our parent publication, Outside Bozeman Magazine, and learn more about the recreational world of southwest Montana. With our help, you can get outside and experience the best of what Bozeman and MSU have to offer—without the frustrating and time-consuming trial-and-error period. School itself is an epic adventure; no need to make things any harder on yourself when you finally get a break for some outdoor fun.
So head down to the Western Café and eat like a king, then hike the M to burn off the calories, or shoot up to Bridger Bowl for a powder day. Hit-up a music venue downtown, climb the Bozeman Boulders, or simply enjoy a cup of coffee at Wild Joe’s, with ample seating, tasty treats, and reliable WiFi. These are just samples of the abundance and diversity that exist beyond the usual student haunts. Plenty more exist.
Once you get a chance to really see what MSU and Bozeman are all about, it will become pretty clear why this little mountain town will be one of the best places you’ll ever live. Our goal is to get you there sooner rather than later.
Welcome to MSU. Welcome to Bozeman.
—The MSU Pocket Guide staff

Student Life, Outdoor Advice