Are You a Recent College Grad? Do These Things Now Thursday, Dec 15 2022 

By Jacob MaslowBranded Content

If college graduation day is in your recent past, now is the time to start getting serious about dealing with a few of life’s important issues. Whether you’re fresh out of school or several years into a new career, attend to priorities that matter, like setting up a tax-deferred retirement account. If you’re lucky, an employer offers a different kind of IRA known as a 401(k), which allows for larger contributions and potentially generous payouts.

Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that just because you’re still relatively young, it’s okay to put things off for a few more years. By the same token, be careful to focus on a couple of the non-financial moves you should be making, like incorporating rest and leisure time into your daily life and building a professional network. Of course, now is also the perfect time to refinance student loans in order to save money on monthly payments. Getting life insurance and setting up a regular savings plan are other pieces of the puzzle. Here are details about how to get started on the most critical projects.

Refinance Your Student Loans

It doesn’t matter whether you’re paying on one or a half-dozen college loans. The smartest move a recent grad can make is to refinance all of them into one new obligation. Young working people can save a lot when they refinance school debt. The logical first step of the process is to find an online resource that lets borrowers scan for personalized loan refinancing rates from multiple lenders. The one-stop-shop approach makes sense for a number of reasons. Other than the convenience factor, using such a site gives users a chance to compare rates and terms. There’s no better way to get the best refinancing deals and chop a significant amount off monthly expenses.

Open an Individual Retirement Account

When it comes to IRAs, there are a few essential guidelines. Don’t procrastinate, and don’t think you’ll always be able to contribute the maximum annual amount to an IRA. Plus, don’t think you’re too young to plan for retirement. Now is the best time to get the benefit of compound interest. Know the two main types of IRAs, one of which uses tax-deferred income and one that doesn’t (the Roth IRA). Finally, get professional financial advice if you have any questions. It’s imperative to get accounts set up according to legal requirements and to start contributing to them as soon as possible.

Buy Life Insurance

Take advantage of being young and healthy and get a steal on the price of excellent coverage that can never be canceled. Don’t leave things to chance by purchasing the first policy that looks like a good deal. Instead, use a reliable website Marketplace by Navient platform that lets you compare rates for several top carriers. Find out how much coverage you need by using one of the many available formulas that take age, income, and preference into account.

Build Leisure Time into Your Life

It’s easy to become a workaholic, so don’t risk burnout. Many young professionals join a gym or do regular exercise to stay healthy. However, one of the central benefits of working out is to have an outlet from the pressures of work. Plus, gyms are a great place to meet people outside your career field, make some personal contacts, and casually socialize. Beware of overindulging with alcohol, and learn how to party responsibly. Too many young working people let their guard down and end up with addiction problems. It’s best to cut off that possibility before it happens.

Save Regularly

One of the secrets to building wealth is learning how to save consistently. The wisest first step is to automate the process via a payroll savings plan through an employer or bank. Avoid accumulating a significant amount of debt, especially if you have high-limit credit cards. Create an emergency fund that is roughly equal to three months of income. Aim to set aside between 3% and 7% of monthly income, but adjust that amount if needed.

Photo Courtesy // Jacob Maslow //

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University Dining Addresses Panda Express closure, shortened MarketPlace hours Sunday, Oct 23 2022 

By Tate Luckey

After being shut down for nearly a month, the University of Louisville Dining Services announced they are set to reopen Panda Express before the end of the semester.

What Happened to Panda?

The restaurant recently had to shut down due to issues with the fire suppression system according to Lisa Ennis, the director of Auxiliaries and Asset Management.

It had not been serviced in years and that was not under my watch. These issues could have potentially caused a fire. I made the decision to shut down [Panda] as soon as I was made aware. We will have to order food and the supply chain may be our only obstacle to overcome. I assure you, we have the safety of the campus as our number one priority,” she stated. 

During the time of the shutdown, Nathan’s Taqueria sent their food truck to serve as a fun alternative for students during lunch hours. Their menu included options for street tacos and nachos that students could purchase for flex points, Monday through Thursday.

Still Insufficient

Even with the reopening of Panda Express, this still doesn’t fully solve the student body’s issues with more dining options and later hours. Among the restaurants on the Belknap campus, only Twisted Taco, Wendy’s, Starbucks, and Eiffel Pizza are open past 8. The Health Science Campus has even fewer options, with students only being able to order Chick-fil-A and Starbucks via Grub Hub. For those in 8+ hour clinical, options can get pretty mundane.

“There are some other options nearby like food trucks and Panera, but those are not affiliated with U of L so they don’t take Flex or Swipes. The hours are also fairly limited for each option- Starbucks closes at 2:45, yet my latest class is until 3:50,” HSC senior Kaycie Carpenter said.

Services Vice President Alex Reynolds and other members of the U of L SGA have been pushing for longer restaurant hours, and have made progress in advocating for more local, health-oriented options that will hopefully debut on campus in the future. Superfood smoothie company Lueberry took the place of Cardinal Nutrition in the SRC over the summer, and dining services have been keen on showcasing both the talents of their staff through events like “Battle of the Chefs” and local vendors through “Farm to Table.”

An example of the food offered at the MarketPlace.

The MarketPlace

It was students’ low foot traffic and lack of interest, though, that led to the SAC MarketPlace’s hours being shortened from 8 PM to 5 PM. “We averaged 10 people eating at the MarketPlace after 5 pm. It is not sustainable to keep it open through the evening. Students are eating in other places,” Ennis said. 

Dining services had previously announced on August 8th that the MarketPlace was changing its format from a normal meal swipe exchange per restaurant station to a more “residential, one-swipe-to-go” option, similar to a buffet. Many students on social media were apprehensive about the change, noting that The Greenery, which replaced the popular EverGrains, just didn’t have the same appeal.

Quality speaks more than quantity, in this case. If you have the chance to go during normal, busier hours the variety of food gives you plenty of things to fill up your plate. However, since most of the food tends to sit in those wide chafing dishes, some of the meat and vegetables can get pretty dry if not routinely replaced.

Students care about where their money goes, and so the communication between dining and its vendors has to reflect that. If you’d like to learn more about U of L dining and its services, you can do so here

Wings, cornbread, fried plantains, and a brownie from the MarketPlace.

File Photos // The Louisville Cardinal //

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