How To Save Big! Tips on Budgeting

Contributed by: Jojo Siu, Verano Place Housing Assistant


If you’re experiencing some real budget limitations as you enter the start of the new year, (and also as tax season approaches!), here are some ways to save big, and get some tips on how as you do it!


  • Apply for Food stamps: There are lots of local stores that take food stamps. Albertsons has a redeem program that exchanges stamps for discounts and savings on food. If you need help or need more information, go to this website: Here are some local Food Stamp Agencies and Cash aids in the OC area:
    1. CalFresh (2020 W. Walnut, Santa Ana, CA 92703): Open 7am-5pm.
    2. CalWORKs (23330/40 Moulton Pkwy, Laguna Hills, CA 92653): (949) 206-4000.
  • Stock up on coupons! A lot of stores nowadays have free online coupons that you can print out and bring with you to the store.
    1. Albertsons: Albertson’s Coupons
    2. Target: Target Coupons!
    3. Walmart: Walmart Coupons
  • Start keeping track of what you’re spending: Whether it’s a notebook, or an excel sheet, it helps to constantly keep a daily record of your expenses. You are more aware of staying in track with your expense goals for each month. There are also plenty of apps for your phone to help save and keep a budget.
    1. (also a free app for your phone)
    2. The Toshl app (for your phone)


Finally, as tax season approaches, start keeping track of taxable receipts, and don’t forget to think about long term saving as well. It’s never too early to start investing some money into a retirement fund!


For some more tips on preparing for tax season, check out this website!

Tax Planning and tips.

Maintenance Monday: Sprinklers

Have you noticed any broken, over-spraying, flooding, or not properly working sprinklers? Help us get ahead of any potential water disasters by calling in, submitting a work order, or emailing any sprinkler problems as soon as you notice them! The housing office phone number is 949-824-5964 if calling M-F, 8 am – 5 pm, and the after-hours duty line is 949-294-1812. Please be sure to let us know the building the problem sprinkler is by and the approximate location.

Relationships and Space, or Lack Thereof

Contributed by: Nikki Sherman, Verano Place Housing Assistant


With the quarter kicking back in again, it might be time for a gentle reminder that, we, as graduate students often have to take our work home with us. The hustle and bustle of daily life means that there are too few minutes in the hour, too few hours in the day. The stress of school, work, and family often piles on at a rapid rate. To cope with this, here are a few suggestions in conceptualizing “space,” and how it can help bolster the relationships around you.

  • Balancing family life is difficult when the work becomes a mountain. Remember to communicate with your partner and friends when work needs to get done. A few hours of space can give you the quiet time you need to knock a project out or get some grading done.


  • When asking for space, make sure you stress that the relationship is important too. Try to come up with a goal, treat, or outing to make the completion of work all the sweeter.


  • On the flip side, don’t forget to give your partner and family the time they need. Give your work some space, and show people that you can make the reverse sacrifices for them.
  • Making schedules can really help to balance heavy workloads. If you can visualize the time you need, you can better understand the time you actually have. Use the time you have to build relationships with those around you. As good as scrolling through social media might sound, try going out for a movie instead. In fact, Irvine has a great dollar theatre that’s perfect for cheap family outings! (


  • Take advantage of Verano Place housing events! We try to design fun evenings to break up the routine. Bring your family to Family Movie Night, or enjoy a night with other adults and Adult-Only Movie Night.



  • Use these nights to take the space you may need in a relationship, or to make space for relationship time!

Remember, everyone is different and every relationship is different! Different people need different amounts of space or boundaries. The important this is to keep space in mind, especially with the hectic student lives that we are all familiar with in some way.

Carrying Around Some Unwanted Extra Weight from the Holidays?

Contributed by: Taisha Lewis, Verano Place Housing Assistant

Winter Break is a time that is looked forward to. It’s a time where most people are allowed a break from studies and work to enjoy an array of activities. Some enjoy Holidays with their families, travel, or simply use the time to relax. Savoring food is a huge pastime over Winter Break and more times than not this leads to some unwanted weight gain. Sometimes losing weight is a New Year’s Resolution and other times it’s simply a personal goal.


Now that Winter Break is over, here are some tips to shed some of those unwanted pounds or simply to begin a healthier lifestyle:


  1. Have a Positive Attitude: Regardless of how much weight you want to lose, muscle you want to gain, or change in health that you want to acquire maintain a positive mind frame. The more positive you are, the more likely you are to attain your goals and enjoy the benefits!
  2. Set Sensible Goals: Losing weight too quickly is both dangerous and can lead to failure. If a goal is unreasonable, and then not met, it can lead to a loss of motivation. Studies have also shown that people who crash diet (lose large amounts of weight within a short time with diets), are more likely to gain the weight back than people who don’t.
  3. Diet and Exercise are equally important: Many people focus on the food they consume but don’t dedicate the time to exercise that they should. Start out slow (e.g. going for walks after meals), and continue to build on your exercise abilities as time goes on.
  4. Utilize the ARC: The Anteater Recreation Center is meant to be a convenient resource to help students at UCI, and their families, be healthy. Students can use the ARC for free any quarter that their student fees have been paid, and their spouses can purchase passes for an affordable rate as well. The Arc also has many services such as training, classes, rock climbing, and more (see website for upcoming dates and pricing).
  5. Take Advantage of Community Programs: The Verano Resident’s Council is teaming up with the Palo Verde Resident’s Council to provide Yoga classes free of cost to Verano and PV residents on Wednesday nights (see Verano website for details).
  6. Revitalize Your Menu: Some people enjoy healthy foods, while others don’t. Using different recipes and ways of flavoring healthy foods is a good way to stay on track. It helps with cravings and temptations. Herbs and spices are a great way to improve taste.
  7. Remember Serving Sizes: How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overeating is possible even when only healthy foods are consumed.


There are many websites that have wellness trackers and tips, recipes, and other ideas. One website that does them all is: . Find a schedule and system that works for you and stick to it!

Community Meeting regarding Extension Classroom Building Construction

When: Thursday, January 15, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Where: Old Rec Center


We invite the Verano Place community to attend this community meeting as an opportunity to learn more about the Extension Classroom Building which is planned to go into parking lot 17A. Construction on the parking lot has begun and the building is scheduled to open in August 2016. Representatives will be in attendance to review project plans, construction impacts, and project timeline.

Caring For Your Apartment

You (and your apartment-mate when applicable) are responsible for the standard of cleanliness in your apartment. Many apartment-mates have found it useful to establish a rotating schedule for cleaning the common areas of the apartment. Make a habit of cleaning up as you go! This saves time and keeps your home clean and organized. Washing dishes as you cook works great and prevents the large pile to wash after the meal. Even if you cannot get to the dishes right after a meal, make sure the kitchen is clean before bedtime to prevent an unmanageable mess.  A clean kitchen can help control ants and other pests. Clear the floors of any clutter. Take a few minutes to put away any toys, books, games, or other items that are not where they belong and your home should be in good shape for the day.