An Unconventional Guide to Paying for College

Money for College Project Weekly Roundup: March Madness

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Scholarships and Grants | 6 comments

For all of my fellow college basketball fans, we are entering our favorite time of the year: March Madness!

I love nothing more than sitting in front of the tv for hours on end watching all of the drama and suspense unfold. Who needs reality tv!

Unfortunately, my Alma Mater won’t make it into the big dance this year, but I still plan to watch as much of the tournament as possible. I’m a little jealous of Jeff at Sustainable Life; I believe he is actually going to watch some games live this year! Maybe some day…

Even if you are not a big college basketball fan, I think there is still some awesome information that can be learned from the following articles. Here is what went on at Money for College Project as well as with my Yakezie friends. Enjoy!

Money for College Project

 

Family Financial Fitness Day

 

 

Higher Ed Helps the Economy

 

 

Odenza Marketing Scholarship

 

 

 

Yakezie Friends

 

Sustainable Life – Tenets of Sustainability

 

 

Stock Trend Investing – Mobile Stock Investing

 

 

Penny Pinching Pro – Thesis Edits

 

 

Fiscal Phoenix –  Fun in Investing

 

 

Mighty Bargain Hunter  – Uncle Sam Keeps Refunds?

 

 

Money Cactus – Hyperbolic Discounting

 

 

Roshawn Watson – Safe investments?

 

 

Broke Professionals – House on the Market

 

 

Dog Ate my Wallet – Budgets…

 

 

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How Higher Education Helps the Economy

Posted by on Mar 6, 2012 in Scholarships and Grants | 8 comments

How Higher Education Helps the Economy

Another great infographic from our friends over at Online Universities Resource.

The main metric in this infographic is Return on Investment or ROI. They used a recent study by PayScale to determine which colleges had the best ROI. This means that based on the amount you would have to pay for tuition, your ROI is the amount of financial reward that you would receive in return for your education. Translation? How good of a job you can get and keep over the course of your career!

We’ve talked before about how your job prospects and the ability to earn a competitive wage are the new standard for colleges and universities. When you sink $100,000 into your college education and then end up with no job prospects and student loan bills that you cannot pay, you not only hurt yourself but you become a drain on society and our government. Avoiding this at all cost should be your goal. You can do this by spending as little as possible on your college education, by finding the best job possible, or by doing both and keeping all of your options open.

The chart at the bottom is also very interesting. It looks at the current unemployment rates in America and the corresponding majors that those unemployed folks pursued while in college. Architecture and the Arts have taken a beating in recent years. Always good to think about these things before deciding what your major in college will be!

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My Family Financial Fitness Day

Posted by on Mar 5, 2012 in Getting Started | 2 comments

financial ftness day

This past Saturday was my annual Financial Fitness Day.

I started doing this a few years ago on a recommendation from a family friend who said that he had been doing this for the last 30 years. The concept makes perfect sense to me: a day set aside for nothing but taking care of updating, rebalancing, changing, analyzing all of your financial data and positions.

The finances of one family can become very complicated very quickly. When you factor in insurance, mortgage (or rent) payments, retirement, savings, utility bills, college savings, and taxes, it quickly becomes apparent that you could use a virtual assistant to help you keep track of your finances.

Rather than hiring someone else to handle my finances for my family, I take one day out of the year where I completely devote myself to optimizing our finances. My wife is happy to let me go for one day to focus 100% on getting our finances in order for the next year. Here are a few things that I was able to accomplish in the most recent addition of my finncial fitness day.

Researching Our Insurance Premiums

We pay a lot of money in insurance every year. We pay insurance on our cars, on our home (we used to even pay insurance on our mortgage, but thankfully that is done), on ourselves, on our life, on our business liability and equipment, and even a special jewelry policy for my wife’s engagement ring.

My task with all of the various insurance policies that we have is to research quotes and compare coverages for every policy. This ensures that we are getting the most coverage for the best price. In some areas, we are willing to pay less of a premium for less coverage 9pr a higher deductible) and in other instances, we need to pay a higher premium and have a lower deductible.

The main change that I made this year is to research how our health insurance will change when we bring our adopted child home. I had to contact my insurance provider to ensure I understood the process for adding a child to our policy, and to ensure that I completed the forms within their deadlines to ensure our baby’s medical bills were covered in the hospital.

That was the only major change in insurance that I made this year.

Rebalancing Our Portfolio

This task this year was fun. In the past, this has not been so fun. Reason being? It’s no fun to rebalance a portfolio when that portfolio lost money. This year however, we managed a 9$ increase over the previous year. Our retirement portfolio is roughly 70% in a 2055 target date index fund, and 30% in a small cap business fund. The small cap fund had growth of about 18% this past year, so I took a portion of those funds and moved them over to the target date fund to get back down to our 70% – 30% split.

Rebalancing does not have to be difficult. We have used index funds for years now, and I have enjoyed their ease of use, and their low cost. I highly recommend them.

Updating my Credit Card on Auto-Billpay

My credit card expired in February, and I had to go through and update every auto-billpay account that I use to ensure that all of the payments went through. All but 2 of our monthly bills route through our credit card so this makes it very easy to pay bills every month, but quite a headache to update the credit card on every account. This took me about 3 hours, since I had to remember the login and password for every single bill (and most of them had expired!!).

Projected Taxes for 2012

The last major task that I accomplished in my family financial fitness day was to project our taxes for 2012. We just received our taxes back from our CPA for 2011, and I needed to evaluate what changes we could make this year to lower the amount of taxes we paid. This was the first year we had a business (my wife’s photography business) so our taxes were a bit more complicated than usual.

I also worked on updating our profit and loss statement for our business and our expense report for our business tax purposes. Making this a priority now will help us be much more organized come tax time again next year.

Do you have a family financial fitness day?

What tasks do you accomplish on a day like this ?

Photo Credit

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Scholarship of the Day: Big Dig Scholarship

Posted by on Feb 28, 2012 in Scholarships and Grants | 2 comments

Scholarship of the Day

 

Award: $3,000

 

Deadline: June 01, 2012

 

The Big Dig Scholarship is available to high school seniors, and college freshmen and sophomores. To be considered, you must submit an essay between 500 and 1000 words that addresses the following issue: “In 200 years, one of your relatives is going to be digging in what is now your backyard. They are going to find something that you buried in 2012, and it is going to put any financial worries they have to rest. Your job today is to decide what to bury. Your goal is to find something that will have immense value in the future.”

Apply Now

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How to Apply:

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Awards Available: 1

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Eligibility:


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Website: http://www.antiquetrader.tv/studentscholarship.php

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Additional Information:

Please include on the top of your Scholarship Essay the following:

Name:
High School:
High School or College/University* Mailing Address:

*Note College/University students need to provide the mailing address to the financial aid or admissions office. The information provided will not be shared with any third party. Please review our Privacy Policy for more information.

Scholarship Award Selection:

The winner will be selected and notified by July 15, 2012. The award will be mailed directly to the students high school or college/university.

Scholarship Questions:

Please direct any questions concerning the scholarship to Henry at: henryk@antiquetrader.tv.

June 1, 2011 Winner: Steven Garcia of Houston, Texas

December 3, 2010 Winner: Calvin Cheung of Anaheim, California

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Money for College Project Weekly Roundup: Norovirus Edition

Posted by on Feb 24, 2012 in Getting Started | 5 comments

So this past week has been fun (read: one of the most painful weeks of my life…)

Not sure how or from where, but I managed to contract the Norovirus. From the Center for Disease Control:

Noroviruses (genus Norovirus, family Caliciviridae) are a group of related, single-stranded RNA, non-enveloped viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis in humans. The most common symptoms of acute gastroenteritis are diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Norovirus is the official genus name for the group of viruses previously described as “Norwalk-like viruses” (NLV). Noroviruses spread from person to person, through contaminated food or water, and by touching contaminated surfaces. Norovirus is recognized as the leading cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States. Outbreaks can happen to people of all ages and in a variety of settings. Read more about it using the following links.

This lovely little virus had me in the bathroom for 5 days straight. No food, no water, no sanity.

It has not been a pleasant experience, and I don’t wish it upon anyone.

Thankfully, I do feel much better today, and am well enough to start working on my pile of email and writing more blog posts. It’ weeks like this where I am very thankful to have had a few posts already written and tucked away for safe keeping.

On a happier note, here is what went on at Money for College Project and Yakezie this week!

Money for College Project

 

Financial Aid Older Students

 

 

Make Extra Money for College

 

 

 

Yakezie Friends

 

Sustainable Life – Tenets of Sustainability

 

 

Stock Trend Investing – What is Stock Trend?

 

 

Penny Pinching Pro – Thesis Edits

 

 

Fiscal Phoenix –  Long Term Investing

 

 

Mighty Bargain Hunter  – Giving Things Away

 

 

Money Cactus – Rewarding Your DIY Efforts

 

 

Roshawn Watson – Bright Financial Future

 

 

Broke Professionals – Tax Prep Time

 

 

Dog Ate my Wallet – Forced to Use Comcast

 

 

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