Tag Archives: student financial aid

My Family Financial Fitness Day

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

Scholarship of the Day: Big Dig Scholarship

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.”

[button link=”http://www.antiquetrader.tv/studentscholarship.php” type=”big” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] Apply Now[/button]

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

How to Apply:

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Awards Available: 1

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Eligibility:


_________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

[button link=”http://www.antiquetrader.tv/studentscholarship.php” type=”big” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] Apply Now[/button]

student loan collections

Top 23 Gifts for College Students

College students are generally some of the most difficult people to shop for. You are not around them all the time, so you don’t know what they could really use on a daily basis. In fact, you may not know what they need unless they ask for it. Here is a list that will help you be proactive. Whether it is a birthday, Christmas, graduation, or other special event. any gift on this list is sure to make you a huge hit with your college student!

 

No. 1 – Amazon Kindle Fire – $199

The Amazon Kindle Fire has been tagged as the iPad killer. It does allow you to browse the internet with Amazon’s Silk browser, you can download and watch movies, read books, download apps, and even connect to the Amazon Cloud storage. I’d buy one!

 

No .2 – Timex Ironman Road Trainer Heart Rate Monitor Watch – $71.60

If your college student is a runner, an athlete, or just wants to avoid the Freshman fifteen, then this heart rate monitor will do the trick. You can even view calories burned!

 

No 3 – Osprey Daylite Pack – $41.89

Having a quality pack to carry around campus is one of the best ways to promote back health, and foot health. For students who do a lot of walking, they are prone to back and foot strain because of the weight they carry. The Osprey Daylite pack prevents both of those with an ergonomic light design. And, it is super stylish!

 

No 4. – Camelback Stainless Steel Bottle – $10.95

Staying hydrated, and always having water, coffee, tea, or your other beverage of choice on hand, can be a life saver. You gift can promote health, and is virtually indestructible!

 

No 5. – NorthFace TriClimate Jacket – $278.00

In most places around the country, winter time on a college campus can be dreary. The skies are gray, exams are right around the corner, and it is just downright depressing at some times. To top it all off, it is cold, windy, rainy, and possibly snowy. That is where the North Face TriClimate jacket comes in. It is a 3 piece jacket that can be a fleece, a rain jacket shell, or a combined fleece/shell for the ultimate protection. Guaranteed to keep your college student safe from the elements on their college campus.

 

No. 6 – Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones – $299.95

Studying can be tough. A rowdy library, or busy college campus can distract even the most diligent of students. With the Bose noise cancelling headphones, your student can shut out their surroundings and focus on their studies. This fact alone could justify the investment in their future!

 

No. 7 – iRobot Roomba 532 – $296.99

 

This gift will save you the peace of mind in knowing that your student’s apartment is clean. What is easier than turning on the Roomba and letting it vacuum? Another gift that has dual benefits!

No. 8 – Subscription to Netflix – $7.99 per Month

 

 

 

This might not sound like the best idea for a college student, but it is one that they will thank you for. There is nothing more thrilling than watching a great movie after a hard exam, or catching the latest thriller with your friends. Your student will thank you.

 

No. 9 – Western Digital My Passport Portable Hard Drive – $149.99

This handy device has replaced the thumb drive. It allows a student to store up to 1TB of data (that is a lot), and they can plug and play anywhere they go on campus.

 

No. 10 – Southern Tide Apparel – Varied

 

 

Some of the trendiest clothing on college campuses, this is sure to impress.

 

No. 10 – TOMS Shoes – $39.90

Some of the trendiest shoes on a college campus. Plus every pair you purchase, means that a little kid will get a pair of shoes. A gift and a donation…the best of both worlds!

 

No. 12 – Apple iPhone 4s – $669

Hopefully this does not surprise anyone that this made the list. It’s only the latest version of the most popular phone in history! Might be cheaper to go through your cell phone provider, but it’s a sweet phone regardless!

 

No. 13 – Keurig Coffee Machine Signature Brewer – $169

Coffee is an essential part of every college student’s morning, afternoon, evening, and night. The Keurig makes it simple to brew, and low maintenance. Both qualities a college student can appreciate. Oh, and it makes great coffee too!

 

No. 14 – Canon EOS Rebel T3 – $488

It shoots amazing pictures, it shoots 1080p video, and it is simple to use, yet packed with features. If your college student is a budding photographer or wants quality pics, then this is the camera to buy them.

 

No. 15 – Apple MacBook Pro – $1099

The ultimate laptop for your college student. Whether they are a fine arts major, or a math major, their world will be revolutionized with this machine. Make them the coolest kid on the block this year!

 

No. 16 – Xbox 360 – $199

Give the gamer in your life, the ultimate gaming machine. Time management skills sold separately.

 

No. 17 – Vupoint Magic Wand Portable Scanner – $94

College students can scan important documents on the fly, and even connect to their laptops via bluetooth wireless.

 

No. 18 – Magellan Roadmate GPS – $92

Your college student will never get lost, and they can even find there way home once or twice a semester. It’s another win- win for all involved.

 

No. 19 – Livescribe Smartpen – $99

This ingenious gadget is an actual pen, but it is also a voice recorder. So you can take notes and record a lecture at the same time, with the same device!

 

No. 20 – Sony Dash Personal Internet Viewer – $99

Get information and entertainment in your bedroom, kitchen, or office, without being tethered to your PC. It’s also an alarm clock, which is an essential for every college student. Once missed exam can cause a lot of grief.

 

No. 21 – Moleskine Leather Notebook – $11

The classic leather notebook, for a classy college student. Perfect match with their Livescribe Smartpen!

 

No. 22 – Contigo AUTOSEAL Stainless Steel Travel Mug – $22

Most college students drink coffee. If they don’t drink coffee they drink tea, or some other hot beverage. This travel mug will let them carry around their hot liquids and it is 100% guaranteed spill proof. Meaning they can throw it in their cars or in their backpacks and not have to worry about it leaking on their Final papers.

No. 23 – iBeats Headphones by Dr. Dre – $99

If you want to be cool on a college campus, you need headphones. Music is an integral part of college life, and listening to music between classes or while studying is the best expression of that. iBeats headphones by Dr. Dre take in-ear headphones to a new level. Guarantees that your college student will thank you for these!

 

Money for College Project Weekly Roundup: Norovirus Edition

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:

[box] 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.[/box]

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

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/22/financial-aid-for-older-students/” color=”red”] Financial Aid Older Students[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/23/5-ways-to-make-extra-money-for-college/” color=”red”] Make Extra Money for College[/button]

 

 

 

Yakezie Friends

 

[button link=”http://sustainablelifeblog.com/2012/02/22/tenets-of-sustainability-series/” color=”green”] Sustainable Life – Tenets of Sustainability[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.stocktrendinvesting.com/blog/what-stock-trend-investing-20-simple-sentences” color=”green”] Stock Trend Investing – What is Stock Trend?[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.pennypinchingprofessional.com/2012/02/drowning-in-sea-of-thesis-edits.html” color=”green”] Penny Pinching Pro – Thesis Edits[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.fiscalphoenix.com/dollar-cost-averaging-and-long-term-investing/” color=”green”]Fiscal Phoenix –  Long Term Investing[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.mightybargainhunter.com/2012/02/16/the-joy-and-relief-of-giving-things-away/” color=”green”] Mighty Bargain Hunter  – Giving Things Away[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://moneycactus.com/rewarding-your-diy-efforts/” color=”green”] Money Cactus – Rewarding Your DIY Efforts[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.roshawnwatson.com/2012/02/how-to-see-bright-financial-future.html” color=”green”] Roshawn Watson – Bright Financial Future[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://brokeprofessionals.com/2012/02/22/i-hate-tax-prep-time/” color=”green”] Broke Professionals – Tax Prep Time[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://erinshanendoah.com/dogatemywallet/?p=426″ color=”green”] Dog Ate my Wallet – Forced to Use Comcast[/button]

 

 

5 Ways to Make Extra Money for College

make extra money

Whether you are a parent saving for college, or a student struggling to pay for college, we can all use a few ideas on ways to make some extra money. Many of you reading this blog, moonlight as something other than your normal 9-5. This means that you have already taken a strong step towards earning extra money. In my experience, once you have taken this initial step, the rest are much easier to come by.

So you have the ambition, you know there is a need, but where do you start?

If you are a current college student is it in your best interest to sign on as a pizza delivery boy, or go try your bartending skills at the local pub?

If you are a parent saving money for college, is it in your best interest to find a local part-time job paying minimum wage?

I would say an emphatic NO, to both suggestions. I want to lay out 5 concrete ways that you can begin to make extra money without the hassle of interviewing and working the graveyard shift for $7.25 per hour (or less…).

Textbroker

I have written before about my experiences with using Textbroker. I was able to earn over $5000 in 2011 (I know because I just got the 1099) using their online article writing service.

Creating an account is simple and straightforward. you signup, and then write a sample 400 word article. Textbroker then rates this first article from 1 – 5. Based on this rating, you can begin to claim and write articles. The articles you write are graded 1 – 5, with 1 being the easiest and therefore the least profitable, and 5 being professional and the most profitable.

My rating was routinely a 3, but I found that this allowed me to be the most profitable with my time. I was eventually able to write a 400 word article in about 7 minutes, which at 1 cent per word, left me with about $32 per hour. Not bad for part-time work.

CashCrate

CashCrate is an online service that allows you to earn money by completing offers, surveys, and the infrequent game. I experimented with this service over a year ago, and quickly realized that I hated completing surveys and offers, and that my time was much more valuable.

However, I then found out about CashCrate’s referral program. Here is a quick explanation:

[box] The referral program has two levels. You get paid 20% of what your referrals make and 10% of what THEIR referrals make. As you refer more users to CashCrate, these levels increase until you’re earning as much as 30% of your referral’s earnings and 20% of their referral’s earnings. Plus, get extra cash bonuses along the way! [/box]

This is my kind of passive income! yes, it could be viewed as a multi-level marketing program, but it’s better because you don’t have to host scammy sounding product parties!

You could email all of your friends with your referral link, and sit back and watch the cash roll in from their activities online and their referrals!

SwagBucks

I’m new to SwagBucks, but I know that it has been around for a long time and many people use it to successfully score giftcards and other big discounts.

Swagbucks is basically a search engine. The easiest way to earn point is to install the swagbucks search engine and to use that for your normal online activities. This will earn you Swagbucks virtually everytime you sit down at your computer to complete a task. You won’t earn a great per hour rate, but it’s basically free money that you can earn for doing something that the majority of us do everyday anyway.

Sell on Ebay

I’ve been selling on Ebay for years, and it has always been a great side gig that I could do from the comfort of my own home. Ebay experts estimate that every one of us has between $500 – $1000 of sellable items within our homes that we can easily part with. All you have to do is find these items, list them on Ebay, enjoy the auction process, and then package them up and deliver to the Post Office.

Some items that I have sold on Ebay in the past are vintage castle legos, bullova swiss watch, rare las vegas coins, playstation games, used books, model ship clock, Boyd bears, and even baseball cards.

I could almost guarantee that you can think of 10 items that can easily be placed on sale through Ebay. * My best piece of advice?  Take professional pictures and give a detailed description and you will notice a much better result for your efforts.

Cash4Books.Net

My final idea is one of my favorite. I am a bibliophile. I love books. It’s an obsession. It’s almost sad.

However, I have been able to turn my passion for books into a profitable hobby. I enjoy going to yard sales and to auctions and buying old cases of books. What I have then been able to do is turn these old books into a profit through Cash4Books.net.

The one thing that allowed me to be profitable at this was when they introduced the mobile app. Now I can scan any book I see at a yard sale with my iPhone, and instantly know what I can sell it for on cash4books.net. If I can make a profit of at least $1, it is worth my time.

The key here is to work in quantity. $1 profit per book might not sound like a lot but if you can get 100 or more every week, or increase your profit margins, then you can turn this into a serious side gig.

What side gig ideas do you have to make extra money for college?

Money for College Project Weekly Roundup: Frank Sinatra and Audrey Hepburn

For Valentine’s Day, I rented some classic movies for my wife. This is one of our favorite things to do together, and I can rent them for free from our local library so it does not cost me a thing. I rented High Society starring Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, and we also watched Charade starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. Both were excellent choices.

Watching classic movies always makes me reflect on how fleeting time is, and also on how much our world has changed in so little time. In just 50 years, the financial landscape of this country has radically changed, and the political climate has also turned on its end. I can’t imagine what it will be in another 50 years, when our children are watching “classic” movies and looking back on the world we currently live in.

What does this have to do with finance? Watching classic movies helps me evaluate my financial priorities and make sure that my investing and savings strategies are sound. That might sound a little crazy, but it’s true. They make me think about what I am doing to save for my retirement, and for my children’s college education. They make me think about getting older and what I will do when that happens. That might sound depressing, but I really enjoy it. I like to plan, so this is generally a natural progression for me.

Regardless of if you like classic movies or not, it is always a good idea to regularly evaluate your financial goals and the plan you have set in place to reach them.

Enjoy the selections for this week!

Money for College Project

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/13/2012-princeton-review-best-values-in-colleges/” color=”red”] Princeton Review Best College Value[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/13/scholarship-of-the-day-south-carolina-federal-credit-union/” color=”red”] SC Credit Union Scholarship[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/13/scholarship-of-the-day-south-carolina-federal-credit-union/” color=”red”] How Harvard Spends Tuition[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/14/scholarship-of-the-day-ge-reagan-foundation-scholarship/” color=”red”] GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/15/how-to-save-100000-for-your-childs-college-education/” color=”red”] How to Save $100,000[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.moneyforcollegeproject.com/2012/02/15/scholarship-of-the-day-discus-awards-college-scholarship/” color=”red”] Discus Awards College Scholarship[/button]

 

 

 

 

Yakezie Friends

 

[button link=”http://sustainablelifeblog.com/2012/02/15/trade-borrow-or-steal/” color=”green”] Sustainable Life – Trade Borrow or Steal[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.stocktrendinvesting.com/blog/risk-investing-your-company-stock” color=”green”] Stock Trend Investing – Risks of Company Stock[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.pennypinchingprofessional.com/2012/02/weekend-update.html” color=”green”] Penny Pinching Pro – Weekend Update[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.fiscalphoenix.com/diversification-to-reduce-risk/” color=”green”]Fiscal Phoenix –  Diversification[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.mightybargainhunter.com/2012/02/16/the-joy-and-relief-of-giving-things-away/” color=”green”] Mighty Bargain Hunter  – Giving Things Away[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://moneycactus.com/how-to-bid-on-ebay/” color=”green”] Money Cactus – Ebay Buyers Guide[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://www.roshawnwatson.com/2012/02/how-to-see-bright-financial-future.html” color=”green”] Roshawn Watson – Bright Financial Future[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://brokeprofessionals.com/2012/02/15/the-10-a-week-difference/” color=”green”] Broke Professionals – $10 a Week Difference[/button]

 

 

[button link=”http://erinshanendoah.com/dogatemywallet/?p=413″ color=”green”] Dog Ate my Wallet – Phone Saga[/button]

 

 

Scholarship of the Day: Discus Awards College Scholarship

Scholarship of the Day

 

Award: $2,000

 

Deadline: May 31, 2012

 

The Discus Awards College Scholarship is available to high school students who are planning to attend college. To be considered, you must demonstrate leadership / excellence in three of the following categories: academics, arts, athletics, community service, faith, government, green, technology, work, or another achievement.

[button link=”http://www.discusawards.com/scholarship-info ” type=”big” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] Apply Now[/button]

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

How to Apply:

When most people think of college scholarships, they are usually thinking of a meteoric GPA or a fantastic win-loss record on a big sports team.  Not the Discus Awards.

Discus Awards scholarships recognize leaders on the dance team, drywall hangers supporting Habitat for Humanity, shift leaders at Starbucks, active youth group members, and social media gurus.  Put simply, Discus Awards Scholarships recognize a new category of high school students: the all-around standout.  Sound like you or a student you know?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Awards Available: 10

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Eligibility:

Every Discus Award winner is eligible for scholarship consideration.  Because all Discus Award winners are considered each month, it pays to enter early, as you will have more opportunities to be considered for the scholarships.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Website: http://www.discusawards.com/scholarship-info

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Additional Information:

 

Our judges are teachers, guidance counselors, school administrators, and college admissions officers who get to work with hundreds of students each year.  Make your nomination stand out with the following tips:

  • Be specific about your accomplishments in a particular category.  Think “I’m the president of my school’s banjo enthusiasts club” rather than “I love music.”
  • Show our judges your accomplishments in action with photos and videos.  A picture is worth 1,000 words – let our judges see you in all your greatness.
  • Embrace your differences – you’re unique in your qualities, abilities, and accomplishments; pick achievements that separate you from the pack.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

[button link=”http://www.discusawards.com/scholarship-info” type=”big” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] Apply Now[/button]

How to Save $100,000 for Your Child’s College Education

money for college

In the past, a majority of the articles here on Money for College Project have been focused on helping you save money at college, maximize your financial aid and win scholarships or grants. These are all admirable goals, but with my recent change in focus, I want to introduce another side to this equation.

This week my wife and I sent in a check to retain our adoption attorney, and we submitted our homestudy application. All adoptions, whether they are domestic or international, must have an approved homestudy on file. A case worker will actually come into our home for the interview process and speak with my wife and I together and separately. They will then take a tour of our home, and ask a lot more questions.

Needless to say, it is now real. We have really started the adoption process!

That is very scary and incredibly exciting all at the same time.

Unfortunately, the adoption process is very expensive. For those of you who do not know, if you go through an agency a domestic adoption could cost up to $30,000. If you simply use a lawyer, then your costs could range from $12,000 – $30,000. If you decide to adopt a child out of foster care and through the Department of Social Services, you can generally complete the adoption process for little to no cost. We chose to go with an attorney (not an agency), but we are still facing some very large bills in the near future. I plan to post much more about the adoption process very soon for anyone who is interested. I promise!

Saving for College? Seriously!?!?!

For many adoptive parents, the financial hurdles of bringing a baby home are prohibitive. The average American family does not have $25,000 saved for retirement, let alone $25,000 set aside to compete an adoption! Adoptions are also generally completed by couples who are 35 and under, which also tends to coincide with much lower income and assets. This seems to be a perfect storm of financial hurdles.

Thankfully, my wife and I have been able to diligently sock away money every month for the past 2 years in preparation for our adoption. Now that we are here at the end (beginning) it is encouraging to look back and see how far we have come. Saving for a specific goal can be incredibly rewarding when you are able to watch it actually unfold before your eyes. Writing checks out of our adoption account is exciting, because we have worked so hard to set aside this money, and we are both very excited about bringing our baby home.

As we are moving through the adoption process however, I cannot help think about all of the other expenses that we will have for our child once we bring them home. Obviously it costs money to raise a child, and then there is the issue of saving for a college education.

This brings me back to the main point of this article; I’ve talked a lot about how to win money and save money on college costs, but I have not talked a lot about how to earn more and save more money to help pay for your college education (or for your childrens’).

Saving for college is generally something that is placed on the backburner until the child hits high school, and college costs become real. Unfortunately, just as with retirement, it is too late to start saving when the expense is upon you. Saving for college can be started when your child is born, or even before if you would like.

In future segments here on Money for College Project, I want to show you exactly how I plan to earn more money to put towards my child’s college education. I also want to show you how you also can save upwards of $100,000 towards your child’s college education (in addition to saving for your own retirement).

I believe Dave Ramsey’s baby steps go something like this:

  • Baby Step 1 – $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
  • Baby Step 2 – Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
  • Baby Step 3 – 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
  • Baby Step 4 – Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
  • Baby Step 5 – College funding for children
  • Baby Step 6 – Pay off home early
  • Baby Step 7 – Build wealth and give!
My wife and I loosely follow Dave Ramsey’s guidelines here, but the main point is that you need to have solid financial footing before you begin saving for your child’s college education. It doesn’t make any sense to start putting away money for their college education if you are still paying on high interest credit cards!
Much more to come!!
Have you started saving for your child’s college education?

 

Scholarship of the Day – GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship

Scholarship of the Day

 

Award: $10,000 

Deadline: February 17, 2012

 

The GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship is available to high school seniors graduating Winter 2011 or Spring 2012. You must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, be a U.S. citizen and demonstrate exemplary leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship at school, home, workplace, and within the community. You must be nominated by an eligible community leader to qualify for this award. Financial need must also be demonstrated.

[button link=”http://www.reaganfoundation.org/GE-RFScholarships.aspx ” type=”big” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] Apply Now[/button]

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

How to Apply:

Honoring the legacy and character of our nation’s 40th President, the GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program rewards college-bound students who demonstrate exemplary leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship with financial assistance to pursue higher education.

 

Applications for the 2012 GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program are being accepted online between November 14, 2011 and February 17, 2012.

 

Like President Reagan, candidates use the formative experiences of their youth to lead, serve, and pursue a life of purpose and significance, both individually and for their communities. Each year, roughly 20 Scholars will receive a $10,000 scholarship renewable for an additional three years – up to $40,000 total per recipient.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Awards Available: 20

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Eligibility:

GE-Reagan Foundation Scholars candidates must:
•demonstrate exemplary leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship at school, at home, at the workplace, and within the community;
•be nominated by an eligible community leader, such as a high school principal, elected official or executive director of a nonprofit organization;
•be recommended by an authority figure, such as a student activity advisor, community service coordinator, coach, employer, teacher, counselor or religious leader;
•demonstrate strong academic performance (3.0 or greater GPA or equivalent);
•demonstrate financial need;
•be a citizen of the United States of America;
•graduate from high school in Winter 2011 or Spring 2012; and
•use scholarship funds for student tuition, room, and board while pursuing a bachelor’s degree at an accredited U.S. college or university in Fall 2012.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Website: http://www.reaganfoundation.org/GE-RFScholarships.aspx

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Additional Information:

 

Learn more about becoming a GE-Reagan Foundation Scholar at http://www.reaganfoundation.org/ge-scholarship.aspx


Download a GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program flyer here.


Meet the 2011 GE-Reagan Foundation Scholars here.


For specific questions about the application process, contact International Scholarship and Tuition Services (ISTS) directly at 1-855-670-4787 or info@applyists.com . Reagan Foundation personnel do not have access to applications and cannot answer application questions.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

[button link=”http://www.reaganfoundation.org/GE-RFScholarships.aspx” type=”big” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] Apply Now[/button]

How Harvard Spends Student Tuition – Infographic

How Harvard Spends Student Tuition
Via: Online Universities Blog

This is a fascinating infographic.

The most fascinating piece of the entire graphic is that 77% of students received financial assistance to attend Harvard and that the average tuition for these students was $11,500. That is pretty cheap compare to the vast majority of other schools in the United States, and certainly compared to the majority of Ivy Leaguye Schools.

How does Harvard accomplish this?

Look at the size of their endowment? As one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in our country, they have a rather large endowment, and their alumni strive to keep it that way. Money flows back into money, and the cycle continues.

This is also very encouraging for you as a student or as a parent of a student. Colleges even as expensive and prestigious as Harvard have relatively low costs of attendance. These colleges are attainable.

Don’t kill your dreams (if that is indeed one) of attending Harvard or any other Ivy League School just yet. They might be much more within your reach, financially, than you ever thought possible.

Would you want to attend Harvard for $11,500 per year?

Anything else in this infographic stick out to you?