Education

Seven Huge Financial Mistakes I Made During My College Career

Over the last few weeks, I have been reflecting on how many members of my rather close extended family are either near high school graduation or are in college right now. They have so many great opportunities ahead of them in the next few years – and so many chances to botch things, too. Stephen, …

New Year’s Resolution Workshop #4: Protect My Family’s Future

Between Christmas and New Year’s, we’re taking a look at five common New Year’s resolutions that people often adopt for their finances, evaluate some of the traps that people fall into with regards to that resolution, and come up with some real actions that can turn a challenging New Year’s resolution into a success. We …

Categories: Education, Parenting

Charting a Course to Go Back to College

Amanda writes: After taking a serious re-evaluation of my life over the last year, I finally realized what I should be doing with it. I want to be a nurse. I attended college several years ago, but I majored in English Lit and didn’t finish my degree. How can I plan for this financially? Going …

Your Child’s College Education Fund

One question I often get from new and expectant parents is how much they should be saving each month for their child’s college education. Obviously, if you’re looking at paying for college eighteen years down the road, there are going to be a lot of unknowns: how will college funding change by then? How much …

Is College Really Necessary For All High School Graduates?

One of the biggest assumptions I read about in books and articles about financial planning for your children is the outright assumption that your child must attend a college or university of some sort after graduating from high school, so you’d better financially plan for it. To me, this assumption is one that needs to …

Categories: Education, Parenting

The High School Consumer Education Curriculum

Over the last few months, I’ve become very interested in the teaching of consumer education in high schools, especially as it pertains to preparing high schoolers for the challenges that they’ll face in the real world: going to college, paying for college, buying a car, buying a house, dealing with debt, finding a good job, …

Categories: Education

Children’s Education and Personal Finance

Almost every time I read an article about funding your child’s education, it turns into a discussion about saving for college. Coverdell plans, 529 plans, how to handle the FAFSA – all of this stuff is standard personal finance fare. But all of it overlooks the first eighteen years of your child’s life – the …

Categories: Education, Parenting

Money Management Tips For College Students

Here’s what you shouldn’t do. When I was in college, I used my student loans to finance my lifestyle. I worked at a decent paying job ($9 an hour at a job related to my major was great), but that wasn’t enough – I needed more. So I took out student loans, even though scholarships …

The “Seed Money” Idea: A Different Way of Looking at Saving for Your Child’s Future

A few days ago, I had lunch with a person in the local community whose opinion I respect quite a bit. He has two adult children, only one of which attended college straight out of high school, and both of which run their own business. What I wanted to know from him was how exactly …

Should I Eliminate Financial Support For My Child After High School?

This week, The Simple Dollar attempts to address challenging questions in personal finance by looking at both sides of the story and figuring out some of the factors you need to look at to make a decision. For many parents, it’s a given that they’ll save for their child’s college education, and they consider it …

Categories: Education, Parenting

Thinking About College After High School? Four Points of Advice That You Probably Won’t Hear From Your Guidance Counselor

When I think back to my high school years, I realize that I didn’t have the faintest idea of what I wanted to do with my life, nor many of the options really available to me. I had a sense that I needed a significant change of scenery for a while because I did not …

Categories: Advice, Careers, Education

The Five College Classes I Took That Were Actually Worth My Time And Money

When I look back at my college experience, I realize that almost all of the classes directly tied to my major had almost nothing to do with what I ended up doing with my life. Instead, they mostly served to show that I was adaptable and could repeatedly apply basic ideas – which is fine, …

Categories: Education

Ten Things Any College Student Can Do To Prepare For Success In Life

At the start of the last college semester, I provided ten tips for personal finance management for college students: Get some free money. Make it automatic. Look for cheaper entertainment. Don’t get any credit cards. Eat in the cafeteria. Look for free stuff. Empty out your pockets at the end of each day. When you …

Freshly Graduated And About To Get A New Job? Here Are Seven Things To Do To Get Started On The Right Financial Path

In the last few days, a bevy of recent college graduates about to enter the workforce have written to me and asked what they should be doing with their finances at this point in their life. These are the smart ones – they realize that taking a few steps in the right direction now are …

New Student Loan Benefits & Low-Cost Careers

For many people going to college, they’re scared to get involved with a major that won’t pay a lot. I know I was – after strongly considering stints as both an English major and a math major, I instead got into a major with significantly higher earning potential because I didn’t want to face huge …

Categories: Debt, Education

A Prenatal College Fund?

My daughter will not be born until September, but a few days ago, I opened a 529 college savings plan in her name. Just as with my son, I’m contributing $75 a month to it, plus any cash gifts they receive until their sixth birthday, plus a small birthday gift for each one until their …

Categories: Education

All The Opportunity In The World

I received an email from a college student today, who I will call Erica. She told me the following: I’m a 19 year-old university student. I have no debts and all my university fees are covered by scholarships. I live at home, so I have no rent or household related expenses. Since I have had …

The Simple Dollar Convinces Someone To Quit Their Job

This is a really interesting story that I thought I would share with all of you. I do have a few comments below, but I thought I would let Kelly tell her story (I edited this email a bit to eliminate some privacy concerns and polish a few tiny grammar issues): I wanted to write …

Categories: Advice, Careers, Education

Defining The Middle Class Through Statistics: Upward And Downward Mobility

Today, I stumbled across a very interesting tool at the New York Times website that attempts to place you in one of five socioeconomic groups (upper fifth, upper middle class, middle class, lower middle class, bottom fifth) based on a number of factors (occupation, education, income, and wealth). I’m quite happy to share my results …