The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Middlesex Edition

A recent conversation with my sister in law had me digging out my copy of the Jeffrey Eugenides novel Middlesex, which I devoured in two days, the latter of which led me to almost staying up all night reading. It deals with the life challenges of an individual born with the challenge of being a hermaphrodite – and it’s a fantastic novel from start to finish. Anyway, on to some personal finance posts.

Dave Ramsey’s Snowball Method vs. Suze Orman’s Method For Getting Out Of Debt Okay, I did the math here and you know what? It depends on the debts. There are situations where Dave’s method is faster – and there are situations where Suze’s method is faster. If you, constant reader, are interested in the math, leave a comment and I’d be glad to flesh this out into a post. (@ all financial matters)

Increase In Salary From A Graduate Degree Ask yourself this: will the degree pay for itself (including the salary lost while studying) in ten years? If the answer is no, then don’t waste your time on it. (@ free the drones)

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  1. frank says:

    Hahaha, nice one.

  2. BillOGoods says:

    I would very much like to see the math, Trent. I’m sorry, but anything that Ms. Orman says is suspect to me. I’m sorry, but a debt and financial adviser like her supporting higher taxes and candidates for public office that want to impose higher taxes? Maybe it’s just me, but it suggests a lack of connection with her readers/listeners and a certain overall understanding of a free market economy.

  3. 3bean says:

    Interesting read on whether to pursue a graduate degree. I’m a PhD student in the sciences, so I have the benefit of tuition remission and a stipend– but I still sometimes I cross my fingers and hope that I will end up financially ahead by the time I factor in the cost of lost salary during grad school and post doc. I calculate that I will be ahead. Regardless, I know I made the right decision because what grad school has given me the skills to do work that I find rewarding– stuff I still want to do if I was independently wealthy and had the right skills. I think many (not all, but many) B-school and law school students lack this passion and are motivated by perceived status of their education– only to end up in debt and disappointed afterward.

  4. daniel says:

    I’d love to see the math for the two debt reduction methods. Actually, I’d love to see an article on the “basics” of personal finance math such as calculating compound interest at different intervals, etc. I try out tons of calculators online, but can never seem to get to the answer I want.

  5. BillOGoods says:

    Each year, Forbes.com ranks MBA programs by, among other things, how fast your tuition payback (and other factors) will be. The site also has a calculator for this purpose and interesting information.

    See http://www.forbes.com/2005/08/16/best-business-schools-list-cz_05mba_land.html

    —and—

    Forbes’s MBA Reality Check, see http://www.forbes.com/leadership/2006/08/01/leadership-mba-salary-cx_tw_0801mbacomp.html

    Good luck. Like 3bean says, more goes into the calculus for professional schools, but you should, at least, know what the payback will be.

  6. Trent Trent says:

    Daniel: that’s a pretty complicated topic as there are so many variables involved. Also, the math post is forthcoming before the end of the week.

  7. TOK says:

    I thought Middlesex was one of the worst books I have read. I just couldn’t wait for it to be over. The start of the book with some of it’s history was intersting but the rest of the story just dragged on and on.

  8. Penny says:

    I’d be interested in reading the math, since I’m far too lazy to do it on my own.

    Additionally, I’m curious about a comment left by a reader: “I’m sorry, but a debt and financial adviser like her supporting higher taxes and candidates for public office that want to impose higher taxes? Maybe it’s just me, but it suggests a lack of connection with her readers/listeners and a certain overall understanding of a free market economy.”

    I’m very new to reading TSD, but I’m curious as to where the theory that taxes and financial sense are mutually exclusive comes from?

  9. Trent Trent says:

    Penny: the person who posted that comment is a very strong believer in free market capitalism above all. If you believe that strongly in the free market, then taxes are a great evil (because they hinder a free market by tying up capital in the government) and are in opposition to sound financial sense.

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