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Posts Tagged ‘Education’

 Well, Friday is here and I feel good. The week’s challenge is over for now.

 I admit I did eat out this week when I forgot to pack my lunch. I still put all 5 days down anyways because it’s for a good cause. I estimated that I saved $20 by eating in for lunch. That $20 will go towards Money Management 101: Future Philanthropists in Training. I liked this teacher’s idea in particular and I feel it is money well spent. This program will help these students with personal finance and learn the value of being generous.

It’s not really much money, but I wanted to give something to a good cause.  I want to thank HC and Flexo for making me (and so many others) aware of this program. Thank you to everyone who donated time, money, and energey for this program. I’m glad so many decided to join this cause.

Next Monday is Blog Action Day, so expect a slightly different topic: the environment.

thank-you.jpg

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This week’s installment of the Rich College Student series is probably a step that will have the biggest impact on being responsible with finances while in school. The best way to succeed is to come to college with the financial skills and knowledge already in practice. Unfortunately that isn’t as common as one might think. After reading Flexo’s post about this project and reading an article in the local newspaper, I decided to undergo the Green Panda Treehouse Challenge. (Alright, it’s not too original, but read on, it gets better.) I’m going through the pfblog.org’s Financial Literacy Challenge site.This week the money I save by not eating out for lunch will be donated to a charity listed on DonorsChoose.org. The Project I’m supporting is Future Philanthropists in Training. I can’t fulfill this class’s program by myself with my budget, but I want to give something towards a good cause. If you want to join me please go write ahead. If you have another worthy cause you’re saving up for, then by all means to do that. Leave a comment about what you plan to do with your money saved this week.piggy2.jpg

Photo Credit: vnysia

How does this program work? I’ll let the site explain:

DonorsChoose.org is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack. At this not-for-profit web site, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. These ideas become classroom reality when concerned individuals, whom we call Citizen Philanthropists, choose projects to fund.Fulfilling Student ProjectsDonorsChoose.org performs a good deal of work to ensure the integrity of its philanthropic marketplace. Here’s how it works:

  • 1. Public school teachers create student project proposals at DonorsChoose.org. This consists of writing a one page essay and listing the exact resource(s) needed.
  • 2. DonorsChoose.org volunteers screen each project proposal before posting to the website. Volunteers verify that the teacher and project meet our eligibility requirements, emailing follow-up questions to the teacher if anything is unclear.
  • 3. Concerned individuals fund the student projects of their choice-in whole or in part-and are emailed immediate email gift acknowledgments from DonorsChoose.org which can be used for tax deduction purposes.
  • 4. DonorsChoose.org emails the school principal, alerting him/her to the funded project.
  • 5. Within the next week, DonorsChoose.org forwards the donor an “e-thank-you” from the teacher, which notes the date by which the donor can expect his/her full feedback package.
  • 6. DonorsChoose.org purchases the student materials and ships items directly to the school along with a disposable camera, guidelines for preparing feedback packages, and a stamped envelope in which to enclose the feedback.
  • 7. Students experience the project that the donor made possible! The teacher photographs the students participating in the project and writes an impact letter to the donor. Students write their own thank-you notes. This feedback is then mailed to DonorsChoose.org headquarters.
  • 8. DonorsChoose.org develops the photos, and compiles the letter and thank-you notes. This feedback is mailed to the donor(s) who completed the project or made a partial contribution of $100 or more.

piggy1.jpg

Photo credit: NessieNoodle

Sometimes as we try to budget everything and save money however we can, we need a reminder that being generous with our resources (time, skills, money, etc) helps us live happier lives and help others as well.

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 I’m still continuing on my post on why learning a foreign language is beneficial.
The next question to ask is; which language do you choose?

There are so many ways to look at this question. The first step is to decide why you’re learning a foreign language. A person who is doing it to communicate with family is looking at it differently from one who is looking to increase their edge in business. Some things to consider when choosing a language are:

  1. Level of Difficulty
  2. How Popular is the Language
  3. Access to Native Speakers

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Photo Credit: nuomi

These are not definitive lists, but looking at some websites concerning languages, I noticed some came up more often than others. Please feel free to disagree and leave your thoughts.

If you’re new to learning a foreign language and want to pick something up that’s easier to learn, then you might want to consider some of these languages. (I recently realized that this site is sometimes translated into other languages, so I included English for our more global readers.)

Easiest Languages to Learn:

  1. Spanish
  2. Italian
  3. English
  4. Portuguese
  5. Hindi

This next category looked at languages from a business world perspective for those who are learning a foreign language to expand their career potential.

Most Popular Languages:

  1. English
  2. Mandarin Chinese
  3. Spanish
  4. Arabic
  5. Japanese

I found this site to have a really good guide to help choose what language to learn. The chart is very easy to understand and it helped me with my decision. I’m working on Italian right now. My reasons are because it’s relatively easy to learn and I love the way the language sounds when spoken. I would like to feel more like a global citizen. Do you speak more than one language? If so, when and how did you learn?

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Photo Credit: Zoonabar 

I saw this and I immediately had to put this up on the blog. I can relate to wanting to explore different options in life. I switched majors (twice) and while I’m happy with my current major (Business Management), I don’t want to limit myself to just that identity. He brings out some good points and I hope you take time to read this article.

Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek offers his take on the upside to being a jack-of-all-trades.

read more | digg story

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walllet.jpgI’m continuing on the Rich College Student Series. After yesterday’s post, Jorge made a valid observation:Under ideal circumstances (you do get financial aid as in Part 1), this is a very smart idea. My opinion, however, is that it’s too much of an ideal situation. Quite a few college students don’t have the support from family and end up taking loans and working 20+ hours / week. FAFSA’s great if you’re in the lower income bracket, but as a middle class college student, FAFSA has done absolutely nothing for me in terms of grants or federal aid (with loans as an exception).He’s right that it is an idealized situation to stay at home while you attend college. If you are in that situation, consider yourself fortunate. As regards to FAFSA not being the end all of financial assistance, I also agree. As part of that post, I also included state grants, school scholarships, and scholarships that can be found on the web. The reason why FAFSA is important is that many grants that are need based do ask if you filed for FAFSA. Don’t just count on grants and scholarships, but by all means exhaust everything before you turn to loans. If you do have to take out a loan (which is very possible), please take the minimum amount you need.As for the budget yesterday, I wanted tostart off with something simple and work from there. Today, we’re looking at someone who works part-time (30 hours) and goes to school full-time (12 credits). To complete this I had to make some assumptions:

  • Rent was calculated on national average
  • Car insurance was based on national average
  • Roommate was included
  • Pay was calculated on a part-time worker at UPS (Jobs are national and available for college students)

Within this situation I did 2 quick budgets: having a car loan and not having a car loan. As you probably know that best situation is have you car completely paid off. However many student are going back to college and already have it. (I have a car loan myself and I wished someone drilled it to me the extra costs associated with it.)While working on the budgets, here are some of my notes:

  • Rent: You really need a roommate if you’re going to school fulltime and are working part-time. Roommate would also include spouse, relatives, etc. If you have more than one roommate and everyone gets along, that’s wonderful, as you save money and peace of mind. Please put the division of bills in writing. It’s a protection for both of you.
  • Transportation: Try living close to either your school or work, as it can lower insurance rates and gasoline. Public transportation is a good option if it is reliable and safe. If you have the ability to stay under your parents’ insurance, do so as it usually makes a big difference. Maintain good grades and you can save approximately 10%.
  • Utilities: Remember to keep with the necessities. Do you really need the premium package for cable? Do you even need cable? Find a roommate who shares your values. You don’t want somebody who makes a habit of wasting electricity and then expects you to help foot the bill.
  • Food: Learn to cook beyond macaroni and cheese. Cooking saves a lot of money when you go shopping at the grocery store and it makes leftovers taste better. Make sure you have a slow cooker as that can also save you time and money. Chili, lasagna, and stews are just some of the foods you can make with it.

Here’s what I came up with on the budget:Without a car loan:

Income
Job (Net)

$1,087.47

EXPENSES
Rent

$ 450.00

Car Insr.

$ 72.25

Utilities

$ 100.00

Groceries

$ 125.00

Gas/fuel

$ 100.00

Savings

$ 54.37

Total

$ 901.62

$ 185.85

 

With a car loan (yikes!):

Income
Job (Net)

$1,087.47

EXPENSES
Rent

$ 450.00

Car Loan

$ 125.00

Car Insr.

$ 72.25

Utilities

$ 100.00

Groceries

$ 125.00

Gas/fuel

$ 100.00

Savings

$ 54.37

Total

$1,026.62

$ 60.85

Let me know what you think.

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cs_resource.jpgI saw this article on the New York Times site. I don’t see this stopping many business students to get an M.B.A. , but it’s an interesting trend. I’m a business management major, so this is to weigh later in my career plans.

Many young people on the fast track to fat paydays in the financial industry are choosing to forgo M.B.A. programs. As more Americans have become abundantly wealthy, young people are recalculating old assumptions about success. …

read more | digg story

Update: Flexo at Consumerism Commentary has an excellent post regarding devaluation of a MBA.

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lecture-hall.jpgCredit: Phillip CThis blog is directed mainly towards people who in my boat, working college students. As I’m working on finishing my last semester I’m looking for ways to help save money. Part I was about getting the most financial aid. This week’s topic is budgeting when you’re going to college. I found the hardest part was figuring some basic scenarios. I went back and forth dividing it up by part-time and full-time. Then I decided to break it down by single, married, or have kids (single and married).I’ll go over the first scenario which is living with your parents with the minimum amount of obligations. From there, I’ll look at more and more complicated situations. If you have any tips, suggestions, disagreements, or feedback, please leave a comment.

  • Pay ‘rent’. There are many students today who don’t pay for anything and receive money to support their spending habits. College is supposed to be a time of learning academic and life skills. A major part of life is to be able to support yourself. It also shows respect to your family who are supporting you financially while you make this long-term investment.
  • Save at least 15%. You’re at a very fortunate time in you life where bills are minimal. Take advantage of your situation and put at least 15% of your take home in a high yields savings account. A student working 20 hours making $6.50 and hour can save $1,681.95 in two years, before interest!
  • Use your own money for splurges. Don’t waste other peoples’ hard earned money. If you want something, earn t. It will give you the satisfaction of doing it on your own and build your self-esteem.
  • Think twice before getting a credit card. If you’re not able to completely support yourself, then getting a credit card can be a recipe for disaster. Many students will still go ahead and get a credit card, so my advice is to have a credit limit of no more $500. If they offer to raise your limit, ask them instead to lower your interest rate. That would be better for you. As you are well aware, pay the balance in full each month. Bad credit will haunt you long after graduation.

Here’s a sample monthly budget:

Income
Job

467.21

EXPENSES
Family

100

Groceries

100

Gas/fuel

137.7

Savings

93.44

431.14

36.07

It’s not complicated due to the relative freedom one has in this situation.

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