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JacksonX said:   
My guess (I can't back this up with pure data) is that the harvard history degree does a great job getting you in the door to becoming a private high school teacher. It makes for possibly interesting conversation for med school interviews (the only harvard history major I know who has done REALLY well for himself went to med school), but otherwise, that degree plus $1.50 will get you a cup of coffee.


I have no idea who you are, but you have no idea what you're talking about. The best philosophy major at Harvard can do anything s/he wants and that person would run circles around most vocational major students. The only reason I would be concerned about hiring him would be because my control over my employees depends on them valuing money, wanting lots of it, and relying on me for wages. I know enough about philosophy majors to know that most value other things more than money.

JacksonX said:   I'd like to see statistics that show what the average Harvard philosophy/history major ends up doing/making.
My guess is that it's not much different than what they do elsewhere.
...
My guess (I can't back this up with pure data) is that the harvard history degree does a great job getting you in the door to becoming a private high school teacher. It makes for possibly interesting conversation for med school interviews (the only harvard history major I know who has done REALLY well for himself went to med school), but otherwise, that degree plus $1.50 will get you a cup of coffee.

Also,
Harvard history degree != Harvard philosophy degree

kantscholar said:   JacksonX said:   
My guess (I can't back this up with pure data) is that the harvard history degree does a great job getting you in the door to becoming a private high school teacher. It makes for possibly interesting conversation for med school interviews (the only harvard history major I know who has done REALLY well for himself went to med school), but otherwise, that degree plus $1.50 will get you a cup of coffee.


I have no idea who you are, but you have no idea what you're talking about. The best philosophy major at Harvard can do anything s/he wants and that person would run circles around most vocational major students. The only reason I would be concerned about hiring him would be because my control over my employees depends on them valuing money, wanting lots of it, and relying on me for wages. I know enough about philosophy majors to know that most value other things more than money.


I certainly did not mean to single out philosophy majors. My point was actually agreeing with your prior post; school is good for certain people to enrich their minds and become more "well rounded". However, don't think that there is necessarily monetary value in pursuing a career in a non-STEM field. An 18 year old needs to take a LOT into consideration before choosing a career path (something that I do not believe most 18 year olds have the capacity to do.)

A philosophy major at Harvard is likely quite brilliant; I still question its utility (outside of being well rounded.) I would love to see a list of the past 50 years of such students and where they ended up (such a list doesn't exist)- and then question whether it was because their employer was impressed by the "Harvard philosophy major" or it was because "that person was brilliant, and would've done something great anyhow" like a Mark Zuckerberg, Tony Hsieh, Bill Gates, etc...

There is inherent value to a "liberal arts education"; I wish I had more time in my STEM-ified educational experience for history, anthropology, and, yes, philosophy (I am currently reading "Does the Center Hold", which you would probably think of as "Intro Philosophy for bone heads".) I would love to discuss it on fatbrainz.com;
On fatwallet.com, I'll continue to question the economic reasoning behind going to school and choosing a major, as well as the huge education bubble I believe we've created for ourselves and the disastrous impact I believe it will have.

Yeah, but the added cost of a wife can eat into the savings rather quickly; Caveat Emptor!

Genetics said:   one thing I do..

Comcast usually has deals for 6 months then go to "full price"...and you cannot have had comcast in the past 4 months. Every 6 months I cancel my account and my wife calls and sets it up on her name and vice versa. since you pay for service ahead you never get caught paying more and if you forget and pay they will refund it. I have been paying 19.99 for internet for a few years now.

JacksonX said:   
A philosophy major at Harvard is likely quite brilliant; I still question its utility (outside of being well rounded.) I would love to see a list of the past 50 years of such students and where they ended up (such a list doesn't exist)- and then question whether it was because their employer was impressed by the "Harvard philosophy major" or it was because "that person was brilliant, and would've done something great anyhow" like a Mark Zuckerberg, Tony Hsieh, Bill Gates, etc...


But I think the underlying premise of your position is a bad one. Why must everything be judged based on if they are useful at helping someone to acquire more money? I know that this is a saving money thread, but if life were just about saving money, then you'd never go to the theater, you'd eat nothing but some sort of human kibbles that are appropriately balanced for our dietary needs, and so forth.

Anyway, so that we don't sidetrack the thread more than we already have, I imagine we can agree that the vast majority of 18 year olds shouldn't be taking out excessively large loans to finance a college degree. I'm not sure any undergraduate program, STEM or otherwise, is worth taking on 200+k worth of debt. But I don't think it's as big of a problem if the kid's parents has the cash to spend. In that case, spending the money is just like buying season tickets to the Red Sox, a country club membership, a flashy new car, or something else that the user will enjoy (as well as potentially receiving some sort of financial or social benefit from the purchase).

kantscholar said:   JacksonX said:   
A philosophy major at Harvard is likely quite brilliant; I still question its utility (outside of being well rounded.) I would love to see a list of the past 50 years of such students and where they ended up (such a list doesn't exist)- and then question whether it was because their employer was impressed by the "Harvard philosophy major" or it was because "that person was brilliant, and would've done something great anyhow" like a Mark Zuckerberg, Tony Hsieh, Bill Gates, etc...


But I think the underlying premise of your position is a bad one. Why must everything be judged based on if they are useful at helping someone to acquire more money? I know that this is a saving money thread, but if life were just about saving money, then you'd never go to the theater, you'd eat nothing but some sort of human kibbles that are appropriately balanced for our dietary needs, and so forth.

Anyway, so that we don't sidetrack the thread more than we already have, I imagine we can agree that the vast majority of 18 year olds shouldn't be taking out excessively large loans to finance a college degree. I'm not sure any undergraduate program, STEM or otherwise, is worth taking on 200+k worth of debt. But I don't think it's as big of a problem if the kid's parents has the cash to spend. In that case, spending the money is just like buying season tickets to the Red Sox, a country club membership, a flashy new car, or something else that the user will enjoy (as well as potentially receiving some sort of financial or social benefit from the purchase).


Great summary. Add it to the list! When purchasing something big or small that could be considered an investment, be sure to know what you're getting into. Following all of the other fishes in the stream is only a good hedge against mediocrity. Since education tends to be one of folks' largest lifetime purchases, it shouldn't be an automatic decision, just like purchasing a new property or investing into your company's stock.

bozo007 said:   Stop upgrading to the latest phone, don't spend money on useless apps.

Also, if you own an android phone, I would recommend that you learn how to root it and install custom roms. I have had Galaxy S II for years and am quite happy with it because it has the same software as the expensive new S 4.

I do not see needing a new phone until this one craps out on me.

My #1 and I have not read all responses so I am guessing it probably has been posted is cut the cell phone contract and get a prepaid plan like Virgin Mobile.

True. That's what i did after 13 years of contracts with ATT & Sprint. Switch to T-Mobile $30 Plan. DaveTheStud said:   My #1 and I have not read all responses so I am guessing it probably has been posted is cut the cell phone contract and get a prepaid plan like Virgin Mobile.

jd2010 said:   The markets are rigged, don't try to daytrade.

I was planning on just lurking the thread, but I had to sign-in just to give this GREEN!

JacksonX said:   cestmoi123 said:   <snip>
Doing it by major is silly. Someone with a philosophy degree from Harvard is far better equipped to get a well-paying job than someone with an engineering degree from a tier 3 school.


I don't buy it.
Employers want skills. Taking classes in "witches, warlocks, and ouija boards" likely doesn't help in that department.
What does the average Harvard philosophy major do upon graduation? Probably not financial analyst.

A chem E, EE, CE, etc coming from your average state school likely has huge job prospects, higher starting salary, and far less debt than the Harvard philosophy major ( if not the Harvard engineer.)


I think the benefit from the Harvard degree would be the fact that a lot of sifting probably occurred on the part of Harvard. It seems like it would open doors because of that aspect. e.g. A sense of potentially interviewing the "cream of the crop" when you interview a Harvard graduate.

Having said that, wasn't there a study done on students who were accepted to Harvard but then ultimately went somewhere else for school (e.g. state school)? And didn't they end up doing similarly in terms of income as compared to their counterparts who actually went to Harvard? If I'm wrong, someone please chime in.

DaveTheStud said:   My #1 and I have not read all responses so I am guessing it probably has been posted is cut the cell phone contract and get a prepaid plan like Virgin Mobile.

I switched my mother in law to Straight Talk, and gave her my old iPhone 3GS. I buy her 6 month cards off of Amazon for around $220; that's less than $40 a month for unlimited talk, text, internet; this is on the same AT&T network that would likely cost her >$100 if she went with the actual AT&T.

This NYT blog entry summarizes some PayScale survey data from a few years ago. Basically, top schools dominate the median mid-career salary rankings. And, these statistics only count people whose highest degree was an undergraduate degree, significantly understating the salaries from those of top schools who are likely to go on to high paying professions after graduate school (MD, JD, MBA).

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/20/do-elite-colleges-p...

kantscholar said:   JacksonX said:   
A philosophy major at Harvard is likely quite brilliant; I still question its utility (outside of being well rounded.) I would love to see a list of the past 50 years of such students and where they ended up (such a list doesn't exist)- and then question whether it was because their employer was impressed by the "Harvard philosophy major" or it was because "that person was brilliant, and would've done something great anyhow" like a Mark Zuckerberg, Tony Hsieh, Bill Gates, etc...


But I think the underlying premise of your position is a bad one. Why must everything be judged based on if they are useful at helping someone to acquire more money? I know that this is a saving money thread, but if life were just about saving money, then you'd never go to the theater, you'd eat nothing but some sort of human kibbles that are appropriately balanced for our dietary needs, and so forth.

Anyway, so that we don't sidetrack the thread more than we already have, I imagine we can agree that the vast majority of 18 year olds shouldn't be taking out excessively large loans to finance a college degree. I'm not sure any undergraduate program, STEM or otherwise, is worth taking on 200+k worth of debt. But I don't think it's as big of a problem if the kid's parents has the cash to spend. In that case, spending the money is just like buying season tickets to the Red Sox, a country club membership, a flashy new car, or something else that the user will enjoy (as well as potentially receiving some sort of financial or social benefit from the purchase).


The title of the discussion is "what is one simple change that you could tell people to make in order to save them $$$". I would argue that telling them NOT to get a degree in philosophy from anywhere is likely a valid answer to this question.
There are good, cultural reasons to obtain a degree in a liberal art.
If a kid can get a full scholarship somewhere and is able to work during the 4 years of undergrad, it could make sense.

To go 200k into debt for a "higher purpose" without significant economic incentives while losing 4 years of earning power seems quite foolish (financially).
One can always take an online history/philosophy/sociology class online or read some books while working and earning compound interest. Or get the engineering degree (or plumbing certificate, etc...) and later audit a "cultural" class, take advantage of MOOCs, etc...

BostonOne said:   This NYT blog entry summarizes some PayScale survey data from a few years ago. Basically, top schools dominate the median mid-career salary rankings. And, these statistics only count people whose highest degree was an undergraduate degree, significantly understating the salaries from those of top schools who are likely to go on to high paying professions after graduate school (MD, JD, MBA).

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/20/do-elite-colleges-p...


That data is imperfect; do the high-earners earn more because of the name of the school? Because of the course of study chosen? (ie does MIT have more engineers than Georgetown?) Because of the location more students live? (You will make more living in Boston vs Montana)? Because of an intrinsic factor the student has? (i.e. the Tony Hsieh factor)

If a kid gets a full scholarship in philosophy at bumble-U vs having to pay 30k/year for Harvard, what will his cost differential be immediately upon graduation? (important for compounding.) How about mid-career?

BostonOne said:   This NYT blog entry summarizes some PayScale survey data from a few years ago. Basically, top schools dominate the median mid-career salary rankings. And, these statistics only count people whose highest degree was an undergraduate degree, significantly understating the salaries from those of top schools who are likely to go on to high paying professions after graduate school (MD, JD, MBA).

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/20/do-elite-colleges-p...


Interestingly, I found this
This is more recent data; if you click through, it actually shows you the positions attained by the graduates surveyed.
Unsurprisingly, engineering and financial roles seem to dominate, which is why Babson College, Lehigh University, and Polytechnic University of NY rank higher than Harvard University on this ranking system, again begging the question if a high priced "elite" education is worth the financial commitment.

Another flaw of this study; it states that it excludes graduates who attained higher degrees, yet one of the jobs it included for Harvard is that of "attorney".

Learn to coupon. I walk out of CVS pretty regularly with $300+ worth (CVS inflates items big time, but still $200+ at Wal-Mart) of personal care, paper goods, and cleaning supplies for next to nothing. I can't remember the last time I paid for razors, shampoo, deodorant, cleaning supplies, etc. It saves me a ton of money each year. I've already saved over $10,000 this year doing this (of course I do sell a lot of things I buy - average an extra $500-800/month of extra income).

NM

JacksonX said:   BostonOne said:   This NYT blog entry summarizes some PayScale survey data from a few years ago. Basically, top schools dominate the median mid-career salary rankings. And, these statistics only count people whose highest degree was an undergraduate degree, significantly understating the salaries from those of top schools who are likely to go on to high paying professions after graduate school (MD, JD, MBA).

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/20/do-elite-colleges-p...


Interestingly, I found this
This is more recent data; if you click through, it actually shows you the positions attained by the graduates surveyed.
Unsurprisingly, engineering and financial roles seem to dominate, which is why Babson College, Lehigh University, and Polytechnic University of NY rank higher than Harvard University on this ranking system, again begging the question if a high priced "elite" education is worth the financial commitment.

Another flaw of this study; it states that it excludes graduates who attained higher degrees, yet one of the jobs it included for Harvard is that of "attorney".

If your household income is under $65K, Harvard is free. Then, it's a great deal regardless of what you study.

http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/financial_aid/index.ht...

"In the past decade we have increased financial aid for low and middle income families by over 180%, and in 2011-12 we will award $166M in need-based grant assistance. No contribution is expected from parents with incomes under $65,000. Beginning with the class of 2016, those parents with annual incomes between $65,000 and $150,000 are asked to contribute from zero to ten percent of their income."

JacksonX said:   ...Unsurprisingly, engineering and financial roles seem to dominate, which is why Babson College, Lehigh University, and Polytechnic University of NY rank higher than Harvard University on this ranking system, again begging the question if a high priced "elite" education is worth the financial commitment.....Which of the four schools that you mentioned has the highest tuition and fees? Although Harvard and Princeton have some of the most generous financial aid packages in the US, even for full pay families the cost is still lower than at many private colleges. The school at the top of the payscale.com list, Princeton, has a lower sticker price than any of these schools.

ryeny3 said:   JacksonX said:   ...Unsurprisingly, engineering and financial roles seem to dominate, which is why Babson College, Lehigh University, and Polytechnic University of NY rank higher than Harvard University on this ranking system, again begging the question if a high priced "elite" education is worth the financial commitment.....Which of the four schools that you mentioned has the highest tuition and fees? Although Harvard and Princeton have some of the most generous financial aid packages in the US, even for full pay families the cost is still lower than at many private colleges. The school at the top of the payscale.com list, Princeton, costs less than any of these schools.

One should likely go wherever it is cheapest.
The survey, although flawed, shows that course of study is a main determinant of economic success, not necessarily prestige.
If state university of wherever gives you a full scholarship for chemical engineering, that is likely your best (economic) decision.

As Bostonone stated, Harvard gives full scholarships for those whose families have lower incomes- that's a no brainer.

If you are coming from upper middle class, and have to decide between Harvard at 50k per year or New York polytechnic on a partial merit scholarship of, say 10k/year, the latter is likely the better economic decision

touxiong said:   shit at work...

Do it on company time.

I am active duty and have 1.5 years left. I have an associates of art from a junior college. Still don't know if I even want to go back to school or if I've become too dumb to learn anymore. I suck at calculus, but I like engineering. Maybe biology... Got to get away from this manual labor though.

JacksonX said:   One should likely go wherever [it is] cheapest.Learn frugal habits while studying Buddhism at a monastery in India?

DShelbyJr said:   Learn to coupon. I walk out of CVS pretty regularly with $300+ worth (CVS inflates items big time, but still $200+ at Wal-Mart) of personal care, paper goods, and cleaning supplies for next to nothing. I can't remember the last time I paid for razors, shampoo, deodorant, cleaning supplies, etc. It saves me a ton of money each year. I've already saved over $10,000 this year doing this (of course I do sell a lot of things I buy - average an extra $500-800/month of extra income).

Care to help a n00b out with a quick piece of advice? I hate spending $4 on deodorant. Where does one dig up these coupons? Just hit the googles?

DShelbyJr said:   Learn to coupon. I walk out of CVS pretty regularly with $300+ worth (CVS inflates items big time, but still $200+ at Wal-Mart) of personal care, paper goods, and cleaning supplies for next to nothing. I can't remember the last time I paid for razors, shampoo, deodorant, cleaning supplies, etc. It saves me a ton of money each year. I've already saved over $10,000 this year doing this (of course I do sell a lot of things I buy - average an extra $500-800/month of extra income).How many hours per month do you spend doing this?

You don't have to spend a lot of money to have fun. With self-imposed financial restraints, I'm typically more creative and my ideas more appreciated because they differ from the typical "lets go out to eat/get drinks!"

not sure if it's already mentioned but if you are like me and love travelling to different places (be in US or abroad), try to learn the art of award booking using miles and points that you get with credit card sign up bonuses. I just came back from Alaska using the same award ticket that we used for our earlier trip to Western Europe back in May.

TheDragonn said:   DShelbyJr said:   Learn to coupon. I walk out of CVS pretty regularly with $300+ worth (CVS inflates items big time, but still $200+ at Wal-Mart) of personal care, paper goods, and cleaning supplies for next to nothing. I can't remember the last time I paid for razors, shampoo, deodorant, cleaning supplies, etc. It saves me a ton of money each year. I've already saved over $10,000 this year doing this (of course I do sell a lot of things I buy - average an extra $500-800/month of extra income).

Care to help a n00b out with a quick piece of advice? I hate spending $4 on deodorant. Where does one dig up these coupons? Just hit the googles?


There are coupons every Sunday in your local paper...or should be. CVS has deals where you may pay $4.00 on deodorant, but get back $2 ECB (essential a coupon to use at CVS on your next order). Throw a $1 Manufacturer Coupon on top of that and you have $1 deodorant. Honestly, if you time it right you'll never pay for deodorant again. This doesn't happen all of the time, but I was paid $12 to buy 12 Speed Stick deodorants...more than enough for a year for me. Matter of fact, it got close to expiration and I gave some away (before I started selling).

string3599 said:   DShelbyJr said:   Learn to coupon. I walk out of CVS pretty regularly with $300+ worth (CVS inflates items big time, but still $200+ at Wal-Mart) of personal care, paper goods, and cleaning supplies for next to nothing. I can't remember the last time I paid for razors, shampoo, deodorant, cleaning supplies, etc. It saves me a ton of money each year. I've already saved over $10,000 this year doing this (of course I do sell a lot of things I buy - average an extra $500-800/month of extra income).How many hours per month do you spend doing this?

It all depends on how good the deals are for the month. I'd estimate maybe 20 hours a month. Me and my wife would do our shopping on Sunday anyway so even those hours are included in that 20, we would do that anyway. When I make mid-week trips, I typically plan lunch at a place close by or stop by on my way home (pass multiple stores on my way home that are within 1/2 mile of my route). I make sure I'm not going too far out of the way. We sell on local FB Garage Sale sites and posting everything takes up the most time. Luckily, my wife handles that haha.

Edit: Just to add, I know I'm not anywhere close to the level of most FW posters, but it's a nice supplemental income. And I actually enjoy figuring out the best deals (love math).

JuNooNi said:    I just came back from Alaska using the same award ticket that we used for our earlier trip to Western Europe back in May.

Sorry you lost me here. What do you mean using the same "award ticket"?

spend a few months and track every penny you spend. The waste will make itself apparent. Then you just have to be willing to make the cuts when you see them

Marginal cost of driving is like $.20 a mile on a fuel efficient car. Drive less.

touxiong said:   shit at work...

I like to try to hold it in until overtime too! Nothing as satisfying as deucing on company time at time & a 1/2.

Don't get married until your age 35 for a guy or aged 30 for a woman.

gingermae said:   touxiong said:   shit at work...

Do it on company time.


Unfortunately, doesn't work when you have to bill your hours...

Get a hobby that makes money, not costs money.

Realizing religion is a fraud.

luvbugium said:   Get a hobby that makes money, not costs money.Then it's not a hobby.

DShelbyJr said:   TheDragonn said:   DShelbyJr said:   Learn to coupon. I walk out of CVS pretty regularly with $300+ worth (CVS inflates items big time, but still $200+ at Wal-Mart) of personal care, paper goods, and cleaning supplies for next to nothing. I can't remember the last time I paid for razors, shampoo, deodorant, cleaning supplies, etc. It saves me a ton of money each year. I've already saved over $10,000 this year doing this (of course I do sell a lot of things I buy - average an extra $500-800/month of extra income).

Care to help a n00b out with a quick piece of advice? I hate spending $4 on deodorant. Where does one dig up these coupons? Just hit the googles?


There are coupons every Sunday in your local paper...or should be. CVS has deals where you may pay $4.00 on deodorant, but get back $2 ECB (essential a coupon to use at CVS on your next order). Throw a $1 Manufacturer Coupon on top of that and you have $1 deodorant. Honestly, if you time it right you'll never pay for deodorant again. This doesn't happen all of the time, but I was paid $12 to buy 12 Speed Stick deodorants...more than enough for a year for me. Matter of fact, it got close to expiration and I gave some away (before I started selling).


Buying and selling deodorant for fun and profit?!

Around here Kroger will run 10 for $10 on deodorant w/o coupons and ecb---just had one on Right Guard. Just another option.



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