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Delete your account at Amazon.com

Learn good financial management. Spend within your limits.

Get some good credit cards early in life. Use them wisely. Get an American Express. And a handful of others with zero annual fee. Always pay on time.

Then you'll have stellar credit, and get a killer interest rate when you go to buy a house. That could save you $300/mo for 30 years. ~$100K.

That will buy you a lot of premium sandwiches for lunch. And you only need to do the work once.

MP

johneh said:   chegh said:   Just wanted to add, marry wisely, if at all.
No, marry wealthy!

Marry healthy?

Know the basics of how income taxes work. I'm not talking about changing careers and becoming a CPA, but just have a basic knowledge of what taxable income is, how itemized deductions work, etc. Especially if you don't have a huge mortgage, you can save thousands of dollars by simply bunching your deductions into alternating years (i.e., doing your planned charitable giving for the next year in December of this year, timing your annual property tax payments so two years' payments fall in the same calendar year) and then taking the standard deduction in the off years. There is also a benefit to knowing what you can and cannot legally deduct on an individual return that helps you make better financial decisions.

The side benefit of this is that unless you have your own business or rental property you should be able to do your own taxes using TurboTax or H&R Block at Home. That average people with basic tax situations still use tax prep services or CPA to do their returns amazes me considering the quality of the tax prep software available.

Someone already said no-contract phones, but I'll add to get bluetooth cordless handsets for your home. We spent $20 for V-techs that pick up two cell phones at a time. We have handsets upstairs and down. When we come home we've set them to automatically pick up our phones. Calls ring throughout the house like a regular landline, and it improved the signal.

Itís a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Walk more, drive less.

That $30 monthly gym membership pays for itself if you use it! That's less then most Co-Pays to a specialist!

caramelito said:   Itís a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Walk more, drive less.

actually, whatever you can do, be it bike, run or walk, running errands will be good on your wallet and health.
Plus, if you are in a metro or quasi metro, you are helping local businesses and part of a community (which in turn leads to unique social interactions).

Use CFLs, Save electricity/water and other resources.
Drink Water
Dress Nicely (not the armani suits )
Pay your bills on time...Try to be Debt free and dont pay late fees.
Negotiate and Delibrate on your purchases...Are they needed for you or to show someone else? I have found myself that if I am convincing myself to buy some things, I don't need it.

Try anticipating your big purchases...You can keep an eye on those and will be ready if you see an amazing price....
Save money...There is a saying "Money attracts Money". Money buys happiness (H+B - until you run out of money) but having money is a contented feeling.

No student loans with a few exceptions (eg. engineering majors, top-25 MBA/law program, medical/dental/pharmacy school, any other major with excellent job prospects and salary). NO law school, history majors, economics majors, business administration majors, etc.

jmw11 said:   No student loans with a few exceptions (eg. engineering majors, top-25 MBA/law program, medical/dental/pharmacy school, any other major with excellent job prospects and salary). NO law school, history majors, economics majors, business administration majors, etc.

So how exactly is a student suppose to pay for school these days if I dont want to be an engineer, MBA, MD, DDS or PharmD?

KYBOSH said:   jmw11 said:   No student loans with a few exceptions (eg. engineering majors, top-25 MBA/law program, medical/dental/pharmacy school, any other major with excellent job prospects and salary). NO law school, history majors, economics majors, business administration majors, etc.

So how exactly is a student suppose to pay for school these days if I dont want to be an engineer, MBA, MD, DDS or PharmD?


GI Bill? Grants? FASFA?

jmw11 said:   No student loans with a few exceptions (eg. engineering majors, top-25 MBA/law program, medical/dental/pharmacy school, any other major with excellent job prospects and salary). NO law school, history majors, economics majors, business administration majors, etc.

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.

Marry your trophy wife first.

cestmoi123 said:   jmw11 said:   No student loans with a few exceptions (eg. engineering majors, top-25 MBA/law program, medical/dental/pharmacy school, any other major with excellent job prospects and salary). NO law school, history majors, economics majors, business administration majors, etc.

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.

How are they doing if they have $240k in student loans?

So how exactly is a student suppose to pay for school these days if I dont want to be an engineer, MBA, MD, DDS or PharmD?
Play a sport that gets scholarships, such as football, basketball, or baseball or see your local recruiting office, consider ROTC scholarships. I know people who have pissed away tens of thousands of dollars in free government money from the government for college for the GI bill or vocational rehab. I personally know of 2 people who turned down athletic scholarships that were very good but didn't have their heart in the game anymore. Many schools also give merit based scholarships as well. Having a GPA over 3.0 and decent test scores also open up many top tier scholarship schools such as Standford, Duke, the service academies, etc... for athletic scholarships.

Alternatively, if you aren't athletic or lack the desire to hit the gym or track, you could always get a regular job and/or go to a community college or attend college online or attend school overseas for the first few years. My guess is that people don't take enough time to evaluate all the options or spend enough time considering what they really want to do and how to get there. There are a lot of ways to go to school for free or without much cost, but a lot of people are lazy and don't want to put in the work on the front side.

It seems a lot of people just go on autopilot with no thought to what their career prospects are. There are other options than student loans, not that those are the worst thing in the world again if you have a plan.

One of my buds is going to school to be a dentist, after the government paid for him to fly helicopters and go to school as an undergrad for free. Over 7 figures in education/training for free. I know for a fact that the Federal government CAN NOT get anyone to attend their prepaid scholarship programs despite opening them up to all civillian employees in the Army and later the DOD, and these are excellent programs such as Syracuse dual masters degree.

Save money and study abroad. Only caveat is that you often have to learn the language.

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college...

I just dont feel any of this is realistic for the vast majority of people in this country.

Go to a good private college, then drop out. See: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs.

nwill002 said:   and whats wrong with a ham sandwich? get fresh cut meat from the deli counter at your grocery store and you can have a high quality sandwich that wont cost much more than the over-processed prepackaged stuff.
Hate to break it to you, but the ham at the deli counter is over-processed prepackaged stuff.

KYBOSH said:   jmw11 said:   No student loans with a few exceptions (eg. engineering majors, top-25 MBA/law program, medical/dental/pharmacy school, any other major with excellent job prospects and salary). NO law school, history majors, economics majors, business administration majors, etc.

So how exactly is a student suppose to pay for school these days if I dont want to be an engineer, MBA, MD, DDS or PharmD?


Duh, WORK !!!!

With no scholarships or loans I worked an average of 30 hours/week as a cashier. Took close to minimum full time load year round most of the time. Lived in a lower cost Dorm. Went to a state 4 year college. Finished in 4 years with at least a little money in the bank and a paid for (older) car. Went after my masters part time at a very well known private college while employed full time. Employer paid for masters tuition as long as I received B or higher, just responsible for books.

I just dont feel any of this is realistic for the vast majority of people in this country.
why not? What is so hard about packing a lunch, buying a crown vic, walking more, buying a prepaid phone, cooking at home, cutting down on alcohol and tobacco, contributing to your retirement accounts and making some basic slight life changes to save a truckload of money?

codename47 said:   I just dont feel any of this is realistic for the vast majority of people in this country.
why not? What is so hard about packing a lunch, buying a crown vic, walking more, buying a prepaid phone, cooking at home, cutting down on alcohol and tobacco, contributing to your retirement accounts and making some basic slight life changes to save a truckload of money?

I think he was referring to the paying for college discussion.

Download your last 3 months credit card and bank statements.. Crunch the numbers and set up a BUDGET.. Specific categories, targets etc. and commit to sticking to it for a year...

Benefits
Simple financial understanding.
And
DISCIPLINE. Without this anything you ever accomplish will just be luck

stanolshefski said:   codename47 said:   I just dont feel any of this is realistic for the vast majority of people in this country.
why not? What is so hard about packing a lunch, buying a crown vic, walking more, buying a prepaid phone, cooking at home, cutting down on alcohol and tobacco, contributing to your retirement accounts and making some basic slight life changes to save a truckload of money?

I think he was referring to the paying for college discussion.



Right... A lot of this advice does not apply to high school graduates and their state of mind, maturity/skill level and so on.
All you need to do is hang around high schoolers or talk to people that work at a high school.... you'll quickly be editing your posts to reflect the reality of the current situation.

stanolshefski said:   cestmoi123 said:   jmw11 said:   No student loans with a few exceptions (eg. engineering majors, top-25 MBA/law program, medical/dental/pharmacy school, any other major with excellent job prospects and salary). NO law school, history majors, economics majors, business administration majors, etc.

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.

How are they doing if they have $240k in student loans?


First off, nobody graduates from Harvard with $240k in student loans, unless they (a) have wealthy parents, so they don't qualify for any aid whatsoever, AND (b) those parents refuse to contribute to the student's education. Average Harvard student graduates with $12k in loans.

Secondly, how they're doing depends on WHAT they're doing. If they've gone off to McKinsey or Goldman Sachs, then quite well.

cestmoi123 said:   stanolshefski said:   cestmoi123 said:   jmw11 said:   No student loans with a few exceptions (eg. engineering majors, top-25 MBA/law program, medical/dental/pharmacy school, any other major with excellent job prospects and salary). NO law school, history majors, economics majors, business administration majors, etc.

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.

How are they doing if they have $240k in student loans?


First off, nobody graduates from Harvard with $240k in student loans, unless they (a) have wealthy parents, so they don't qualify for any aid whatsoever, AND (b) those parents refuse to contribute to the student's education. Average Harvard student graduates with $12k in loans.

Secondly, how they're doing depends on WHAT they're doing. If they've gone off to McKinsey or Goldman Sachs, then quite well.

There are kids who graduate with six figure debts from Ivy League schools. Not every kid, even at Harvard, is going to get jobs at McKinsey or Goldman Sachs.

How much is too much?

find joy in a variety of things

stanolshefski said:   cestmoi123 said:   stanolshefski said:   cestmoi123 said:   jmw11 said:   No student loans with a few exceptions (eg. engineering majors, top-25 MBA/law program, medical/dental/pharmacy school, any other major with excellent job prospects and salary). NO law school, history majors, economics majors, business administration majors, etc.

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.

How are they doing if they have $240k in student loans?


First off, nobody graduates from Harvard with $240k in student loans, unless they (a) have wealthy parents, so they don't qualify for any aid whatsoever, AND (b) those parents refuse to contribute to the student's education. Average Harvard student graduates with $12k in loans.

Secondly, how they're doing depends on WHAT they're doing. If they've gone off to McKinsey or Goldman Sachs, then quite well.

There are kids who graduate with six figure debts from Ivy League schools. Not every kid, even at Harvard, is going to get jobs at McKinsey or Goldman Sachs.

How much is too much?


There are lots of kids at Ivy League and other top-50 schools that come out with quite a lot of debt. When determining a student's financial aid package, the school will look at the earnings of the parents. But what they don't see is the debt of the parents or if the kids will actually receive a good bit of money from the parents to cover the costs. So you have a lot of these kids coming out with 50-100k in debt.

king0fSpades said:   US1549 said:   Bag lunch to work. Cost of a ham sandwich $2 VS. going out of $5-7

Ham sandwich? Why are we even living? How about become homeless or suicide? If a person cannot enjoy a decent lunch what is the purpose of life? Should look into getting a better career.

Lets do the math, 22 days of work/month, saving just $1300 per year and eating crap for whole year and rest of your life? This is an absolutely ridiculous suggestion. I never did this in my life did this and I turned out OK.


so, to pass some time, I just re-read the first page of this thread and almost died laughing when I got to this one. All I can picture is Mr. KingOfSpades looking at his coworkers ham sandwich, shaking his head, and thinking "Man, just go find a freaking building to jump off of. Idiot."

cestmoi123 said:   jmw11 said:   No student loans with a few exceptions (eg. engineering majors, top-25 MBA/law program, medical/dental/pharmacy school, any other major with excellent job prospects and salary). NO law school, history majors, economics majors, business administration majors, etc.

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.)

Let's see, for an engineering position, would I rather have an Engineer from a state school, or Philosophy major from Harvard?

#1 Get spayed or neutered. Seriously.

Porqin said:   Let's see, for an engineering position, would I rather have an Engineer from a state school, or Philosophy major from Harvard?

People really don't understand the education bubble- it will be absolutely devastating for individuals as well as the country as a whole.

A place like Harvard is FANTASTIC if you want to go to wall street and you make connections.
It's also great if you want to become a philosophy professor AT HARVARD (and have the daddy scholarship, as this one is difficult to justify economically.)

Beyond that, there is diminishing returns of what you get from expensive higher education.

Blanket statements like that just don't make sense. Before the crash, about of the people that go to Harvard wanted to go into Wall Street or consulting - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/15/brain-drain-college-gra... Your 'unless you want to...' applies to a good number of people that end up going to Harvard. Why do you think McKinsey et. al. take history, philosophy and other liberal arts majors from Harvard over top grads from lower tier schools? They know what they can get and they have a 'training' program built for them. Its called social brain drain. They recruit people who 'want to change the world' and tell them after just a couple years they can have way more experience and connections to be able to successfully start that non-profit. After a couple of years of being used to the high pay / high expenses, bye bye non-profit dream. Now, I didn't go to a top tier school, but who knows what could have been if I did? Things are going well enough right now, but you never know how things work out in a place like that with such a better recruiting/hiring system. Yes, tuition costs are ridiculous now. But, if you are going to attend a 4 year college, I can think of a lot of reasons why Harvard might be a better place to pick over a lower tier school, even if you have your head in the clouds and 'haven't figured out what I want to do when I grow up.'

robby152 said:   Blanket statements like that just don't make sense. Before the crash, about of the people that go to Harvard wanted to go into Wall Street or consulting - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/15/brain-drain-college-gra... Your 'unless you want to...' applies to a good number of people that end up going to Harvard. Why do you think McKinsey et. al. take history, philosophy and other liberal arts majors from Harvard over top grads from lower tier schools? They know what they can get and they have a 'training' program built for them. Its called social brain drain. They recruit people who 'want to change the world' and tell them after just a couple years they can have way more experience and connections to be able to successfully start that non-profit. After a couple of years of being used to the high pay / high expenses, bye bye non-profit dream. Now, I didn't go to a top tier school, but who knows what could have been if I did? Things are going well enough right now, but you never know how things work out in a place like that with such a better recruiting/hiring system. Yes, tuition costs are ridiculous now. But, if you are going to attend a 4 year college, I can think of a lot of reasons why Harvard might be a better place to pick over a lower tier school, even if you have your head in the clouds and 'haven't figured out what I want to do when I grow up.'

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.
McKinsey doesn't want Harvard Philosophy majors; they want they don't want people who take the "easy way out".
The go after MD's who don't want to see patients, Harvard Lawyers who don't want to join a firm, and Harvard mathematicians, physicists, etc, who are actually likely brilliant.

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.

15 minutes can save you 15% or more on your car insurance.

bigdinkel said:   That $30 monthly gym membership pays for itself if you use it! That's less then most Co-Pays to a specialist!

Only if you use it correctly, or you'll be paying $30 a month + extra co-pays when you hurt yourself trying to impress or use equipment improperly.

IMO skip the gym altogether and just do body weight exercises, you don't need a gym or it's equipment to be healthy. Do the 7 minute workout 3 times (if you can) for your daily workout

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute...
http://www.7-min.com/

IF you are going to shop at a certain store routinely, look to see if you can at least get discount gift cards.

JacksonX said:   robby152 said:   Blanket statements like that just don't make sense. Before the crash, about of the people that go to Harvard wanted to go into Wall Street or consulting - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/15/brain-drain-college-gra... Your 'unless you want to...' applies to a good number of people that end up going to Harvard. Why do you think McKinsey et. al. take history, philosophy and other liberal arts majors from Harvard over top grads from lower tier schools? They know what they can get and they have a 'training' program built for them. Its called social brain drain. They recruit people who 'want to change the world' and tell them after just a couple years they can have way more experience and connections to be able to successfully start that non-profit. After a couple of years of being used to the high pay / high expenses, bye bye non-profit dream. Now, I didn't go to a top tier school, but who knows what could have been if I did? Things are going well enough right now, but you never know how things work out in a place like that with such a better recruiting/hiring system. Yes, tuition costs are ridiculous now. But, if you are going to attend a 4 year college, I can think of a lot of reasons why Harvard might be a better place to pick over a lower tier school, even if you have your head in the clouds and 'haven't figured out what I want to do when I grow up.'

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.
McKinsey doesn't want Harvard Philosophy majors; they want they don't want people who take the "easy way out".
The go after MD's who don't want to see patients, Harvard Lawyers who don't want to join a firm, and Harvard mathematicians, physicists, etc, who are actually likely brilliant.

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.

Philosophy majors at Harvard are not "taking the easy way out." Philosophy is one of the most academically demanding things to study at Harvard and attracts some of the top students.

JacksonX said:   cestmoi123 said:   jmw11 said:   No student loans with a few exceptions (eg. engineering majors, top-25 MBA/law program, medical/dental/pharmacy school, any other major with excellent job prospects and salary). NO law school, history majors, economics majors, business administration majors, etc.

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.)



Philosophy major here. I was offered a low/mid 6-figure job at a hedge fund when I completed my PhD (in philosophy). I turned it down for a mid 5-figure job in academia.

I know FWF is all about the money, but life isn't just about money. One of the great problems with our country, and one that is bankrupting this nation, is the idea that everyone needs to go to college. The vast majority of kids going to college are going for vocational training. It's absurd. There are suckers born every minute, and that schools can charge 200k to teach kids accounting or business management proves that statement to be true.

Don't get me wrong--there are some jobs that require advanced, theoretical training. But most don't. We'd be much better off if we thought of college like going to the theater, something that you do because you enjoy it and it is intellectually rewarding, rather than as a good financial move.

So perhaps my contribution to this thread is: One simple change is to consider whether or not you're actually better off spending big bucks to go to college, or if you'll be just as successful (if not more successful) taking an apprenticeship position out of high school and becoming a skilled tradesman. (And this is coming from a college philosophy professor.)



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