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How to Master Your Finances After College

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“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” — Mark Twain The following is a guest post from Martin of Studenomics, where he aims to help you be financially free before you hit 30. You need to check out the site to see what he has been working on! The time is here. You somehow survived college and now you’re free. What do you do? How do you figure out this whole money thing now that you’re supposed to be an adult? How do you behave now? This is my story of how I’ve been working on mastering my finances in the two years since I’ve been out of school. I’m not the brightest guy nor do I have a great attention span. So if I can save money, anyone can. Wait, what was I talking about? Oh right, my story of trying to master my finances. The first thing I need to mention is that it’s key to be proactive! Now I understand that things happen. I was lucky. I found a decent part-time job in college, stayed at home, and worked like an animal. I didn’t know any better. I didn’t realize how fun college could … Read more

How I paid CASH for an MBA Program

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The following is a guest post from Kimberly Kesterke, a new blogger on financial abundance, budgeting and financial creativity. Feel free to visit her blog at www.rockyourmoney.com. You can also e-mail @ [email protected]  Just remember it is NEW, but all self-created to provide a valuable and useful information. Call me crazy, but in 2009 I decided to finally move forward with a Masters of Business Administration program (MBA). Call me even crazier, I vowed to do it debt-free. Here is my story and my advice on how YOU can tackle a large expenditure- one day at a time! Preparation First of all, I realize that there is a vast amount of funding programs available at low interest rates and I have nothing against a student loan. However, when I was done with the MBA program, I wanted to feel free and not have a large obligation to pay off. For me, it would have added undue stress, and the biggest goal for me after the program was to launch my career, not to have to worry how I would pay for it after the fact. So the year before, I started stocking away cash. I had an idea of a … Read more

How You Can Graduate Debt Free

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The following is a guest post from Hannah at Preciously Preserved.  She is a southern gal living in San Diego and blogs about all sorts of subjects including dating, fashion, and even politics.  Thanks Hannah! The decisions one makes is so crucial–especially in this dwindling economy.  Decisions become weightier, money becomes tighter and life becomes a bit more challenging.  I know this.  I grew up in a frugal home – a home where money was tight and we didn’t have extra to throw around.  Decisions were weighed carefully; decisions such as if we could go out to eat, or should we make that extra drive because of gas prices.  Trust me, I understand frugality. I also understand frugality when it comes to talking about college education.  I am a college graduate.  I have a degree in English and a minor Sociology.  It, however, was not without sacrifice and diligence.   I could not sit back on my laurels, party every night, and bask in my parents glorious $100 bills.  I had to work hard for it.  My parents were eager to help and did in many ways, but make no mistake, if I didn’t work hard neither my scholarships nor my parents help … Read more

Student Loan Advice

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The following guest post is from long-time reader Rebecca in response to my friend Isabelle’s new budget.  I thought anyone with student loans may be interested.  🙂  Thanks Rebecca! Our Student Loans I wanted to provide some unsolicited input for Isabelle regarding her student loans.  I don’t know what interest rate Loan #2 is at, or who her student loans are with, but I do have quite a bit of experience with student loans in general.  My husband and I actually have quite a bit of them, but luckily they are at a combined fixed rate of less than 2%, so they are not a priority for us to pay down.  Anyway, back to Isabelle. Advice I am going to assume at least one of her loans is with Sallie Mae, since they have a large share of the market.  If she does not have Sallie Mae, most student loan servicers probably offer similar options.  Sallie Mae has quite a few options to help individuals who are currently struggling with their payments.  Some of these require proof of income, and others don’t.  In either case, I would suspect she would qualify.  In her account, there should be a link for … Read more

Is the “College Experience” Worth Student Loan Debt?

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The following is a guest post from Emily Guy Birken.  She is a freelance writer, occasional BFS guest poster, and regular contributor to PTMoney: Personal Finance.  She lives in Lafayette, Indiana, with her mechanical engineer husband and toddler son. Her musings on life, parenting, and money can be found at The SAHMnambulist and Live Like a Mensch. Our Views on College For the nine years we have known each other, my husband and I have disagreed about the point of an undergraduate degree.  I, who attended idyllic Kenyon College and double majored in English (with an emphasis in Creative Writing) and French Literature, feel that college is supposed to be a time of learning and growing without worrying about what comes next.  My husband, who graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (and walked from the commencement stage into a great job with a major auto manufacturer), feels that you go to school so that you can get a job. In effect, we represent the two ends of the philosophical spectrum of higher education.  While I’d be taking the fate of my marriage in my hands if I were to try (again) to argue for the … Read more

So Your Kid Earned a Free Ride…

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The following is a long-awaited guest post from Mr. BFS.  🙂  He was thinking about his own college education expenses and how his parents handled it.  That got him thinking about windfalls in general.  And wonders never cease, he actually wrote it all out for BFS.  Thanks sweety!  I will say in advance that I only made minor edits like spelling and bolding the titles…this is all hubby.  My comments are in italics like this. You did it!  They said it would be nearly impossible, but you did it!  You have saved enough money to put your child through college!  The acceptance letters are coming in and you breathe a sigh of relief because you’ve got it covered.  There is enough to cover tuition, room, and board.  Today you are on top of the savings world.  But then you hear the news, she got a scholarship – a big one.  Awesome! (I always knew if we have a kid that he wants a girl…) Now What? This can be both a wonderful and nerve racking experience – having saved and saved for ten, fifteen, or even eighteen years, you now realize that you don’t need (or only need a part … Read more

Start Saving During College or Else

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We are staying with the college-themed guest posts this week.  The following is a guest post by Jon the Saver, a Christian personal finance blogger and founder of Free Money Wisdom.  He is passionate about helping average Americans reach their financial goals and live a life free of debt.  In his down time he loves a mean game of Scrabble.  Be sure to subscribe to stay connected with Free Money Wisdom! Here’s the deal everyone, do you want to retire early?  I’m guessing you just answered with a profoundly loud “YES.”  Well why not start in college?  Yes, college is a great time of parties, football games, social gatherings and memory making.  However, your financial life is at stake and you really need to think about saving your money during college for your future.  No, it’s not sexy.  No, it’s not fun.  But do you really want to be working when you are 65, 70, or even 75?  I’ve seen one too many grandpas working at Home Depot, I’m not going to be one of them and I’m sure you don’t want to be either. So, if you’re a student in college, what can you do?  Before you get too … Read more