college https://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1489/all en-US Someone Took Out a Loan in Your Name. Now What? https://www.wisebread.com/someone-took-out-a-loan-in-your-name-now-what <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/someone-took-out-a-loan-in-your-name-now-what" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/distraught_woman_paying_her_bills_at_home.jpg" alt="Distraught woman paying her bills at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Identity theft wears many different faces. From credit cards to student loans, thieves can open different forms of credit in your name and just like that, destroy your credit history and financial standing.</p> <p>If this happens to you, getting the situation fixed can be difficult and time-consuming. But you can set things right.</p> <p>If someone took out a loan in your name, it's important to take action right away to prevent further damage to your credit. Follow these steps to protect yourself and get rid of the fraudulent accounts.</p> <h2>1. File a police report</h2> <p>The first thing you should do is file a police report with your local police department. You might be able to do this online. In many cases, you will be required to submit a police report documenting the theft in order for lenders to remove the fraudulent loans from your account. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-identity-was-stolen?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Signs Your Identity Was Stolen</a>)</p> <h2>2. Contact the lender</h2> <p>If someone took out a loan or opened a credit card in your name, contact the lender or credit card company directly to notify them of the fraudulent account and to have it removed from your credit report. For credit cards and even personal loans, the problem can usually be resolved quickly.</p> <p>When it comes to student loans, identity theft can have huge consequences for the victim. Failure to pay a student loan can result in wage garnishment, a suspended license, or the government seizing your tax refund &mdash; so it's critical that you cut any fraudulent activity off at the pass and get the loans discharged quickly.</p> <p>In general, you'll need to contact the lender who issued the student loan and provide them with a police report. The lender will also ask you to complete an identity theft report. While your application for discharge is under review, you aren't held responsible for payments.</p> <p>If you have private student loans, the process is similar. Each lender has their own process for handling student loan identity theft. However, you typically will be asked to submit a police report as proof, and the lender will do an investigation.</p> <h2>4. Notify the school, if necessary</h2> <p>If someone took out student loans in your name, contact the school the thief used to take out the loans. Call their financial aid or registrar's office and explain that a student there took out loans under your name. They can flag the account in their system and prevent someone from taking out any more loans with your information. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-your-child-from-identity-theft?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Protect Your Child From Identity Theft</a>)</p> <h2>5. Dispute the errors with the credit bureaus</h2> <p>When you find evidence of fraudulent activity, you need to dispute the errors with each of the three credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You should contact each one and submit evidence, such as your police report or a letter from the lender acknowledging the occurrence of identity theft. Once the credit reporting bureau has that information, they can remove the accounts from your credit history.</p> <p>If your credit score took a hit due to thieves defaulting on your loans, getting them removed can help improve your score. It can take weeks or even months for your score to fully recover, but it will eventually be restored to its previous level. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-panic-do-this-if-your-identity-gets-stolen?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Don't Panic: Do This If Your Identity Gets Stolen</a>)</p> <h2>6. Place a fraud alert or freeze on your credit report</h2> <p>As soon as you find out you're the victim of a fraudulent loan, place a fraud alert on your credit report with one of the three credit reporting agencies. You can do so online:</p> <ul> <li> <p><a href="https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html" target="_blank">Experian</a></p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.alerts.equifax.com/AutoFraud_Online/jsp/fraudAlert.jsp" target="_blank">Equifax</a></p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.transunion.com/fraud-victim-resource/place-fraud-alert" target="_blank">TransUnion</a></p> </li> </ul> <p>When you place a fraud alert on your account, potential creditors or lenders will receive a notification when they run your credit. The alert prompts them to take additional steps to verify your identity before issuing a loan or form of credit in your name. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-free-fraud-alert-on-your-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get a Free Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report</a>)</p> <p>In some cases, it might be a good idea to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-freeze-your-credit" target="_blank">freeze your credit</a>. With a credit freeze, creditors cannot view your credit report or issue you new credit unless you remove the freeze.</p> <h2>7. Check your credit report regularly</h2> <p>Finally, check your credit report regularly to ensure no new accounts are opened in your name. You can request a free report from each of the three credit reporting agencies once a year at <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/" target="_blank">AnnualCreditReport.com</a>. You can stagger the reports so you take out one every four months, helping you keep a close eye on account activity throughout the year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fsomeone-took-out-a-loan-in-your-name-now-what&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FSomeone%2520Took%2520Out%2520a%2520Loan%2520in%2520Your%2520Name.%2520Now%2520What_.jpg&amp;description=Someone%20Took%20Out%20a%20Loan%20in%20Your%20Name.%20Now%20What%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Someone%20Took%20Out%20a%20Loan%20in%20Your%20Name.%20Now%20What_.jpg" alt="Someone Took Out a Loan in Your Name. Now What?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/someone-took-out-a-loan-in-your-name-now-what">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-freeze-your-credit">How to Freeze Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life">5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-must-freeze-your-credit-report">5 Times You Must Freeze Your Credit Report</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-your-credit-after-the-equifax-breach">How to Protect Your Credit After the Equifax Breach</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training college credit freeze credit report credit score fraud identity theft loans police report Wed, 11 Jul 2018 08:00:10 +0000 Kat Tretina 2154559 at https://www.wisebread.com Everything New Parents Need to Know About College Savings https://www.wisebread.com/everything-new-parents-need-to-know-about-college-savings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everything-new-parents-need-to-know-about-college-savings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_cuddling_baby_daughter_at_home.jpg" alt="Mother cuddling baby daughter at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've just ushered a new baby into the world, and are working to get your brain around all that you need to pay for. Diapers. Food. Child care. College.</p> <p>College?</p> <p>It may be nearly two decades away, but thinking about your child's college education now can help you save lots of money for when it's finally time to foot the higher education bill.</p> <p>Saving for college will require a lot of discipline and patience, but you can make it happen with the right tools and knowledge. Let's take a look at some key things you need to know to send junior off to college without going broke.</p> <h2>Understand the cost of college</h2> <p>Let's start with an understanding that college is costly. The College Board says the budget for a moderately priced public college now is over $25,000 annually, and more than $50,000 for a private college. Prices have nearly doubled in the past decade and costs are expected to continue to rise. It's obviously impossible to know what college will cost in 18 years, but you can make reasonable projections based on current costs and the rate of inflation. Estimating the cost of college is obviously the one piece of information you need when determining how much to save.</p> <h2>Understand value vs. cost</h2> <p>You may have dreams of sending your child to whatever school they wish to attend, regardless of cost. That's fine, but you should also educate yourself on the schools with great reputations at a reasonable cost. The bottom line is that the most expensive schools aren't automatically the best. There are many ways for a student to get an excellent education without going into debt or wiping out your savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a>)</p> <h2>Explore community colleges</h2> <p>Some people dismiss community college, but that's a mistake. Community colleges are perhaps the most underrated components of the academic system. There are thousands of these great colleges that offer solid education experiences for a fraction of the price of four-year institutions. They are excellent for students who aren't quite sure what they want to study or are perhaps wary of going away to school.</p> <p>At community colleges, a student can often take care of many of the core requirements of a major, then transfer to a four-year institution where they can get the rest of the key coursework they need. This can ultimately save families tens of thousands of dollars. Consider community colleges when exploring future education options for your young one.</p> <h2>Open a 529 plan</h2> <p>Most states offer special savings plans that allow you to invest money for the purpose of saving for educational expenses. In most cases, you can withdraw the money tax-free when it's time to pay for college or qualified educational expenses. In a sense, they work like a Roth IRA, only for education.</p> <p>Some plans also let you deduct contributions from your taxable income. These savings plans can be powerful because you can sign up for them as soon as your child is born. And if you save aggressively over the course of 18 years, you can end up with a sizable fund, perhaps even enough to cover the cost of tuition entirely.</p> <p>If your child ends up getting a scholarship, you can use the funds for other educational expenses, such as a computer or other similar needs. If they don't attend college, funds can be used for vocational schools as well. You can also assign the benefits to someone else, such as a sibling or even a nephew, and there is no time limit on when you need to spend 529 funds, so you could even hold onto them and pay for your grandkids. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <p>As a last resort, you can just keep the money for yourself &mdash; but you will have to pay taxes on gains as well as a 10 percent penalty. You won't pay the penalty if the beneficiary passes away, gets a scholarship, becomes disabled, or attends a U.S. Military Academy. If a child is disabled and can't attend college, it's also possible to roll 529 funds over to a 529 ABLE plan, which is designed to help disabled people with living expenses and other needs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-529-able-accounts?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's What You Need to Know About 529 ABLE Accounts</a>)</p> <h2>Consider a prepaid tuition option</h2> <p>Depending on where you live, you may be able to take advantage of a type of 529 plan that allows you to lock in rates of college tuition now, potentially saving you tens of thousands of dollars. This can be especially powerful given that tuition continues to rise. Note that there may be some restrictions on what colleges the student can ultimately attend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan?</a>)</p> <h2>Don't cheat your own retirement</h2> <p>You may wish to selflessly pump as much money as you can into your child's college savings account, choosing to worry about your retirement savings at a later time. But this is a dangerous strategy. If you choose to postpone retirement saving, you run the risk of not having enough saved to make ends meet when you stop working. And unlike college, you can't borrow money to pay for your retirement.</p> <p>With smart planning and frugal living, you may be able to aggressively save for both college and retirement &mdash; but if you have to choose which to put money into, pick the retirement fund. If it helps, remind yourself that it's a way to ensure that your children don't have to help you financially in your later years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-student-loans-from-wrecking-your-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Keep Student Loans From Wrecking Your Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>Let family members know how they can help</h2> <p>Your child's grandparents may be eager to help with future college costs, and you may have other relatives willing to pitch in as well. You can help guide them as to the smartest way to help.</p> <p>In many cases, relatives may also receive immediate tax breaks by contributing to college savings plans, and they may even be able to gift money for college as a way to avoid future estate taxes.</p> <h2>Understand how financial aid works</h2> <p>It's important to learn how your income and savings can impact the type of financial assistance that your child may receive to pay for college. To qualify for grants or federal loans when it's time for your child to attend college, you will have to fill out a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) form.</p> <p>Not all families receive financial aid automatically. A student's eligibility is determined by a formula that takes into account the total cost of college and the expected family contribution, or EFC. The EFC is somewhat complicated, because it takes into account family income, assets, and household size, among other factors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-common-financial-aid-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 10 Most Common Financial Aid Mistakes &mdash; And How To Avoid Them</a>)</p> <h2>Learn about loans and their impact</h2> <p>It may be your plan to save for college and avoid loans entirely, but there's no guarantee you won't need them, especially if costs continue to rise. Navigating the ins and outs and pros and cons of both federal and private student loans will require some research and patience. You should seek to understand the typical interest rates on college loans, and how quickly loans must be paid back. Know that student loans can't be discharged in bankruptcy and that defaulting on loans can hurt a graduate's credit score.</p> <p>It's also important to understand how student loan debt may impact a graduating student. Many recent graduates are struggling with student loan payments &mdash; the average 2017 graduate has more than $39,000 in debt &mdash; and that has an impact on everything from the jobs a graduate can afford to take, the city they can afford to live in, and the amount of other debt they end up accumulating. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-cant-afford-your-childs-college-education?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What to Do When You Can't Afford Your Child's College Education</a>)</p> <h2>Live within your means</h2> <p>This may seem like such a basic piece of advice it's not worth mentioning, but it's crucial when you are trying to save for your own future as well as the college costs of a child. In an ideal world, you can save aggressively for both a child's college tuition and your own retirement, but that requires a hefty sum of cash. To achieve both goals, you must be laser-focused on keeping your spending levels low, avoiding debt, and managing budgets smartly. It may require sacrifices.</p> <p>For many people, those sacrifices are worthwhile, but just be sure you know what they entail as you embark on this journey. Being prepared mentally and emotionally will help you stay on course.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Feverything-new-parents-need-to-know-about-college-savings&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FEverything%2520New%2520Parents%2520Need%2520to%2520Know%2520About%2520College%2520Savings.jpg&amp;description=Everything%20New%20Parents%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20College%20Savings"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Everything%20New%20Parents%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20College%20Savings.jpg" alt="Everything New Parents Need to Know About College Savings" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/everything-new-parents-need-to-know-about-college-savings">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/someone-took-out-a-loan-in-your-name-now-what">Someone Took Out a Loan in Your Name. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-building-credit-in-college-helps-you-win-at-life">5 Reasons Building Credit in College Helps You Win at Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training 529 account college grants loans savings university Tue, 26 Jun 2018 12:40:58 +0000 Tim Lemke 2150087 at https://www.wisebread.com Why Your IRA Shouldn't Double as an Education Savings Plan https://www.wisebread.com/why-your-ira-shouldnt-double-as-an-education-savings-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-your-ira-shouldnt-double-as-an-education-savings-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_education_coins_concept.jpg" alt="Woman Education coins concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College and other education expenses can be some of the most burdensome costs you will ever face. Families may find themselves shelling out tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to universities, and many will spend even more on private elementary and secondary schools.</p> <p>Saving for these education expenses is increasingly crucial, with some people even turning to their individual retirement accounts to help. IRAs have nice tax advantages and have long been used as a possible vehicle for college savings. But is it a smart idea to use an IRA to pay for college?</p> <p>Using a retirement account for this purpose could be helpful, but has a number of drawbacks. Consider these reasons to avoid using an IRA for education expenses, if possible.</p> <h2>You can't borrow for retirement</h2> <p>Ideally, you want to save for both retirement and your child's education. But you should try to avoid letting education savings cannibalize your retirement savings. The last thing you want is to aggressively fund education accounts, only to find yourself unable to retire when you want to.</p> <p>Any money you spend on education now won't be available when you are older, and you are costing yourself potentially tens of thousands of dollars in future savings. Remember that your kids can always get loans to help pay for college, if necessary. But there's no way to borrow your way to a comfortable retirement. This is especially important these days when people have been known to live 20, 30, or even 40 years past retirement age. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-student-loans-from-wrecking-your-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Keep Student Loans From Wrecking Your Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>Retirement and college funds should be kept separate</h2> <p>You can save for retirement or you can save for college. But it's a bad idea to try and save for both in the same account. That's because you are operating with different time horizons in mind. If you are saving for your child's college tuition, you will likely need that money in about 18 years, at most. Retirement, on the other hand, might be 30 or 40 years away.</p> <p>This difference in timelines means that you will ideally be invested in different things. The college savings plan should contain more conservative investments than a retirement plan because you will likely need the money sooner.</p> <h2>There are other mechanisms to save for college</h2> <p>Using an IRA to save for college would be more acceptable if there weren't better options. Most states offer 529 college savings plans, which are designed to specifically save for education costs, and offer some great tax benefits to account holders.</p> <p>These plans allow you to place money in mutual funds and other investments, and money grows tax-free as long as it's used for educational purposes. In many cases, the contributions are also tax-deductible. Many states also offer the ability to lock in current college tuition costs today if you are willing to commit to specific universities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings</a>)</p> <h2>It's harder to get help from family and friends</h2> <p>With an IRA, the only person who can contribute to the account is you. But a 529 plan allows any person to open an account and name virtually anyone as the beneficiary. This means that grandparents can set up 529 plans for their grandchildren. Individuals can set up plans for the children of close friends. You can even set up a plan and name a complete stranger as a beneficiary. Using a 529 plan instead of an IRA allows a broader set of people to help out with a young person's education expenses if they choose to.</p> <h2>IRA distributions count as income for financial aid purposes</h2> <p>If you choose to make withdrawals from an IRA to pay for college, that money will be counted as income for financial aid purposes. This is not the case for 529 plans. Money in a 529 plan is generally considered an asset (but only about 5.6 percent of the total account balance), and assets don't count as much as income.</p> <p>Withdrawals from 529 plans are not recorded in the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), so having money in these plans won't severely hurt your beneficiary's chance of receiving financial aid. Using an IRA to pay for college, however, could reduce the amount of financial aid your child receives.</p> <h2>Earnings from an IRA can't be withdrawn tax-free</h2> <p>Yes, you can withdraw money from an IRA to pay for qualified educational expenses. But it's only the contributions, not the gains, that can be taken out without being taxed before age 59&frac12;.</p> <p>For example, let's say you have placed $40,000 into a Roth IRA, and that money has grown to $100,000 over time. Only $40,000 can be removed without paying taxes. Any additional funds will be taxed as normal income.</p> <p>With 529 plans, there are no taxes on any withdrawals as long as funds are used to pay for education expenses.</p> <h2>IRAs have contribution limits</h2> <p>You are permitted to contribute $5,500 per year into an IRA, or $6,500 if you are over age 50. But 529 plans have no real contribution limit. At a certain point, you may have to report federal gift taxes if your contribution tops $15,000 in a year (and which will count against the giver's lifetime estate tax exclusion of $11.2 million). But you can avoid this by contributing up to $75,000 in a single year and spreading out the contributions over five years on your disclosure forms. (Many grandparents find this to be a great way to avoid estate taxes.)</p> <p>Some 529 plans do have limits on the total amount you can have in an account at one time. Read the fine print of each plan to determine how that might impact you.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-your-ira-shouldnt-double-as-an-education-savings-plan&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520Your%2520IRA%2520Shouldn%2527t%2520Double%2520as%2520an%2520Education%2520Savings%2520Plan.jpg&amp;description=Why%20Your%20IRA%20Shouldn't%20Double%20as%20an%20Education%20Savings%20Plan"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Why%20Your%20IRA%20Shouldn%27t%20Double%20as%20an%20Education%20Savings%20Plan.jpg" alt="Why Your IRA Shouldn't Double as an Education Savings Plan" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-your-ira-shouldnt-double-as-an-education-savings-plan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-late-starters-can-save-for-their-kids-education">Here&#039;s How Late Starters Can Save for Their Kids&#039; Education</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-taking-out-student-loans">6 Questions to Ask Before Taking Out Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan">Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training 529 accounts college education savings IRA qualified educational expenses retirement tuition Wed, 30 May 2018 08:30:24 +0000 Tim Lemke 2144052 at https://www.wisebread.com 9 Smart Financial Gifts to Give New Grads Besides Cash https://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-new-grads-besides-cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-new-grads-besides-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/brunette_caucasian_grad_girl_is_smiling.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do new grads want cash? Yes &mdash; all day long. But you and I both know what new grads will do with it. Instead of setting them up for failure by handing over a hot wad of Benjis that'll burn holes in their pockets, steer them toward success with these financially valuable, money-inspired gifts.</p> <h2>1. Skill-based classes</h2> <p>I knew the basics of cooking and cleaning when I graduated college (I could scrub a toilet and do my own laundry, at least), but there were plenty of skills I lacked &mdash; like home improvements, vehicle maintenance, and, yes, money management. And while I had people around to help with many of those inconveniences, I was still kind of a disaster for the first few &mdash; OK, six &mdash; years on my own.</p> <p>If someone had gifted me a help-yourself class or two, however, not only would I have been better prepared to enter the &quot;real world&quot; more confidently, but I could have capitalized on those skills to earn side income (because that's the real thing I'm great at). That would have come in handy when I was eating pizza bagels for every meal.</p> <h2>2. Starter emergency fund</h2> <p>New grads won't have the kind of emergencies that older adults do, but even the smallest crisis can turn into a major financial burden for someone just starting out. Lend a helping hand by setting up an emergency fund in their name at your bank (not theirs) so they're unlikely to drain it for early-20s nonsense.</p> <p>Put aside $500 to $1,000 to start and add money as you see fit, or let the grad know that they can transfer money into the account when they have a little extra to spare. Their own contributions will provide even more padding when the going gets tough. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a>)</p> <h2>3. Website domain</h2> <p>Most college grads &mdash; heck, even high-schoolers &mdash; are tech savvy, but they may not have thought to secure their name as an internet domain for future use. I love this idea because while it's not a tangible gift, it is a gift that can spark inspiration. If someone handed me a website domain and told me to run with it, I'd at least ponder the possibilities, and that's all some people need to go full steam ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-a-personal-website-can-improve-your-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Surprising Ways a Personal Website Can Improve Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>4. Loyalty points</h2> <p>If you've racked up loyalty points and want to save money on grad gifts, look into gifting these transferable rewards.</p> <p>&quot;Loyalty points are a great money gift to give new grads instead of cash,&quot; says U.S. Travel Association spokesperson Laura Holmberg. &quot;Loyalty points allow them to cash in for unique travel experiences at the time and destination of their choice &mdash; maybe for a post-grad getaway, or to put toward that first vacation once they're in the 'real world.'&quot;</p> <h2>5. Big-idea books</h2> <p>New grads might not want to crack open a book right away, but gifting self-help books that lie in waiting until they're ready will be worth every penny once they pick them up and implement the actionable advice.</p> <p>Some of my favorites include author-entrepreneur David Pike's <a href="https://amzn.to/2Idas6q" target="_blank">The New Startup</a> and <a href="https://amzn.to/2rH7zj5" target="_blank">The Startup Playbook</a> by Rajat Bhargava and Will Herman (both are perfect for grads trying to figure out what they want to do with their work life), as well as David Carlson's <a href="https://amzn.to/2Iigvm9" target="_blank">Hustle Away Debt</a> (because there will be a lot of debt to hustle away). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-classic-personal-finance-books-you-must-read?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 8 Classic Personal Finance Books You Must Read</a>)</p> <h2>6. Gift cards for life's necessities</h2> <p>Gift cards are a safe and popular gift to give, but when buying for new grads, think practical instead of frivolous. They might not appreciate $50 to a supermarket in the moment, but there will come a time they'll recognize that gift card as perhaps the most thoughtful and useful of the bunch. Other sensible gift card ideas include cards for gas, a new interview suit, work supplies, and home essentials.</p> <h2>7. Student loan payment</h2> <p>Many college grads start life with student debt looming over their heads, and you can help alleviate that burden somewhat by providing a few initial payments as a gift.</p> <p>&quot;Sit down with them and go through the process of helping them make a payment toward their student loans or contribute installments to their budget to help them on a monthly basis for a few months after they graduate,&quot; suggests Alayna Pehrson, financial blogger for BestCompany.com. &quot;Overall, student loans can feel like a major weight to many fresh college graduates, so this gift could really go a long way for your grad.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-pay-back-student-loans-faster?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Pay Back Student Loans Faster</a>)</p> <h2>8. Investment starter capital</h2> <p>Broke college graduates don't think much about making investments right out of school when they're peering down a dark tunnel of 10 to 20 years of student loan payments. As such, this is a great opportunity for you to take the lead where investing is concerned.</p> <p>&quot;You can do this by giving them money to invest and starting them out with a well-known investing app like Acorns,&quot; Pehrson says. &quot;Again, going through it with them step-by-step can ensure that they actually invest that money.&quot;</p> <p>Take some time to explain how investing works, too. It's scary for a lot of people, but knowing what to do, why, and when will help new grads wrap their head around why it's important to keep this option open as a lifelong financial tactic.</p> <h2>9. Roth IRA</h2> <p>Retirement is the farthest thing from a new grad's mind, but you and I both know the earlier you start saving for that glorious day, the better. And in terms of the ROI, a Roth IRA is near the top of the list of best grad gifts.</p> <p>Consider this: A max contribution of $5,500 in the starter account you set up for the grad at age 21 will mature to a staggering $71,000 by age 65, assuming 6 percent interest &mdash; and that's with no further contributions. Given that 13 percent of Americans have $0 saved for retirement, according to a 2018 GOBankingRates survey, your generous gift puts them well ahead of the curve before life even begins. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-every-millennial-needs-a-roth-ira?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Reasons Every Millennial Needs a Roth IRA</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-new-grads-besides-cash&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Smart%2520Financial%2520Gifts%2520to%2520Give%2520New%2520Grads%2520Besides%2520Cash.jpg&amp;description=9%20Smart%20Financial%20Gifts%20to%20Give%20New%20Grads%20Besides%20Cash"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Smart%20Financial%20Gifts%20to%20Give%20New%20Grads%20Besides%20Cash.jpg" alt="9 Smart Financial Gifts to Give New Grads Besides Cash" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-new-grads-besides-cash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moments-that-should-be-on-everyones-bucket-list">8 Money Moments That Should Be On Everyone&#039;s Bucket List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-an-emergency-fund-by-the-end-of-summer">How to Build an Emergency Fund By the End of Summer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance books cash classes college emergency funds gifts graduates loyalty points Roth IRA student loans Tue, 22 May 2018 08:30:42 +0000 Mikey Rox 2142432 at https://www.wisebread.com This Is How Student Loan Interest Works https://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-student-loan-interest-works <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-how-student-loan-interest-works" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/student_loan_debt.jpg" alt="Student Loan debt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Student loans are a heavy financial burden for most borrowers, but the loan balance isn't the only major financial blow; the interest that accumulates is also difficult to stay on top of.</p> <p>Interest on a student loan is a major contributor to how big your monthly payment will be and how much your loan will <em>really </em>cost by the time you pay it off. Let's look at how student loan interest works and what you can do to get your loans paid off faster and for less money.</p> <h2>Factors that determine interest on your student loan</h2> <p>There are a few factors that determine how much you will pay in interest on your student loan: the interest rate, the amount you borrow, the loan term, and your payment plan.</p> <h3>Interest rate</h3> <p>When you take out a student loan, you'll need to pay back the amount you borrow, plus interest on the loan. Interest is charged as a percentage of the amount you owe. For example, a $10,000 loan at a 10 percent annual interest rate (compounded daily) will cost you $1,049 after a year. So after one year, you would need to pay back the $10,000 that you borrowed, plus $1,049 for interest.</p> <h3>Amount borrowed</h3> <p>We have seen that a $10,000 loan at a 10 percent annual interest rate costs $1,049 in interest after a year. Of course, most student loans are much bigger than $10,000 &mdash; what if you borrow more? If you borrow $20,000, the interest cost to carry this loan for a year would be $2,097. If you borrow $50,000, the interest after a year would be $5,243. The more you borrow, the more interest the loan carries.</p> <h3>Loan term</h3> <p>The loan term is how long it will take you to pay back the loan. For example, you could borrow $50,000 and pay it back over 10 years. In this case, the term of the loan is 10 years. You can reduce your monthly payments by choosing a longer loan term, but you will end up paying more in interest.</p> <p>If you borrow $50,000 at a 10 percent annual interest rate, you would pay $660.75 per month and your total cost for interest over the life of the loan would be $29,290.44. Now, let's say you want lower monthly payments, so you go with a 20-year term instead of 10 years. Your monthly payment would be $482.51, but over the life of the loan you would pay a whopping $65,802.60 in interest &mdash; about $35,000 more!</p> <h3>Payment plan</h3> <p>Student loans have more flexibility in their payment schedules than other installment loans. The simplest plan is to make the same monthly payments over the entire term of the loan. However, since new college grads typically have a lower income just after graduation and earn a higher salary over time, you can select repayment plans that start off with smaller monthly payments that increase as your income increases.</p> <p>Variable repayment plans do make it easier to make payments on student loans, but the price to be paid for this flexibility is interest. Any payment plan that has smaller payments in the early years will cost more in interest over all. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-taking-out-student-loans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Questions to Ask Before Taking Out Student Loans</a>)</p> <h2>How much of your student loan payment goes to interest?</h2> <p>When you make your monthly student loan payment, at first, most of your payment will go toward paying interest. Only a small amount will go toward paying down the principal. Over time, eventually more of your payment will chip away at the principal until your loan is paid off in full.</p> <p>Here's an example of how a payment of $660.75 per month on a $50,000 student loan at 10 percent interest would be applied to interest and principal during a 10-year term.</p> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/amortization.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>At first, you can see how the majority of the payment goes toward interest. But over time, as you continue to make payments, the balance of the loan decreases, thereby reducing the interest that accumulates and allowing more of your monthly payment to go to paying down the principal of the loan.</p> <p>Most student loans give you the option to apply extra payments toward the principal. If you can pay a little extra each month, you'll bring your balance down faster and save money on interest payments over the life of your loan. For example, if you could pay $40 more per month, your loan would be paid off in nine years instead of 10, and your total interest cost would be about $3,000 less. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-really-happens-when-you-dont-pay-your-student-loans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Really Happens When You Don't Pay Your Student Loans</a>)</p> <h2>How to reduce your student loan interest</h2> <p>Once you understand how student loan interest works, you can put that knowledge to work. There are a few ways you can reduce the overall cost of your student loans.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Paying your loan off faster will reduce the cost of interest. Choose the shortest term you can afford, and make extra payments if possible.</p> </li> <li> <p>Borrowing more will increase your interest cost. Try to minimize living expenses while in school to keep your student loan balance as low as possible.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Select the student loan option with the lowest interest rate available. If your rate is still higher than you'd like, consider refinancing your student loan later to a lower interest rate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-pay-back-student-loans-faster?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Pay Back Student Loans Faster</a>)</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthis-is-how-student-loan-interest-works&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThis%2520Is%2520How%2520Student%2520Loan%2520Interest%2520Works.jpg&amp;description=This%20Is%20How%20Student%20Loan%20Interest%20Works"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/This%20Is%20How%20Student%20Loan%20Interest%20Works.jpg" alt="This Is How Student Loan Interest Works" width="250" height="374" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-student-loan-interest-works">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dont-ignore-these-4-things-before-refinancing-your-student-loans">Don&#039;t Ignore These 4 Things Before Refinancing Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-valuable-rights-you-might-lose-when-you-refinance-student-loans">8 Valuable Rights You Might Lose When You Refinance Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation">What’s the Difference Between Student Loan Refinancing and Consolidation?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-taking-out-student-loans">6 Questions to Ask Before Taking Out Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Debt Management Education & Training amortization college extra payments interest rates loan terms principal refinancing repayment plans student loans tuition Wed, 09 May 2018 08:30:19 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2138310 at https://www.wisebread.com 25 Money-Saving Strategies That Are Actually Hurting You https://www.wisebread.com/25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_calling_insurance_for_home_leaks.jpg" alt="Couple calling insurance for home leaks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Taking action to save money can be a great way to get your finances on track. But some of the ways we try to cut costs are actually harmful to our financial well-being. Here are all the money-saving strategies that can backfire on us.</p> <h2>1. Skipping college</h2> <p>College is expensive, so you may think the best plan of action is to skip it and save the money. That's the smarter move, right? Maybe not. Depending on your chosen career field, a degree can mean the difference of more than $1 million in income over the lifetime of your career. So while college is expensive, you'll also probably earn a lot more with a college degree, even considering the salary you miss out on during the years you are in school. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-kid-got-accepted-to-an-expensive-private-college-now-what?ref=seealso" target="_blank">My Kid Got Accepted to an Expensive Private College &mdash; Now What?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Not participating in your 401(k) plan</h2> <p>Your paycheck is already hit with taxes, Social Security, FICA, and other expenses before you get your money. Your natural reaction may be to try to keep your paycheck as fat as possible by not contributing to your employer-sponsored retirement plan. In the long run, this move is almost guaranteed to backfire. Not only are you hurting your own financial future, but 401(k) contributions are tax-advantaged, and if you keep the money in your paycheck, you are more likely to spend it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dumb-401k-mistakes-smart-people-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Dumb 401(k) Mistakes Smart People Make</a>)</p> <h2>3. Buying food in bulk</h2> <p>Food waste is a big problem, and this can be exacerbated when you buy food in bulk. It can seem smart to load up with bulk food at low cost-per-pound prices, but how many pounds of oats are you <em>really</em> going to eat before they go stale?</p> <h2>4. Not investing in yourself</h2> <p>Reducing expenses is important to stay within your budget and move forward in your financial goals. But obsessing over saving money can result in missing out on opportunities to better your life or invest in yourself. For example, you might skip out on spending $400 for a new suit or $1,000 for career training that would help you land job that pays $20,000 more per year.</p> <h2>5. Deferring expenses</h2> <p>Sometimes getting by cheaply now results in big expenses down the road. For example, you could buy a cheap house with lots of serious issues and benefit now from lower payments, but you may end up pouring money into it later to keep it livable or to get the house in a condition so you can sell it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-hidden-costs-of-buying-an-old-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">23 Hidden Costs of Buying an Old House</a>)</p> <h2>6. Buying minimal car insurance</h2> <p>You can save money on insurance payments every month by purchasing minimal car insurance. But if you have an accident that results in major damage or injury, minimal insurance could leave you with big bills and cost you more in the long run.</p> <h2>7. Saving to spend</h2> <p>It feels good to save up some money and watch your savings account grow. But if you are saving up a big pot of money with the sole intention of spending it, having funds in a savings account can actually result in spending more money, not less. Examples of this include saving up for expensive items that don't retain value such as a recreational vehicle or new car.</p> <h2>8. Doing-it-yourself</h2> <p>You can save a lot of money doing projects yourself instead of hiring a professional, but DIY projects still cost a lot of money for materials, not to mention time and effort. And if you do something wrong, you may need to hire a professional anyway to fix your mistake. Before you take on a project, make sure it is worth doing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Keep DIY Projects From Ruining Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>9. Buying items on sale that you don't need</h2> <p>Buying things on sale can be a good way to save money, but this only works if you need the items in the first place and will actually use them within a reasonable period of time. If you buy stuff you don't need <em>just </em>because it's on sale &mdash; no matter how cheap it is &mdash; you are wasting money.</p> <h2>10. Skipping meals</h2> <p>Skipping meals occasionally can save you money on food. However, this savings can be offset by reduced productivity and by the potential for making poor spending and financial decisions while hungry.</p> <h2>11. Eating cheap food</h2> <p>Eating junk food such as soda, chips, and fast food will provide your daily caloric requirements for a minimal amount of money, but you are likely to end up overweight and miss out on key vitamins and minerals that you need to stay healthy. If you want to find affordable healthy food, check out this list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition" target="_blank">cheap foods that are packed with nutrition</a>.</p> <h2>12. Using coupons</h2> <p>How did using coupons end up on a list of money-saving strategies that can hurt you? Stores give out coupons for a reason. They know that coupons can lead you to buy stuff you normally wouldn't buy, and that results in more profit for the store. Using coupons for items you would buy anyway makes sense, but resist buying extra items only because you have a coupon. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a>)</p> <h2>13. Ignoring home maintenance</h2> <p>Sometimes you need to take on home repairs right away to avoid expensive damage. If you notice water leaking from a roof, or a leaky pipe, you might think that ignoring the problem costs no money while calling in someone to make a repair could cost hundreds of dollars. While it is true that repairs can be expensive, ignoring routine maintenance can be even more expensive down the road if more extensive repairs are needed for cumulative damage.</p> <h2>14. Supersizing</h2> <p>Why not pay 49 cents extra to upgrade from a medium size drink and fries to a large? This &quot;deal&quot; feeds into temptation and poor impulse control, and again, paying extra for something you don't need or didn't originally want is not a way to save money. This strategy can hurt your waistline as well as your wallet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a>)</p> <h2>15. Leasing a car</h2> <p>The monthly payments for leasing a car are often lower than for purchasing a car, so it might seem like you can save money by leasing instead of buying. The problem with leasing is that you make all of the payments on the vehicle during the time when it depreciates the most, but you don't end up owning the car at the end of the lease. You end up with nothing! If you purchase a car, you can pay it off and go for years without making payments after you own the vehicle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-before-leasing-a-car?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Know Before Leasing a Car</a>)</p> <h2>16. Making minimum payments on credit cards</h2> <p>When is it good to pay more than you are charged? When your credit card bill comes. Making minimum payments on a credit card seems like a way to spend the least amount possible, but interest charges pile up and it can take decades to pay off a credit card by making minimum payments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-the-ways-minimum-payments-are-evil?ref=seealso" target="_blank">All the Ways Minimum Payments Are Evil</a>)</p> <h2>17. Repairing old appliances and vehicles</h2> <p>You can often repair an old appliance or vehicle for less than the cost of replacing it, which can seem like a good strategy to save money. But if the repair cost exceeds the value of the item, you might come out ahead by replacing it, even if it costs more in the short term. Instead of sinking money into an older item that has a limited life expectancy and will likely need additional repairs soon, you can apply the money toward buying a newer item that should be trouble-free for many years.</p> <h2>18. Hanging on to unneeded things because they are paid for</h2> <p>After you buy something, its value typically declines over time. This means that you will never be able to get your full money back by selling your things. So, you might decide to hang on to everything that you have paid for instead of selling it at a loss. This strategy may make financial sense, but you can end up with lots of clutter from things you don't use, and some items require costly maintenance. Even if it's paid for, if you don't use it, get rid of it.</p> <h2>19. Not boosting your productivity</h2> <p>For years, I used an old laptop that was barely functional. It took hours to accomplish things that should have taken a few minutes due to laggy performance and system crashes. I finally bought a refurbished laptop to replace my aging computer, and I was able to pay for it within a couple months due to increased productivity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-new-computer-without-breaking-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Buy a New Computer Without Breaking Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>20. Skipping a worthwhile project to save money</h2> <p>Although it may seem like the best money strategy is to minimize expenses, sometimes you have to spend money to make money. For example, you could decide to skip the expense of seed packets, tools, and fertilizer to plant a garden. But a garden can pay for itself many times over with its produce. Plus you can reuse many garden tools and supplies for years after the initial purchase.</p> <h2>21. Skipping vehicle maintenance</h2> <p>You can try to save money by not getting regular oil changes and other routine maintenance on your vehicle, but this strategy will cost more than it saves. Keeping up with maintenance on your vehicle will extend its life, lower the likelihood of an expensive breakdown, and can make your vehicle run more efficiently so you reduce fuel costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Bookmark This: Save Money With an Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist</a>)</p> <h2>22. Skipping vet appointments</h2> <p>Vet bills for routine vaccinations and checkups can be expensive, but skipping these appointments can be even more costly. Not taking pets to the vet regularly can result in more expensive treatments down the road, plus your pet's health can suffer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a>)</p> <h2>23. Wearing cheap shoes</h2> <p>A good pair of shoes is expensive, so why not save some money by getting cheap shoes instead? A good pair of shoes can last for years, while a cheap pair of shoes may only last a few months before wearing out. Buying a good pair of shoes can be less expensive in the long run, and you can walk all you want in comfort without getting sore feet or back pain.</p> <h2>24. Not having a comfortable bed</h2> <p>You can avoid some expenses for bedding through long-term couch surfing or by using a mattress forever even after it is worn out and no longer comfortable. But not getting a good night's sleep will lower your productivity and you are more likely to make poor spending and financial decisions when you have not gotten enough sleep.</p> <h2>25. Skipping medical and dental appointments</h2> <p>Visits to the doctor or dentist can be unpleasant and expensive, but you are better off taking care of your health the way you are supposed to. Failing to go for routine health screenings and teeth cleanings can lead to more expensive problems down the line. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-expenses-you-should-never-cut?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Expenses You Should Never Cut</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F25%2520Money-Saving%2520Strategies%2520That%2520Are%2520Actually%2520Hurting%2520You.jpg&amp;description=25%20Money-Saving%20Strategies%20That%20Are%20Actually%20Hurting%20You"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/25%20Money-Saving%20Strategies%20That%20Are%20Actually%20Hurting%20You.jpg" alt="25 Money-Saving Strategies That Are Actually Hurting You" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-money-is-harder-today">Why Saving Money Is Harder Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Don&#039;t Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-become-a-minimalist-with-your-money">How to Become a Minimalist With Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-basics-every-new-grad-should-know">The Financial Basics Every New Grad Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living backfire college cutting costs expenses health care maintenance retirement saving money shopping Spending Money too frugal Tue, 08 May 2018 08:00:18 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2136177 at https://www.wisebread.com 7 Life Choices That Are Actually Financial Decisions https://www.wisebread.com/7-life-choices-that-are-actually-financial-decisions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-life-choices-that-are-actually-financial-decisions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guests_throwing_confetti_on_couple.jpg" alt="Guests Throwing Confetti On Couple" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life is filled with decisions, some of which can seem very consequential. You will make choices about your career, living situation, relationships, education, and your family. Emotion will be a big driver of your decision making in these cases. But these big life choices should also be viewed with a financial lens.</p> <p>Whether we realize it or not, some of the key moments of our lives are actually financial decisions in disguise. Let's take a look at the major life choices that can impact your finances.</p> <h2>1. Choosing a college</h2> <p>In an ideal world, we'd pick our college based on the quality of its education, the beauty of its campus, and other factors having nothing to do with money. But most of us also look at the expense. College is costly and is not getting cheaper. It's possible for a family to drop more than a quarter of a million dollars for a four-year degree, potentially saddling a student with loans that will take years to pay off. Thus, the college choice is increasingly one that involves financial considerations.</p> <p>What is the cost of tuition and housing? Is it better to attend school in-state or out of state? Should I attend a public or private university? Do I qualify for grants or scholarships? Will I be able to get a part-time job and attend school at the same time? These are the questions that often trump all others. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-is-too-much-to-pay-for-college?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Much Is Too Much to Pay for College?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Choosing a college major and career</h2> <p>So you've decided to pursue your passion and study to become a marine biologist. This can be a noble and satisfying profession. But have you examined what a marine biologist earns? Are jobs plentiful and stable? Do you know whether you'll need to remain in school for years to get an advanced degree?</p> <p>It's fine to go after a career that you think will bring you happiness, but it's sensible to also take financial matters into account. There has been renewed talk about the &quot;return on investment&quot; for various college degrees. Like it or not, a business major is more likely to earn a high salary than someone who majored in English Lit. The potential earnings for a college major are especially relevant for those who expect to have heavy student loan debt upon graduation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-jobs-that-pay-over-50k-and-dont-require-a-bachelors-degree?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Jobs That Pay Over $50K and Don't Require a Bachelor's Degree</a>)</p> <h2>3. Where to live</h2> <p>When I first started out in my career, I had dreams of grabbing my own apartment and living it up in the city. Then I got my first measly paycheck and realized that I had to think differently about my living situation.</p> <p>When you think about the area of the country or the community you wish to live in, you may consider the weather, the cultural attractions, and the proximity to friends and family. But there's also a good chance that you're examining the job market, the cost of housing, and the educational system. And those are financial considerations. You may like the idea of moving to the mountains of Wyoming, but change your mind when you realize there aren't many jobs in your field of choice. You may be drawn to the lifestyle of the San Francisco Bay Area, but may reconsider when you look at the cost of living. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-life-in-the-big-city-will-cost-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Much Life in the Big City Will Cost You</a>)</p> <h2>4. Getting married</h2> <p>Yes, marriage is about love. But it's also about combining each others' assets and debt. It's about setting up a joint bank account. It's about filing taxes jointly and taking advantage of tax breaks. It's about creating wills and buying life insurance. It's about being on the same page in terms of spending and budgeting and deciding whether to lend money (again) to your spouse's deadbeat cousin. It seems unromantic, but getting married is as much a monetary decision as an emotional one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-ways-marriage-can-make-you-richer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Surprising Ways Marriage Can Make You Richer</a>)</p> <h2>5. Having children</h2> <p>It costs about $13,000 a year to raise a child, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That means you'll shell out nearly a quarter-million dollars before a son or daughter turns 18. The expenses are seemingly endless. Food. Clothes. Education. Activities. Stuff. Children will add joy to your life, but remove money from your bank account. If you are considering having a child, have you taken the financial realities into account? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-financially-ready-to-start-a-family?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Signs You're Financially Ready to Start a Family</a>)</p> <h2>6. Caring for elderly parents</h2> <p>We want what is best for our parents as they age. We want to ensure they get the best quality care and are happy in their environment. If our parents can no longer live on their own, it may be time to examine assisted living centers, in-home nursing, or other options that can vary widely in cost. You may also choose to have a parent move in with you, which can drastically change your own household budget.</p> <p>Decisions about elder care can also impact your career. What if you have to take time off work to care for an elderly parent? What if you are forced to leave a job because it does not offer the flexibility you need to be there for Mom or Dad? These aren't just emotional decisions, they're huge financial ones. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-steps-to-take-when-your-aging-parents-move-in?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Financial Steps to Take When Your Aging Parents Move In</a>)</p> <h2>7. Retiring</h2> <p>We all want to reach a certain age and simply say, &quot;OK, I'm done working.&quot; It'd be great to hit age 63 and simply walk off into a life of travel and leisure. But the ability to do that must come with the knowledge that you can afford it.</p> <p>Retiring requires long-term planning to accumulate enough wealth so you can stop working. It may also involve a review of Social Security benefits to determine whether it's more financially advantageous to retire later. The key here is to think of retirement as a financial decision from the get-go. Set a target age for retirement and develop a smart and comprehensive financial plan to get there. With proper financial planning, you can retire when your heart and mind tell you to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-false-assumptions-that-could-threaten-your-retirement-years?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 False Assumptions That Could Threaten Your Retirement Years</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-life-choices-that-are-actually-financial-decisions&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Life%2520Choices%2520That%2520Are%2520Actually%2520Financial%2520Decisions.jpg&amp;description=7%20Life%20Choices%20That%20Are%20Actually%20Financial%20Decisions"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Life%20Choices%20That%20Are%20Actually%20Financial%20Decisions.jpg" alt="7 Life Choices That Are Actually Financial Decisions" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-life-choices-that-are-actually-financial-decisions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Don&#039;t Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you">25 Money-Saving Strategies That Are Actually Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-your-ira-shouldnt-double-as-an-education-savings-plan">Why Your IRA Shouldn&#039;t Double as an Education Savings Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-late-starters-can-save-for-their-kids-education">Here&#039;s How Late Starters Can Save for Their Kids&#039; Education</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance career caregivers college elderly parents having children home buying life choices majors marriage retirement Fri, 04 May 2018 08:00:11 +0000 Tim Lemke 2132400 at https://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 10 Steps to Financial Freedom After College https://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-10-steps-to-financial-freedom-after-college <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-10-steps-to-financial-freedom-after-college" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/graduate_confident_happy_475786617.jpg" alt="Woman achieving financial freedom after college" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on the steps to financial freedom after college, little changes that will make you happier, and a look at how much you should spend on a house.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.punchdebtintheface.com/10-steps-to-financial-freedom-post-college/">10 Steps to Financial Freedom Post College</a> &mdash; Be open to working a job that isn't in your chosen field. By all means keep applying for positions in your field, but the income will help you set up your financial foundation. [Punch Debt]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Become-Happier-36454534">Little Changes That Will Make You a Happier Person</a> &mdash; You don't have to spend a lot of money or change your whole life to be happy. These small changes will make happiness happen! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://mattaboutmoney.com/2018/05/01/how-much-should-i-spend-on-a-house/">How Much Should I Spend on a House?</a> &mdash; Housing is probably your biggest expense, so it's important to get it right.&nbsp; [Matt About Money]</p> <p><a href="https://www.theseanamethod.com/2018/04/6-things-to-skip-on-busy-days/">6 Things to Skip on Busy Days</a> &mdash; On days when you don't have a minute to spare, give yourself permission to skip these tasks without a guilty conscience. [The Seana Method]</p> <p><a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2018/0501/Technology-s-influence-reshapes-how-employers-assess-job-applicants">Technology's influence reshapes how employers assess job applicants</a> &mdash; Companies are looking for applicants who are nimble enough to constantly learn new technologies and apply their skills on the fly. [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://www.aslobcomesclean.com/2018/05/5-easy-meals-for-a-vacation-rental-with-a-kitchen/">5 Easy Meals for a Vacation Rental with a Kitchen</a> &mdash; These easy meals will allow you to save money, eat healthily, and enjoy your vacation to the fullest! [A Slob Comes Clean]</p> <p><a href="https://bemorewithless.com/slow-inflow/">Simplicity Basics: Slow the Inflow of Noise and Stuff</a> &mdash; When you slow down the inflow of stuff, there's less to declutter and you have a better chance of making a difference with your organizing efforts. [Be More With Less]</p> <p><a href="https://organizingmoms.com/surviving-sick-days-for-mom/">Surviving Sick Days: Keep the House Running When Mom Is Sick</a> &mdash; Here's how to get the rest you need while keeping your household running&hellip;mostly. [Organizing Moms]</p> <p><a href="https://www.karenkingston.com/blog/5-minute-clutter-clearing-tips/">5-minute clutter clearing tips</a> &mdash; Target these key areas of your home to see the most impact. [Karen Kingston]</p> <p><a href="https://steeleorganizing.com/everything-you-need-to-do-to-reduce-office-stress/">Everything You Need To Do To Reduce Office Stress</a> &mdash; A major source of stress and frustration in the office is technology that doesn't work the way it's supposed to. Keep tech issues to a minimum by investing in good machines and having a tech team available if anything does go wrong. [Steele Organizing]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-10-steps-to-financial-freedom-after-college">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/someone-took-out-a-loan-in-your-name-now-what">Someone Took Out a Loan in Your Name. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/25-money-saving-strategies-that-are-actually-hurting-you">25 Money-Saving Strategies That Are Actually Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-pay-less-money-for-a-college-degree">6 Ways to Pay Less Money For A College Degree</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-your-ira-shouldnt-double-as-an-education-savings-plan">Why Your IRA Shouldn&#039;t Double as an Education Savings Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best money tips college financial freedom Wed, 02 May 2018 08:30:15 +0000 Amy Lu 2138035 at https://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways New Grads Can Save on Moving Costs https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-new-grads-can-save-on-moving-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-new-grads-can-save-on-moving-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_helping_daughter_move.jpg" alt="Mother helping daughter move" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're planning on moving to another state, get ready for sticker shock. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the average cost of an out-of-state move is over $5,000. And when you're a new graduate fresh out of school, you likely don't have that kind of money stashed away.</p> <p>However, that doesn't mean you have to give up your plans. There are ways to reduce your moving costs to make it more affordable. With some planning and a little homework, you can dramatically reduce how much you'll need to spend to move. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-6-common-mistakes-when-moving-across-the-country?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes When Moving Across the Country</a>)</p> <p>Here are six ways you can make your move more budget-friendly.</p> <h2>1. Check Craigslist and Facebook for free packing materials</h2> <p>If you're spending money on boxes, Bubble Wrap, and packing materials, you're needlessly throwing cash away. You can find packing materials, including large boxes and mattress protectors, for free on sites like Craigslist or the Facebook Marketplace. People often leave the items out at the curb, so you can just drive by and pick them up.</p> <h2>2. Consider container-based shipping for long-distance moves</h2> <p>If you're moving far away, hiring movers to drive your stuff to the new location can cost thousands. A cost-effective alternative is using a shipping-container moving service like PODS or U-Pack. They cost a fraction of what a traditional mover would charge.</p> <p>For example, when I moved from Pennsylvania to Florida, a moving company quoted me $6,000 to deliver my things. I did my research and decided to go with PODS. Their price was just $1,000, freeing up more money for my other expenses.</p> <p>With these shipping services, the company drops off a shipping container at your home. You can load it up on your own schedule. Of course, you're doing all the heavy lifting yourself, packing and unpacking the containers, but the massive savings is hard to resist. Once you're finished &mdash; whether it's the same day or the next week &mdash; you call the company to request a pickup. They pick up the container and ship it to your new home when you're ready.</p> <h2>3. Seek out budget-friendly mover alternatives</h2> <p>Sometimes, offering friends pizza or beer just won't cut it; you might have to rely on movers, instead. However, that doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune.</p> <p>Rather than hiring an expensive moving company, you can rent a moving truck from U-Haul or Penske for as little as $20. If you need help with the heavy lifting, you can hire help through sites like TaskRabbit or Handy. They often charge much less than the moving companies will quote you.</p> <h2>4. Move midweek</h2> <p>If you go with a moving company, you can reduce your bill by moving midweek rather than the weekend. Most people move on the weekends, so that's when companies charge premiums. There's less demand during the workweek, so you'll pay less for your move.</p> <h2>5. Purchase discounted gift cards</h2> <p>Unexpected purchases pop up during a move. From spackling to patch up walls or needing a tool kit, those little extras can add up. You can stretch your budget by purchasing discounted gift cards ahead of your move. You can get cards to stores like Walmart, Lowe's, and Home Depot for up to 25 percent off, making your purchases more affordable. To find discounted gift cards, check out <a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/" target="_blank">Gift Card Granny</a> or <a href="https://www.raise.com/" target="_blank">Raise</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-rack-up-extra-rewards-points-by-buying-gift-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Rack Up Extra Rewards Points by Buying Gift Cards</a>)</p> <h2>6. Sell as much as you can</h2> <p>Selling your stuff helps you out during a big move in two ways:</p> <h3>You'll have more cash in your pocket</h3> <p>You could make hundreds or even thousands of dollars selling unused stuff in your home. By selling things you no longer need, you can make money to help finance your move.</p> <h3>You'll have fewer things to move</h3> <p>With fewer things, you'll save money on your move. Most moving companies base your moving costs on the amount of stuff you have and the total weight of your belongings. By cutting back, you could reduce your moving expenses.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-new-grads-can-save-on-moving-costs&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520New%2520Grads%2520Can%2520Save%2520on%2520Moving%2520Costs.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20New%20Grads%20Can%20Save%20on%20Moving%20Costs"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20New%20Grads%20Can%20Save%20on%20Moving%20Costs.jpg" alt="6 Ways New Grads Can Save on Moving Costs" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-new-grads-can-save-on-moving-costs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-countries-where-you-can-live-on-1000-a-month">4 Countries Where You Can Live on $1,000 a Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-6-common-mistakes-when-moving-across-the-country">Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes When Moving Across the Country</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-apply-to-lots-of-colleges-without-going-broke">How to Apply to Lots of Colleges Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/pack-up-your-house-tips-for-saving-money-and-sanity-on-a-move">Pack Up Your House: Tips for Saving Money (and Sanity) on a Move</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-summer-side-jobs-for-new-grads">6 Smart Summer Side Jobs for New Grads</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Home Travel college graduation moving costs moving tips new grads real world Tue, 01 May 2018 08:30:20 +0000 Kat Tretina 2135412 at https://www.wisebread.com Here's How Late Starters Can Save for Their Kids' Education https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-late-starters-can-save-for-their-kids-education <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-late-starters-can-save-for-their-kids-education" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stick_with_word_saving_for_college_and_money_0.jpg" alt="Stick with word Saving for College and money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've always planned to help your children save for their college educations. There's just one problem: Those kids are already in high school and you've not even managed to save enough money for a single semester.</p> <p>Don't panic. Saving for college can sneak up on parents who already have many other financial challenges like making monthly mortgage payments, building an emergency fund, and saving for retirement &mdash; not to mention the daily costs that come with raising children.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are still steps you can take to boost your college saving efforts late in the game. You'll just have to be realistic: It's challenging to pay for a child's college education when you only have three or four years to do it. Setting more realistic goals can help ease your stress.</p> <p>And whatever you do, don't forget to have a long talk with your children. Explain to them exactly what kind of financial support they can expect. You don't want to blindside them if they think you're going to be their tuition piggy bank.</p> <h2>1. Don't get discouraged</h2> <p>The first rule is the simplest: Don't give up just because you've gotten off to a late start. Even if your child is starting high school, you can still open a 529 college savings account and contribute money to it each month. Every state in the country offers one of these plans.</p> <p>These plans come with tax benefits that make them ideal for saving for higher education. The money you save in a 529 plan will grow on a tax-deferred basis. You can withdraw the money without paying any taxes, too, as long as you use the dollars for qualified higher-education costs. The definition of &quot;qualified expense&quot; is broad here. They include tuition, of course, but also fees, books, and supplies.</p> <p>You might not have much money to deposit into these accounts each month, but even saving $100 a month can add up. Sure, you might not be able to save enough to cover all of your child's college costs. But you can certainly make a dent in tuition payments, fees, and expenses.</p> <p>Your children might have to borrow more money, or save up their own dollars, to help cover the shortfall. But if you start saving now, you'll at least reduce their financial burden. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <h2>2. Tap into Upromise</h2> <p>You can provide an extra boost to your savings through Sallie Mae's <a href="https://www.upromise.com/" target="_blank">Upromise</a> program. Parents and students who sign up receive extra money toward college when they shop at participating retailers. These retailers deposit a percentage of what parents and students spend into a savings account designated for a future college student.</p> <p>The program is free. And you can invite your other family members and friends to register their credit and debit cards, too. Then, when they shop at participating retailers, a percentage of their sales will also be funneled into your child's savings account. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-cant-afford-your-childs-college-education?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What to Do When You Can't Afford Your Child's College Education</a>)</p> <h2>3. Work with your children on a savings budget</h2> <p>It's important to keep your children informed as to how much you've saved for their college educations and how much you can reasonably expect to save before they head off to university. You don't want your children surprised that you've only saved enough to pay for two years of college when they expected you to pay for four.</p> <p>Have real financial conversations with your children. Work with them to create a household budget to determine how much money you can save each month for college. Doing this will give your children a more realistic look at your finances, the challenge of saving for college, and insight into how much they themselves might have to borrow.</p> <p>The budget might even include any money your children can add to their own college savings fund. Remind your sons and daughters that every little bit adds up, and that you expect them to help provide college savings, too.</p> <p>Once you and your children have created a budget, stick to it. Don't be tempted to save more than you can reasonably afford, and don't skimp on the savings to take a vacation or buy an expensive flat-screen TV. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a>)</p> <h2>4. Protect your retirement savings</h2> <p>It can be tempting to save for your children's college education at the expense of putting money away for your retirement. Don't fall into this financial trap. Your number one priority should still be to stow away money for your retirement years, even if this means that you can't save as much as you'd like for your kids' education.</p> <p>The formula is simple: Retirement first, college savings second. Remember, your children have options to help fund the cost of a college education. You don't have nearly as many for building your retirement savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-student-loans-from-wrecking-your-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Keep Student Loans From Wrecking Your Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>5. Explore other college options</h2> <p>Speaking of those other options, your children need to start exploring them. Perhaps they could attend community college for two years and then transfer to a more expensive four-year college as a junior. Or maybe your children could attend a less expensive public state university instead of that private school three states away. Both strategies could dramatically reduce the expense of a college education.</p> <p>Encourage your children to also hunt for scholarship and grant opportunities. Even smaller scholarships can help reduce the cost of education. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-pay-for-college-when-you-didnt-get-a-scholarship?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Pay for College When You Didn't Get a Scholarship</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fheres-how-late-starters-can-save-for-their-kids-education&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHere%2527s%2520How%2520Late%2520Starters%2520Can%2520Save%2520for%2520Their%2520Kids%2527%2520Education.jpg&amp;description=Here's%20How%20Late%20Starters%20Can%20Save%20for%20Their%20Kids'%20Education"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Here%27s%20How%20Late%20Starters%20Can%20Save%20for%20Their%20Kids%27%20Education.jpg" alt="Here's How Late Starters Can Save for Their Kids' Education" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-late-starters-can-save-for-their-kids-education">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan">Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-encouraging-truth-about-how-americans-are-covering-the-cost-of-college">The Encouraging Truth About How Americans Are Covering the Cost of College</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-your-ira-shouldnt-double-as-an-education-savings-plan">Why Your IRA Shouldn&#039;t Double as an Education Savings Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-taking-out-student-loans">6 Questions to Ask Before Taking Out Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training 529 plans budgeting children college education late starters retirement saving money scholarships tuition Wed, 04 Apr 2018 08:30:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 2125056 at https://www.wisebread.com 6 Financial Skills to Master Before You Graduate https://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-skills-to-master-before-you-graduate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-financial-skills-to-master-before-you-graduate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/graduation_college_school_degree_successful_concept.jpg" alt="Graduation College School Degree Successful Concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With graduation only months away, you can finally see light at the end of the tunnel. After four (or more) long years of study, you're well-prepared to embrace adulthood, independence, and professional success.</p> <p>But are you <em>really</em>? Before you don that cap and gown, make sure you know the ABCs of personal money management. It could be the most important course you'll ever take. Here are the financial skills to master before you graduate.</p> <h2>1. Basic budgeting</h2> <p>If you can't build and stick to a basic budget, you risk having your life divided into a series of stressful 30-day cycles. Bills may be late, savings an afterthought, and credit cards could become an absolute necessity. Avoid this bleak fate. Set up a practice budget using <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system" target="_blank">the envelope system</a> or get acquainted with online money management tools like Mint. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Build Your First Budget in 5 Easy Steps</a>)</p> <h2>2. Living within your means</h2> <p>Consistently spending more than you make is the cornerstone of bad financial decision-making. You'll have no surplus money to invest. You'll rack up credit card debt (harming your credit scores in the process). And, you'll live in a constant state of stress. Create a realistic budget, stick to it, and don't pad your lifestyle with easy credit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</a>)</p> <h2>3. Paying your bills on time</h2> <p>Credit scores affect everything from interest and insurance rates to employment. And once your score is damaged, it can take years for it to recover. Protect your credit scores, avoid late fees and penalties, and keep the bill collectors away by paying your bills on time, every time. It's a fundamental part of being an adult. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-to-do-if-you-cant-pay-your-bills-on-time?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's What to Do if You Can't Pay Your Bills On Time</a>)</p> <h2>4. Using credit responsibly</h2> <p>Ready for my best Dad impression? &quot;Credit is a tool, not a toy.&quot; But Dad is right. Using credit responsibly means controlling impulses, only charging what you can pay off at the end of <em>every</em> month, and not confusing your credit limit with your budget. Seriously &mdash; credit abuse destroys the financial lives of countless families every year. Choose to be different. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-habits-of-highly-responsible-credit-card-users?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Habits of Highly Responsible Credit Card Users</a>)</p> <h2>5. Negotiating</h2> <p>The unsung hero of personal finance, negotiating is a skill that can save you thousands of dollars over your lifetime. Imagine paying full price for every car and every house you buy. Or worse, imagine not knowing how to respectfully push back on the first salary offer a potential employer makes. Launch into adulthood from a position of power; know <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-with-confidence-and-strike-the-best-deal?ref=internal" target="_blank">how to negotiate with confidence</a>.</p> <h2>6. Setting goals and saving for the future</h2> <p>Financial skills are a means to an end. Determine what kind of relationship you want to have with money, exactly what you want to achieve financially, and what level of discipline and attention it will take to turn your goals into your reality. Save with that plan in mind &mdash; and save without interruption. In short, apply the same level of dogged determination to your financial life as you applied to your education. The rewards will be just as great. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-financial-skills-to-master-before-you-graduate&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Financial%2520Skills%2520to%2520Master%2520Before%2520You%2520Graduate.jpg&amp;description=6%20Financial%20Skills%20to%20Master%20Before%20You%20Graduate"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Financial%20Skills%20to%20Master%20Before%20You%20Graduate.jpg" alt="6 Financial Skills to Master Before You Graduate" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-skills-to-master-before-you-graduate">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-late-starters-can-save-for-their-kids-education">Here&#039;s How Late Starters Can Save for Their Kids&#039; Education</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training budgeting college credit graduation money management negotiating paying bills personal finance skills students young adults Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Kentin Waits 2090877 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Apply to Lots of Colleges Without Going Broke https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-apply-to-lots-of-colleges-without-going-broke <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-apply-to-lots-of-colleges-without-going-broke" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_student_in_class.jpg" alt="Happy student in class" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The cost of college is a major expense for any family pursuing higher education, but it's important to note that the money suck begins way before the first tuition bill. It starts with the college-bound teenager's application process, and it can put a sizable dent in your overall budget if the student is casting a wide net. You can defray this expense, however, with these money-saving tips that make the college-application process more affordable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-encouraging-truth-about-how-americans-are-covering-the-cost-of-college?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Encouraging Truth About How Americans Are Covering the Cost of College</a>)</p> <h2>Consult a guidance counselor for advice before beginning the process</h2> <p>Your best resource for navigating the college-selection and application process is your student's guidance counselor. College admissions is a huge part of their job, and they have plenty of tips and tricks on how to get through it in a cost-efficient manner.</p> <h2>Narrow down your choices</h2> <p>Apply to fewer schools to save more money. Jason Patel, founder of college-prep company Transizion suggests applying to two reach schools, at least three target schools, and three safety schools to keep the total application fees low. If you've researched these choices well enough to determine that your student is a good fit, you shouldn't have to apply to any more than that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-college-applicants-can-tour-scores-of-campuses-for-15-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How College Applicants Can Tour Scores of Campuses for $15 or Less</a>)</p> <h2>Plan ahead to avoid errors and last-minute panic</h2> <p>College applications are more affordable when you plan early.</p> <p>&quot;Good planning leads to good decisions, says Patel. &quot;Most counselors and professionals recommend that students apply to five to eight colleges, so this means these five to eight colleges should be chosen early. Late discoveries lead to errors in the application and an eventual spreadsheet approach that forces students to apply to 15 colleges they're not sure of.&quot;</p> <h2>Search for no-fee colleges and universities</h2> <p>This'll make your wallet happy: There are no-fee colleges and universities out there (good ones, too), and you can find the best of the best on this ranking of the <a href="https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/colleges-with-no-application-fee/" target="_blank">2018 Best Colleges with No Application Fee</a> in America. That doesn't mean you should whittle down your choices to only these schools, however. Talk with your student about his or her goals and what they want from the college experience, and also be realistic about the schools by which your child has a chance of being accepted. If some of the no-fee colleges fit onto that list, great. If not, put them out of your mind and move on. Having your child choose a college they don't necessarily want to go to will cost you much more than that waived application fee if they want to transfer a year later.</p> <h2>Apply for fee waivers</h2> <p>Fee waivers are available for low-income families. For instance, students who qualify for free or reduced lunch can have their application fees waived at most colleges. Some students also can take the SAT or SAT Subject Tests using a test-fee waiver that will let them <a href="https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/about/benefits/college-application-fee-waivers" target="_blank">apply to more than 2,000 colleges for free</a>.</p> <h2>Apply during fee-free weeks</h2> <p>Some schools offer fee-free application weeks, which is generally available statewide in participating states. Some North Carolina colleges and universities waive their application fees during the second week of November, while their Minnesota counterparts waive for one week in late October. If you know in which state you're student is applying, search online to see if it has a no-fee week to offer before submitting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-ways-to-get-more-college-financial-aid?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Surprising Ways to Get More College Financial Aid</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-apply-to-lots-of-colleges-without-going-broke&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Apply%2520to%2520Lots%2520of%2520Colleges%2520Without%2520Going%2520Broke.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Apply%20to%20Lots%20of%20Colleges%20Without%20Going%20Broke"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Apply%20to%20Lots%20of%20Colleges%20Without%20Going%20Broke.jpg" alt="How to Apply to Lots of Colleges Without Going Broke" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-apply-to-lots-of-colleges-without-going-broke">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-ways-to-get-more-college-financial-aid">12 Surprising Ways to Get More College Financial Aid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-new-grads-can-save-on-moving-costs">6 Ways New Grads Can Save on Moving Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult">8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-skills-to-master-before-you-graduate">6 Financial Skills to Master Before You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/a-better-way-to-rank-americas-colleges">A Better Way to Rank America&#039;s Colleges</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Education & Training applying to college college college applications continuing education graduation how to afford college Fri, 26 Jan 2018 09:30:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 2093194 at https://www.wisebread.com 8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult https://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/african_woman_sitting_at_an_exam_in_college.jpg" alt="African woman sitting at an exam in college" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you have never been to college, have some college credits from many years ago, or simply need to retool your education for a career change, there is much to be gained from going back to school. However, adult learners face a lot of risk factors that lead to dropping out before finishing a degree; things such as family obligations, financial shortcomings, and a tendency to attend school part time.</p> <p>With college costs steadily growing, the stakes are high; attending school without finishing a degree program could mean dealing with a mountain of debt and no job to help pay it off. Before diving into a degree or certificate program, do your homework to give yourself the best chance of success as an adult learner.</p> <h2>1. Choose a school that accommodates adult learners</h2> <p>One challenge adult learners face is feeling like they don't fit in with the much younger students on campus. Some find that the counseling services the school offers do not make sense for their situation in life. To avoid this problem, seek out a school that actively recruits older students.</p> <p>LendEdu ranks the <a href="https://lendedu.com/blog/colleges-for-adult-learners/" target="_blank">25 best colleges for adult learners</a>, taking into account factors such as on-campus child care, weekend classes and flexibility, and affordability. Its most recent list gives the top-ranking position to Delaware's Wilmington University, a private college that offers a wide range of professional certificate programs in addition to degrees.</p> <h2>2. Consider credit transferability when choosing a school</h2> <p>Another way the best schools accommodate nontraditional students is by accepting credits from other institutions. If you have earned prior credits from an educational institution, get an idea of how many would be accepted toward your new degree. Figure this out before enrolling, because the more credits that will transfer, the faster and cheaper your degree will be.</p> <h2>3. Choose a major that will help you reach your goals</h2> <p>Some 18-year-olds are OK with spending a couple of years in college finding themselves before focusing on a major that will lead to a specific career. Adults, not so much.</p> <p>A recent report from the University of Texas showed that the choice of academic major was the biggest factor in determining how much graduates from UT earned. In fact, your major appears to matter more than how good a school you get into, the report says.</p> <p>&quot;[G]raduates who majored in architecture and engineering at a UT System open-access college have median earnings that are higher than 61 percent of all UT System graduates at selective colleges,&quot; the report reads. After architecture and engineering, the highest earning major categories for UT students were computers, statistics, and mathematics; followed by health, then business. The lowest-earning majors were in the arts, psychology and social work, and biology and life sciences.</p> <p>Of course, you can't just blindly choose a major based on how much money graduates make. It also has to be a good match for you. Take an online assessment or work with a career consultant to figure out what field best matches your strengths.</p> <h2>4. Tap a range of funding sources</h2> <p>Don't assume that because you're an adult, you won't qualify for aid. In fact, there is no age limit for receiving federal student aid in the form of grants, loans, and work-study programs. There are also scholarships for adult learners, such as the Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarship, reserved for students age 35 or older. If you are or have been in the military, there are a host of <a href="https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/military" target="_blank">student financial aid programs for veterans and military personnel</a>. Also, find out if your employer pays for continuing education; many workplaces will fund entire degrees for employees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-17-companies-will-help-you-repay-your-student-loan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 17 Companies Will Help You Repay Your Student Loan</a>)</p> <p>Once you have exhausted every avenue for funds you don't have to pay back, look into using your own assets for school as well. Although you should always proceed with caution when tapping into retirement accounts, it is possible in some circumstances to withdraw money from retirement accounts to pay educational expenses penalty free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-pay-for-education-with-an-ira?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, You Can Pay for Education With an IRA</a>)</p> <h2>5. Investigate online or hybrid programs</h2> <p>Going to school around a busy schedule of work and family makes online college a popular choice. You can often watch lectures on your own schedule and avoid wasting time traveling to and from a campus. You can try many online courses for free &mdash; usually without credit &mdash; to see if online learning works for you. Check the <a href="https://www.edx.org/" target="_blank">courses listed at edX</a>, for example.</p> <p>A growing program type that appeals to many nontraditional students is the hybrid model, which combines online lectures with some classroom time for discussion. For instance, Northwestern University offers hybrid graduate programs aimed at professionals, which combines online lectures with a limited number of on-campus seminars.</p> <h2>6. Take your exams early</h2> <p>If you need to take the LSAT for law school, the GRE for graduate school, the GMAT for business school, or even the SAT, sit for it well in advance of school application deadlines. This takes a bit of the pressure off; when you know you have time to retake the test if necessary, you can relax and do your best.</p> <h2>7. Make a plan to balance life, work, and school</h2> <p>It could be that many adult learners end up dropping out because they mistakenly assumed they would somehow &quot;find time&quot; for coursework. Even if you start slow, going to school is like a part-time job, and you must allocate the hours to make it happen. Finding the hours might mean cutting back on work, eliminating a pleasurable activity such as watching TV, or dropping out of organized activities such as a sports team. One activity you cannot borrow hours from without negative consequences is sleep.</p> <p>It's also important to make sure family members, friends, and even coworkers and bosses know and respect that you need time and space to complete your coursework. You may have to say no when someone asks you to work overtime or pass up on volunteering for organizations you may have helped in the past.</p> <p>Research shows that when we work with interruptions, not only does it take time to get back on task, but we feel more stressed and frustrated. To avoid wanting to quit, it's important to carve out space for yourself to work uninterrupted. Build child care costs into your college budget if necessary, and make sure you have a quiet place to work away from the bustle of household life.</p> <h2>8. Know the tax benefits</h2> <p>Make sure you don't miss out on tax breaks available for returning students, such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit, and tax deductions on interest on student loans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-skip-these-8-tax-breaks-for-students?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">Don't Skip These 8 Tax Breaks for Students</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Tips%2520for%2520Going%2520Back%2520to%2520School%2520as%2520an%2520Adult.jpg&amp;description=8%20Tips%20for%20Going%20Back%20to%20School%20as%20an%20Adult"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Tips%20for%20Going%20Back%20to%20School%20as%20an%20Adult.jpg" alt="8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap">How Your Child Can Earn College Credits in High School (For Cheap)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-ways-to-get-more-college-financial-aid">12 Surprising Ways to Get More College Financial Aid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-your-ira-shouldnt-double-as-an-education-savings-plan">Why Your IRA Shouldn&#039;t Double as an Education Savings Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-student-loan-interest-works">This Is How Student Loan Interest Works</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Education & Training adult learners college continuing education credits majors online courses student aid taxes tuition Mon, 27 Nov 2017 09:30:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2057597 at https://www.wisebread.com Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan? https://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_saving_for_education.jpg" alt="Woman saving for education" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most parents with college-bound kids know about the traditional 529 college savings plan. It allows parents or grandparents to put money into a tax-advantaged savings or investment account that can later be cashed in to pay for college expenses. But did you know that some states &mdash; and a large consortium of private schools &mdash; offer another kind of 529 plan as well?</p> <p>It's called a <em>529 prepaid tuition plan</em>. With this kind of plan, you use your college savings dollars to buy tuition credits, locking in today's tuition prices. Considering how much news there is about the skyrocketing cost of college, this seems attractive in many ways. Parents can pay for college now and not worry that price increases will outpace their earnings. Better yet, a prepaid tuition plan is an investment that shouldn't ever go down in value &mdash; if you buy a credit worth a year of college now and the stock market crashes next week, you still own a year of college as long as the program delivers on its promise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-places-to-stash-your-kids-college-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Places to Stash Your Kid's College Savings</a>)</p> <p>However, there are a number of factors to consider before committing to this lesser-known type of college savings plan. Here are some questions you need to ask.</p> <h2>What if my student doesn't go to the selected college?</h2> <p>Plans can change: Maybe you've been gung ho about your child attending your alma mater or the local state college, but your child isn't interested in either. Or, maybe your kid wants to follow in your footsteps and attend MIT, but doesn't get accepted. What happens to your prepaid tuition savings?</p> <p>You'll have to read the fine print to find out what you will walk away with if the student doesn't use the credits you purchased at the intended university. Any plan will likely allow you to change the beneficiary. For example, if Sally doesn't want to go to the University of Illinois, you can use her credit for her little sister instead. The Private College 529 Plan, which has nearly 300 participating schools including Stanford and Boston University, will also allow participants to roll their balance over into a traditional 529 college savings plan.</p> <p>In addition, various states' plans have provisions for using purchased credits toward other schools. For instance, Florida's prepaid tuition program is designed to be used at state universities and colleges, but funds can also be used for out-of-state or private schools.</p> <h2>What if my child gets a scholarship or doesn't go to college?</h2> <p>Again, provisions for refunds vary by plan. Some will refund the amount of tuition the plan would have covered. Under certain circumstances, some plans will pay you only what you put in &mdash; which would be a major loss of investment growth if the money sat in the account for years.</p> <h2>Will prepaid tuition be a better investment than stocks and bonds?</h2> <p>No one can predict what the markets will do. On the other hand, prepaid tuition programs typically offer participants a predictable outcome: Pay in X amount and you will receive a certificate for a semester of college. As long as the plan does what it promises, prepaid tuition plans won't lose value. However, this is no guarantee that you will end up with more value than you would have if you'd invested in the market.</p> <p>By way of comparison, private college tuition rates increased 2.4 percent per year in the past 10 years, and the cost of public four-year colleges increased 3.5 percent per year, according to the College Board. During the same decade, the S&amp;P 500 increased an average 7 percent &mdash; even taking the 2008 crash into account. So if you invested in a prepaid college fund a decade ago, your discount on present-day tuition will only equal half as much as the gains you would have gotten if you'd put the money in a traditional 529 savings plan that matched the S&amp;P 500's performance.</p> <p>A prepaid plan will probably decrease your risk and ease your worries about market fluctuations, but it could cause you to miss out on investment gains when the market is doing well.</p> <h2>What if the plan runs out of money?</h2> <p>When you put money into a prepaid college plan, the plan administrators take your money and invest it, along with the money from other plan participants. When your kid is ready for college, the plan is supposed to pay the school the cost of tuition &mdash; even if its investment growth falls short of the tuition cost. This could happen in a down market.</p> <p>Plans can also fail to meet their goals if not enough new investors buy into the plan. If this happens too many years in a row, plans can fall short of their promises and leave families in the lurch. This risk attracts a lot of criticism to prepaid plans, and has pushed some states to end their programs. Before investing in a plan, find out what it guarantees and what it doesn't.</p> <h2>The bottom line: hedging market risk</h2> <p>All the 529 prepaid plans out there are different. Participating in one could help you hedge market risk that you'd otherwise face with a college savings plan, especially if you only invest part of your savings in the prepaid plan while investing the rest in the market. Be sure to read all the fine print to learn what will happen if things don't go as expected.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fshould-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FShould%2520You%2520Save%2520for%2520College%2520Using%2520a%2520529%2520Prepaid%2520Tuition%2520Plan-.jpg&amp;description=Should%20You%20Save%20for%20College%20Using%20a%20529%20Prepaid%20Tuition%20Plan%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Should%20You%20Save%20for%20College%20Using%20a%20529%20Prepaid%20Tuition%20Plan-.jpg" alt="Should You Save for College Using a 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/should-you-save-for-college-using-a-529-prepaid-tuition-plan">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-late-starters-can-save-for-their-kids-education">Here&#039;s How Late Starters Can Save for Their Kids&#039; Education</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-taking-out-student-loans">6 Questions to Ask Before Taking Out Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-encouraging-truth-about-how-americans-are-covering-the-cost-of-college">The Encouraging Truth About How Americans Are Covering the Cost of College</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training 529 plans college higher education prepaid tuition saving money scholarships school tuition Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:30:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2037240 at https://www.wisebread.com Are You Pursuing an Overcrowded Career Field? https://www.wisebread.com/are-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/row_of_business_people_waiting_for_an_interview.jpg" alt="Row of business people waiting for an interview" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to a career, knowing what you want to do is half the battle. The other half is actually finding a job in your chosen field. In some job markets, an influx of eager candidates has rendered certain fields completely overcrowded with qualified workers.</p> <p>If you're ready to earn a degree or certification and pursue a set career path, you may want to do some research first. Ensuring that you'll actually be able to find a job in your desired field can prevent you from feeling like you &quot;wasted&quot; the time and expense of your education or training.</p> <p>Here's how to discover if you might be pursuing an overcrowded career field.</p> <h2>Look into national and regional statistics</h2> <p>The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles an <a href="https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/home.htm" target="_blank">Occupational Outlook Handbook</a> that lists the projected outlook and employment changes for specific jobs over a 10-year period. If the projected growth of jobs in your desired field is low or nonexistent, you might want to pursue another career.</p> <p>Some job markets are more saturated in certain areas than others. If you're looking for more localized information, each state has a department of labor that collects state level stats about career prospects. The Idaho Department of Labor, for example, created a Jobscape Career Search Tool that allows citizens to check out the demand for specific jobs each year. The stats can be filtered by region using a ZIP code or city name. That can really help residents get a sense of job prospects. Here is a resource for finding each individual state's <a href="http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/ProjectionSites" target="_blank">labor statistics site</a>.</p> <p>When stats are projected over a longer period, it can be difficult to determine if the major growth has already happened. You may want to find stats that project shorter term growth (typically over a two-year period) for the occupation. <a href="http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/ShortTerm" target="_blank">Projections Central</a> is a solid place to start. It lists short-term projections of occupations by state. If the change in employment prospects is either negative or low, it might be a sign to move or pursue a different career.</p> <h2>Check job search sites</h2> <p>Another way to get a feel for a crowded career field is to browse common job listing sites and see what the current listings are. If there doesn't seem to be a lot of job openings for your chosen profession on a local, state, or national level, the career field might be overcrowded. If there are tons of jobs available, you might be safe.</p> <p>Continue to keep an eye on the job listings as you prepare to enroll in a college or certificate program. If anything changes or doesn't change, it could give you some valuable insight on the state of the job market. If job listings for the career never seem to crop up, that's a very bad sign. If the same job listings remain month after month, that can be a good sign that companies are struggling to find candidates.</p> <p>Note this method is far more useful for careers with shorter educational requirements. The state of the job market today won't necessarily tell you what it will be like a few years down the line for careers requiring advanced degrees.</p> <h2>Seek advice from a college career counselor</h2> <p>Students can seek career advice from on-campus resources. A college career adviser, depending on the school and the individual's experience, can be a valuable source of information.</p> <p>If the adviser isn't any help on career-specific questions, students can stop by the career services office. The professionals employed in career services may be slightly better equipped to help you determine if your first career choice is a lucrative one. If they don't have specific information about your intended job prospects, they can at least help point you in the right direction to find the information you need.</p> <h2>Ask professionals in your desired field</h2> <p>Networking can be helpful in determining if a specific degree is lucrative or not. Ask around to see if any family or friends might know someone who pursued the same degree or job field in the past. If you find someone, politely ask if they'd be willing to meet up and answer some of your questions. Consider asking how easy it was for them to find a job, what the competition was like, and if they've seen an influx of new graduates suddenly flood their market.</p> <p>If you need ideas for alternate career paths, many state government websites list the hottest jobs in their state for individuals to pursue. Indiana, for example, has a <a href="https://netsolutions.dwd.in.gov/hh50/jobList.aspx" target="_blank">Hot 50 Jobs list</a>.</p> <p>If your heart is still set on pursuing a career in a crowded field, take steps to ensure that you can outshine every other recent graduate during your job search. It may also be worthwhile to research which regions and states offer a more lucrative job market in that specific field.</p> <p>And as a final note, remember that different states have different certificate and education requirements to work in certain jobs. Make sure when you pursue an education that you will meet those requirements.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fare-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FAre%2520You%2520Pursuing%2520an%2520Overcrowded%2520Career%2520Field-.jpg&amp;description=Are%20You%20Pursuing%20an%20Overcrowded%20Career%20Field%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Are%20You%20Pursuing%20an%20Overcrowded%20Career%20Field-.jpg" alt="Are You Pursuing an Overcrowded Career Field?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/are-you-pursuing-an-overcrowded-career-field">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-great-jobs-for-the-next-10-years">8 Great Jobs for the Next 10 Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-colleges-with-the-best-programs-to-get-you-jobs">8 Colleges With the Best Programs to Get You Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-you-dont-need-a-college-degree-to-succeed">Why You Don&#039;t Need a College Degree to Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-going-back-to-school-as-an-adult">8 Tips for Going Back to School as an Adult</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-my-career-clueless-college-self">5 Tips for My Career-Clueless College Self</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Education & Training career counseling career fields college job markets oversaturated prospects shadowing statistics Mon, 09 Oct 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Samantha Stauf 2032526 at https://www.wisebread.com