Tag Archives: students

Money Hacks Carnival #51 – The Office Edition

Welcome to the 51st edition of the Money Hacks Carnival! My name is Adam and I am pleased to be your host this week. Please feel free to poke around the site if it is your first time visiting! You can subscribe to the blog using the links on the right or you can follow me on Twitter to stay up-to-date.

NBC’s The Office is my favorite show on TV. I just love watching the office banter and politics. Every week there is a moment that reminds you of something a co-worker did recently. For this carnival, I decided to categorize the topics by some great characters in the show.

Editor’s Picks

Michael Scott is the Regional Manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin. If anyone has the right to pick this week’s best articles, it’s him. He is the glue that holds his team together. Did I really just say that?

Credit Shout tells us to Beware of ATM Scams. Honestly, I really had no idea about some of these. I will be thinking twice about going to the ATM now!

Living Almost Large talks about a family that is in trouble and Their Ship Is Sinking. Looking at this person’s cash flow, it’s hard to believe that they did not see the major problem.

FIRE Finance shares a great story on how Smart Refrigeration Lowers Electricity Bills. Who better to tell you about saving energy on your refrigerator than someone who works with them every day?

PF Credit Cards shows you How to Beat Priceline and Get a Winning Bid. Personally, I have been using Priceline’s Name Your Own Price for over a year now. I will never go back to paying full price again! You really have no say in the brand of your hotel, but you still get to pick the star level. I have yet to be disappointed in the hotel I end up getting.

Career

To me, no one seems more focused on their career than Dwight Schrute. He is constantly reminding everyone about his position with the company and how he is the top salesman. He is also good at sucking up to the boss. Watch the show and learn from Dwight if you are searching for a new job!

Tom at The Strump gives his opinion on How to Translate Employment Ads.

FMF at Free Money Finance lets you know How to Waste Money on a MBA.

Debt and Credit

Kelly is really into fashion and fancy things. Only working at Dunder Mifflin, I can imagine that she has some major credit card debt. Hopefully, some of these articles can help her get on the path to becoming debt free.

Jim at Bargaineering has a Review of MyFICO ScoreWatch. He says it’s perfect for credit score junkies!

Tyler from CreditCards.com talks about how Credit Card Regulation is Brewing for College Campuses Again. Personally, I have never signed up for a credit card at a table at college, sporting event , airport, etc.

Looking for a new rewards credit card? Credit Addict tells us about the Pentagon Federal Visa Rewards Card.

Shaun from Learn Financial Planning gives his 5 Principles for Getting Out of Debt. Some great insights here!

Mr. Banker at Best Interest Rate Banks gives us his review of High Interest Savings Accounts.

Studenomics Breaks Down Student Loans in a non-confrontation manner.

Chris at StumbleForward gives you some tips on Becoming a Blogger to Get Out of Debt.

Housing

Jim just recently bought a house from his parents. I bet he wishes that he could have had some of these great articles to read!

Len Penzo provides us with A Layman’s Guide to Mortgage Application Junk Fees.

Passive Family Income talks about The Recession in America and Home Foreclosures.

Frugality and Saving Money

If anyone on the show is frugal, it’s Pamela. She dresses simple, religiously watched her money while going to college, and was thrifty while planner her first wedding.

Silicon Valley Blogger at The Digerati Life has a Valentine’s Day Tip on Using Ebates to Get Cash Back.

Pete at Bible Money Matters reminds us that Small Decisions Equal Big Results.

J Money at Budgets are Sexy says The Budget is Back, Baby!

Lisa from Greener Pastures presents Economic Collapse-R-Us: 22 Lifestyle Changes of Middle Class America.

The Writer’s Coin presents Am I a Thief or an Entrepreneur? The overwhelming majority of the comments suggest a thief. Head over there and give your input. He has even written a response post to the naysayers.

Matt at Stupid Cents gives us Five Simple Ways to Buy Everything Cheaper and Save Money.

The Shark Investor gives us Strategies for Raising Savings.

Mr. Tough Money Love show us how Arming Ourselves to Save Money on Car Repairs can be a good thing.

Patrick at Money Saving Deals has some Godaddy.com Coupon Codes to share.

David at Personal Finance Analyst gives us The Best Free Budget Worksheets on the Internet.

Dana at Not Made of Money tells us How Her Family Keeps the Breaks on Spending.

The Smarter Wallet shares some delicious Cheap Meals You Can Cook at Home to Save Money.

Debt Kid shows us Why Budgets Don’t Work for Everyone.

Hank at Own The Dollar wants to know Is Three to Six Months of Expenses Enough Money For Your Emergency Fund?

Aryn at Sound Money Matters shows you The Pros and Cons of Homemade Yogurt.

Taxes

When I think of someone who would evade income taxes, I think about Creed. Hopefully some of these articles will help him file his return this year. His first return ever?

Money Tipper lets us know about TurboTax Discounts for Vanguard Customers.

Nickel at Five Cent Nickel gives us Ten Common Income Tax Credits. Head over there to make sure you are getting all the money you deserve.

Thinking of buying a new house? Madison at My Dollar Plan talks about the Possibility of a $15,000 Home Buyer Tax Credit.

Patrick at Military Finance Network answers a question about What You Need to Do If Your Stimulus Check Was Lost of Stolen.

Christian Personal Finance found some places that have Free STATE e-file Online! Living in Maryland, I know that we have free e-file for the state return. It makes it nice and easy!

Insurance

If I had to guess which employee had the greatest amount of insurance, I would say it was Andy. I’d bet he has whole life, term, universal, two health policies and a deferred annuity. He also seems to be the most likely to be a insurance salesman. He just has that way about him!

Mr. GoTo at Go To Retirement gives you an idea about Fixed Annuities and Financial Risk. I think fixed annuities are a great thing to have in retirement. It’s unfortunate that they get such a bad rep from many mainstream media types.

Junior Boomer from The Consumer Boomer talks about Women and Long-term Care Insurance.

Economy

Now honestly, who cares more about the economy than Stanley? Just look at that face!

Kathryn at Out of Debt Christian tells us about The Importance of Shopping Local.

PFR at Personal Finance Reviews tells how the FDIC Plans to Restrict Interest Rates of Troubled Banks.

Curt at Penny Jobs presents The Fiat Money System is Failing.

Money Blue Book Finance wants to know is there a Second Stimulus Check for Obama in 2009?

Investing

Toby is the head of human resources at Dunder Mifflin. If anyone was maxing out their 401(k) there, it would be him.

Sun at The Sun’s Financial Diary alerts you to a Free Stock Analysis Tool.

The Financial Blogger shows you some Options to Secure Your Investment Portfolio.

The Intelligent Speculator wants to know if Super Bowl Ads are Really Worth It?

The Investor at Monevator gives their 10 Reasons to Be Cheerful as an Investor.

Jeff from Good Financial Cents has 7 Things to Know About the 2010 Roth IRA Conversion.

Dividend Tree shows us how Everyday Life Teaches us Dividend Investing.

Other

When I was thinking about what character would be good for the category other, I thought of Ryan. He definitely had some ups and downs with Dunder Mifflin!

MoneyNing presents What Everyone Ought to Know When Applying for Free Stuff.

Patrick at Cash Money Life has some $25 Sign-up Bonuses from Lending Club. You even have 2 chances to win $100!

Mara Rodgers at Secrets for Money gives some great Tips To Teach Kids About Money.

Chris at Financial Reflections lets you know How Identiy Thieves Sell Your Data Online.

Mighty Bargain Hunter gives you Some Great Sources for Free AudioBooks.

Miss M at M is for Money shares with you Deliverance from Debt: Budget Basics.

Mike at Money TLD shares with us 10 Places to Click for Cash. There are quite a few things on this list that I have never heard of. I think I will check some of them out!

Need a Professional to Do Your Taxes? How About a Virtual CPA?

Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck wrote an interesting post today about the state of today’s tax preparation. Personally, I’ve always completed my income taxes myself. That is mostly due to the fact that they were not complex. I imagine if my blogging income picks up or I start my own business, they will become more complex and I will need some help. I would not like to go to a chain or use a box if they are that complex. I know I/they would miss something and it may end up costing me. The only other choice would be a CPA and they can be rather expensive. But, with technology changing the way it is, a virtual CPA makes a lot of sense. Why pay for the whole CPA when you can get the tax expertise you need for much less?

Of course, if you can do your return on your own (and maximize deductions), that’s ideal. But there are many individuals who can recoup their tax prep fee (and then some) by getting a real professional involved. Furthermore, given the free 30 minute phone consultation with a Certified Financial Planner, Total Candor Tax Prep seems like a great idea. He seems to be growing his practice by word of mouth, which seems like the right thing especially since it’s a repeat business.

Michael has plenty of discounts available for his services. You can get money off for sending in your returns early, being a full-time student, referring other customers and more! Want to be my referral? Head over there and check it out!

What about you? How will you get your taxes done this year?

10 Reasons Not to Pay for Your Kids College

I have decided to look at a different approach to college planning. Most financial planners and personal finance books tell you to save for your kids college. I have assembled a few reasons that might make you think twice about helping them out. Feel free to comment at the end about your thoughts on the list or why you would want to pay for their college. Maybe the pros will outweigh these cons.

1. They Are More Likely to Go to Class

Being fully invested in their own college career will make them more likely to attend class. I know that it worked for me. I knew that if I didn’t attend class on any given day, I was flushing quite a few dollars down the drain. I also knew quite a few people that did not attend class because they were there on mommy and daddy’s dime.

2. They Are Investing in Their Future Career

Teach your kid to think of it as a long term investment. If they pay for their own college, their destiny is in their hands.

3. Help Them Learn to Be Frugal

I’m talking from experience here! If your kid has a hand in paying for all of their expenses, they are more likely to learn how to save money at various places. Ramen noodles come to my mind! Yum!

4. They Are More Likely to Finish Faster

When I first started graduate school, I planned out my entire class schedule before my first semester. My main goal was to finish as soon as humanly possible. I knew that if I stayed only one extra semester, there would be all kinds of addition costs like housing, food, travel, books, tuition, etc. I will be glad to graduate in December and start my career.

5. Parents Can Invest in Their Own Retirement for More Gains

This is a no brainer. If you are not saving for your kids college, you can use that money for other things. It could be home improvement, vacations, or adding to your retirement accounts. By placing the extra money in your retirement account, you can save less per month and have more when you retire. Just take a look at what the power of compound interest can do.

6.They Will Learn the Value of Money

Have you kids ever asked for something? If you have kids, the answer to that question is yes. What happened when you told them that they couldn’t have it? They cried bloody murder because they really had no idea what the value of money was. They figured that they could have whatever the wanted. Having them be responsible for their own costs will make them appreciate the value of money more.

7. It May Encourage Them to Do Better in High School

If your child knows that they will have to pay for college themselves, they may be more inclined to succeed in high school. This in turn may help them get scholarships to reduce the amount of tuition that they will have to pay.

8. Because College May Not Be for Them

This is true for many young adults. I have known several people that dropped out of college early in their career for something else. College just was not for them. Whether it was the classes or some other thing, they found a true passion somewhere other than college.

9. You will Pay No Fees if They Do Not Go to College

If you saved money in a 529 plan and they dropped out or received scholarships, etc, you would have to pay a 10% fee just to get the money out. That could be a huge chunk of change if you have been saving for awhile. You will also be taxed at your income tax rate for any of the gains.

10. They May Be Less Susceptible to Drugs and Alcohol

I have seen many people who have struggled in college because of drugs and alcohol. I do not really know the statistics about the relationship between alcoholism and who pays the tuition, but I imagine there is some (even if slight) correlation between the two. If the student is more focused on their curriculum, they may be able to stay away from these growing college trends.


Once again, I am not telling you to stop contributing to your 529 plan. I am simply just giving some reasons why it may help them get a better grasp on life if they paid for it themselves. You many want to have a combination of them paying for some themselves and you contributing some. My professor in college had a great plan for his kids. He told them that they would cover the costs for them to go to an in-state public school. If they wanted to go elsewhere, the rest would be on their dime.

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