Apologies for the really long absence, but with the Easter holiday, going home to Wallkill several times in the past month, and a crazy period at work, I haven’t had much time to update anything worth substance.
In the past week, there have been several fantastic personal finance-related stories in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
No, none of these have anything to do with income taxes. Do make sure you file by April 15th, though, or else the big bad taxman just may come after you.
If you have the time this weekend, definitely peruse these not-so-long stories. I’ll give a quick summary and my thoughts on each one after the jump.
Hard to believe, but it’s been a year already since I had what I thought was my lowest financial point and subsequent epiphany moment. To sum it up, I just found out that I was going to have at least one furlough (unpaid) day per month, my rent was going up, and because I had this very tight view of money — I was going to stop all of my plans.
Paying for college is hard. Believe me — I know. I have about $18,500 left to pay off from my four years at Seton Hall, and I’m unbelievably lucky that’s all I have left to pay. The school cost, at that time, $35,000/year. I can’t even imagine how much it is now.
Unfortunately, most jobs now require you to have a college degree in order to even be considered. Add all of the overqualified people applying for jobs because they have been laid off, and college seems like the rule rather than the exception.
Colleges, though, are also businesses. They are in it to make a profit, and the rising costs of tuition, room, board, and other fees further complicates matters.
It wasn’t always this way, but stories show that in today’s economic climate it is becoming more and more difficult to finish college — and the ultimate losers in this battle are the ones who are unable to finish what they start.
This week took a look at some tips and tricks to help you assess your finances as we come to the close of 2009. Not only should we see what worked, but also what maybe didn’t work out as well. That way we can fix those errors and perform better next year.
There were also myriad articles about how to shop this holiday season (oh … wait … Christmas is in less than three weeks, should’ve let you know …)
Back a generation or so ago, when you turned 18 or hit some milestone in your early 20s, it was time to immediately move out of the house either start college or a family.
This is not the case anymore, as more and more twentysomethings are staying at home longer than in recent memory. While it is clear the economy is forcing this in many cases and is probably a smart decision in order to not fall into deep debt, it doesn’t mean your life is over. It is what you do during this time that counts the most.
The current economic downturn can be looked at in two ways: Either an added obstacle to pay off debts from past mistakes, or an opportunity to take a fresh look at expenses in order to spend money on items or services you’ll actually get use out of.
Not everything about the recession is bad, though it may look that way. Not only is it prompting many to take another glance at their expenses and reprioritize what truly is worth spending money on and what isn’t, but many are now also saving some money for the next rainy day. Before this downturn, the savings rate was actually below 0 percent. Scary, huh?
First, the bright side of the recession …
I’m finally back on the East Coast after two trips over to the West — Colorado Springs and Las Vegas — for work in the past month. Now conference season is winding down, with the holidays coming up and all. I don’t believe I’ll be doing anymore business travel for awhile.
It’s great to travel around a bit, but not when it is for just a couple of days and when there are other deadlines that still remain back at the home office. Those pesky things just don’t go away when you fly around on a jet plane. Sad, but true.
Anyway, since I’ve been going all over the place, I’ve had a difficult time sitting down and being able to budget my paychecks. They’ve changed a bit, due to more furloughs placed on different days. I decided last weekend to sit down and list what I would set aside from a non-furloughed paycheck, a paycheck with one furlough day, and one with two furlough days (drastic, and hopefully only happening once at the end of this year).