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Monday, April 21, 2014

Maximum Amount of Student Loans

The government will only give you a few thousand dollars a year in loans to pay for your school. If you are reading the Money Smart Grad blog, you are likely to be a college grad with student loans. Therefore, you know the damage that they can do. You might have some extra PLUS loans or private loans as well. You might be thinking of going to grad school, which probably means that you will need even more loans on top of what you already have.

To tell how much you should take out in loans, you should look at the salaries of potential careers you can undertake after graduation. For example, I am planning on an MBA and I am researching how much a manager or a director of a firm or a non-profit can make and what I need to land that position. If you would qualify for a listing after graduation, and the position pays $100K and that seems to be the average, you should not take out more than a total of $100K in loans in total. A good rule of thumb is to never take out more loans than you will make the first year out of college or grad school. This means that if you are going to grad school and you expect to make $100K the first year, but you already have $25K in undergraduate loans, you should only take out $75K more for a total of $100K.

Recommendation: Squared Away Blog

I'd like to recommend something that I read regularly - the Squared Away Blog by Boston College. They have a great research center and conduct regular academic studies on topics of retirement. Do check it out!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Statistic Brain

Interesting Statistic, financially and otherwise. Here is a list to the Retirement Statistics:

Retirement Statistics

Click through the financial tab on top for more fun info.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Grad School Calculator

Have always wanted to calculate if the MBA will be worth it even with a 120K price tag and loans. Here you can calculate the return on your graduate school education. Handy calculator for the grad school hopefuls!

LearnVest - Grad School Return Calculator

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Generic vs. Name Brands

If you want to slash your grocery bill dramatically, you cannot be brand loyal. Almost all stores carry a generic brand or a less expensive brand. You should try buying the store brand and test if the taste is the same as the brand you are used to buying. Some things just aren't.

I don't like sodas, but I sometimes as a mixer or on a random craving, it tastes great. However, even though I can't really taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke or Diet Coke and Coke, I can taste the difference between Coke and store brand cola at most places. I've noticed that Publix makes a good soda and don't mind buying their version of Sprite or Coke. However, you must experiment. If you don't try the other brand of hot dogs or cheese, you might not realize that it is the same or even better.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Know Your Worth

The largest asset you have is you. The greatest obstacle for you moving ahead in your financial life is your salary. If you could earn more, wouldn't it be easier for you to accomplish the things you want financially? The answer should be yes if you are not going to inflate your lifestyle with your salary.

Since you answered yes, it means that you must know when to move on. You have to know when you can no longer progress within your company and you have reached the challenge level or the salary level that you can. It might be hard to make a change sometimes, your company might have a 401(k) that's not fully vested or maybe they promised a bonus. However, remember that if you've reached the limit, seeking another job now will make your future 401(k) vest sooner and you will be able to prove yourself faster to get another bonus at your future company. Therefore, make goals of what you want to make in the future and make sure you are doing what you need to, to attain these goals.

If you thought that a particular stock you are holding would not increase in value in the future, but would only provide a stable low dividend, wouldn't you want to sell the stock and buy something that would give you a regular dividend that's larger and would have the potential to increase in value? Think of your job as a stock and see if it helps to analyze it that way.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tax-Free Holiday

Seventeen states currently have a weekend or a week where, before school begins, you can purchase clothing, school supplies, and some times other items tax-free. This is a great time to take advantage of clothing shopping for yourself as well whether you are a student or not.

See if you state offers tax-free shopping dates and figure out where they are:

Wiki - Tax Holiday