Thoughts, Quotes, & Anecdotes

The American Dream and College

Whenever I see images of the Statute of Liberty I can only imagine the excitement my Scot-Iris ancestors must have felt as immigrants when it first came into view as they were standing on the bow of the ship bringing them to the United States. Their lengthy and difficult journey was another step in the manifestation of a dream and entering America through Ellis Island in New York was the cornerstone to building a better life for themselves and Read More...

How to Keep Student Loans From Threatening Your American Dream

As this semester of college is just beginning, it is extremely important parents and students who are considering student loans as well as planning for the future understand the critical long-term issues associated with this debt before signing on the dotted line. These debt instruments, if used indiscriminately, can have serious financial consequences for the student and co-signer. There’s been a myth perpetuated by the federal government, educational and financial institutions that the only way to achieve the American Read More...

Plan to Win

An important element necessary to make the plan work is it must be carried out as a team so everyone in the family is aligned with one another and focused on achieving the same goals and objectives. The team concept also clarifies each family member’s role and responsibility for meeting the goals. It helps everyone to maintain a clear, focused approach as the plan is created, put into play, and results achieved. Remember, no one is an island every Read More...

Credit Card Strategy

One family issued strict guidelines to their student on the use of credit cards, “If you can eat it or drink it, wear it or hear it, you cannot charge it to your card.” The average household in the United States today pays out of their family budget in excess of $2,000 in interest fees and late charges every year.  By reducing and eliminating credit card debt, the average family would have an additional $2,000 plus per year to contribute Read More...

Create A Plan

Many parents and prospective students wait until the junior year of high school to start worrying about college costs.  The real work needs to begin in the earlier years, the impressionable years, when students grasp concepts quickly. The plan needs to clarify how cost and expenses are to be met, who is to share in the financial responsibility to meet the obligation, and where the money is coming from.  Money sources should be a combination of scholarships, grants, savings as Read More...

Scholarships and Grants

Grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid.  However there is the responsibility to act appropriately and use the funds wisely.  Timing is critical as demand is high.  The early bird has the advantage so begin early and research diligently.  This isn’t an area in which to be timid, reserved or a procrastinator. There’s a lot of information on grant and scholarship availability as well as the application process.  You have got to do your own work here so Read More...

Status and Ego

Ingrained in our middle or upper-class mindset is the idea that going or not going to the right college may cause a major shift in our lives, the lives of our children and how were’ looked upon by our family, friends and associates.  This may or may not be a surprise to you; it doesn’t make much difference where your future student goes to college, it’s what he or she makes of the time there that counts. A committed young Read More...

Saving

The three key areas to focus on in setting your savings program is to; set your goals; pay yourself first and stick to a budget. The most effective but toughest way to increase savings is to reduce spending.  When you are committed to a budget, you know where you money is going, and there will be no surprises at the end of the month when it’s time to honor your savings goals and financial obligations. Students who graduate in debt have Read More...

Needs vs Wants

One of the most important lessons we can teach our children is knowing the difference between wants and needs.  To understand you cannot buy or pay for the wants until your needs are taken care of first. Part of our job as parents is to prepare our children to deal effectively with life after leaving the sanctuary of home.  If children are allowed to become solely dependent or accustomed to be given such things as money, cars, phones, etc. as Read More...

Acquire Knowledge and Budget

It is important that your student be prepared for the cost realities of attending college so they do not wind up maxing out their credit cards, spending all of their grant, scholarship and savings money, and have to ask for an emergency loan before the first semester is even over.  Therefore an understanding of money principles and values is critical. Begin by encouraging your future student to learn basic accounting, budgeting and investing knowledge as these are key elements to Read More...