Do you want to go to college but can’t afford the high cost of tuition? Many adults dream of getting a college education and seeing their children graduate from college, but when they see the costs of obtaining that education in the way of rising tuition fees and added class and book fees and other class fees with 6% or more interest fees added on the minute you sign the loan papers.
This is a blog post that gives you valuable information you can actually use to further your education and get that college degree you have always wanted for you or your children. This is the second post in a series of post on Planning for your Retirement in your 20’s.
This post isn’t to dispel your dream of going to college, but to give you valuable information that may save you a lot of money on courses that may be able to be taken for credit online and transferred to a local college where you live and you will still be able to use that credit in your academic transcript.
Many community colleges and more secondary colleges are accepting transcripts from other colleges where they offer free online courses. You are taking the same information and have the same tests and for a fee can even receive a grade from the professor. You will in most cases receive a certificate of completion and satisfactory grade if you test in the class and pass. Either way you go you can always put every course you take to further your education on your resume.
Employers see you as someone who is a life long learner and someone who looks for a way to get a good education with out all the debt load that goes with a college education.
There are a lot of different fields you can learn a skill, a trade and have the same as a college graduate.
Here Are The Most Popular Websites for Continuing Your Education
Lynda.com is a LinkedIn company that provides many professional courses in everything from 3-D Cad to Business strategy courses. Most libraries offer this as a free learning platform on the main library website for you county, parish or state. If you start your own subscription the costs is between $19.99 and $29.99 per month depending on the level of services you choose.
Treehouse is a great place to learn coding. They have everything from learning basic WordPress to the latest code used in the newest and best programs. I learned how to code through Treehouse and I enjoyed there learning platform. They break up difficult learning tasks into small bite sized chunks where learning is much easier. The cost of Treehouse has several different levels depending on where you are in your coding education.
This is another educational program that can be offered by your local library for free. They will usually have a test before you can start the program due to the individual cost that is involved in learning code. As you are learning you are designing projects that can be used in your resume to show future employers the skills you have obtained. You can earn certifications in many different coding languages through Treehouse. If coding is your thing, Treehouse is a great place to start your education.
MIT or Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They have a lot of free classes you can register for and you can learn anything you choose to learn for free. MIT was one of the pioneer schools that paved the way for open free courses on the college and university level offering all there courses free online. Once you enroll you are even able to gain certifications in the course work you complete for a small fee. The certificate is even signed by your instructor.
Edx provide courses from the worlds most popular colleges and universities. You can take any course they have for free and you can become certified in that same course for a small fee. The course certification comes with a certificate of completion signed by the instructor. I have taken classes and have even obtained certifications in several different fields of study
Udemy offers so many classes in so many different topics there is something here for everyone. You pay for each class you take and you can get certifications in most of the classes. They often have specials where they will offer discounts and also have specials where some of the classes will cost you only $10 this will last for different lengths of time from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. I have taken lots of classes and have been very happy with the instructors and the learning tracks of the classes I have taken.
With any classes you take putting samples of your course work in your resume shows your employer you can do the work that is required for the job and it can also give you a position above any one else in the hiring process. When an employer sees examples of excellent work they get a chance to actually see what you can do.
Sometimes that is all it takes to get the job. Many times it will come down to two or three candidates and the more information you give on your resume the better your chances are of getting the job you are applying for.
Good morning, everyone. It’s hard to believe we are right here at the beginning of October! We are getting close to the first frost and that time that we need to bring our plants that are not cold hardy into our houses.
Today I would like to focus on what we need to do to help our flowers that have been enjoying being outside all summer transition to living in the house with artificial heat over the winter.
Winter Plant Care 101
1. Clean out all the dead leaves that have accumulated in the top of your plants pot.
2. Take a couple of teaspoons full of diatomaceous earth, how much depends on the size of your plant and sprinkle lightly over the soil in your plant. This will keep bugs and nats from taking up residence over the winter. There is nothing worst than a house full of nats!
3. When you water be sure to water with ice cubes. You want to water slowly while your plants are in the house, this is their dormant time of the year. You don’t want them to start growing over the winter they will get very long and leggy and not attractive at all.
4. Place them in a spot in your home away from direct heat vents.
Several weeks ago I did a post on what you should have in place before you turn 30. In this post I am going to share some of the reasons why it’s so hard to save money and even harder to plan for your retirement. Putting things on paper is easy, actually putting the plan you design in effect is a different story.
Before we can put together a plan we need to know what the problems actually are and tackle each one and find out how to over come the problem and how to put a plan in place even if you think you don’t have enough money. It’s better to start very small than to not start planning for your future at all.
Here Are a Few of the Problems
While young American adults might actually spend less than previous generations, impulse purchases and a major shift away from pension plans has made saving for retirement a challenge.
- The average employee waits two years to sign up for a 401(k), costing them $20,000 in savings. But experts think it is more critical than ever for young adults to start thinking about retirement planning as early as possible.
- millennial’s today are starting first jobs later and they have a higher debt burden than older generations. A college education would cost on average cost $500 dollars per year tuition in 1959 check out this report by Penn State. Today it costs much more to attend college here is a report from Penn State on the average cost of tuition from 2010 to the present.
- Having too many choices cause people to delay decisions.
- Lack of experience in financial matters will cause people to put off making decisions about their retirement savings.
- Reaping the benefits of compound interest becomes harder as you age. A 20-year-old only needs to save an estimated 5 percent of his/her annual income to reach a retirement goal by the age of 65, where a 30-year-old need to save closer to 10 percent and 50-year-olds who have not started to save should put away closer to half of their income to catch up.
What Has Made Planning for Retirement So Hard
According to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, between 1985 and 2012, companies dissolved more than 80,000 retirement plans across US companies and now 401(k) plans are the norm for most employers that offer compensation for retirement.
There are very few companies now that will offer company pension plans. So planning for retirement is left to each employee to decide how and when they start to save for their retirement. Due to the shift away from pensions, younger generations need to learn how to make their money last up to 40 years after retirement.
millennial’s aren’t able to get much advice from their parents because most of their parents had pension plans that were sponsored by their employer and they aren’t able to help their children navigate the maze of information about saving for retirement.
A tendency toward instant gratification is a real psychological obstacle to saving for retirement. Many millennial’s struggle with thinking in the moment, some grew up with parents that could afford to make impulse purchases, and parents that had a higher wage than most millennial’s now. Wages have risen, but so has inflation which cuts into the increase in earnings.
Single millennial’s are having a harder time making ends meet than their parents ever did. With high cost of rent and high cost of home ownership, higher costs of insurances like health and car insurance, the very high cost of a college education and with the student loans with high interest rates at 6 % or higher, a single millennial’s budget is strained to the point they can’t afford to save for their retirement, leaving them in a very vulnerable place.
What Can You Do Right Now, This Week?
Start Contributing to your Companies Retirement Plan
Check with your company and start putting money into the 401 (k) plan at your company. If they match what you put into your plan, try to put as much as you can into it. When they contribute, it adds more to what you put in every pay check. Talk with the plan representative about how much to start putting into your retirement plan. The key is to start. There is no time like now to get started.
Start a Budget
How do you juggle your bills and still plan for your future? You want to save for your future but with bills that take most of your money every paycheck how do you manage to actually save for the future? Here is a great budget planner and financial goals tracker you can use to keep your finances on track. I also shared a lot of really good books and resources in the same blog post. If you didn’t have a chance to read it check it out now, 10 Personal finance moves to make before 30.
Too many people get overwhelmed with their finances and then they don’t do anything at all to save money. This is the wrong thing to do! If you can only put $5 into a savings account every pay check do it. Set that $5 up to automatically go into your savings as soon as your check goes into the bank.
Your financial to do list may be very long. If it is, put things into various categories based on when the goal needs to be accomplished. Instead of worrying over everything, place each goal into a category based on whether it’s a short-term goal, a medium-range goal or a long-term goal. Here are a few examples of goals. A short-term goal might be, boosting your credit score in 6-12 months. A medium term goal could be saving for 3 or 4 years for the down payment on a new home. A long-term goal could be saving for your children’s college education.
Take Small Steps Towards Each Goal
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that balancing current and future obligations is an “either or” proposition. You should get into the mindset of knowing that you must do both handle existing bills and tackle future planning simultaneously.
Break everything down into chunks and take small steps, or even micro-steps, toward reaching each goal. Saving $5 each paycheck is better than not saving anything at all. Here is a break down of just saving $5 each paycheck in a year.
- $5 per week: 52 pay checks = $260 in one year
- $5 Paid every other week: 26 pay checks = $130
- $5 paid twice a month: 24 pay checks = $120
It doesn’t look like much but when you save $5 a week for 2 years, 5 years, 10 years it looks like this. $5 is the cost of one coffee at Starbucks. Just giving up one coffee a week can put money into your savings that looks like this.
- 52 pay checks: 2 years = $520
- 26 pay checks: 2 years = $260
- 24 pay checks: 2 years = $240
Here is what it looks like in 5 years
- 52 pay checks: 5 years = $1,300
- 26 pay checks: 5 years = $650
- 24 pay checks: 5 years = $600
Here is what it looks like in 10 years
- 52 pay checks: 10 years = $2,600
- 26 pay checks: 10 years = $1,300
- 24 pay checks: 10 years = $1,200
It doesn’t look like much at first but over time it adds up. The point is to take action and work toward the goal. Don’t simply say, “that’s impossible” because the numbers seem too large. No financial goal is impossible if you break it down and are willing to pursue it even in small steps. It is better to do small steps at first than to not do anything at all.
Look for ways to go to College for free or nearly free
The high cost of higher education leaves millennial’s already in the red with the high cost of college many are starting their career with $30,000 to $200,000 in college loans. It depends on the field of study that they choose how much student debt they incur. There are a lot of ways that you can cut the high cost of higher education. In this post “Want to go to college for free or nearly free?” I address ways you can further your education for free or nearly free with online courses from the top colleges and universities where you earn certifications in the very same courses you would spend thousands of dollars on if you went to top colleges and universities.
If you are planning on going into the medical field most hospitals offer programs for you to go to college where the hospital will pay for your education in return for you fulfilling a term or 3 to 5 years of employment with the hospital after you graduate. You should check with your employer, now a lot of employers offer tuition assistance in exchange for work after you graduate. Some offer tuition assistance while you work and go to school.
How To Find Scholarships Online
” Navigating the Scholarship scene, going to college on scholarships” I will give you valuable information you can use to find, apply and get scholarships in your field of study. You can actually find enough scholarships to pay for all four years of your college it just takes a little work on your part.
How To Find Free Courses Online
If you want to find classes online here is a post I did to help you find classes that will give you certifications in the course work that employers like to see from potential employees. “ Want To Go To College? How To Obtain Higher Education For Free Or Nearly Free Using Online Learning”
Find an Accountability Partner
A relative or close friends might serve as accountability partner. As long as they have your best interests at heart and can be honest with you about when you’re not sticking to your goals.
You can even check with your local bank and they can give you guidance in financial matters some banks now offer budgeting classes for their patrons or they can refer you to someone who they trust to give you good information and guidance.
Just be careful about taking certain advice such as investment tips or insurance recommendations from family members or friends who don’t have expertise in those areas.
You can look for a financial advisor. They could give you expert financial advice, create an overall financial plan for you or simply point out money-management areas that you’ve overlooked. They do charge for their services, so be sure to ask them about their fees.
Once you realize that bills are a part of life and that they will never go away, you can use the information above to set financial goals, set goals for your schooling, set goals on learning how to paying your bills on time and also saving for your future retirement and saving for future purchases.
Ready To Get Started!
Now that we have cleaned out all of the toxic chemicals in your house, it’s now time to build a new group of things to use to clean your house from top to bottom. I choose to use as few cleaning solutions as possible so I use one that will clean many things. I have a bottle of multi purpose cleaner that disinfect the surfaces I clean. I will use this product everywhere I can.
I get my bottles from Wal-Mart in the cleaning section. I usually buy the small 12 oz bottle there about a $1 each. I use Avery labels to make my labels. You can go to avery.com and make your labels just put in your Avery label number and create your label and print it. It’s that easy. I put the ingredients and directions on my labels. I use the large shipping labels and just stick them on the bottle.
Be sure to label the cleaning supplies you make! Don’t forget this step!
All Purpose Cleaner
2 tsp. Borax
1/4 cup vinegar
2 1/2 cups hot water
6 drops Tea tree Oil
25 Drops of your favorite essential oil
For extra cleaning power mix in 1/4 teaspoon of liquid soap like Dr. Bronner’s or Mrs. Myer’s
Be sure to mix in a container you do not cook or eat out of. Then pour into a labeled spray bottle.
Tub and Tile Cleaner
1 2/3 cup Baking soda
1/2 cup liquid soap
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons vinegar
- Mix all ingredients, adding the vinegar after the other ingredients are well mixed. (if you add the vinegar too early it will react with the baking soda).
- Immediately apply, wipe and scrub.
1 cup Borax
1/4 cup vinegar
Pour both borax and vinegar into the toilet before going to bed. In the morning, scrub and flush.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 Cup vinegar
1 cup water
25-30 drops essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle and mix. Be sure to mix while you are using it so all the ingredients stay mixed well. This also repels dust better than anything I have ever used. I don’t dust nearly as often since I started using this spray.
Here are the cleaners I use. I hope they work as well for you as they work for me.