¤ Finances $

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by StepOnMe, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. StepOnMe Registered Senior Member

    Okay... so it seems that lately I havn't been able to go out to nice restaurants as much because I have $6.30 in my accessable bank account.

    Does anyone else have an issue with school being so expensive?

    I have been deprived of good food and visits to IKEA. Please help.

    Is anyone a financial planner?

    Oh... here is the funny part. I've registered for a no-fee bank account but it takes 10 BUSINESS DAYS for a cheque to go through. Should I cancel that and pay for a new account where I can get money faster?

    - Steph
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  3. sargentlard Save the whales motherfucker Valued Senior Member

    Ramen Noodles are your friend.

    Any student who's daddy isn't rich or hasn't killed him/herself.

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    Don't cry

    You don't need financial planning. No amount of prudent savings will ever get you out of the hole and the vacume that is school expenses. You can try but you'll still have $6.30 and whole lot of unfulfilled desires.

    Fuck it....rob the bank and the next day cancel your account there due to the bank's inefficiency at keeping itself safe....act unsatisfied while cancelling
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  5. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

    Hey, now that's an idea.
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  7. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member

    Did you research careers prospects prior to embarking on wasting lots of $ on a college degree? Well, if you did not, you should do it NOW. Or else, you may eat Raman for long, long time upon graduation. I sincerely hope you are NOT majoring in sciences or engineering.

    If you have issue with costs, you could attend the nearest community college for the first 2 years and then transfer to a 4 year college. Your diploma will look just the same and it will cost much less. You may live with mom too, eat home made food (provided your mom can cook).

    Why would you want to eat out? Shitty tasting food, lots of pepper and salt to hide it, you never know whos snots, etc. you are eating. Expensive as hell. You can buy 1 week supply of the survival food in Wal-Mart for a cost of one McD trip (not to speak of the more expensive shitholes)

    $6.30 will buy you enough of Raman to survive for 10 days. Ask daddy to wire you some $ (Western Union). It's common practice in other countries to lend a small amount of $ (interest free) to friends and acquaintances. USA is quite different jungle. You are on your own. Pawn shop is your best financial friend. Do you have anything valuable (or not so valuable) to offer there? Pawn shops are usually located in not the very best parts of a city, so be careful.
  8. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    I have relatively little financial problems depsite my low income because I don't waste money on certain things, such as a car. A car is probably one the more expensive things you can have in Europe. Also I live in a small room which is relatively cheap.

    That gives me the opportunity to waste money on other stuff. I do go out most nights at the moment. I do go on holidays, I do fly too much to places.

    I think it helps that when I was young we never had money. And when I was a student I had even less than no money. It taught me to be happy with nothing.

    Now that I earn a little bit more it feels like I am stinking rich. I am not. Most people of the same age in my family earn much more. Strangely enough they never seem to have money because it is all tied up in their houses and in their cars, in their furniture etc.

    It is a choice and both are ok. I guess you are a student now and you will have to adjust your way of living. Try to figure out what is really important to you and on what things you really want to spend money. And are there things out there that can make you happy that are for free.

    But to be honest, it was difficult to be a student for me. Most parents supported their children much more than mine did. But mine couldn't afford it. It meant that I had to work more. But still I never had any money actually when I was a student.
  9. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    While in college, I tried to make sure that I had at least $40 in the bank at all times. I managed this by doing a few things:
    1) no TV. cable is alot of money
    2) not miss TV by working three jobs, running thre on-campus clubs, rowing on the varsity Crew team, and going to school full time.
    3) draping the windows which got the most light in the winter with dark cloth and a fan. the light hitting the material warmed the air, and the fan circulated it. much cheaper than pumping the heat.
    4) lots of extra blankets in the winter.
    5) buy a cooked chicken @ grocery store for $5. buy a week'sw worth of ramen noodles for $2. buy some carrots and celery for $1.
    combine chicken, vegeies and ramen. Each meal costs about $1, and is much, much, much more healthy than pure ramen.
    6) occationally eat pasta.
    7) grow seasonings in little pots near the window.
    8) don't go to the movies or IKEA.
    9) listen to the radio. it's free.
    10) don't drink or smoke. (like $30 a week right there, minimum)

    Even with all that, unless you have tuition paid for, expect to be in debt untill you turn 30. And that's assuming that you're not going to grad school.
  10. AntonK Technomage Registered Senior Member

    Wow... interesting thread. Things are quite a bit different for me. I am going to school at the University of Central Florida which is located in Orlando Florida (not a bad place to live for fun stuff to do when there isnt a hurricane coming straight for you). Maybe its different because I did rather well in highschool and Florida has a program that pays 100% of State School tuition if you qualify, but I don't have the money problems, especially not since I work 20 hours a week in addition to school and scholarships. Each semester, after all my tuition is paid I still get a check for about USD $2000.00 from the University which is the balance of scholarships. I rent a house with some friends and we don't really skimp on anything. We have digital cable, cable internet, (I also pay a monthly fee for a MMORPG I play). We all have cars too.

    Where do most of you go to school? Are most of you European like Spurious?

  11. Dreamwalker Whatever Valued Senior Member

    Using money...

    One room is enough, as Spurious said, a mattress is enough furniture, or perhaps a couch.
    TV... not a good idea, costs about 30 € a month (well, you can watch it illegal...)
    Internet, well, is there a choice? If you are a student, your university might give you that. Otherwise, there is the possibility of pirating your connection from a nearby WLAN array.
    I would also not use a telephone, a cell phone is enough, preferably pre-paid because it is cheaper.
    (Depends on where you live) Rationalise energy and water.
    One meal per day is sufficent most of the time.
    Again, I agree with Spurious, a car costs a lot (especially in Europe), so I would use a bicycle.

    And get a job, that should be sufficent. (ok, I do not know how hard it is in America, but I get a loan from the state here in Germany, and I only have to pay back half the amount. This loan gives me 330 € a month, up to 408€ if my habitation is too expensive.)
  12. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    I went to school in Eastern Maryland.

    Edit: I did 'need' a car, because where I went to school there was no public transportation. I had a 1985 honda with almost 200k miles on it. it got 25MPG, and it ran well enough. I put most needed repairs on a credit card, and just paid the minimum on that card until graduation. When my friend destroyed it into the back of a parked semi (he was ok), it was about 40% duct tape.

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  13. Arditezza Banned Banned

    The problem is really America. Most big Universities cost a fortune in tuition, room and board, and supplies per year. The average is $30,000 per year for a private University, or $24,500 EUR and only slightly less for State funded schools. There aren't many scholorships for people who are in the median (or middle) class. And most students find that because their fathers salary is around 60-100k a year, they don't see much grants or funding either. They have to resort to loans with fairly good interest to get them through school. In Canada, it is much more affordable.
  14. Dreamwalker Whatever Valued Senior Member

    Fuck, I did not think that America is that expensive.

    I pay 250€ per year, without a room of course. That would be about 150€ per month, which should not be a problem considering that I would get 330€ per month from the state... am I glad that I do not try to study in America.
  15. The Singularity The last thing you'll ever see Registered Senior Member

    Canadian universities are much more easily affordable than US universities. But in my case, it's almost a bargain. I grew up and lived in Quebec all my life and right now I'm paying around 1,500$ CND in tuition per semester (3,000$ per year) with about 350 - 500$ for books ... and this is while attending a highly renowned university. Of course this is without the option of a dorm room.

    However, this only applies to students who have lived in Quebec for at least two years ... otherwise you would have to pay the international rate of about 22,000$ CND per year (or 8,000$ CND a year for students within Canada outside Quebec)
  16. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member

    Well, I would consider plumbing, electrician, craft or truck driving school over a college these days. Most likely, it will pay more than 90% of the college degrees out there if one will start early. And, it will cost 95% less than a college or it will be free in an exchange for minimum wage labor (if it's union, corporation training programs). You'll be paid apprentiship wages while studying/qualifying for a license. No loans. No debt.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2004
  17. WellCookedFetusSux Banned Banned

    go steal a trust fund or rob a bank or live with spurious monkey....
  18. AntonK Technomage Registered Senior Member

    Its not horribly expensive here. I suppose its all relative. My tuition (state school) is about $1800 USD per semester, so about $4500 USD per year (with summer classes). A normal apartment where I live is between $400 and $500 USD per month (that is not extravegent, just a place to live). The REALLY nice places are $900 USD per month. Lucky for me, I do not rent an apartment but instead rent a 7 bedroom, 4000 sqr ft home for $2000 USD per month, with my roommates it works out quite well. Where I am you also HAVE to have a car. Riding public transportation just isnt something you do unless you cannot in any way ever get a car. All jobs expect you to have a vehicle, some will not hire you if you dont (though they dont say so, it is in the questionaire). Cable and Internet works out to about $100 per month and then cell phone about another $100. I suppose its not horrible though, I am not exactly poor after paying it all and I just have a reguar research position at the University. Kind of glad I didnt try to go to school in Europe.

  19. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    haha...I actually live with someone else already. Not because of a romantic interest but she is staying in an expensive place (500€/month) and nobody can manage to be her roommate for very long.

    So I pay half the rent and get the bedroom. There is actually not even another bedroom, but she has bascially the rest of the house. 250€/month is not bad in helsinki. Renting is really expensive her. It is close to work. I can walk there, and I also have a very old bicycle.

    Mind you, I live like this and I actually have a salary. But PhD students don't get that much money.

    Most of my money I waste on enjoying myself. Money well spend. YOu can't take it to your grave anyway.

    As for my student days:

    Tuition fee was about 1500€.

    I got about 75€/month from our dear government for studying and free public transport.

    I don't know how it is now. Probably more expensive.
  20. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    since there is no hard specifics on US schools yet here it goes:

    My school was Washington College in Chestertown MD. They are one of the oldest schools in the nation, and supposedly have turned down becoming an Ivy League because of some of the rules they would have to adopt.
    Tuition was, at the time I went, $36k per year, US. You were required to live on campus for the first two years, at $7k a year. When living on campus, you were also required to have a minimum food plan, which was an additional $3,500 per year. Book were an additional $500 per sememeter.
    So, not counting clothing or anything entertainment wise, you are looking at about $48,000 per year for four years.

    Now it gets tricky. The school requires you to take certain american culture classes (called "CNW's" - Civilization of the Nation and World? I forget), which fill up 4 course slots; plus basic math,history, language, etc classes (like any liberal art college). They also do not allow you to declare a major until your Junior year. (Edit: or take more than 5 classes a semester at any point in your attendance of the school.)
    What this all means is that many people fial to realize that the classes needed for their major were not included in any of the classes they were required to take, and that the classes that they do need to take for their major will not fit into their two remaining years.
    So, something like 40% of the people there end up taking an extra sememster in order to graduate, if not an extra year.

    SO, the average total cost to a Washington College gradute, not counting anything outside of school itself, is somewhere between $192,000 and $240,000 US, just for the undergraduate degree. A masters degree often costs an additional $100-200,000.
    To put that into perspective, a 3BR/2BA house in the same town as the school with a yard cost an average of $200,000.

    Washington College does provide a fair number of academic scholarships, however - around 60% of student have some form of help financially from private foundations. The however to that is the fact that 80% of those scholarships take care of less than half of the cost.

    My roomate never graduated due to finances, but still owes about $35,000 in loans to the bank. I did graduate, I skimped on everything while there to save money, I have worked three jobs since my sophmore year (1999), and I only have $20,000 left in college-related debt.
    It's quite crappy, to be honest. Grad school in Canada or Ecuador is looking pretty good - I'll go live with one of my Aunts for a couple years, and get in as a resident

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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2004
  21. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    Tip for the americans:

    It is extremely easy to get a graduate school position in Finland. Well to get a PhD position. Just write to the groupleader whose work you are interested in. High chance they will take you. Write to 3 and you are in.
  22. AntonK Technomage Registered Senior Member

    Sure, it may be easy to get in, but my friend Jaakko is from Finland and you all talk funny

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  23. chunkylover58 Make it a ... CHEEEESEburger Registered Senior Member

    Budget budget budget.

    Whatever income you DO get, make sure, before a penny of it goes out, write down everything you plan to spend your money on until the next bit comes in. Prioritize your expenses. Remember the hierarchy of needs: Food, shelter,clothing, utilities, transportation, and on down. Set aside an amount you will spend on food. After that, set aside some of the remainder for rent, and so on. Then ONLY spend those amounts on those things.

    A helpful tool is a system of envelopes. When you get your money, put food money in an envelope marked "Food", gas money in a "Gas" envelope and so on. The trick is to only buy food with the food money, only buy gas with the gas money, etc. This way you will learn where your money goes. If you get halfway through the month and the food money envelope is empty, but the gas envelope has plenty of money in it, you know where to make adjustments.

    Basically, anything you pay cash for, have an envelope for. Anything you write a check for (rent and utilities) put that in the checking account and DO NOT pull money out of the checking account.

    This is something I do even when I make a good income and have no money issues. Basically, I would get 2 paychecks a month. When I got a check, I divided it up. I put half the rent and half the predicted utility costs in the checking account immediately. The rest would be taken out in cash and I would figure how much I'm going to spend for the next 2 weeks on groceries, gas, entertainment, etc. That cash is divided up and categorized using the aforementioned envelope system. I include an envelope called "Blow" which is some of what's left over to be used for whatever I want. That could be a few CDs today, or could be a new mountain bike if I decide not to spend it and save it up for several months. The remainder goes into savings, if I have enough to do that.

    I also have envelopes for other things that won't be coming up this week, but I know will eventually come about. $2 per check for 3 months gets me $12 for an oil change for my car. $5 per check for a month gets me a Supercuts haircut. $5 per check for 2 years gets me a new set of tires, etc. These are things I KNOW I'm going to need eventually, so there is never a surprise or scuttling about to find money for new brakes or whatever because I've been saving small bits here and there ... with a purpose. 3 months goes by, time for an oil change ... voila, there's money for an oil and filter.

    There was a time out of school when I was deep in debt and had no clue where all my money was going. I was "broke" making $25,000 a year with $300 rent and maybe $150 in utilities per month. At the end of the month I found myself with no money. Sometimes with a negative balance. Completely clueless as to where my money was going. Once I started taking the budget seriously, it was as if I'd gotten a raise. I discovered tons of money that I didn't realize I had. I started to basically tell my money where to go instead of wondering where it had gone. I was able to pay off my car and almost $6000 in credit card and other unsecured debts in a little less than 8 months. In another 8 months I had about $5000 in savings. In a year I was able to pay cash for a $6000 Subaru and still not touch my savings and not go broke in doing so. All this for the same $25K I was making when I was "broke."

    I stopped eating out. I stopped ordering pizzas every other night. Knowing how to cook helps a lot. I went from spending $350-$400 a month on food to spending MAYBE $100 per month ... and eating well. Lots of pasta, vegetables, chicken, rice, beans, etc. (Lost a lot of weight, too ... not eating a whole pan pizza and a pint of Ben and Jerry's 3 nights a week helps in that realm tremendously). Didn't eat a single package of ramen noodles, by the way. I stopped spending money on stuff that I hadn't planned to buy unless I had specifically been saving for it, above and beyond all the other stuff. I'm sure, being a student, we're talking about a lot less than my paltry $25K, but the priciple is the same. A budget will help you find money you didn't know you had.

    A budget is like a road map. You know you need to get to point B, but you only have half a tank of gas and you will not encounter a gas station anywhere along the way. With the map, you can determine your route. The best way to get there in the shortest amount of time so you won't run out of gas. If you just wander around without a route in mind, you'll likely run out of gas before you even get to your destination.

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