Archive for June 2018

How to Get Paid While Getting Your MBA


An MBA is an excellent career move for dozens of reasons, but for those interested in personal finance, an MBAs? earning potential is most appealing. According to the most recent surveys as reported in Financial Times, students can more than double their salaries by earning an MBA, moving from the $70,000-per-year range to the $140,000-per-year range. Even better, salary boosts due to advanced business school credentials like the MBA have only increased in recent years, so investing now is likely to pay even greater rewards in two years, when the program is complete.

However, tuitions for MBA programs have also increased over the years. Between 2008 and 2014, the average costs associated with MBAs rose more than 44 percent, thwarting many would-be MBAs from obtaining that coveted earning potential.

Fortunately, there is good news: It is possible to avoid many of those costs and obtain an MBA without breaking your existing budget. In fact, you might even be able to escape graduate-level business school without a single student loan. Here?s how:

Research MBA Program Requirements

Not all MBAs are created equal. MBA degrees from different schools carry different costs, and they offer different benefits. Therefore, it is important to research a variety of programs before you apply or enroll – and even before you devise a budget and savings strategy.

First, you should understand tuition and fees at various programs. Obviously, the more prestigious the business school is, the higher the costs of earning the degree. For example, the MBA program at Columbia University, the top-rated business school in the country, costs over $168,307 whereas Emory, the 20th best business school in the U.S., costs about $130,280 for two years of study. However, you must then balance these expenses against the average earnings of graduates. Grads from the nation?s top 10 programs earn average salaries of $161,566 whereas the overall average salary for MBAs hovers around $105,146. That?s because hiring managers are more attracted to candidates from well-known, highly respected schools.

To best understand what different programs will cost, you should call and talk to admissions representatives at the schools you are interested in. By doing this, not only will you get to know each school?s customer service quality – which should be a major factor in deciding which program you attend – but you might also get the opportunity to haggle down the price. You might also learn about ways business schools help students pay costs, such as on-campus jobs or assistantship positions.

If you are less concerned about the reputation of the business school and more focused on learning as much as possible from an affordable program, you might target online MBA options. Most online business schools are digital branches of traditional colleges, so you can be certain they offer high-quality education. Plus, many online programs are much lower cost; you can even find online MBA programs that require no GMAT scores, which reduces the time and cost of admissions. There are many advantages to online education, and affordability is a big one.

Apply for Grants, Scholarships and More

This is the advice given to all pursuers of higher education, and that?s for good reason: There are dozens of scholarships and grants awarded to business school students every year, and you could win more than one of them if you only apply. Usually, the application processes for this type of financial aid are relatively easy, requiring only a resume and a brief essay or two. With enough scholarship money, you can pay for more than just your tuition and fees – you can also buy books, pay for room and board and even save up for the future.


Petition Your Employer for Financial Aid

You aren?t the only beneficiary of your advanced education; your future employer also stands to gain from your drastically improved knowledge and skill. Fortunately, many companies are recognizing the advantages of a professionally developed workforce and offer education benefits to encourage employees to return to school. Most often, these benefits take the form of tuition reimbursement: You pay your tuition and fees, and your employer will pay you a portion of those expenses in addition to your regular wages. These benefits programs also sometimes require a time commitment to the company, so you might not be able to find a new employer for a few years after you graduate.

If your current employer doesn?t offer education benefits, you have two options: request that they start one or find a new employer. Employer financial aid coupled with scholarships and the best possible rates for tuition and fees will give you the education you need for the career (and salary) you want.

First Photo Courtesy of: pathdoc

Second Photo Courtesy of: zimmytws


3 Smart Ways to Consolidate Debt

3 Smart Ways to Consolidate Debt

3 Smart Ways to Consolidate DebtYou are in debt. That?s not good news, of course, but it doesn?t have to be the end of the world, either.

At this point, the best thing you can do is make a plan. You don?t want to go on forever floundering in debt, wasting hundreds of dollars per month paying interest on your accounts.

Ideally, you would like to get out from under your debts as quickly as possible in order to get your life on firmer financial footing.

One of the best options available to you is debt consolidation. Basically, you are going to bring some of your debts together into one place where you will hopefully be paying a lower rate of interest. When done correctly, this should let you pay off your debt faster, saving you money in the long run.

So, what options do you have for debt consolidation? Let?s look at three ways you can go about this task.

Use a Credit Card

It might seem a little odd to suggest the use of a credit card when you are probably trying to pay off credit card debt in the first place. However, the idea here is simple. You are going to look for a card with a lower rate than the one(s) you have now, so you can transfer your balance and pay down the debt as quickly as possible.

You may even be able to secure a card with 0% introductory rate, allowing you to pay on nothing but the actual outstanding balance for a period of time.

The downside to this approach is having to qualify for the card in the first place. If your credit is maxed out currently, you might not be approved, or you might not get a limit high enough to actually consolidate your various debts.

Get a Personal Loan

This might be considered something of an ?old-fashioned? method, but it can work. You are going to go to your bank, or another bank in the area, and request a personal loan. You will use the money from the loan to pay off your various debts. Then you will be left with the task of paying the loan each month.

This plan will only work if you can get a low enough rate to save money over your current debts. To do this, you will likely need a fairly strong credit score to get the loan.

Home Equity Loan

For homeowners, this just might be the best option of all, but there are risks involved. Here, you are going to be borrowing against the equity that you have accumulated in your home.

It may be possible to get a good interest rate with this option, along with a long repayment period. Of course, since you are borrowing against your house, you will be putting your home at risk if you fall behind on the payments of this loan.

In the end, you will need to move forward with the debt consolidation method that makes the most sense for your personal financial situation. The key is to shorten the period of time that you will remain in debt ? find a way to lower your interest obligations so that more of your money is going towards reducing the outstanding balance on your accounts. Good luck!


Have you ever consolidated debt? What tips do you have for debt consolidation?


Photo courtesy of: Goumbik

How to Use Your Money to Actually Buy Happiness

How to Use Your Money to Actually Buy Happiness

How to Use Your Money to Actually Buy HappinessA long-held and told notion throughout the years is the idea that money can?t buy happiness. In a consumerist society, it?s something we hear often to remind us of the truly important things in life like experiences, our health, and loved ones.

While in many cases that?s a true statement, as items tend to only make you happy for a short time until you want more, there are ways in which money can provide you with a happier more stress-free life. Here are four ways money can buy you happiness.

Through Investments

Investing your money wisely ensures that you?ll be better prepared in the future. Not only will you have the potential to grow your money into more, you?ll also have the ability to wisely build a fund for your retirement.

By doing so, you?ll pave the way for a day when you hopefully won?t have to worry about money, and when you do decide to retire, will actually be able to retire.

So, while this might not be immediate happiness, come retirement, your investments will help provide a life of contentment.

Paying Off Debt

Most financial advisors would tell you to make debt elimination your first financial focus. Debt, no matter how much you have, hangs over your head like a dark cloud until it?s gone.

Moreover, the longer you take to pay it off, the more you?ll have to pay. Debt inhibits you from doing other, more important things with your money, which is why paying it off not only frees you up financially, but paves the way for you to reach your financial goals as well.

Through Great Experiences

When you see something you want it can be hard to resist. As mentioned, things, however, only bring satisfaction for so long until they leave you wanting more or they wear out themselves. Experiences on the other hand, last forever.

Spend your money on that vacation you?ve been dying to go on, have a wonderful dinner, or take up a new hobby. You?ll create lasting memories you can always look back on.

Buying Time

In our busy world, time is the one thing most people feel like they could always use more of. That being said, one surefire way to buy happiness is to buy yourself some time. If you have the funds, use some of your money to hire out certain household duties.

Have someone mow your lawn, clean your house, order takeout every now and then, and take advantage of public transportation. Giving yourself a little extra time back will allow you to do a little more of what you love.

Money isn?t the most important thing in life. Nonetheless, you do need it to live and, if spent wisely, having a little extra can help make life easier. Having financial freedom to spend it towards your goals, experience the great aspects of life, and buy back some of your time, can mean your money will truly buy you some happiness.


What?s a great experience you could spend your money on? How does money buy you happiness?


Photo courtesy of: rawpixel

How to Take Someone to Small Claims Court

How to Take Someone to Small Claims Court

How to Take Someone to Small Claims CourtIf at all possible, it is best to avoid going to court. Between the financial costs and the time it will take out of your schedule, taking someone to court is not an attractive option.

However, in some cases, it may be your only viable path forward.

When you feel you are owed compensation of some kind and the other party does not agree, it may be that you need to use small claims court to have the matter settled.

But how do you go about filing a suit? While the exact rules and regulations will vary based on your local jurisdiction, we have provided some basic, general information below.

Think Twice

Before taking any actual steps, the first thing you should do is take a long hard look at the facts of your case.

Do you think you are likely to win? If you do win, will what you receive be worth what you had to put into the case?

This isn?t to say that you should decide not to file a suit, it is just to say that you need to think it over carefully. Don?t hurry and file just because you are upset and annoyed in the moment. Give yourself enough time to think it through before you take any action.

Will You Need Representation?

It is not necessarily required to have a lawyer in order to file a small claims court suit.

However, you may want to consider retaining representation depending on the complexity of your case. A complex case, or one which involves dollar amounts near the top of the small claims scale, may be best handled by a lawyer with experience in this kind of situation.

Learn the Rules

If you decide to work with a lawyer, he or she will be able to help you get up to speed on the relevant rules regarding small claims court in your area.

How much money can you request in small claims court? If the amount to which you believe you are entitled rises beyond the small claims threshold, you?ll need to opt for a higher court.

File Your Claim

To reach this point, you will need to have done plenty of legwork. This includes deciding exactly who you are going to sue, and on what grounds.

You should be able to find the right paperwork for your area online. Be sure to fill everything out as thoroughly as possible before submitting it.

In order to make the defendant aware of the suit, you will have to have the papers ?served?. The rules for proper service are going to depend on where you live. So, this is another bit of research you will need to do.

Go to Court

Finally, your case will end up in court where it will be decided. That is, unless the defendant agrees to negotiate a settlement in order to avoid a court date.

One of the best things you can do to improve your chances of a successful outcome is simply to be prepared for the day. Have all of your information straight, be truthful, and have evidence to support your side.


Have you ever had to go to small claims court? How did it turn out?


Photo courtesy of: qimono

4 Depression Era Tricks to Stretch a Small Income

4 Depression Era Tricks to Stretch a Small Income

4 Depression Era Tricks to Stretch a Small IncomeHave you ever gotten to the end of a pay period with next to nothing left of your paycheck? Like many, you might find your salary or income a little wanting. After all, the cost of living and everyday expenses isn?t necessarily cheap.

This could mean you have to stretch your paycheck thin just to accommodate the necessities. Nonetheless, no matter what you earn or the price of your expenses, there are always small adjustments you can make to help stretch your money a little further. Here are four old-time, depression era tricks to stretch a small income.

1. Skip Convenience Items

When life gets busy it?s easy to run to Starbucks or grab takeout. Unfortunately, while the price might seem inexpensive at first, those constant drive thru runs or grande lattes add up a lot quicker than you?d realize.

Instead, opt to do things at home. Plan and cook meals and brew your own coffee. Fresh groceries and supplies will save you more than you?d realize, leaving money for other things.

2. Forgo Cable

We all have our favorite shows and sources of entertainment. Of course, cable and dish subscriptions are anything but cheap.

If you?re trying to stretch your paycheck ridding your bank account of cable subscriptions can be a surefire way to save some of your income.

Sign up for more inexpensive streaming services like DirecTV Now or Sling TV, or opt for other streaming options like an [easyazon_link identifier=”B00ZV9RDKK” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”wisedollar-20″ cart=”n” popups=”y”]Amazon Fire TV Stick[/easyazon_link].

You?ll be able to watch your favorites and save.

3. Find Freebies

Just because you want to save doesn?t mean you can?t have any fun in life. That being said, you don?t have to spend a lot, or anything for that matter, to find entertainment around your town.

Search for free events like plays or concerts in the park or find games and sports you can play around your community. You can enjoy spending time with your family and friends without hurting your budget or using up the rest of your paycheck.

4. Budget & Make Cuts

A budget does more than just organize your finances. Even if you think your paycheck is stretched throughout your budget, there are always ways to make small cuts.

Re-evaluate your budget and adjust any categories that are either unnecessary or that you?re simply paying too much for. Moreover, write down extra purchases that might not be in your budget and examine whether or not they?re a necessity as well.

Sometimes, when a raise isn?t an option and you feel as though you?ve stretched your income to it?s limit, it can be difficult to know where to adjust your finances. Even so, you don?t have to make major cuts or sacrifices in order to stretch your paycheck a little extra.

Instead, review your budget and expenses and find small ways to cut back or reallocate your salary. You might be surprised how much impact the little adjustments can have on your monthly income.


Where are some depression era tricks you can use to save money? What are some inexpensive or free activities in your community?


Photo courtesy of: monicore