Welcome to money for average Joe’s. A 12 part series on personal finance. I’m your host, Jason Weaver, an average Joe. Episode seven is all about how to pick the best college for you and how to pay for it.
Pulling from the best podcasts and resources I can find out there, I created this show. And just as a quick refresher, Episode Six was all about getting out of debt, what debt is good, and how most Americans spend their money.
And of course, all this show is so you can live better and have more money for when it matters most.
I love this quote from the free personal finance course put on by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It goes like this,
Education is another form of investing. Typically, additional training or education will have a cost if you are going to be invest in education ensure that it will lead to better work so that there is a good return on your investment. And then it says president Gordon B Hinckley council that the world one large measure pay you what it thinks you are worth. And your worth will increase as you gain education and proficiency in your chosen field.
Now I have to recommend a podcast is called money for the rest of us. And as you move into the investing period of your roadmap, basically your money journey. It’s a great resource. But I learned about this study done by pay scale, and it takes most degrees in colleges and tracks after somebody graduates what’s the income that they’re likely to get for a large period of time, that way they can help you see that return on investment of each degree in college you choose. So like I said, I think it has most if not all in the United states. And I was of course curious about my choice to go to BYU Idaho. I kind of fell into it because it was close by. And I knew it was affordable because my brother had already two brothers have already gone there. And it taught business and I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to do it. So I was like, well, let’s look at business and see what we could do there. And of course, that’s how I discovered an internet marketing course that changed my life and is what I do now for a living I you know, do internet marketing for large and small businesses and help them get more customers. So that’s a lot of fun for me, but I would have never had that had I not gone to BYU Idaho or gone somewhere else that had something like that to lead me that way. So I definitely felt drawn there. It’s also helpful to know that BYU Idaho is very subsidized for those that are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
And you can really tell this When you get into this tool, by pay scales in the study that they do, because when you go to Idaho, and you put in, you know, you know, just search by state alone, it goes BYU Idaho is ranked number one, and then it goes University of Utah to and then Idaho State University three, and then so on and so forth. But the cool thing is it will show you like your, your average ROI for 20 years after your school. And that’s a factor in there, of course, and then it will also show you your cost to get that degree. And so it’s almost half that, you know, BYU Idaho is almost half of what the next school University is. It will show you graduation rates, so graduation rates the same in that case as one, two. And you know, that’s okay if people are known to go to that school and then transfer and graduate somewhere else. They’re saving some money. Like a community college, but when I searched some other states and some other places, I saw that it was there was, it was really expensive together, and almost nobody graduating. So that is a huge red flag, don’t go to that school. Obviously, it’s a party school or something’s going on there. That’s just crazy that that even is allowed to continue on or that people can get loans to go to schools like that, right? And then you’ll also see what’s the average loan amount people are getting when they’re going there. You know, if you go to BYU Idaho, you might not be able to get great employment because there’s less jobs around right then some other places. And perhaps that plays a role in there. But still, the the average loan amount is significantly less than all there’s others as well. So I wish I had this tool before and had picked my school a little bit more logically but turns out for Idaho was the best school to go to and then for my degree, because you can also search by degree. for business, it’s 90th in the nation by ROI, so not the best for making the most money, right. But it worked for my wife and I had to go school there. She started going and then I married her. So I didn’t meet her up at college but newer from Portland, Oregon, where I was originally from. We stayed connected. And then we got married shortly before she started attending there. So it worked out for both of us. didn’t have to go somewhere else. So like I said, it’s only 90thfor return on investment for Business School. So if I was trying to make the most money, BYU Idaho wouldn’t have been my top choice, but it’s still in the top hundred. So that’s decent, I guess. Right? would have been great if it was in the top 25. But, you know, I love that ranking. So that’s another logical way. So play around with that tool. Get in there. Look at your state your degree graduation rates. average loan amount that people get when they go there. And then that will help you understand whether it’s logical to go that school or not, and get a loan or, or whatnot if you need to.
Before I dive deeper into how do you decide what to do for your degree and your income for the rest of your life? And how do you pay for that with school? I just want to mention that I created on money for average Joe’s comm slash bonus, a way for you to be able to see what are some of the new or greater helpful things out there that you can get access to, some are free, some are paid, some of them you actually have to put in your information to get access to I just want to mention one that I really like about it created. So one hour clarity call. It’s to help you figure out where are you actually on this roadmap of financial freedom and retirement and then set goals on your one page money plan. actually start filling those in. So, for example on that plan, increasing your income, so education could be one of your goals that you’re working on, right? And then another one is shield. So what am I doing to shield my family from potential issues? like do I have car insurance? Or do I have proper insurance on my home, things like that, right? So you can set basically goal and each one of those in one hour, you can see where you’re at. You’ll also gain access to the free group support community, free group coaching sessions, 12 step money course, and a weekly, monthly newsletter that I create, I thought those would be great resources for you. And then as always, I always mentioned this, basically, I create these additional resources from all the best stuff on the internet, but you need to go with your spouse. And I put emphasis on that with your spouse to a local personal finance group or online either by the church Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints were free Somebody like Dave Ramsey, you need to do it super critical, super important. And I’m not authorized by either the church or Dave Ramsey. I’m just sharing what I know. So how do you pick? What to agree to do your job, your career path? How do you pick that? And that is a huge, huge problem for people, right? I don’t even know what the average number of switching your majors is. But it always leads to more debt more time in school, more frustration, right. So my brother recently had to decide there’s 12 years difference between me and him and I have two older brothers, but there’s 12 years difference between me and him. So he just started college. But when I was advising him of what to do, to decide where to go and what to do for college, I just counsel them I said, you know, look, basically college isn’t for everybody, trade schools. and other stuff is fine. If that’s something you want to do, I definitely see that in the future being a huge need where, you know, we need plumbers, we need electricians, we need all those those trades, but we also need people with new skills, there’s going to be new degrees, and some of them are going to take a little while before college catch up, catches up, right. So you also need to focus on gaining skills while you’re at work so that you’ll be more serviceable to that employer so you can get higher you know, income from them get a raise, you can negotiate better and or so that you can either pivot to a new new career if your career has a problem in the future, or you can go elsewhere right but mainly, let’s go back to this core problem. What do you even start with what do you do? Well, I told my brother The only way to get over that is to job shadow. And actually go job shadow and look at people watch them do what they’re doing, or interview them. This is very common. There’s there’s you know, courses. I am Take one intro in business like that suggests this right? So it’s known fact, if you go on the job or you interview people, you can learn like, Hey, is this interesting to me? And then of course, you can do research like pay scales or on the internet, like how much does this career pay? Right?
How much income you can ask when you’re interviewing people, it’s easy to find people through LinkedIn and reach out to them. And most people are pretty understandable. Your alumni groups to like, you can actually I think, tap into the resource while you’re going to school, well, in most cases, and see all the alumni from that school and reach out to them and they’re even more likely to answer questions for you.
They’ve been through your same courses, in some cases, know some of your same professors. And they’ll let you talk to him right. So he didn’t choose to do that. He, he chose not to do that and I felt like that is why he still struggles a little bit to the Yes, I should be doing mechanical engineering. Now I steered him towards mechanical engineering one. Because, you know, his parents, my parents have kind of steered him towards going to my, my old school, right and, and it’s because it’s close by, it’s very affordable. It’s all the pay scale reasons, right that we just discussed. But I looked at there and said, Okay, he’s a little more mechanically minded. He may not love math a ton, but he’s still smart at it. And he likes using his hands a little bit more than just being on the computer. And, you know, he’s, he looked into it just a smidge. But now that he’s in there, he’s going to school. He said, okay, mechanical engineering is where you start. And then there’s several offshoots of that degree that I can look at and go into. Some are more hands on, right and some, some are less.
So he’s at least feeling somewhat better about that decision as being a core right, like core wise. Oh, okay. There’s some great stuff that I’m going to learn here. And then I can branch out. But just like every college you go to, you’re gonna have to start with some of those courses that aren’t as key to your career to a degree. But you know, some smart people so go to their local community college or go to this in this case of cheap college, get their associates and then transfer to a school that’s more well known for that particular degree. Just like I mentioned, mine was 98th. In my degree, right? I could have definitely got my associates and then transfer then. And then basically half the cost of whatever that school is going to be right. As long as those credits transfer and more things transfer. If you get the associates Just so you know, my wife and I got burned on that one. We found that out the hard way, we had pre transfer to our courses so that we could get in but we hadn’t pre Krantz transferred the entire associates. And so we learned the hard way. She had to take over some courses on that wasn’t great, but we still graduated within a reasonable amount of time. So we’re not complaining. But outside of education, I’ve already mentioned in Episode Five, you can make more money by having a side hustle doing side business where that’s a great way to get started in a career, or know that I have an aptitude for marketing or I have an aptitude for, you know, sales or you know, that’s great way to get your feet wet, right? So I highly recommend that as well. But I love this quote, and also this other resource that I’ll share both from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This first one comes from the free personal finance course sometimes it may be appropriate to incur debt to gain an education. But there are also many other ways to pay for school, explore all other options before turning to debt. If you do, go go into debt for education, strive to pay it off as quick as possible. Alright, so keep that in mind and then also they have a free Education for better work slash self reliance group that you can join.
And that can help guide you also through like, which degree should I get? Where can I go to do some research or understand what’s out there? So how in the world are you going to pay for this? college education? You know, the cost is definitely going up nationwide. It’s very expensive. It’s only going to keep going up right? And should you choose to go into something expensive? Or even modestly expensive, but you don’t have the cash on hand? What are you gonna do? How are you gonna pay for this? Well, here’s my list of how to pay for it work. Number one, work before, after during school, whatever, save up some money, then start work while going to school. Pray hard. Sometimes. My wife and I had to work two jobs. Well, we had to both work a job during school, but my wife worked two jobs and I worked two jobs before school to help pay for things. And that was back when we didn’t have we just got married and there was no cheap insurance for for us, right. And so we actually had most of our money go towards insurance right when we first got married because we weren’t working high paying jobs. So you least have some benefits that I didn’t have one when I was going to score right beforehand. The second on the list is scholarships and academic awards. So yes, you can in most schools, if you have a GPF so high, they’ll reduce your costs or give you some scholarships. Also, before you go to school, and during school, there’s different scholarships out there that you could apply for. And there’s tons of resources on how to find the right ones to apply for even ones that are $500,000 or less and apply for those of course there is FAFSA, which I don’t even remember what that stands for. But free government subsidies basically, the stinky part about that as I think if your, your parents make too much money, they expect your parents to be subsidizing you and paying you. So that kind of stinks. But if you get married, like my wife, and I think that that gets around some of that so you can start getting some free government subsidies or aid. I do not agree that the government should pay for all your school. I think that is crazy. I don’t know why people say that. They already put you all the way through high school for free, give you a basic level of understanding so that you can understand math and you could write and that should be able to help you hold down a job for the rest of your life. Right. So side hustle, which we’ve talked about on this show, you can work a side hustle right and some people work that side hustle not becoming Their full time gig because it makes so much money and they get really good at it. And some people just have a little bit of extra spending money while they’re going to school. They can’t hold down a full job, but they can definitely buy on Craigslist, for instance, and pick something up, refinish a table and resell it and get to keep the profits sweat equity. That’s just one example. tons of different things you can do. We’ve already mentioned that family help which the government and others assume apparently should be happening, right. And there’s definitely some great investments people can do for for I don’t recommend pre paying for college but for investing so that you can pay a local college you know, either nationwide or in your existing state. I do think the existing state investments are kind of risky, because who’s to say your child’s going to want to go there, but you’re going to stay in that state for the rest of your life. Of course employers there, so Employers that will help pay, like if you’re going for a master’s degree, for instance, or even just getting your four year degree. There are some employers that can do that. And I guess there’s some resources online of like, how can you broach that subject with your existing employer, right. So if your degree could directly affect them, or they have a large department, and they like you, they might be willing to help subsidize your school. And in some cases, they only require that you work for them for another year or two after you get done. Or some cases. They’re just nice, right? Now, of course, there’s the military, I have a brother in law, he chose that path, but unfortunately, did not choose to you the school schooling that that military would pay for, so I thought that was kind of, you know, not worth it for him. You gotta fall through and do it. And then of course, there is take out a loan, of course.
First look at FAFSA loans, but there’s other loans and then in our last episode, crushing debt, Episode Six, there was the chipper app, I’m not sure what they can do for you before you have loans, obviously, they try to consolidate and do some other smart things for you. So on average, they save people, you know, $6,400, and two and a half years and repayment. So I’m sure if you chat with them, or contact them, they might be able to point you towards the best loans or even pretend you have a loan and there might be able to get in there and do that and say, okay, who are the most reasonable people to go with loans? And I’m sure a quick little Google search will have some sort of comparison and side by side for you. And then, of course, another way to increase your return on investment of going to school is to reduce your expenses because ROI is factored by how much money do you make and also how much did you spend? Right? So there’s that old adage of basically eating like a college student right. Eating being beans and rice are not eating is as fancy as you want to, right. So there’s things you can do there. But in Episode Six crushing debt, there was some great help there. And then in episode nine, spend less, there’s also some great help on what you can do there because essentially, as a college student, you’re the same as everybody else. Plus, you got to pay for tuition and books and if you’re an art major or something, some other resources, right. So that’s basically those are the added expenses you have to deal with. So you might want to focus on these big four things that I see, obviously the tuition and books, but your housing, your food and your transportation also, right can you go without a car? Can you live closer to campus? Can you live on campus? What you know, some colleges actually it’s cheaper to eat on campus, and to pay for it. Some aren’t right? It’s way cheaper to eat at your dorm or, or whatnot or at your apartment. Can you live in apartment of six people instead of two people or three people, right? And now your costs are lower. Sometimes you believe in rent a house and they all get together and it’s cheaper that way can you? Can you sleep in a camper? Can you sleep at your parents house? Can you you know, live in somebody’s barn above their barn? Or, you know, I don’t know. Are there different ways? You know, can you do a meal plan like my wife and I do every, every Sunday? Can you sit down and say, Okay, what can we do and can that include not having as much expensive stuff or fancy stuff? You know what, and whatnot. So those are some ideas, lower your costs on housing, food, transportation, and if you focus on those things that will help you increase your return on investment as well.
Well, that is our show today, so please go to money for average Joe’s calm for the show notes and the nine principles Course Resources covered today. subscribe for free access. And I hope by educating yourself and applying what you learn today you’ll gain new skills, have fun and have more money for when it matters most, which is most of the time. Please take the time to also share something you learned with somebody else. This show is for general education purposes. I’m merely a financial coach. I am not a certified advisor or planner. I’ve also not reviewed your unique situation so this episode is not considered personal financial advice.
I am Jason Weaver of money for average Joe’s. Have a good day and I will see you next time.
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