Money and Championships – There is a Link

Sorry, you don’t get a full article, but since I am doing a segment on the NCAA with its connection to finances, I thought I would share the great info graphic I ran across on Pinterest about money and championships. There just may be a relationship between money and championships as well as one with the NCAA and education. What are your thoughts? Is there a link because better teams can afford to buy off better players, or are people more motivated with more pay? What’s your input?
Money and Championships – Thank you to the people at Concordia University for […]

CFPB to oversee nonbank student loan servicers

Richard Cordray

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a new rule on March 14 that will allow it greater oversight of non-bank firms that collect and keep records of student loans, both federal and private.
CFPB ‘oversight to the student loan market’
The new rule would give the federal watchdog the authority to audit the activities and procedures of non-bank student loan debt servicers that have more than a million clients. These companies handle billing and collection chores for student loan leaders. The CFPB already has oversight of large banks that act as student loan servicers.
“Our rule would bring new oversight to the […]

H&R Block filing glitch delays 600,000 federal tax returns

H&R Block

More than 600,000 taxpayers using H&R Block could see lengthy delays in the procession of their tax returns, due to a filing error. Most of those affected are college students. The delay could affect the applications for federal financial aid for many.
H&R Block blunder involves education credits
The delay has to do with those using Form 8863, used to claim education credits, filed before February 22, because of new methods the IRS is using to process the forms. Students wishing to claim the credit encountered earlier delays because of the changes, with the IRS not accepting filings using the form before […]

529 accounts reach record highs as intuitions climb

saving for college

One alternative to costly student loans — that can hound a young professional years into his or her career — are 529 college savings plans. Last year, the average balance of 529 accounts grew to a record total. Still, few are using them.
Record year for 529 accounts
A new report from the College Savings Plans Network — a non-profit affiliate of the National Association of State Treasurers — says that the average 529 plan grew to a record $17,174 last year. That is a 12 percent gain from 2011. The nation’s total 529 investments grew to $190.7 billion, another record. A […]

Community college graduates out-earning those with BAs


Educators, parents and politicians alike keep telling us to get that sheepskin, that a middle-class income is not obtainable without at least a bachelor’s degree. Yet, according to new research, more and more community college graduates are out-earning those with fancy schmancy bachelor’s degrees.
Community college graduates surge ahead
A new study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that nearly 30 percent of graduates of two-year colleges — those with associate’s degrees — are earning more than those entering the workforce with four-year bachelor’s degrees.
Other recent state-wide studies have come to similar conclusions, according to CNN, hinting at […]

Finding a reputable tax preparer

tax preparer

In the wake of judge’s decision last month, the IRS has backed off on its plans to mandate competency standards for tax preparers. Some in the industry would have welcomed the regulation. Others are glad to see it overruled. But, without help from the federal tax service, what can taxpayers do to ensure that they are hiring a reputable and competent tax preparer?
Standards for tax preparers shot down
Last month, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled in favor of a lawsuit that challenged IRS plans, set to go into effect next year, that would have mandated tax preparers who are not […]

The top money management board games

The Mega Monopoly game board.

Kids learn best through play, so when it comes to developing financial literacy, money management board games can be invaluable. These board games make learning about money management fun.
Top money management board games No. 1 – Cash Flow 101
Developed by financial self-help guru Robert Kiyosaki, Cash Flow 101 teaches players how about personal finance by urging them to record their debts and assets on a balance sheet. In this way, players come to understand concepts of cash flow, investing and accounting. Cash Flow 101 is for two to six players, aged 14 and up. The base version sells for about […]

Save money – Don’t get an MBA, unless your school is top-tier

MBA Master Business Administration

Closely held beliefs about the value of certain college degrees have been challenged by some compelling numbers. Research indicates that the median salary of ABA law school graduates a year after graduation is $45,000, with an average debt of $150,000. So from a debt-value standpoint, law school could be out. Now studies indicate that the value of a business school degree – a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) – may also be very questionable.
What is happening to MBAs?
According to the Wall Street Journal, the early 1990s saw the rise of many part-time and executive MBA programs at lower-ranked schools, as […]

Breakfast food sales rise through recession, but not healthy kinds

America really loves bacon.

The breakfast food sector has seen a consistent rise in sales during the recession. Nutritionists say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so that should be heartening news. But the gains mostly represent the increased consumption of bacon and sweet pastries. Have we as a nation been feeding our worries throughout the economic downturn? And if so, how will that “weigh” on the nation, even after the economy fully recovers?
Breakfast food sales on the rise
According to a recent report from Mintel, breakfast food sales grew from $10 billion to $12 billion between 2007 and 2011. That […]

Pennies being sold as copper bullion for double their worth


Just to get it out of the way, melting down or defacing the United States penny is a crime in case anyone was thinking of selling them for bulk copper. However, mass amounts of pennies can be used as copper bullion, which isn’t the worst investment vehicle out there.
Copper bullion is something you can do with old pennies
A penny saved is said to be a penny earned, but who wants to keep the darn things around the house? They get everywhere. The couch is full of them and who wants to take the time and trouble to roll them? Not […]

Understanding the skills children must know

A happy, smiling child.

Raising children isn’t easy. It requires years of patience, love and understanding. In order for them to become productive adults, there are key skills children must know. If you are a concerned parent, teach your children these critical competencies and give them the best possible chance to be successful in an increasingly competitive world.
Skills children must know No. 1 – Reading and writing
Too many parents spend minimal to no time working with their children on the literacy fundamentals of reading and writing. Building vocabulary, listening skills, critical thinking skills and the empathy and sympathy needed for leadership are all vital […]

Student loan debt higher than ever, says report


According to a recent study by the Institute for College Access and Success, the average college student who graduated last year has $26,600 in student loan debt. That is the highest in the seven-year history of the report.
Student loan debt up 5 percent
In 2010, the average amount of loan owed by graduates was $23,350. That means it rose 5 percent in the intervening year. The report also said that about two-thirds of 2011 college grads with bachelor’s degrees have student loan debt looming over them.
About 20 percent of that debt is from private loans, which do not have the same […]

Why law school is a bad idea right now (Pt. 3)

A weeping toddler girl.

Let this temper your enthusiasm for law school. The numbers are that disturbing. And the student loan debt loan is only going to get worse unless the federal government gets involved. Click if you missed PART 1 or PART 2 of this article.
Law school isn’t a sure bet, and applicants bail
If you’re looking for absolute financial security, law school is no longer the safe bet it used to be. College students have taken notice of this, according to the Law School Admissions Council. The number of law school applicants has fallen by nearly a quarter over the past two years. […]

Why law school is a bad idea right now (Pt. 2)

The Cornell Law School Library Reading Room.

Law school seems like a great idea at the time. However, the most recent numbers don’t bear out that idea. Unemployment, starting salaries and student loan debt are bigger issues than ever before. CLICK HERE if you missed the beginning of this article.
Law schools have been lying to you
The Wall Street Journal’s data, based upon American Bar Association figures, has exposed discrepancies in the employment figures traditionally reported by law schools. The Journal reports that its jobs study is the first time that all jobs requiring a legal degree and passage of the bar exam have been analyzed. Law schools […]

Why law school is a bad idea right now (Pt. 1)

Screen from an “Ace Wright” Wii game, depicting the main character, who is an attorney.

This isn’t a lawyer joke, or even a setup for a barrage of lawyer jokes – unless you’re into that kind of thing. No, this is a reminder that the cost of a college education has outpaced inflation significantly, and that student loan debt is the next bubble that, upon bursting, will smite the U.S. economy in a rain of fire against a barren mountainside of lost hope. Oh, and along the way, you just might learn why law school is a bad idea – namely, because the starting salaries are nowhere near high enough to make a debt in […]

How to start a mortuary business the right way (Pt. 3)

Detail of the Guanajuato mummies, Mexico. Black and white version. Photo taken at Museo de las Momias de Guanajuato.

You’ve done all the tax and incorporation things you’ll need to get your funeral business off to a running start. Now focus on keeping and maintaining your customer base! Click if you missed PART 1 or PART 2 of this article.
How to start a mortuary business step 9 – Attract customers
Advertising will be necessary if you are going to attract business to your mortuary. Prepare a budget for website/mobile, business cards, fliers and press releases. Incentives for early clients can help get your business off the ground that much more quickly.
How to start a mortuary business step 10 – Never […]

How to start a mortuary business the right way (Pt. 2)

Cremations sign, A France and Son, London, UK

If you’re looking to start your own mortuary business, be prepared to spend some cash. Keep reading here for more on the necessary steps to help make your new business a success. CLICK HERE if you missed the beginning of this article.
How to start a mortuary business step 5 – Measure your competition
With any new business, you must know the competition you’ll be up against. Determine your own strengths and weaknesses, then see how these will stack up against other funeral homes in the area. Leverage the strengths in such a way that potential clients won’t want to look elsewhere. […]