Sunday, March 30, 2014

College waste and inefficiency

I got very lucky going to college in Georgia. With the HOPE scholarship, my college experience was pretty much free.

I got my degree in accounting in 2010 and I'm a staff accountant today.

Unfortunately, looking back, I think about how much time the university system wastes.

I went to college for accounting from fall 2006 to spring 2010. My total program was 120 credit hours. Of that total 120 hours, only 24 credit hours was related to accounting.

Principles of Accounting 1 (3 credit hours)
Principles of Accounting 2 (3 credit hours)

Professional Accounting (1 credit hour)
Transaction Analysis (1 credit hour)
Cost Accounting (3 credit hours)
Intermediate Accounting (4 credit hours)
Tax Accounting (3 credit hours)
Accounting information systems (3 credit hours)
Audit (3 credit hours)

I went to college for accounting, yet I was forced to take several classes that were a complete waste of time.

Psychology 1101 (3 credit hours)
English 1101 (3 credit hours)
English 1102 (3 credit hours)
Perspectives culture (3 credit hours)
Perspectives art/environment (2 credit hours)
Sociology families and society (3 credit hours)
Philosophy great questions (3 credit hours)
American Folklore (3 credit hours)
History of Film (3 credit hours)
Geography Weather (3 credit hours)
Geography Landforms (3 credit hours)
Nutrition (3 credit hours)

Now, I went to college for accounting. Only one fifth of the time was spent learning accounting. A full 96 credit hours were mostly unnecessary however 120 credit hours are required to earn a bachelors degree.

If you were able to take only what your major required, you could easily finish college in 2 years.

Luckily for me, scholarships made my education free.

Back in 2006, I remember tuition went for $2,500 a semester. My degree would have cost me roughly $20,000. Since only 20% of my courses were accounting, the cost would have been only $4,000.
$16,000 would have been a complete waste of time and money.

The most common defense I've heard for classes like English, Sociology, humanities, and liberal arts are to make you a more well rounded person. Biggest load of that I've ever heard in my life.

Well rounded. What does that even mean? And is it worth $16,000?
$16,000 to waste your time and provide no help or use to advance your career in accounting.

And its not like Accounting is a useless degree. Its part of STEM.

But the way the university system is set up, it is designed to extract as much money from a student as possible. No matter what degree you choose, you will need roughly 120 credit hours to get a degree. You can major in chemical engineering and still have to sit though a sociology class.

Tuition costs keep on rising as well.

Today, tuition at the same college goes for $260 per credit hour.  With 120 credit hours, total tuition will come out to be at least $31,200. This assumes tuition doesn't increase over the four years (don't count on this assumption). Your relevant classes cost $6240. The required waste of time costs $24,960.

Kids going to college. If you aren't getting scholarships, really consider your options.

Consider the trades. Research the salaries and requirements of becoming a plumber, mechanic, electrician, or a welder. Its going to be much faster, cheaper, and efficient.

Recommended reading.

Worthless by Aaron Clarey

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Don't Launch too Soon

The ages of 18 to 24 are probably the most difficult years financially for a man.

Around this age, student loans have been accrued and a man most likely doesn't have the best paying job.
You won't be an accountant, lawyer, financial planner, engineer, etc at the age of 20.

On top of that, if you go to college and are financing it with debt, you could owe $20,000 to $30,000 over the course of 4 to 5 years in just tuition. And this is in state tuition.

If it is out of state tuition, you could owe $50,000 to $60,000 over 4 to 5 years in just tuition.

When pressed with debts and not very much earning, I would recommend any man in his early 20's to continue living with his parents for as long as they will allow it.

Don't dorm at college, don't rent a house or apartment.

Rent can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars a month to excess of a thousand dollars a month.

Avoiding these costs will really help your finances in the future.

Obviously, there are some downsides to doing this.

You might not have a good relationship with your parents or don't get along with them.
You have less privacy.
You are looked down on for not being independent.

Don't be discouraged. While society tells you to get your independence as soon as possible, society is just telling you to play the game on hard mode.

If you are 18, moved into your own place, and are going to college, life isn't easy. You need a lot of money.
If you want to be financially responsible, you have to make sure you can take care of all your living expenses and tuition. You have to work to pay for all that stuff.

What most people do is borrow the money that is needed to pay for rent, tuition, etc.
While they still work, its not usually enough to pay off everything.

Also, borrowing money isn't free. Student loans do accrue interest over time.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Collecting free money

Collecting free money is great.

Today, banks and credit card companies are getting super competitive. So much so that they offer free money in promotions just for opening accounts.

Since November of last year, I've collected $600 in free money just buy opening up bank accounts and credit cards. After searching around, I've found at least $450 more in promotions I could easily get.

Sometimes, these promotions get sent to you by mail. Other times, you have to look for these online. My favorite place to check online is

The best promotions you want to find are the ones that you get free money just by opening a checking or savings account. The money usually gets credited after having the account open for a certain amount of time.

Please keep in mind that bank accounts usually have a monthly fee. These can be waived usually by having a direct deposit linked to your account or maintaining a minimum monthly average in the account. This minimum amount will probably be anywhere from $500 to $1500. There may also be fees if you close your account to quickly after opening it. Make sure you know all the fees before opening an account.

The other promotions I would recommend are credit cards. These promotions usually work if you open up a new credit card and spend a certain amount within a certain time. The most common promotion I've seen is spend $500 within 3 months and get a free $100. They will either send you a check or credit the amount to your credit card.

Most people spend at least $500 in a month. This promotion rewards you for something you would do anyway, spend money. If you spend only $500 with the credit card to get the $100, you pretty much get $100 worth of stuff for free. It is like getting a 20% discount on whatever you buy (for the first $500). Just make sure that you don't buy anything you would not have bought otherwise.

Please keep in mind that opening up several credit cards and bank accounts will have an adverse effect on your credit score. The adverse effect will fade away after holding those accounts for a longer period of time though. Also, try not to close several accounts at the same time. That can lower scores as well.

But if you never plan on borrowing any money (loans, mortgages, notes, etc) and don't care about you're credit score, go right ahead. Open up as much accounts and collect as much free money as possible.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hard decisions

These are statements I've learned to be true by experience.

1. You are going to die.
2. Stuff costs money
3. Most likely, you will have to work to earn money.
4. Work sucks

After looking at these four statements, any man would logically come to the conclusion that you want to get through life working as little as possible.

Work takes time and effort. Time that could be spent doing more enjoyable things. Like sleeping.

There are different strategies getting through life working as little as possible.

One of them is to spend as little as possible. Don't buy anything unnecessary.

However, there are things that you might want. Or maybe society wants for you.

1. Buy a house
2. Get married
3. Have children
4. Buy a luxury car
5. Get the newest apple product/videogame system/electronic/tv
6. Get advanced degrees
7. Travel and see multiple countries

Realize that all this stuff above costs money. If you want it, you will have to spend money. Make money. Sacrifice part of your life for it.

Before buying any of this stuff above, make sure it is really worth it.

Now, if you decide to go without most of this stuff above. You will have more of your money and life to play with.