Personal Finance Roundup

Playing the Student Loan Game to Win [Yahoo Finance] “The student loan scandal reveals why it pays to compare offers from multiple lenders when you borrow money for college.”

Six Common Myths: Adding A Baby To A Household Costs A Lot Of Money [Personal Finance Advice] “There are a lot of common myths floating around in regard to the cost of having a baby. Here are a few common ones where what people believe and what the reality can be are quite different.”

Life as a Boomerang Kid [Kiplinger’s] “Dirt-cheap housing. Home-cooked meals. A full-time housekeeper. The catch: sleeping in your old room.”

5 Money and Currency Facts Your Banker Never Told You [The Digerati Life] “Facts about money that are useful, interesting and could change how you look at money.”

How High Do Gas Prices Have to go to Justify Getting a New Car? [All Financial Matters] “Short answer: $7.55 a gallon.”

(Photo: Seawallrunner)


Fact or Fiction: Can a Rain Barrel Save You Money? [Get Rich Slowly] “For my birthday last year, I asked my parents for a rain barrel. After doing some research online, I went to our local nursery and paid $100 for a complete barrel set up. While it will mean a small savings on our future water bills, the upfront cost is really too high to justify it from a purely financial standpoint. Instead, I wanted to collect rainwater for several other reasons.”

Ability to Pull an All-Nighter Can Be as Useful as a B.A. [CareerJournal] “In addition to expertise in a variety of academic fields, college provides “soft” skills that many employers seek. “Students have the ability at 2 a.m. to write a paper while instant messaging their friends and watching a TiVoed version of ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ” says Brad Karsh, president of JobBound.com, a career consulting group based in Chicago. And that’s a skill that can come in handy at a company that values employees who can manage tight schedules effectively.”

Food Stamps [Single Ma’s Fabulous Financials] “I don’t know about the people who live in Oregon or the perception of those who have never received food stamps — but when I was getting them, that was some of the best eating we ever had! Struggle? Puhleeze! We had steak, chicken breast, turkey, fruit, fresh veggies, dairy and LOTS OF CHEESE. :-) I may have been poor, but I sure wasn’t hungry.”

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  1. Lars says:

    The baby myth piece is all well and good, but it turns out that daycare is the largest expense one will encounter. That can be $1,000/month for quality day care. Use all the cloth diapers you’d like, but that is a significant chunk of income for a lot of people.

  2. etinterrapax says:

    Lars got there first. The baby crap is the least of it. If you have only one income, any expense is going to roil your budget, and though they start out cheap, they get progressively more expensive. And even if you have two incomes, you have to count on lost income from the child-caring parent during maternity leave, the possibility that the mom’s career will be stalled for a variety of reasons, and the extremely large additional expense of day care. I know someone in DC who pays $500 a week. Even at my level of education, I have a hard time finding work that would pay enough to justify the expense of child care. There’s also the additional cost of health insurance for a family, which many people work the second job to afford, and things you never thought of before having a baby, like life insurance, preschool, and saving for college.

    This did not hit me on a day when I’m feeling the love where parenting is concerned. I’m not saying that only the wealthy should have children; I’m angry that we’re living in a society where it is increasingly only possible for the wealthy to have children in any degree of comfort and security. That isn’t right.

  3. CyGuy says:

    Here’s why I don’t this article. I you have ANY concerns about how much a baby is going to cost – you aren’t ready to have a baby. So go ahead and dispel some of the myths about the costs associated with the first few months of having a child to care for. But then you still have the reality of the costs of 9 months of pregnancy and parenthood for the REST OF YOUR LIFE!

    (and this isn’t even considering the costs to planet of adding another consumer to create CO2 and other pollutants and further deplete the earth’s natural resources.)