One of the unsung benefits of frugality is that you end up doing a broad range of things in addition to your work speciality. This has the added benefit of adding novelty to my week which I really enjoy.
For example, just this past week I changed the oil in the car, mowed the lawn, planted grass seed, baked a casserole and perform a variety of similar tasks.
Each of this were challenging, unique and the results were satisfying. It is easy to imagine that anyone of these tasks repeated 8 hours a day would become boring and then feel like a job. Instead they are interesting, productive and tax free ways to save money.
Tips for making the most of novelty
For me there are a couple of things that really making saving money fun:
- I don’t take on too much. I leave the high pressure stuff for the workplace and try out money saving tasks that you enjoy. Your financial security and contentment will both increase.
- I purchase (or borrow) great tools. It’s no fun to mow the lawn with a beat up device and usually a good tool pays for itself in weeks.
- I calculate your hourly rate for those DYI tasks. For me it is usually more per hour than I make at work.
- I take your time and do the job you are proud of your small task. This is, after all, my leisure time.
- I understand the huge health benefits of perceived control. There is no better way to control how your bed is made than to do it yourself. Go fo it – even at hotels!
Have some doubts? Trust the fine folks at Harvard who report that works make you happy. Don’t let someone take away your happiness and your money just to windex your windows. Do it your self and grow your contentment and your bank account. Better yet try it out and see for yourself!
In the DMV we are lucky to have a number of education options available. Did you know there are also ways to reduce tuition costs? Here are five ways to cut college tuition costs by a third or more.
- Many people we know spend the first two years of school at community colleges and then transfer to their desired school for the final two years of study. For example, Montgomery College has a tuition of $5000 a year. The University of Maryland is $12,000 a year, ($20,000 if you live there). So you can either pay $80,000 for a four year degree from UMD… or $50,000, for the exact same degree by first completing your core credits at a local community college. That move save you $30,000 on tuition costs.
- And many companies in the DC area will pay for your tuition. The MITRE Corporate , with offices in McLean, Virginia, will cover $28,000 of your studies. Assuming your student picks up a graduate degree at night over three years at one of these employers that is another $84,000 in tuition assistance. And you get to apply what you learn right away.
- Also, DC residents should learn about the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant program which grants up to $50,000 in benefits.
- Stay close to home. UVA’s in state tuition is around $20,000 a year. Out of state? Almost $50,000 a year. Save your family $120,000 by selecting avoiding a school that requires a trip on the beltway to get there.
- Finally, many colleges offer a discount to children of employees. For example, here is the 50% of tuition remission offered to University of Maryland Employees. That is $24,000 in tuition assistance right there.
Combining these steps can make tuition more affordable for both private and public colleges (and some high schools). These five options total $308,000 in tuition assistance with no scholarships. This will save you from having to earn almost $400,000 in income to pay for the stuff.
Education is a high priority in the DC area given the nature of the work here. Area institutions, governments and employers recognize and support this if you take the steps to apply for the benefits.
On Tuesday November 8th, Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States by winning the required electoral college votes with a separation of only 112,000 votes.
It was a contentious election cycle with harsh words and harsher accusations flung by all parties.
Despite which side you were in favor of it is clear that the election was close, complex and nuanced.
Thomas Jefferson once said that “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.”
An educated citizen starts with the education of children where a diversity of thought and training only enriches the discourse. Your job, with the help of others, to educate your children.
If you are considering, or already sending, your children to private school – great job! On paying for private school we discuss motivations, financial approaches and the down sides of electing to send your child to a private school.
By Ali Zifan, via Wikimedia Commons