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Your Tax Dollars At Home

March 24th, 2010 at 06:45 am

So during tax time I am acutely aware of the fact that the entire income we receive is courtesy of taxpayers like you. So I feel that during this time where many of you are bemoaning the chunk of your paychecks that it might be helpful to know that the money is used for a good cause. So here it goes.

My money is payed for by a federal grant. Our research is evaluating a piece of software that shows stunning results in helping K-5 students learn math. I am payed to add to the research context of our work, perform cognitive tests on the students, and report on these results to my fellow researchers. Our hope is to determine if this software helps some students more than others and make sure the software doesn't hurt any students. The company who distributes the software is non-profit and the program costs schools very little. Teachers and principals constantly thank us for the program.

My husband is a teacher at an inner city school. He teaches political action to minority students through classroom projects which focus on the steps needed to participate in the political process. He coaches an academic team for which he gets payed $2500 total for 6 months of after school and extra weekends. His students are now qualifying for top universities. We are very proud of them.

At home we have been extremely conservative with our money. I borrowed money subsidized by the government to make sure I could get through my undergrad degree and when I graduate my PhD I hope to immediately pay it off. We are saving for a home, retirement, and a child.

So thanks for the subsidized loans, the grants, the public K-22 education, the roads, the police, the firemen, the the research opportunities, the apartment I live in, and most of all thank you to all Americans for our paychecks. We really appreciate it and we work hard to earn it.

Benefits of School

March 9th, 2010 at 08:04 am

I thought I'd list some of the extra benefits offered by my school for those who might be pondering returning or those currently in school:

- Free Gym membership w/ subsidized childcare, personal training, classes, & massages
- Subsidized student housing
- Career Counseling
- Free food & coffee at various events
- Free lectures on various topics including financial planning
- Subsidized physical and mental health care (my old school had subsidized over the counter drugs)
- Free turkeys at Thanksgiving
- Sustainable Transportation benefits
- Subsidized public transportation passes
- Reduced price tickets to movies, attractions, and concerts
- Free concerts and theater productions
- Free campus shuttle to the beach
- Zip Cars and Zip Bikes for cheap rentals
- Free public banquet spaces
- Free Access to libraries around the world

Waiting to CD

March 8th, 2010 at 07:21 am

So H and I discussed yet again placing our downpayment money into a Nationwide 2.4% 36 month CD. We have been debating this as ING quickly drops its interest rates on our saving account. There are 2 things holding us back:

1) Needing the money for H's Masters
2) Interest Rates rising enough in the next 3 years.

We decided that we would delay a decision until H hears back from the financial aid office. In the mean time he's filling out scholarship applications.

Financial Aid

March 3rd, 2010 at 10:29 am

As a current graduate student married to a Masters applicant, much of my financial situation right now depends on our financial aid. I'm getting a bit antsy to hear from especially H's financial aid. Are we going to be facing $6000 in loans? Will he get any grants? As a teacher, will he be eligible for loan forgiveness? How does the loan forgiveness program work? I know that we could always take money out of the down payment fund to pay for his education, but I hate to do this. Any increases he gets in pay are going straight into retirement so that money won't help any.

I'm just going to keep hoping they don't close down summer school this year, and he get a summer teaching position. The extra money will help cover his education expenses.

Hello World

February 21st, 2010 at 10:32 am

Just a first hello world! I am a graduate student who is newly married to an early career teacher. We have been good savers so far with a 6 month Emergency Savings account and $10,000 in our Downpayment Fund. We currently live in Southern California so this is nowhere near enough money for a house. We hope to buy one when I graduate.

I will be writing here some ideas I have about saving and our experiences with trying to meet some lofty savings goals.