Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Increase your income through education.

I got a re-tweet today from another personal finance blogger. His comment was that so many bloggers only talk about ways to save money rather than increasing income.

By googling a few statistics I was able to find the following averages.
High school drop out average annual income is $18,000
High school graduate average annual income is $29,000
Associate degree average annual income is $36,000
Bachelors degree average annual income is $46,000
Masters degree average annual income is $78,000
*Obviously these averages can vary widely depending on the curriculum

Four years ago I decided to obtain my masters because I wanted to increase our family's income. The program would have cost me $12,500 if I had to pay for it. I was lucky enough to work for a company that paid it for me (provided I maintain a certain GPA).

Now, I was working full time when I did this, and I found it easier to obtain my program through a state university that had an online program. It took me three years to finish the program, but within two years I was able to increase my annual income by 42%. This is significant.

If you have ever considered going further in your education run some numbers based on the averages. You may be surprised to find out just what the return on that investment would be - not to mention the personal satisfaction of earning it. Or depending where you are in your career and income level it may not make that much of a difference.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Options for saving on car insurance

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day who had recently added his teenage son to his car insurance policy. His rate was $375/month. After paying this amount for 5 months he finally went out for quote. His new policy is $175 per month. He could have saved himself $1000 for just a few minutes of work.

Over the years I have quoted and continue to quote out my policy to look for better rates. I seem to keep coming back to Allstate. Jay LaSalle in Phoenix (480) 585-2469 and Jay Adkins in Raleigh (919) 466-9400.

I put in a call to Jay LaSalle this morning to see what kind of discounts I had and if there were anymore I could get. If you aren’t getting these discounts and you could, consider calling your insurance agent.

Normally the car insurance policy for our 3 vehicle family would cost us $1991.20 every six months or $331.87 monthly. Listed below are the discounts I receive per six month period followed by our new rate:


Premier plus (clean driving record of 5+ years) = $297.70

Allstate easy pay plan (Auto withdraw) = $47.61

Allstate easy pay plan (Transaction fee) = $15.00

Multi policy discount (Condo & Car Insurance) = $100.49

Good payer discount (never late on payments) = $47.61

New car discount (good for the first 3 years of a car) = $120.84

Future effective date discount (write new policy before old on expires) = $57.73

Preferred package (e-bill vs. snail mail) = $159.57

Total savings = $846.55 or $141.09 per month!!

Car insurance policy is now $1144.65 every six months or $190.78 monthly.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Valentine's Day doesn't have to be expensive, be creative

I don’t often listen to the radio in my car because I appreciate the limited amount of silence on my way to/from work. Yesterday I decided to give it a try. One of the ads put me in a sour mood. It was an advertisement for jewelry for Valentine’s Day.

UGH!! Don’t they know that everyone is still trying to pay off Christmas much less worry about MORE expensive gifts for Valentine’s Day.

I’m not saying to forget about doing something nice for your significant other. What I am saying is be creative.

On our second anniversary my husband surprised me with dinner cooked at home. He brought in a mutual friend to cook dinner for us and serve it – 6 courses. He was so thoughtful it brought tears to my eyes. We now have six anniversaries behind us. This was by far the cheapest and most memorable celebration of them all. The $350 dinner for our 5th was also quite least the bill was!

What are your creative ideas???