What is the Best Way to Save for College?

So you, or maybe your child is about to embark on one of the most fulfilling, enriching, and maturing (not to mention almost a prerequisite to nearly all lucrative jobs). Awesome! But oh wait….you have to pay. With the average cost of college somewhere in the ballpark of $33,000 for a four year degree from a public school, or $119,400 for a private college (savingforcollege.com), being educated seems like it’s almost not worth paying. WRONG. Education is always worth it, as long as you know how to go about it. Below we cover some of the best ways to save for college!

Saving for College

First things first, before worrying about saving for college, consider your options. A cheap alternative to enrolling in a four year university for all four years, is spending your first to at a technical or community college. The cost of tuition is nearly always less than half that of public school tuition. Be sure to check with an advisor or dean though before registering because not all credits transfer. The best way to ensure your courses will count toward your degree is to call both schools, and find some common ground. Many community colleges have a transfer program in place.

Next, go to your state education homepage, and see what sort of grants and scholarships are offered for you. The best way to make sure you qualify is to do your FAFSA, by going to www.fafsa.ed.gov. This will automatically tell you what sort of financial aid you qualify for. Next, check with your school’s financial aid office. Check early! Many schools have scholarships from the institution in place, and they’re highly competitive, so the earlier the better. After you have exhausted those methods, check the web. Are you very tall or under 5’0″ tall? There are scholarships for that. Some of the best web sites to check are fastweb.com and finaid.org. These will give you information on many scholarships compiled by their databases. Also, many people never apply for scholarships because of the dreaded essay you many times have to write. College is a lot of essay writing, and the worst part? You have to pay to write them! Scholarship essays may seem drab, but consider this. If you are applying for a $1000 scholarship, and you have write your essay in say , three hours. If you get the scholarship, you basically just got paid $333.33 an hour. Way better then that theater major will ever get you.

On a last note about scholarship sites, remember all this information is available free. Any site trying to charge you for it IS A SCAM. Once scholarships are done, the dreaded job. You can try a work study through the school, which may or may not directly go to your tuition. Check with financial aid for employment. Also, many jobs offer scholarships after an allotted amount of worked hours. Some examples are Chick Fil A, which offers a $1000 scholarship after 2 consecutive years of part time work, or roughly 2000 work hours.

Untitled Jersey City Project

Each day, consumers are exposed to hundreds of advertisements. Whether it is online, in the newspaper, before a movie, or during commercial breaks for their favorite show; advertisements are everywhere. Yet, advertisements have become so repetitive and boring, that many consumers are investing in DVRs, just to avoid them. While many advertisements get skipped or go unnoticed, one thing that has caught the eye of many during commercial breaks is Untitled Jersey City Project.

Untitled Jersey City Project is a breath of fresh air to the stale format of television. Taking place during commercial breaks, Untitled Jersey City Project episodes are only around two minutes in length, leaving the viewer wanting more. Taking place in the gritty, urban environment of Jersey City, this series is something that all filmmakers should strive to make.

While much isn’t clear after the airing of eight episodes, due to a unique take on how the story is told, the episodes have received a great reaction on their YouTube channel. Many fans have praised how the story is told, and how they have never even seen anything like this before. Some viewers have even gone as far as asking to, “Please be involved in the making of the series, somehow.”

Another reason many may enjoy Untitled Jersey City Project so much is because it does such a tremendous job of making the product appear to be so high budget. From the camera work, to the acting, to the directing; everything has a feel of a big budget film compacted into a two minute time span. There is something lucrative about it, making it nearly impossible to take your attention away from. The often fast paced action lures the viewer in and keeps them until the very last frame of the episode.

One of the best moments of Untitled Jersey City Project, however, is the featuring of Audi cars throughout the episodes. The cars are shown racing through the streets of Jersey City, looking downright amazing. Their sleekness and power are featured in the very first episode, rushing to a crime scene. When the car arrives to the destination, it is prominently featured in a shot, looking flawless. The Audi cars steal the show at points, making them come across as one of the show’s main stars, and many of the viewers are happy to be along for the ride.

Untitled Jersey City Project is a great way to make quick, accessible, entertaining television. These episodes are a breath of fresh air to the repetitive format that has plagued television for far too long. Untitled Jersey City Project’s originality is something that will not soon be forgotten. More filmmakers could take notes from Untitled Jersey City Project, because they are doing nearly everything right.

And enjoy a first look at episode one of the series below.

Holiday Shopping: The Season Comes Around Again!

It’s that time of the year again, a time when all is good cheer and free spending. It is, of course, a time that retailers look forward to, and for possibly slightly different reasons, shoppers as well. Spending and general expenditure goes up considerably during the holiday period, and the inevitable January slump is almost typically predictable as disposable incomes have had a bite taken out of them by that point.

Holiday Gifts

The question we are attempting to answer, is, what makes for reasonable spending during the holidays? What would be the wise thing to do with regards to one’s budget and finances, while at the same time ensuring that one gets to enjoy the holiday as well?

Before letting the bewildering frenzy of advertising, sales and seemingly amazing store deals get you into buying what you did not necessarily need in the first place, take stock on your situation and think through it carefully. Certain aspects need to be examined:

1. What do you really need, in the medium and long term? You will usually have a list of these items anyway. Are they part of the current sales promotions? Then getting them at discounted prices may be worthwhile.

2. What will actually be needed for the holiday season? Certain items, like gifts and food and drink are a no-brainer, as are decorations (or the children will never forgive you!) but these should be itemized specifically in an itemized list, to avoid impulse spending.

3. What can wait till after the holiday season? There are a number of obvious reasons for this perspective. One is that it will free-up some cash flow so that the sending that is necessary is actually done for the holidays. Another is the inevitable sizable discount process that happens in retail outlets across the country after the holidays are over. It certainly makes budgeting sense to wait until prices sky-dive before deciding to spend on that wide-screen TV you had been hankering after.

4. What can be bought in bulk? A lot of bulk sales actually go on during the holiday season, and these, as well as coupon sales, are often ignored or overshadowed by the retail sales blitz. Soft drinks, clothes, dry food items as well as fresh foods that require cold storage can easily be found at really competitive prices if one bothers to look carefully. And after the last two years, one lesson learnt is that it does pay to be careful with your money.

5. More importantly, holiday requirements rarely change drastically. A plan where you controlled or managed your spending from last year will, with a few alterations, fit into what you have this year, assuming of course, that your income has not fluctuated drastically. Thus, a good spending plan is like a good habit. If it worked the last time round, pull it out, dust it off and give it another go. That will have you actually looking forward to the traditionally lean periods after the holidays.

Most importantly, be wise with your spending, as cautious with your money as you have been all year. The holidays are simply no excuse to let your guard down.

Happy holidays!

What Is Proof of Ownership

There are few things in this world that someone does not own. When I say things I am referring to property, that includes both real property and personal property. Real property is land, water, and the things located on them. Personal property is tangible items that one possess that can be carried about or items that are not related to the land nor sea, or restricted to being used only in a particular location. All real property located in the developed areas of this country has some form of documented ownership by someone or some entity. Some personal property requires documented ownership.

The document that shows proof of ownership for real property is call a deed, or in some cases when the land is used as collateral to secure a loan it will have a deed of trust to show the ownership to the loan holders, and those paying the loan. Personal property that require or offer documentation of ownership is noted by a title.

Real property is either owned by individuals, corporations, or the government, either local, state, or federal. Records are kept in the local court houses that show ownership of land. The owner of the land should also be in possession of a copy of the deed to any land they own. These records are public, and not private.

Personal property that require a title to it is also owned by individuals, corporations, or the government, be it local, state, or federal. Since most personal property that require titles are vehicles, mobile homes, or trailers, the title for this property is located in the local Division of Motor Vehicles. If personal property is used to secure a loan the title will have listed on it that their is a lien against it. Once the lien is satisfied, the lien will be removed and the title will show no liens. The title to personal property is held by a public entity, but is not made accessible to the public as easily, and as readily as a deed is. If one desire to find out about a title, in some case a freedom of information act request may have to be submitted and approved. Of course the police departments have easy access to this information, and sometimes they will share it with individuals they deem to have a need to know.

There are two ways to obtain a deed and a title. The first way to obtain a deed is by homestead, that is done by claiming land that has never been deeded to anyone. The second way to obtain a deed is by transfer, that is to receive it from a previous owner. The first way to obtain a title is by being the original owner to possess a brand new car, trailer, mobile home or the like. The title will indicate that you are the original owner. The second way to obtain a title is by transfer from a previous owner. So by title or deed, one is designated as the owner of property.

Starting a Roth IRA

A Roth IRA is a tax- deductible fund that was introduced by Senator William Roth of Delaware in 1997, as part of the Taxpayer Relief Act. Putting one’s money into a fund of this type can be a very profitable way of investing for retirement. Absolutely anything can be invested in such a retirement fund, and all of the money so invested may be withdrawn at any time free of tax. Opening a Roth IRA is likewise a very simple and easy process: The customer simply goes to the bank and ask for the forms he or she needs to fill out. Having done so, he then returns the forms to the bank and deposits money into the newly- opened Roth IRA account, by one of three ways: a check, cash, or a transfer from one’s savings account.

Constant fund monitoring is crucial. It is also possible to open a Roth IRA with an online brokerage. Fidelity Investments is an example of such a company. Registering for an account in this way is even simpler, requiring the customer to give some personal information. Once the applicant has given this information, he can deposit money into his new account. The funds in the account can then be invested in almost anything, including mutual funds, stocks, and bonds.

Tax refund money should be invested in one’s Roth IRA. There is a limit on the amount that can be invested in the account each year, depending on one’s age (those over 50 can pay an additional “catch up” contribution). This maximum changes each year, and so it is important to check this upon starting the account. How much one can invest also depends on one’s tax- filing status, that is, whether the holder is (1) single; (2) married, filing separately; or (3) married, filing jointly. Contributions can never be made with investments; they can only be made with cold, hard cash. And over the age of 70 1/2, there is no minimum to how much can be deposited in the account.

For anyone far- sighted enough to think about planning for the future, opening and investing in a Roth IRA can be a secure, intelligent path to take.