Student loan debt and student loan interest

Student Loan Debt has me Seeing Black and Red

The total amount of outstanding student loan debt is a number often thrown around—a staggering 1.3 trillion dollars. It’s just 2 digits and a decimal point, but in reality it’s a much larger number with huge ramifications and it's making me see red!

Can you imagine having to write a check for:

1 Trillion     3 Hundred Billion    Dollars

Or $1,300,000,000,000.00

Breaking it down:

There are 40,000,000 students who currently owe money for student loans.

Divide 1.3 billion by 40 million and you get an average of $32,500 per student. Of course some borrowed much less - like a friend of ours, Anna. She borrowed a couple of thousand dollars her first year of college, then decided to do things differently. She worked hard all summer, paid off the debt and then applied for a job as an RA. Bingo, free room and board. Because of good grades her tuition was covered. She just graduated - debt free . . . with a positive net worth — in the black!

Unfortunately (or fortunately for her), she can't be counted in the 1.3 trillion dollars of debt. And she can't even be counted in the average, but there are some students who worked hard and worked smart to pay for school, and in the end graduated with a couple of thousand dollars in debt.

Good for them.

Bad for the average.

For everyone who graduates with $2000 debt that means that someone else (who wants to keep the statistics correct) would have chosen to borrow $63,000. We know. It's not really that way. But when you look at statistics sometimes you just think irrational thoughts.

Okay enough with the average amount owed. Let’s get to the point of this blog.

Interest: The cost of borrowed money. The little charge that has huge ramifications if you continue to pay it year after year  after year. We haven't heard anyone mention how much interest is being paid each year on that 1.3 trillion dollars in debt. And honestly, there's just no way to know exactly what that amount is, but we can do some calculations.

Let's be generous and estimate an average of 4 percent interest.

We know some are paying much more and some may be paying a little less. But for arguments sake let's just go with 4 percent.

$1,300,000,000,000.00 x .04= $52,000,000,000

Check my math—is it correct? 
Because if it is, I came up with $52 BILLION in interest being paid each and every year.

By the way, if you divide the $52 billion Read More...

Dual Credit, at, home, clep, dantes, DSST, credits, test, graduate, charter oak state

Smart College Idea: Save 80 Percent - Dual Credit at Home

We met Becky Muldrow in San Antonio, Texas at a conference where we were speaking. Becky is a mom, and a smart one at that. With 10 kids she has to be. But what stood out most to us was her absolutely ingenious way of helping her kids get through college in less than 2 years, at minimal costs and mostly from home. If you have kids who want a fast track through college or, if you're an adult looking for an inexpensive and fast way to finally finish that degree, you've GOT TO READ what Becky and her kids have done. It's absolute GENIUS.

While this concept is designed for Home Schooling families, we're asking you to think a little deeper. This concept could work for adults wanting to finally get that college degree, or for motivated kids who attend public or private school to get a jumpstart on college. Think, think, think. 

Warning, this is a long article . . . actually it's a transcript of Becky's presentation she shares around the country. A decision to use Dual Credit at Home isn't going to be a quick one. But if you do decide to pursue the system that Becky has created, at the bottom of this page you'll find a discount offer she's giving exclusively to our readers.


How to Earn a Bachelor’s
Degree During High School

Learn how with Dual Credit at Home
Slide1 Dual Credit At Home, College, Debt, Student, loan, studentloan

Hi, my name is Becky Muldrow and like many of you, I am a home school mom. Our family has been blessed with ten children, from age twenty-eight all the way down to ten.

I’m sure that all of you parents will agree that there is a BIG difference between home educating a ten year old and a teenager. When your son is ten, you’re just worried about helping him stay focused long enough to get a whole day of school finished! But when he reaches those teenage years, you start to worry about a big seven-letter word. C-O-L-L-E-G-E!

Slide2 Dual, Credit, At, Home, StudentLoan, Debt, College, Debt, Free, Dantes, Clep


College is our culture’s pinnacle of educational achievement. It’s also the bane of our pocketbooks. Worrying about your child’s future education has the potential to keep you up at night AND empty your savings accounts. A degree doesn’t just consume money. It can also cost our young people many extra years of their greatest commodity —- time.

For many families, college isn’t always a blessing. It can also be a problem.

As home school parents, we’ve obviously been thinking outside the box. My husband and I love to challenge our kids to be creative, innovative problem solvers. One of the most respected home school students of all time, Albert Einstein, has great advice for all of us: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Now you and I didn’t create the existing problems with higher education. But when it comes to deciding how we’re going to approach college, both the METHOD of education and the COST, in our own families, we can’t use the world’s way of thinking.

Today I’d like to share with you how our family has solved our college problem. Over the next few minutes, I will explain a different approach to earning an accredited bachelor’s degree that has been successful for not just our family, but thousands of other families as well. You’ll know six key advantages about the dual credit approach and how to earn a bachelor’s degree during high school.

Home schooling high school is a good time to remember these words of Galatians 6: Read More...

upright freezer is a mess

Freezing Bread—The Secret is in the Freezer

Question: Some of my store bought loaves of bread get freezer burned on the  outside even though I wrap them individually in plastic bags before freezing. But I heard on one of your videos that you freeze your bread in a brown paper bag.  Do you put them in plastic bags first, then store them in the paper bag before freezing?  I do store the bread to one side of my upright freezer—should I put it in the middle so the sides of the bread aren't near the side of  the freezer?  Thanks a million for your advice.  Wouldn't have bought the freezer without having read Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half!  It's a  real money saver.  Diane

Answer: The secret to successfully freezing bread is in the freezer not the brown paper bags! We use the paper grocery sacks to organize our chest freezer putting similiar items in each bag (pork in one, frozen veggies in another etc.). Our grocery book has a section that illustrates how we stack items in our chest freezer.

Plastic bags: When freezing bread you do want to keep air and moisture out. To accomplish this, we wrap our store bought bread in a second plastic bag. But the type of bread you freeze plays a roll too. Whole wheat bread freezes fine, if put in a plastic bag and stored for only a couple of weeks. White bread doesn’t freeze well and becomes mushy when defrosting. You can put a paper towel in the bread bag as it’s defrosting to absorb moisture and it should help.

Your Freezer: Another factor is the type of freezer you have. Usually upright freezers are frost-free, which means they have a fan that runs constantly to keep frost from forming, but that same fan also will dehydrate and cause freezer burn for items left in it for too long. Where the bread goes in your freezer should not matter. Most likely the problem you’re experiencing is from storing the bread too long in a frost-free freezer. When it's time to replace your freezer consider buying a non-frost-free model. It's a little more work, but will keep your food fresher, longer.


windfalls, tax, refunds, returns, bonus, overtime, gifts, money, cash, bonuses

Windfalls: Bonus or Bust?

Have you ever dreamed that you won the lottery or that an extremely rich, 32-times-removed relative died and left you a fortune? Of course, you know exactly what you would do with all the money — new houses for yourself and all the relatives, a major vacation around the world and maybe even a little charitable giving. Despite the unlikelihood of this type of situation, smaller “fortunes” on which we fail to capitalize, come our way on a regular basis.

Think about tax refunds, cash birthday gifts, overtime pay, bonuses, garage sale proceeds, stock dividends (remember those?) and overcharges in your impound account. These additional funds aren’t fairy tales or dreams, but financial “prizes” that can help you reach goals faster or throw you into depression if they are squandered or have to be used to catch up on bills. We’re talking about windfalls, extra money that comes at unexpected times. If you take a walk through last year’s checkbook register, you’ll find them sitting there, those wonderful little unexpected bonuses. What did you do with them? If you’re like most of us, they evaporated . . . absorbed into the abyss of everyday living and bill paying.

windfall, bonus, tax, refund, return, money, cash, overtime, extra, budget, dave, ramsey, gift, gifts, christmas, birthday, bday, anniversary,

Years ago, we decided to stop letting the windfalls evaporate. We came up with a plan, a general agreement between the two of us on how we would deal with any excess, big or small, that came our way. But before we get into the specifics of the plan we used, we’ve got to define how to tell when you truly have excess.
Planned Spending   We’ve always had a spending plan. It’s a system similar to the “envelope system” we use to teach our kids to handle money (see Issue 1, “Kids and Money”). Of course our system is a bit more complex than theirs. We track our spending plan on paper while all the money actually resides in the bank. We have categories for every regularly occurring expense. Nineteen different accounts cover categories such as Utilities, Food, Pets and Gifts. The balance in all the accounts, added together, equals the total in our checkbook. So, when we want to make a purchase, instead of consulting the larger balance of our checkbook, we review the smaller balance on the corresponding account sheet. If the money is there, we buy, if not, we wait.

The beauty of the spending plan is knowing that all our living expenses and savings goals are provided for. We know exactly what it takes to fund our monthly budget. Some accounts accumulate money for months without being spent, and others are simply flow-through accounts.

Because we regularly update and consult our spending plan, we know when we really do have a windfall – money that can be spent outside of normal spending-plan limits. This kind of money truly is excess that can be used for what we call The Windfall Plan.

I Want a Boat! This is our standing joke. Whenever we’re out driving around and see a boat for sale, Steve will usually quip, “Honey, there it is, the boat I want to buy with our next windfall.” He admits, “As a man, I seem to have an incurable ability to find all kinds of toys – most of them costly to maintain –  on which to spend our money.” Author Larry Burkett observes that most women will overspend a bit on groceries or buy a few too many clothes, while their husbands will come home with a new car or boat.

After having a few extended “

This Dad gave his 16 year old a 1965 Mustang! Would you?

We are on an email list for family issues and were sent a link to an intriguing article about a family with 12 kids. The dad of the family wrote the article and shared how as an engineer he earned a good salary, but determined not to financially support his kids at HIS EARNING LEVEL.

Instead he taught them to work and to save and to plan. All of the kids paid for their own college education (and several paid for graduate degrees).

BUT . . . They almost lost us when he said that he gave each of his kids a car when they turned 16.  This Dad gave a 16 year old a 1965 Mustang! 

You've got to read what he did . . . it is ingenious, clever, smart and . . . something we wish we had done! 

The Thompson Family followed many of the same principals we wrote about in our award winning book, "The MoneySmart Family System - Teaching Financial Independence to Children of Every Age." 

Read the entire article here:

How I made sure all 12 of my kids could pay for college themselves

By Francis L. Thompson.

My wife and I had 12 children over the course of 15 1/2 years. Today, our oldest is 37 and our youngest is 22.  I have always had a very prosperous job and enough money to give my kids almost anything. But my wife and I decided not to.

I will share with you the things that we did, but first let me tell you the results: All 12 of my children have college degrees (or are in school), and we as parents did not pay for it. Most have graduate degrees. Those who are married have wonderful spouses with the same ethics and college degrees, too. We have 18 grandchildren who are learning the same things that our kids learned—self respect, gratitude, and a desire to give back to society.

We raised our family in Utah, Florida, and California; my wife and I now live in Colorado. In March, we will have been married 40 years. I attribute the love between us as a part of our success with the children. They see a stable home life with a commitment that does not have compromises.

Here’s what we did right (we got plenty wrong, too, but that’s another list):



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