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Digm Piece (Op-Ed)

Ready, Set, Save!

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When you’re a student trying to finance your education and barely making ends meet, saving money may feel totally out of reach. But having even a little money set aside is really important, especially for emergencies. With a little creativity and determination, you can do it—you may even be surprised at how easy it can be. Here are some tips to help you get into that smart savings mindset:

Start Small

Remember that no amount is too little. Even putting away just $10 per week will yield $520 in a year. Start by putting your loose change in a jar and don’t spend it. Down the road, as your income increases and/or you find other ways to economize, you can increase your savings goals and take advantage of the power of compound interest. Try out this savings calculator to help you visualize the possibilities.

Μake it Automatic

One of the easiest and most effective ways to save is to make it automatic. Pay yourself first by setting up direct deposit of your paycheck, then having your bank automatically transfer a set amount to a savings, investment or other account.

Avoid Impulse Spending

Sometimes our spending habits are a sign of other stresses in our lives, so before making a purchase, take a few minutes to clear your head and think about whether you really need the item, or if you’re just trying to make yourself feel better. For large purchases, it’s a good idea to wait at least 24 hours before buying; it’s amazing how your perspective changes when you give yourself at little time to re-evaluate.

Stop Accumulating Debt

While you may be carrying student loans to help pay for your college expenses, make a pledge to minimize other debt, such as credit cards or car loans. And stay away from risky debt such as payday loans.

Review Your Spending Habits

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” Find savings in your day-to-day expenses by reviewing your past spending habits and setting up a new budget. Be sure to include an amount for savings and treat it as an “expense” to encourage you to cut back on other things to balance your budget. Check out this article for more information on how to make a budget.

Don’t Leave Money on the Table

If you have a job, be sure to take full advantage of your employer’s retirement savings benefits, such as a 401k. Many employers match your contributions up to a certain percentage, so failing to participate is like passing up free money. Even if your employer doesn’t provide a match, it is really important to start saving now for your retirement—so important that the government offers tax advantages to these programs. And when you get a raise, think about upgrading your 401k contribution.

Turn Payments into Savings

Here’s an extra tip for students paying for day care. Once your child is out of day care and attending public elementary school, take the money you were paying for day care and redirect it automatically into a college savings account. It’s money you weren’t used to seeing anyway, so before you get tempted to spend it elsewhere, put it toward your child’s future.

For more for more support, ideas and tips, visit AmericaSave$.org

Digm Piece (Op-Ed)

Top Ten Freshman Money Myths

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Starting college is one of the most important and exciting times of your life. Now that you’re all “checked-in,” enjoy your college experience without worrying about where your next meal will come from by chasing away these common freshman money myths. (more…)

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Digm Piece (Op-Ed)

Do What You Love for Free – Here’s Why

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This is ParadigmMoney.Com, right? So, speaking about a paradigm shift should come as no surprise. In science and philosophy, a paradigm is a distinct set of concepts or thought patterns, including theories, research methods, postulates, and standards for what constitutes legitimate contributions to a field. When speaking about money, most believe it is something you work for and not something that works for you. In all truth, the one percenters understand this concept quite well. In order, to wake up and do what you love, you too must shift your thoughts when it comes to finances.

Doing what you love for free allows you to create freely. You can come up with disruptive, out of this world, never seen before creations that will rock this planet. Take Elon Musk from South Africa, founder of X.com which went on to become PayPal and sold to eBay for 1.5 billion dollars. Musk is also the CEO of SpaceX which designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. You may say, of course, he can do this, he is a billionaire and co-founder of Tesla.

Not true. PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX are all products of Musk doing what he loved. As a child, he was an avid reader and taught himself computer programming leading to the creation of X.com. He dropped out of college to start a company with his brother and here’s what he had to say about that PayPal deal… “My proceeds from the PayPal acquisition were $180 million. I put $100 million in SpaceX, $70m in Tesla, and $10m in Solar City. I had to borrow money for rent.” Elon Musk’s current net worth is estimated to be at about $13.3 billion. No bad at all.

The reality of the matter is the less you are attached to money the more money flows to you. Pay more attention to creating things that move the culture forward. Starting at doing what you love with ultimately position you for financial success and happiness.

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Digm Piece (Op-Ed)

How Much Does College Cost?

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How much does college cost these days? If you’re preparing to go to college and will need to find a way to finance your own education, this is one of the first steps to figure out.  Then you’ll want to find out all of your options and create a plan. Here’s a quick breakdown on the typical cost of college. (more…)

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