Make col­lege more af­ford­able by sav­ing on in­tan­gi­ble costs

Cherokee County Herald - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

When it comes to com­par­ing the costs of var­i­ous col­leges, re­mem­ber that on the broad­est level, costs can be tan­gi­ble or in­tan­gi­ble. To save money, fol­low these tips from KHEAA–Alabama.

Tan­gi­ble costs in­clude tu­ition and fees and room and board.

In­tan­gi­ble costs in­clude ev­ery­thing else: text­books and sup­plies; com­put­ers; and per­sonal items, such as shampoo, clothes, en­ter­tain­ment, laun­dry, and other ex­penses.

You can save money, some­times a lot of money, by con­trol­ling the costs of your lifestyle. That doesn’t mean skimp­ing on shampoo, soap, food and do­ing your laun­dry. But you can cut costs by find­ing sales or us­ing coupons. Al­ways be look­ing out for buy one, get one free deals.

You can also save quite a bit of money by cut­ting back on treats such as en­ter­tain­ment and din­ing out. Do­ing those things less of­ten will make them even more spe­cial when you do treat your­self.

Re­mem­ber: The less you spend on the in­tan­gi­bles, the less you’ll have to take out in stu­dent loans. That means that af­ter you grad­u­ate you can af­ford more of the things you en­joy.

KHEAA is a pub­lic, non-profit agency es­tab­lished in 1966 to im­prove stu­dents’ ac­cess to col­lege. It pro­vides in­for­ma­tion about fi­nan­cial aid and fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy at no cost to stu­dents and par­ents. KHEAA also helps col­leges man­age their stu­dent loan de­fault rates and ver­ify in­for­ma­tion sub­mit­ted on the FAFSA. For more in­for­ma­tion about those ser­vices, visit www.kheaa.com.

In ad­di­tion, KHEAA dis­burses pri­vate Ad­van­tage Ed­u­ca­tion Loans on be­half of its sis­ter agency, KHESLC. For more in­for­ma­tion about Ad­van­tage Ed­u­ca­tion Loans, visit www.ad­van­tagee­d­u­ca­tion­loan.com.

This week my beloved Cub­bies be­gin their first World Se­ries ti­tle de­fense in 109 years, if my math is cor­rect. My hus­band, a diehard New Orleans Saints fan, warns me that things will never be the same now that the Cubs have climbed the moun­tain­top.

He says he suf­fered through decades of los­ing with the Saints; then, when they de­feated the Colts in the 2010 Su­per Bowl, a brief pe­riod of joy was ac­tu­ally fol­lowed by a lin­ger­ing sense of en­nui. The Saints had fi­nally won it all. What was left to hope for? What could pos­si­bly top be­ing world cham­pi­ons? As Peggy Lee ( thank you Leiber and Stoller) sang in her 1969 hit, “Is That All There Is?”

Be­yond the glo­ri­ous feel­ing of be­ing cham­pi­ons and dis­card­ing the long­time loser la­bel, at least there are sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic ben­e­fits as­so­ci­ated with a win­ning sports team, right? At least that’s what I al­ways as­sumed. Turns out, though, the fi­nan­cial im­pact of pro­fes­sional sports fran­chises on lo­cal economies is ac­tu­ally fairly neg­li­gi­ble, re­gard­less of the qual­ity of the team. Why? Be­cause res­i­dents en­joy a fi­nite amount of dis­cre­tionary in­come. If they don’t spend it at the ball­park, they’ll spend it some­where else in­stead, usu­ally in restau­rants, stores or at other spe­cial events. Or per­haps by in­vest­ing the money in a busi­ness. So if a sports team moves away, there is no real loss to the area’s econ­omy. The dol­lars still get spent, usu­ally lo­cally, just on other things.

A California City Con­troller con­ducted a study which states that the econ­omy around the Sta­ples Cen­ter might ac­tu­ally im­prove if the Lak­ers moved away. Vic­tor Mathe­son con­curs. Mathe­son, a sports econ­o­mist at Col­lege of the Holy Cross, notes that traf­fic con­ges­tion and ac­tiv­ity as­so­ci­ated with a sports team can ac­tu­ally re­pel folks from liv­ing, in­vest­ing and shop­ping in a com­mu­nity. Sports econ­o­mist Michael Leeds says in a mar­ketwatch. org ar­ti­cle en­ti­tled “Are Pro Teams Eco­nomic Win­ners for Cities?”, “If you ever had a con­sen­sus in eco­nomics, this would be it…There is no (eco­nomic) im­pact.”

Lo­cal of­fi­cials fre­quently and fer­vently dis­agree, though, and here’s where things get com­pli­cated. Civic pride and iden­tity are in­volved. What city or state wants to lose their team? Lo­cal busi­ness own­ers in down­town Cleve­land as­sert that their op­er­a­tions have been re­vi­tal­ized since LeBron James re­turned to play there. The Gov­er­nor of Mis­souri of­fered the Rams $400 mil­lion to stay in St. Louis rather than move to Los An­ge­les, but to no avail.

My home­town has a myr­iad of pro­fes­sional sports fran­chises. And I want them all to stay in Chicago, es­pe­cially one of the base­ball teams. Go Cubs.

Margaret R. McDow­ell, ChFC®, AIF®, au­thor of the syn­di­cated eco­nomic column “Ar­bor Out­look”, is the founder of Ar­bor Wealth Man­age­ment, LLC, (850.608.6121~www.ar­bor­wealth.net), a fee-only, fidu­ciary Reg­is­tered In­vest­ment Ad­vi­sory Firm lo­cated near Destin, FL. This column should not be con­sid­ered per­son­al­ized in­vest­ment ad­vice and pro­vides no as­sur­ance that any spe­cific strat­egy or in­vest­ment will be suit­able or prof­itable for an in­vestor.

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