When you think about back to school and savings, most of the attention seems to focus on those returning to elementary, middle, and high school. But what about the “mature kids”? You know, those adults who are working while attending classes in the evenings trying to complete that first degree. How can they save some money also?
If you are not planning to leave your job soon, I encourage you to discuss and negotiate with your boss the merits of the classes you are taking and how they have helped or improve your productivity and value to the company. Also, share how tuition has increased while educational assistance from the job has remained stagnant, and that a little more assistance can make the difference educationally. Don’t argue your case! Just make a soft pitch.
When it comes to text books it seems like the more things change; the more they remain the same-books are expensive! Your first priority of course is to find used books for your classes. Your next strategy is to try and find digital books which can also help you save you a bunch.
This might sound crazy, but I’m asking you not to cut back on your 401 or IRA contributions while going back to school. While you may be tempted to do it in hopes of finishing faster, do not leave free money on the table! Maximize your contributions and let your employer make the full contribution amount allowable towards your retirement. I wouldn’t mortgage my retirement for my education. If needed, establish a 529 tax advantage savings plan and starting allocating some resources towards your educational expenses.
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