MMFBT 029: How to Pay Off $32,000 In Student Loans the Day After You Graduate

Today on the MMFBT podcast we feature someone who paid off tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt before he was charged a cent of interest.  His name is Daniel Dickin and you can view his full writing portfolio over at danieldickin.ca.  He is currently finishing his MA in Public Administration after receiving his BA from Carleton and has written for the Prince Arthur Herald and the Huffington Post among other places.  Dan’s story came to my attention when I read a story in the Globe and Mail about how he paid off $32,000 in student loans as he was finishing his master’s thesis.

The More Money for Beer and Textbooks PodcastJoin us as we talk about:

  • Why Dan decided to take on student debt in the first place.
  • How you can use RESPs to boost your college savings before you ever leave high school.
  • How to juggle part-time jobs while attending post-secondary studies.
  • Navigating Ontario’s student loan process, better known as “OSAP”.
  • Why taking more OSAP funding than you actually need can be a good thing if you handle it in a disciplined manner. (Hint: a spring break trip to a tourist trap is not considered a “disciplined manner”.)
  • Is making pre-payments on your student loan always a good idea?

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5 Reasons Getting Your Master of Library Science Online is a Good Decision

Have you ever thought about earning an online degree in library science? The learning landscape has changed dramatically — and it’s a wonderful thing. Online Master’s of Management in Library and Information Science (MMLIS) degree programs have become an increasingly popular option for people seeking to advance in library science, increase earning potential, and enrich their lives. If you’ve been on the fence about whether to jump in and do it, consider this a little push. Here are five reasons getting your master’s in library science online is a good decision.

Convenience

Life is full of inconveniences, but pursuing a library science degree online doesn’t have to be one. Convenience, particularly for older students with jobs and families, is one of the top reasons people opt into online degree programs. Traditional school schedules often conflict with work schedules, leaving many people to decide between going to school and paying the bills. Online degrees remove that barrier, allowing individuals to further their educations without sacrificing their households.

Flexibility

Master of Library Science OnlineWhile there are specific educational requirements involved with obtaining an online degree in library science, there is a greater amount of flexibility in how you master the material. Virtual access to online databases and libraries put valuable studying tools at your fingertips. Some online programs go as far to offer literal flexible degrees, factoring in life and work experience with educational materials.    (more…)

Forming Groups In Class – Beneficial Even If They Aren’t Required

While you’re in class at some point you’ll come to realise a few things:

  • Class can be boring
  • The coursework can be difficult
  • Most of the time, the prof will not notice that you are even there
These things can combine to limit attendance and participation amongst the student body.  I was in a small faculty in school, and everyone was very friendly.  If it wasn’t for that, my class attendance would probably have been 25% instead of the 60% that I was proud of.  It wasn’t until I started forming groups in class that these numbers began to improve.  For those of you in high school that are laughing now thinking, “I’m going to go to class way more than this fool did!”   Just wait until you get to school…   Anyways, I had a tough time motivating myself to get to class and I wasn’t alone.

Forming Groups In Class

Having a buddy system is much better than venturing out on your own.  By having a system in place it will help because it will force you to go to class more since you don’t want to let your buddy down and sit by themselves.  It is also helpful to form groups to brainstorm on assignments, as well as share textbooks.

Forming Groups In ClassIt can be a little intimidating to form a group if you don’t know anyone in class.  To make things easier try sitting in the same spot every class.  After a few weeks people will have a claim to their seat and you can start to get comfortable with the people around you.  You can try to break the ice by borrowing a piece of paper, or an extra pen for notes.  When an assignment gets handed out, ask the person beside you if they would be willing to work on it together.  Chances are the person beside you is looking for help/motivation as well.   I’m talking from experience here and I never had a problem implementing the buddy system, but then again, we didn’t get the nickname “Friendly Manitoba” for no reason.

Assignments Will Be A Whole Lot Easier

With your new-found group, your assignments will get done in half the time.  When you work together, chances are you will split up the assignment by question numbers, and just share ideas if the concept is easy enough.  With the harder assignments, there is usually one person in the group (this was likely some of you bloggers out there) that can figure it out and can explain it to you in “student terms.”  You can also split up responsibilities by someone going to see the prof, and another seeing the TA, to understand multiple concepts, then bring back the information to share with the rest of the group.

Good Way To Meet People And Make Class More Exciting

Having a small group makes class a bit easier to attend because you can always make small talk before and after class.   It’s also a great way to meet people in the same boat as you.   If you are in a new city and you don’t know anyone, then class is probably the best place to meet people your age.   If you’re still having a tough time forming a group, my suggestion would be that during the boring parts of class make fun of the prof’s 70’s suit jacket or the keener in the front row that constantly challenges the instructor.

I met some pretty cool people in class and I still keep in touch with them once in a while.   Don’t forget, if you are having trouble, you probably aren’t alone, don’t be shy and put your name out there!

Do you still keep in touch with anyone you met in classes?  Anyone out there meet their significant other in class by chance?

MMFBT 028 – The Advantages of Canada’s Small Schools w/ Rob Nettleton

I introduced Rob Nettleton to our audience last week when we chatted about how to ignore the stigma of being a money-conscious young person and student lines of credit.

After we wrapped up that podcast we decided to make Rob the first ever guest to record back-to-back shows because I wanted to ask him about a few things unrelated to the article that was written about him in the Globe and Mail.  Foremost among them was Rob’s experience going to small school (Algonquin College) where he was student president for a year.

Tune in to hear us discuss:

  • The More Money for Beer and Textbooks PodcastWhy we both think small schools like Algonquin are a great bet going forward.
  • What sort of attributes are unique to certain types of college or skilled-labour focused institutions relative to our huge “traditional style” universities.
  • How a student can start at a college and earn credits towards a university degree.
  • Why skilled labour is in such a great position and why I sometimes wish I love welding as much as I love reading books.
  • What student politics is like – both the good and the bad.
  • Why Rob ultimately chose to go to Carleton after attending Algonquin and how that whole process worked.

Personally, I think these blended college/university programs (also referred to as polytechniques in some parts of Canada) are excellent options and deserve much more consideration that they are currently getting.  They are often much more responsive to market trends and focus much more on connecting with industry than traditional massive liberal arts undergraduate university faculties.  Ultimately at the end of the day the best fit for a specific individual is going to be just as unique as they are when it comes to post-secondary education, so co-op programs and education partnerships might not be best for every single person, but that cross-pollination of ideas is far better for education overall than the traditional ivory tower approach.

As always, any feedback you’d like to provide via our comments section or in the form of iTunes ratings is much appreciated.  If you’d like to come on the podcast don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll get a session set up.

More Beers, More Cheers, That’s It That’s All!

Moving Tips – Making Relocation Less Stressful

I just finished moving for the 18th time in just 6 years so I am starting to think that I know a little bit about it.  There are many ways to move and lots to go with it, depending on where you are moving of course.  Whether you are moving to another home in the same neighbourhood or city, or if you’re moving a time zone away, there are things you have to consider.  How are you going to move? And what needs to be done before and after I move?

The more I moved, the more stuff I seemed to have, being the youngest of 4 boys in the family, I was the lucky recipient of all the stuff they didn’t want such as furniture. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the fact that I didn’t spend a cent to furnish my home, it’s just that it’s hard to move it all when you’re by yourself so you have to expand your moving plans, as well as your methods of moving. Here are some moving tips to help you along.

How are you going to move?

moving tipsThere are a few ways of moving, you can do it yourself, con your buddies into helping you, or hire professionals.

  • I started out by moving myself, since everything I owned could practically fit in a car, it took a while, but it was relatively easy to do and stress free. The benefit to this was it was the cheapest option, although it did take all day and is sometimes frustrating.
  • By tricking your friends into helping you is a great plan if you can pull it off. If there are 5-6 of you moving stuff it can actually be pretty fun, at least when you’re almost done. The benefits are getting help and speeding up the move, and with the extra vehicles, it can make a long distance moves with less trips back and forth.  Pizza and beer are usually acceptable methods of payment.
  • Renting a U-Haul can make things easy, providing you are comfortable driving a big truck around. Depending on what you drive you could also rent a trailer. Renting a trailer is much cheaper than renting a box truck. Where these guys make all of their money is when you buy boxes and rent their moving equipment from them. So save your boxes, or ask grocery stores for some boxes, they always are looking to get rid of them.
  • A few years ago my company needed me to relocate, and they would compensate for the costs involved for the move.  I used a small company that works under Allied Moving which works all throughout North America, they were called Jays Moving.  I couldn’t have been happier with my choice. They came to do an estimate, than on the day of the move they came and packed everything for me. They document everything, including the little scratches so that if something were to break in the move, they would cover the cost of whatever broke. They were very professional and made everything easy. The only thing I had to do was unpack. The downside to this is that it costs quite a bit to do, but if you are moving for work than you might be able to get them to pay for it.

What Needs To Get Done Before And After You Move?

First thing you want to do is get the address to your new place, than you can forward your mail starting at the date you actually move in. This costs around $90 for 12 months of mail forwarding.  What happens is when your old post office receives your mail, they scan it, then the computer tells them that you are no longer there and the mail should be forwarded to your new address.  Be sure to switch your utilities and cancel services such as cable. When you move it’s a good opportunity to go over your telephone, internet, cable/satellite providers and work out a deal.  They always have specials going on, or if you like your current providers, they usually have moving programs that let them set up the service in your new home before you even get there.

Once you are all settled in take a drive around and familiarize yourself with your new neighbourhood. Meet the neighbours and start settling in.

Does anyone else have any other moving tips?