Can Cohabitation Make You Poorer?

Or are poorer people drawn to cohabitation?

According to the Pew Research Center’s 2016 report, more than 18 million unmarried U.S. couples live together.

23% of all cohabitors are 50 years old or older.

50% are younger than 35.

Although it’s becoming more common for unmarried couples to live together, U.S. cohabitors total only about 7% of the population.

As of 2016, 14% of Americans ages 25-34 were living together.

The Financial Implications of Cohabitation Among Young Adults,” published by the Journal of Financial Planning, makes several assertions about debt, money, and the link between cohabitation.

You can read more hereContinue reading “Can Cohabitation Make You Poorer?”

What’s Your Perspective on Education and Schooling?

Finland. Poland. Cuba. Vocational training. What is the purpose of education? What is the purpose of school?

A short while ago I asked a few colleagues, peers, and friends to share their perspectives on race and money.

Now, we’ll spend some time hearing a few perspectives on education.

Feel free to connect if you’d like to share yours!

Name: Anonymous
Birth Decade: 1970s
Location of Elementary School: Houston, Texas
Location of Post-secondary Studies: Cambridge, MA & Cape Town, South Africa  Continue reading “What’s Your Perspective on Education and Schooling?”

10 Simple Questions To Help You Save 20% of Your Income

Use these same questions to help you lose weight and accomplish your SMART goals!

Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck. How much money can you save each month?

According to a 2017 report published by CareerBuilder, 56% of U.S. workers save less $100 each month.

75% of full-time workers live paycheck to paycheck.

Nearly 1 in 10 of those earning more than six figures said they struggled to make ends meet.

All things considered, I know how to save money. I’m pretty good at it.

I want to lose about 40 pounds, and I want to finish at least one of the books I’ve started (finish reading one or writing one).

These seem much, much, much harder.

At the grocery store today it occurred to me that I should approach my SMART goals the same way I approach saving money.

Before you can start saving at least 20% of your income, consider these 10 questions first. 

Continue reading “10 Simple Questions To Help You Save 20% of Your Income”

What Did You Learn Today?

The history of daylight savings time. Chain migration. Puerto Rico’s water supply and the controversy surrounding body positivity. What did you learn this week that you didn’t know before?

We can’t always articulate what we learn, but I’m doing my best to document it.

This week I learned 13 things that I didn’t know before.

ONE:
The creator of my favorite YouTube series, Crash Course, is the author of The Fault in our Stars! Did you know that?

TWO:
It’s difficult to have a sincere, balanced, objective conversation about mental health and the best way to provide services and support for those affected by mental health issues.

THREE:
Social media can be isolating, not just for young people, but for people of any age and background.  Continue reading “What Did You Learn Today?”

9 Things I Learned This Week That I Didn’t Know Before

Jot Form. BCycle. Soledad O’brien’s UH visit. What did you learn this week that you didn’t know before?

What did you learn this week that you didn’t know before?

ONE: Jot Form is a website that lets you use their pre-designed templates to complete different types of forms you might need for projects or business needs.

Moreover, templates include things like job applications, scholarship applications, registration forms, membership forms, contact forms, etc. Templates can be modified regularly, and the website is user-friendly for those technologically-challenged, like me.

TWOSoledad O’Brien will speak at the University of Houston’s Rockwell Lecture Series on Leadership and Ethics on October 12, 2018.

THREE: Pinterest groups are supposed to be one of the most useful tools for generating traffic to your blog.  Continue reading “9 Things I Learned This Week That I Didn’t Know Before”

When Should You Mind Your Own Business?

Is your brother’s business yours? Is it mine? Is your president’s business his own, or is it mine?

I’d rather mind my own business all the time. I’m introverted, anti-social, and sometimes (unintentionally) cold. Minding my own business is easier. Stress-free!

The second and third graders I tutor can’t finish anything without worrying what the others are doing.

“Look! He didn’t finish his homework!”
“Oooohh! He made a bad grade on his test!”
“Ahhh! Look what she wrote on her paper!”

I do what I can to hold them to a higher standard– to encourage them to hold themselves accountable for their own learning (and their own mistakes).

Michael is in elementary school, but his brother’s a rising junior. Over the last few weeks, Michael’s brother has changed his hair, started drinking protein shakes, and started lifting weights constantly. Michael thinks he’s interested in one of the seniors at his school.

“Why would she like him just because he changed his hair? Teenagers are so stupid. When I’m older, I’m never going to try to look different for a girl. Yuck!” Michael sticks his finger in his throat for emphasis.

Whenever his brother passes by down the hall, he points and laughs.

When should you mind your own business? 

Continue reading “When Should You Mind Your Own Business?”

11 Things International Applicants Should Know Before Applying to Graduate School

English proficiency exams. Visa restrictions. Residency requirements. Funding options. Summer commitments. Important deadlines.

What should you know before you apply to graduate school?

In 2017 The National Foundation for American Policy reported that international students dominate STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) graduate degree programs.

According to their report, 81% of full-time graduate students in electrical and petroleum engineering programs in the U.S. are international students. In full-time, graduate level, computer science programs, 79% of the students are international.

1. You should know whether you can be successful in a graduate program conducted entirely in English. You should know which English proficiency exam is required for entry.

For domestic applicants, a complete application generally includes the following:

  1. Application fee or fee waiver (if available)
  2. Completed application
  3. Three letters of recommendation who can speak to your academic ability (ideally former professors)
  4. GRE or GMAT official test scores (typically no more than 5 years old)
  5. Official transcripts from all universities previously attended
  6. Personal statement, letter of intent, or statement of purpose
  7. Resume or CV

For international applicants, a complete application includes #1- #7 above PLUS a TOEFL or IELTS score report (typically no more than 2 years old).
TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language.

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System.
Not all programs accept the TOEFL. Not all programs accept the IELTS.
Find out which one you’re required to take.

Find out whether there’s a minimum score required for admission.
Assess your reading, writing, and speaking ability.  Continue reading “11 Things International Applicants Should Know Before Applying to Graduate School”

10 Things Domestic Applicants Should Know Before Applying to Graduate School

Domestic applicants (U.S. citizens and permanent residents) should know these 10 things before applying to graduate school.

I accidentally went to graduate school three times.

The first time was just a built-in perk of an AmeriCorps service program I completed.

(I was 21.)

The second time was actually on purpose (just not part of my original life plan).

(I was 26.)

The third time was a matter of necessity. I needed a way to increase my earning potential (because of the debt from the second time), and nothing else was working.

It felt forced; it felt rushed, and I didn’t want to do it.

(I was 30.)

I whole-heartedly regret the debt (and the interest on the debt), but not the network or the wealth of experiences.

We can’t go back in time, but we can (1) make better choices in the future or (2) help others make better choices.  Continue reading “10 Things Domestic Applicants Should Know Before Applying to Graduate School”