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About five years ago I had an epiphany after visiting a family member who served me a delicious latte’ he made at home with an affordable espresso machine purchased online. I wrote down the name of the machine and after returning home immediately purchased my own $20 espresso maker with a milk steamer attached. I figured even if it only lasted a few weeks it would still be cheaper than regular stops at local coffee houses to fill my new passion for grande, nonfat lattes. Little did I know just how much I would save.
I still have that $20 machine, and as I write this I’m enjoying my own nonfat latte…but now I like to add a touch of cinnamon because I’m that cutting edge. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally splurge on a store-bought designer coffee, but on the whole, I seem to enjoy mine even more at home knowing how much I’ve saved over the years.
Let me break the cost savings down for you. According to Yahoo Finance:
“If you buy one $4 latte each day, that coffee habit will set you back $28 a week, about $120 a month and $1,460 per year. Keep that up for five years, and you’ve slurped away $7,300.”
That $7,300 I pocketed makes me feel pretty financially savvy, even though I barely know how to read my bank statement.
What’s my point about this whole story?
If you can sacrifice your daily latte (which has no return on investment), and instead invest in yourself by furthering your education and training, in just a few short years you can go back to buying all the lattes you want with money left over to spend on the occasional pastry so temptingly placed in those clear display cases right where you order.
But how will I pay for college, you ask? In one or more of 5 Easy Ways:
- College Grants
- College Loans
- Educational Loans
- Federal Work Study
- Military Benefits for College
If you’re reading this and haven’t yet sat down with a Financial Assistance Representative on campus, then you probably have no idea where to begin when it comes to paying for college.
- How will you adjust your personal finances to pay for school?
- Is there a way to actually budget for this investment?
- And how do I know what I qualify for in order to maximize grants (i.e. “free” money – my personal favorite)?
If you’ve made the commitment to return to school and increase your potential hiring opportunities, then the next step should without a doubt be to visit the Financial Aid office.
These folks have fancy calculators to put costs and budgeting into perspective, and they know real ways to find the money you need to finally invest in the most important person you know: yourself.