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It's time I start thinking about college and careers... Help? - June 22nd 2010, 11:37 PM

Okay so, I'm applying for colleges soon, because my family is big on knowing every little thing you're going to do by the end of junior year. (good thing I'm starting senior year) Anyway, I've decided that it's time I start thinking realistically, and toss aside the "I wanna be a performer" dream, for now. I've decided to go into Music Therapy, which on average makes about... $30,000 to $45,000 last I heard. My boyfriend, who (I know I'm young) I plan on keeping in my life through all this. At least have an idea or so. Again, I know I'm young but we've been together awhile now and we ARE taking things slow. Aside that He is finding interest in being a card dealer in a casino. I'm trying to politely get him to decide what exactly, and have done research on my own for him (yay boredom) And really, the salary for this seems to be incredibly varied on the area, casino, game, tips, and dealer skill. Anything between minimum wage, and $50,000 a year. o.o

ANYWAY... I was wondering to get some advice on like. how to plan this stuff out, make a spreadsheet or something with expenses and stuff. I did this in 9th grade, but I'm a senior so I've definitely forgotten all the little numbers of how much things like cable TV are and such. I don't plan on living really well to be honest, no real desire to anyway. I'd actually like to live in an apartment somewhere downtown for awhile. But I would like the basics, tv, internet, food, not to mention I plan on at least still caring for my hedgehog, possibly gecko. Anyway.

BIG QUESTION TIME.
Is there an easy way I can figure out how much all this would cost, without going through every little website to figure it out? Any other tips for this stuff? o.o



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Re: It's time I start thinking about college and careers... Help? - June 23rd 2010, 08:46 AM

Well, searching online would be your best bet though. I can't think of anything more efficient.


- Find an area you can commute to and figure out the average cost (by looking online) for the rent on the type of apartment you want to get. Keep in mind, online you can even get virtual tours, and find out if there are any apartments in the same area that are cheaper.

- Figure out phone/cable/internet. For example, Time Warner has a Phone/Cable/Internet deal, so finding the cost of that would help. Also, make sure the cost isn't promotional, and if it is, that you can still afford it after it goes up.

- For food costs, try going along with your mom for grocery shopping. Or look at any receipts. This will give you an idea on how much staple items cost, as well as extras.

- For pet expenses, you should know approximately how many bags of kibble/worms/shavings your Hedgehog goes through, so knowing the cost per bag and approximately how many you'll need would help you budget that.


I know you don't want to look online, but when I was making a budget sheet (in case I had to leave the area for college), I found looking online to be quite helpful. You can easily compare things side-by-side just by clicking a tab, you can see more and get better information online than you can over the phone, and you can additionally search the Student Listings around your college of choice as well.

Good luck!


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Re: It's time I start thinking about college and careers... Help? - June 23rd 2010, 03:50 PM

Oi, thanks. I just know my dad is going to be asking for this any day now. I gotta start pretending like I know what I'm doing and pretending I'm smart to get him off my back. lol



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Re: It's time I start thinking about college and careers... Help? - June 23rd 2010, 09:19 PM

As for the cost of things, it can really vary; however, if you intend to stay in your local area for a while; then I would look at the average prices your parents pay for like food. Also, rent can really vary so there your best bet is to really start looking around in a few months or go online the see the average cost in your area.

As for cell phone internet ect some of that will be pretty easy if you have a set bill each month.

It is GREAT that you have some idea what you want to do with your life.
   
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Re: It's time I start thinking about college and careers... Help? - June 29th 2010, 06:40 PM

First of all, let me tell you that you always want the worst case scenario for your money. You want to put down making the least amount you think possible for your job, with the most expensive anything is likely to be, and don't forget to budget for emergencies. If you can make your budget work with the worst case scenario, you can make it work with anything.

Now, to give you an idea of a price, our water bill was $85 recently, but that was more expensive than normal. That would be a worst case scenario. Some things are flat rates, like your cable TV. It never changes unless you change your plan. Ours is around $25. Check out what your parents are paying for things, and round their costs up to the nearest dollar amount. Grocery shopping ends up being about $200 every time you go, and in most households that's once a week or once every two weeks. Sorry that I can't help more...


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Re: It's time I start thinking about college and careers... Help? - June 29th 2010, 07:33 PM

I hardly used the Internet to help decide where I was going to go. I used the MacLeans Magazine because it gave ratings, commentary and everything on each university, then it gave overall surveys on many things. I suggest finding something like this to use because the information in it is accurate, verifiable and obtained by many studies. It doesn't lay out the costs though because the costs vary. If you're living on residence or off-campus away from home, it's going to be more expensive. Certain programs are more expensive than others even for getting a Bachelor's because sometimes the programs are not regulated in their costs. So for the costs, you can estimate the average but the cost for you may be way off, so you'd need to contact the individual universities to know better.

The McLean's Magazine also has discussions on what non-academic programs are offered on campus because that can make campus life better.

What I did was I looked at the universities I wanted to go to, weighed out things like whether I'd be on residence or not, and listed out the factors not the prices because the prices could have been anything. For the universities I liked, I went with my parents to visit the campuses so as to getting an experience of it that photographs and commentaries cannot give. For some I hated the campus after visiting it but never knew that by only reading magazines and talking to a few people.

Some websites are quite useful though but whenever I used the Internet for it, I didn't go the webpage of the universities, I went to other independent, somewhat reputable sites.
   
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Re: It's time I start thinking about college and careers... Help? - July 1st 2010, 03:26 PM

It is not about... the average pay that matters.. its all about job avaliablity today.. and in the future!

Music therapy isnt that good.. sorry to break your heart.

Try getting a practical degree.

My cousin tried that route years ago.. now she is a life insurance sales agent... she lives in a trailer park...


i got an accounting degree... and applied for a job in the last minute. from the first interview offer call to the call they offer me the job... is less than 7 business days. i got a job in my first try. so easy. get a good pratical degree otherwise u will be messed up. these days alot of people are getting degrees from real universities and degree mills. u gotta focus on a masters degree too!
   
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