Financial Priorities and Making College Worth It: Money Mastermind Show

I’m involved with the Money Mastermind Show, a project in which I’m part of a group discussing financial topics — live!

A couple weeks ago, some of my fellow personal finance bloggers and I launched the pilot episode of the Money Mastermind Show. We’d been working on this idea for a couple of months, and we finally launched it. It’s an exciting adventure, since this is something I’ve never done before.

What makes this project especially cool, beyond the fact that we’ve got some solid personal finance bloggers on our panel, is that we’re doing the show live, using Google Hangouts On Air. So, if you set yourself up to use Hangouts, you can watch us live every Wednesday at 10 p.m. Eastern. We plan to have guests on starting in a week or two, after we get some of the kinks worked out.

We’ve got some good topics lined up as well. Personally, I think the first two episodes were mostly a success.

What are Your Financial Priorities?

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I think that determining your spending priorities, based on your personal values, is one of the most important things you can do for your finances. When you take the time to understand yourself and then order your finances according to your priorities, you are more likely to be satisfied with your life and your finances.

Paying attention to your priorities over time, and adjusting your finances as your goals and values progress, is also an important part of maintaining a solid financial situation. You can watch us talk about money below, and describe our own personal financial philosophies. You don’t have to model your own finances after the way we do things (in fact, the five of us on the show don’t always do things the same way), but hopefully we can give you a few ideas about developing your own financial philosophy and spending priorities.

Is a Four-Year Degree Worth the Cost?

Our second episode tackles the debate over whether or not college is worth the cost. This episode was fun for a couple of reasons. First of all, we all went looking for stats from different studies and sources, and talked about the realities of the situation. There is all sorts of different data out there, from which majors are worth the most, to which universities are a huge waste of time.

But the real crux of the debate is whether or not you?need?a “traditional” four-year degree to succeed. The reality is that you can do just fine with an associate’s degree, or by getting a technical certification. The key is looking for a marketable skill.

Kevin and I kind of took over the show, since we seemed to have the most to say on the subject (which makes sense in Kyle’s case, since he’s actually in an education field). What we all sort of agreed on is that it’s too bad that so many kids — especially here in the United States — are pushed into college prep courses, and told that they have to get a four-year degree. The reality is that skilled labor is very important, and we need to respect that.

Plus, skilled labor can pay quite well because there is a shortage of people with many of these skills.

As with so many things related to personal finance, whether or not a degree is worth it depends on your situation and how you go about it. I don’t regret the student loan debt I have, since my college experiences have paid off. You hear stories about how you shouldn’t be a?communications major, but, really, that’s not always the problem. I’ve done well with my degree. But the key is that I didn’t spend $100,000 to get the degree. That’s when you start to get into trouble: When you have unreasonable expectations of what you can pay back after you get done with college. An arts major just isn’t going to make as much as STEM major.

Anyway, if you have the time, watch our episodes. Let me know what you think of what we’re doing, and, if you’ve got nothing better to do on a Wednesday night, head over to the Money Mastermind Show Google Plus page and watch us live.

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