Paying for Education

Earlier this week, it dawned on me that the money for my second semester of graduate school isn’t going to fall out of the sky, and that I need to start socking money away for tuition, in addition to my first semester bill next fall. So I logged into SmartyPig and set up a new savings goal with automatic deductions from my checking account. Looking at the money I’m trying to save for both school and a new computer has me thinking differently about saving for higher education. It’s a lot different from when my parents were paying for it, and that’s all I had to worry about. I must admit, it also has me thinking differently about how I spend my money on a daily basis for the little things.

Watching my savings grow for specific goals on SmartyPig has been fun, but it’s been eye opening too. One of the oddly satisfying things about SmartyPig is that once you have a goal set up, you can have automatic deductions set up, of course, but you can also transfer as little as $1.00 from your regular checking or savings account into a SmartyPig goal. So in theory, I could take my lunch to work instead of eating out at one of the yummy places near my office, then I could transfer $5 (or whatever amount I’d saved) into a particular goal, and I can’t touch it until I close that goal out. I’ve started to turn this saving-for-school thing into a game, much like a kid with a piggy bank who’s saving for a new toy. I do feel much of the same excitement, actually, since getting an MLS has been a dream of mine for 10+ years!

I just wish I’d started saving for it sooner! *sigh*


Clipart from


About Lesley Looper

I'm a full-time library employee. I enjoy reading, photography, travel, blogging, and geocaching.
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4 Responses to Paying for Education

  1. Wow, I am going to try that Smarty Pig. I have been thinking that I must do a better job of saving money, too.

    • Lesley says:

      I’ve been meaning to do a better job of saving too, Michelle. SmartyPig has helped me be more discplined, and the graphics and flexibility make it a little more fun! I wish I’d found this tool a long time ago! (Wish I were getting a $$ kickback from SmartyPig for saying that!)

      • I can definitely help you out with understanding this and knowing what to expect in terms of financial responsibility. The UNC/NCCU/NCSU school system has a weird way of charging tuition – they charge twice as much for the first class. Right now I pay $1600 for class no 1, $800 for class no 2 and $920 for fees. The nice thing is though that I get a lot of money back on my taxes 😉 when you pay out of pocket for tuition. Hope this helps! And good luck saving with SmartyPig!

  2. Lesley says:

    I didn’t know there were tax advantages! Thank goodness for that, Ginger! Since I’m getting reimbursed eventually (after grades are in) by my employer, I probably can’t use it as a tax deduction too, but it’s food for thought!

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