Eclipse Eyewear & Finance

The.Daily.Spoon

Well, lookie there!

If you haven’t heard already, there’s a total solar eclipse coming up on Monday, August 21st. It’ll be visible in many places across the country from the southeast to the northwest.The path of totality (i.e. the best views) will run from South Carolina to Tennessee to Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and then Oregon.

But be careful

For most of us, this will be the first total solar eclipse we’ve ever seen, which is exciting. It’s never safe, however, to look directly at the sun. During the brief total phase of the solar eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun, it’ll be safe to look directly at it… but then again, you’re looking at the moon at that point, not the sun.

So if you want to watch the whole process of the moon going in front of the sun, you’ll need some special solar filters, like eclipse glasses. Regular sunglasses are not enough to safely look directly at the sun. Please make sure you are not damaging your eyes while enjoying the amazing phenomenon of the eclipse. For more information on the right types of eye wear, and when it’s safe to take them off during the eclipse, head on over to NASA’s eclipse info page!

Save your eyes!

Welcome to Finance Fridays

It’s crucial for everyone to be financially literate as an adult. That means that you understand what you’re making, what you’re spending, what you owe (if anything), and how you’re spending, as well as other considerations like how where you live impacts your spending/income.

I’ll focus on one topic per week, so you get the advice you need in manageable doses.

This week: Owning what you owe

If you don’t have student loans, don’t tune out. This info will still be useful for any future debt you may have, like for a house or a car.

Firstly and most importantly: know the total amount that you will owe. All loans come with interest, whether they’re private or federal. Find out what the total cost will be. You’ll need to break down the following to figure it out:

  • The total amount you borrowed
  • When you need to start making payments
  • What amount you need to pay each month
  • How long it will take you to pay it all off

Typically, you don’t want to graduate with debt that will take you a decade or more to pay off – especially because getting a job and finding affordable housing can be difficult enough on their own.

Here are some options if your debt is too high:

  • Refinance: There are so many companies out there willing to help college students and recent grads refinance their loans at lower interest rates. This can help lower your monthly payments and lessen the term of your loan.
  • Side Hustle: It’s not great to have to work multiple jobs, but it’s better to do it while you’re young to get yourself out of debt than to be in debt when you’re older and don’t have the energy.
  • Transfer: Community colleges and vocational schools are always, always, alwaysan option. While you might balk at the idea or feel that you deserve to go to a big university because your friends are doing it, it may not be feasible, at least not at first.
    • It’s okay to swallow your pride and get your general education classes (English 101 and all that) out of the way at a less expensive institution. You can always transfer back to a larger university for your core classes, which will allow you to graduate with a degree with the university’s name on it while having saved thousands of precious dollars.

Student loan calculators: find out what you’ll owe

In the News This Week:

Bye, bye, bye: the president’s business committee, arts & humanities committee, and chief strategist Steve Bannon have abandoned the White House.

Barcelona: a deadly attack involving a van driving into a crowd of pedestrians has been claimed as the work of ISIS, and could be part of a bigger plot.

Sleep well: a new study has linked binge-watching TV shows to poor sleep and insomnia. I mean, seems obvious enough, but this confirms it.

  From the Blog  

10 Questions to Ask Before Signing Off On a Student Loan
Student loans are by far one of the most common ways for college students to pay for their education; in fact, 44.2 million American adults currently have some level of outstanding student debt. But for many soon-to-be college kids, the process of obtaining a loan is a confusing one. For most, this is the first big financial decision they’re making on their own. And it’s not one to be taken lightly! It’s important to fully understand your loan and all of the terms that come along with it before signing off. Not doing so can lead to some incredibly frustrating consequences later on that can affect everything from your credit score, future employment opportunities, and even your personal life. So to help gain a better understanding of this decision, here are 10 questions you should always ask before taking out a student loan.

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