And money should matter the least.

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(Image courtesy of Daily Motion)

With the holiday shopping season ramping up, there will be not only a massive increase in purchases to give as gifts but also items bought for personal use. In 2019, Americans spent an average of $155 on gifts for themselves, representing 13% of their total holiday gift budget.

Why do we do this?

  1. Mob mentality. We go along with the crowd that is splurging over the holiday. It’s present when we have too many cookies and eggnog over the coming months, only to end up 10 pounds heavier come January 2nd. It’s also present when we see our friends buying presents for everyone, and we just want to participate in the free-spending joy of buying stuff. …


A Quarter-Billion Dollars in Student Loan Forgiveness.

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PSLF is the program that will erase your student debt. (Image courtesy of grow.com)

As I’ve mentioned in my past few articles, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program has finally been starting to achieve exit velocity, leaving behind the trappings of a disastrous start and finally becoming the robust loan forgiveness program it was designed to be.

From the six-figure average forgiveness to the double-digit approval rate, this program is for real.

(Note 1: For explanations of the data and corresponding calculations, please see the original article about parsing the PSLF reports.)

(Note 2: Due to a lag in collecting and processing the data, the report released in October 2020 only has data through September 2020.)


Student loan forgiveness, by the (real) numbers.

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(Image courtesy of openloans.com)

Here is the latest update on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Since there is a lag in collecting and processing the data, the report released in September 2020 only has data through August 2020.

(Note 1: For explanations of the data and corresponding calculations, please see the original article about parsing the PSLF reports.)

(Note 2: The DOE published the data for both June and August simultaneously, so we are looking at both months in this review.)

Approval Rate

The overall unadjusted approval rates have been consistently above 2% the past three months, so you can disregard any articles you see about 99% rejection. …


This is the one time to stick with the federal government.

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(Photo by Franco Atkins from Pexels)

Have you been thinking about your student loans lately?

Thinking that maybe your student loans are screwing you just a little too much?

Maybe there’s a better way than dealing with the federal loan servicers?

You know, the idiots at Nelnet.

Or the morons at MOHELA.

Or, god forbid, the complete fucking assholes at FedLoan?

Maybe you’ve heard all the ads about how refinancing your student loans can save you.

(It’s almost like these companies are made up of ex-Jehovah’s witnesses. “Save us, oh mighty refinancing companies!”)

If you’ve been thinking about refinancing, you’re not alone. …


Debunking the myth of the lazy, greedy, jobless “taker”.

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(Image courtesy of livlihoodlaw.com)

Introduction

If you listen to the talking heads on TV (or your crazy uncle on Facebook), you’ll probably hear arguments either for or against unemployment benefits that boil down to some version of the following:

The unemployed are losers and slackers, taking all of the tax money that people with a job are being forced to send to the government.

OR

The unemployed are being given the bare minimum (or less) to keep their bellies full while they desperately search for new job

As always, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

To find that truth, we need to answer the following questions. …


Over $200,000,000 in student loan forgiveness.

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Photo by Godisable Jacob from Pexels

Here is the latest update on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Since there is a lag in collecting and processing the data, the report released in August 2020 only has data through June 2020.

(Note: For explanations of the data and corresponding calculations, please see the original article about parsing the PSLF reports.)

Approval Rate

At 12.4%, June wasn’t quite the blockbuster month for approval rates as May was with it’s 15.5%, but it was still far better than the single digits from earlier in the year. …


Our kids will be the unwitting participants in the largest government study in US history.

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Photo by Martin Lopez from Pexels

Introduction

This fall, millions of school children across the country will be the unwitting, and probably unwilling, participants in the largest government health study in the history of the United States.

Over the past few weeks, the stories of how to reopen schools, if they even do open, has been dominating the headlines across all major media outlets.

And for good reason, too.

The total number of children in grades 1–12 is over 56 million, most of whom have been cooped up at home since the spring lockdown. And while states have been gradually reopening their economies over the summer with varying levels of success, apparently no one thought to plan ahead for the time when 17% of the entire US population will congregate on known locations at the same time. …


This proves that the NFL is all about the money…and nothing else.

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(Image courtesy of nfl.com)

The NFL recently released the design of a new face shield for players’ helmets. The design supposedly redirects exhaled breath from going straight out in front of the player. Rather, the breath, and more specifically the droplets possibly containing the coronavirus, is redirecting through slits or around the shield entirely.

There are airways and openings on the mouth shield but none that allow the direct transmission of droplets, according to the chair of the NFL’s engineering committee, Dr. Jeff Crandall.

“Clear plastic with slits or holes in it that block any direct path of a droplet, but do promote air flow, communication, soundwaves,” he said. …


Approval rates skyrocketed this month.

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(Photo by Designecologist from Pexels)

Here is the latest update on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Since there is a lag in collecting and processing the data, the report released in July 2020 only has data through May 2020.

(Note: For explanations of the data, please see the original article about parsing the PSLF reports.)

Approval Rate

May was a fantastic month for PSLF applicants. The monthly adjusted approval rate was took a huge leap from right around 5% to over 15%!

This may just be an aberration, and things will come back down to a lower, but still increasing, normal.

OR

This could be the month where the PSLF program is finally starting to take off, shedding the early mistakes of the first cohort and becoming the saving grace of so many student loan borrowers. …


4 ways remote learning could kill more students than COVID.

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(Image courtesy of parents.com)

Introduction

With the academic year fast approaching, school districts across the country have been scrambling to put together some semblance of an acceptable reopening plan during a still white-hot pandemic.

In the face of the risks that mass gatherings have posed, and governments have warned us about, it might seem all to easy to just go with remote learning and call it a day. That was certainly my opinion a few months ago.

But it’s not that easy.

Schools provide so much more than education and are a backbone supporting millions of families. …

About

Adam Parsons

Husband | Father | Engineer | Writer — Focused on how to get a little better every day.

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