Average Joe’s Friday Read-a-Long

Mission partly accomplished! I filled out two FAFSA applications this week. That means that I’m halfway to finding out that the total cost my twin’s college is roughly double what I’ve saved.

You may not know this, but contrary to my post about expected family contributions, the formula is simple:

EFC = Everything You Have + ($several thousand more)

Thank you to Lance at Money Life & More, who planted the seed for that equation during a Twitter discussion.

Now, where were we….something about posts…..OH!


10 Great Reads Plus An Extra One….No Charge 


More fantastic blogging these last couple of weeks. I could point out a bajillion stories, but then I’d miss the Real Housewives of Atlanta. So, in the interest of time, and watching that little b#$%! get hers, let’s point you toward some weekend reading, shall we?

I hope you’re not hungry as you click through to Sydney’s article at Untemplater. She talks about the Best Eats From Around the World. Check out the pics. I’m headed to Istanbul right now to grab some of that Turkish delight….

The crappiest job I ever had? I had to move chickens from their cages into little portable cages and load them on a truck to go to the slaughterhouse. Kim from Eyes On The Dollar takes the road less traveled and discusses the lessons learned from some pretty crappy jobs.

You’re an MVP at work, aren’t you? How about some career advice? Read Early Stage Career Boosters For People with MVP Potential at FastCompany.

Have you ever self-sabotaged? Sadly, I’ve seen this more often than I ever cared. KK at Student Debt Survivor had an awesome post called Think Yourself Into Financial Failure.

I’d say one of the most eclectic financial writers has to be Kathleen at Frugal Portland. You read her site one day and it’s definitely not an indicator of what she’s writing the next. Check out Spirituality Lesson from My Baby Sister.

Older workers face a different set of challenges in the job market than young workers. KrantCents tackles Interview Tips for Older Workers.

Jordann at My Alternate Life annoyingly shares a bunch of tips on eating healthy. But Jordann, how can I ever visit In-N-Out with your voice of reason blaring in my head? Check out the good stuff in Why I Care About What I Eat.

Maggie at Square Pennies discusses one of the coolest companies I’ve found, Rent the Runway. Have a daughter headed to a big dance? Want to avoid buying a dress that’ll be warn exactly once? Read Maggie’s article.

iHeart Budgets tackles an interesting budget for a couple, and the couple works with readers in the comments! What fun this was: Budget Friday: Submission 7 (Jake didn’t write a post about kinky sex, although the title reads like it, go ahead and click….).

Mrs. PoP at Planting Our Pennies plays the part of the person who knows how to lower her real estate tax assessment in the two-part epic: How We Fought Our Real Estate Tax Appraisal And Won.


We’re Very Popular and Humble


Thanks to Adam at Money Bulldog and Pauline at Reach Financial Independence for pointing readers toward our article: College Planning Strategy: a Creative (and Effective) Option.

Thank you to our new Yakezie friend Thriftability and the Freedom 35 Blog for pointing readers toward 5 Simple Steps to Kick 2013 Into High Gear.

The awesome dudes at Fearless Men pointed to my personl favorite article I wrote in the last couple weeks: Joe’s Favorite Movies of 2012. Thanks, guys!

Jacob at iHeartBudgets , Michael Kitces (via LinkedIn), and Erin at Dog Ate My Wallet pointed out our discussion of advisor lobbies: Hiring a Financial Advisor: Clues From the Lobby. Thank you, peeps!

Random Thoughts To End the Week Without a Bang


A new diary post hit reader inboxes this week. We talk about my obsession with finding the right headline.

AND our shiny new newsletter will have issue #1 going out this week. We’ll tackle saving money on car insurance. Hey, that might be a good idea for a slogan….

Finally….remember: If you live in SW Georgia, vote for Dr. Dean Burke for State Senate!

Photo: Moria

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  1. says

    Many thanks for including me in the read-a-long. I’m flattered to be in such good company. Oh FAFSA, how I don’t miss having to fill that out each year. My parents didn’t make much money when I went to school, so the equation turned out something like EFC=Everything the kid saved for 18 years plus big loans. Either way college is WAY too expensive these days.
    KK @ Student Debt Survivor recently posted..My Dog Has More Coats Than I DoMy Profile

    • Average Joe says

      It’s stupid-expensive, KK. I think we’re starting to enter an era where people put pressures on universities to keep costs under control…at least I hope.

    • Average Joe says

      If the guy hadn’t been a friend of my dad’s, I totally would have done the same. It was embarrassing enough to my dad when my brother and I came home after he asked the guy if we could help….

    • Average Joe says

      It’s so difficult to prove that….the FAFSA is pretty tight on the definition. But, if you asked me at 17, I knew everything then, and totally didn’t need my parents. Ha!

  2. Funancials says

    Just when I think my jobs have been painful, I get to picture you (what I think you look like) tossing chickens into cages. Sounds awesome…

    • Average Joe says

      I’ll do a post on it in the future (I love this idea of lessons learned from crappy jobs), but it’s a lot more graphic than I described here. When you take them out of their current cage, they instinctively flap their wings. Most of the time you broke both of them pulling the chicken out. I complained to the farmer, who said “that’s the way it happens,” and “who cares anyway…they’re hours away from slaughter”…

  3. says

    I like to think that I’m pretty much in tune to all the awesome places to be online and yet again I am proved wrong. First off the bloggers you listed are awesome all the time so I hope people add them to their readers/feeds. That FastCompany piece was great too and that site has never been on my rounds but is now the newest member. Great post!
    Nunzio Bruno recently posted..Extreme Couponing…FTL?My Profile

  4. jim says

    Average Joe,
    Been there and done that – getting kids thru undergrad. Spouse and I also put ourselves thru undergrad/grad school (with a little one in tow while living below the poverty level – and no, we didn’t take a dime of welfare – altho we “qualified” for it in spades – ha!).

    Best advice I can give you is to figure out how much of their education your budget can absorb – then put those kids on a budget and make them figure out how to survive on it. I know that sounds sooooooooooooooooo harsh if you’re the parent trying to do that to “your baby angels” – but I’m telling you – the little grown-up rug rats will suck your budget dry if you don’t put serious limits on it. I know ’cause I didn’t quite ace that class.

    Oh, and yes, I can already hear your spouse saying, OMG, but they’re such great, precious kids – how can you do that!

    Trust me on this one – this is one thing I know I am right about (and they’ll still have the time of their lives!)

    • Average Joe says

      Funny, Jim, we were talking about this a couple days ago (great minds). I agree. I didn’t have help with college and don’t want my kids pumping the keg with my money….


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