Edubucks: A Tool for Managing the Exorbitant Cost of Higher Education

Even though it’s only July and the days are still long and hot ,made for staying up late and sleeping in, school supplies are out. They’re not only out they’re on sale. As a parent I am NOT ready to even think about back to school yet. As a student myself I’m excited about going “back” to school.
It’s been a while since I mentioned it but I’m going back to school this coming fall.
Getting my bachelor’s degree is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while and I’ve really enjoyed my previous attempts at attaining that goal. I love learning new things and enjoy a little mental challenge in my life. Plus I’m more than ready for a schedule change. The seven day on/seven day off night shift gig I’ve got going on now (and have had going on for the past three years) is just not sustainable long term.
In short my life is moving forward in a positive direction and it’s a good thing, I’m happy about it.

Even so there are also a few reasons why I’m NOT looking forward to my return to student status.
For one, new things are always scary and this will be a whole lotta New.
A new schedule, a new commute, new demands on my time, stuff like that.
But the biggest reason I’m not looking forward to returning to higher education is the cost.
It is SO expensive.
I am about to incur about a hundred times more debt than I am comfortable with.
Even with the grants and possible scholarships I could get it is going to cost me an arm and a leg…and then maybe another arm (but hopefully not another leg because then I’d be like one of those bad jokes my sister and I used to tell each other. For example: What do you call a man with no arms and no legs floating in the pond? Yep, Bob….sorry for that).
Just thinking about the debt that is coming my way makes my blood pressure rise. I can actually feel it going up as the wheels in my head start turning over the numbers. And that’s without adding in the cost of textbooks and supplies. Eeek!

So of course I do what I typically do when something stresses me out: I avoid it.
I make like Scarlett O’Hara and “think about that tomorrow.”
Avoidance is procrastination’s frequent bedfellow.
I’m pretty well versed in both these not-so-lost arts.
Which is good because avoiding such a large looming thing requires some practice, some skill, and maybe even some tricks.
And that’s how I came up with the idea of Edubucks.
It’s brilliant, really. Simple yet elegant.
Here’s how it works:
When you apply for financial aid and are taking out student loans, that big number that represents the cost of your year of school (which is probably just one of at least four years of similar astounding cost),
just… pretend it’s not real.
It’s all about mind over matter, perspective so to speak.
So just take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and pretend all that money that will be spent on the pursuit of higher education (and hopefully a better life) is not actually real money.
It’s Edubucks.

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It shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. It’s not like money physically changes hands when you’re “paying” for school with student loans. You just sign some papers, give the names & addresses of your ten closest family members and/or friends, and BOOM!
Classes paid for. Just like that.
If you’re getting overages it’s even put onto a fun little plastic card for you to use for books and beer living costs.
Sure you’ll probably have to pay all this back someday but you can think about that later.
(Besides you’ll be making soooo much more money once you’ve gotten more education….right?
It’ll totally be worth it…right?)
Don’t sweat it right now.
You’re just using a few Edubucks.
They’re like those chips you can buy on wine tasting tours (or so I hear as I haven’t actually been on one…I should remedy that soon).
Sure you spend some money on the chips initially but they’re not real money. You get them then use them to get wine. You can decide how many chips you want to invest in getting each glass. Do you want to use one chip for a cheaper wine and get more or spend more and get better quantity? That’s up to you to decide but either way you feel good about it because you’re not using real money and you get wine.
And then it’s all good.

Those token fueled kid places operate on the same principle. If you had to put actual quarters in the stupid games you’d be much more hesitant to play them again and again.
Who wants to spend a dollar trying to whack a little plastic rodent over and over as it’s stupid grinning face pops up out of any one of eight different holes?
Preschoolers, kids, that’s who.
Because money isn’t real to them.
These fine germ infested, bad pizza selling establishments came up with the token scheme.
Every twenty or so tokens you buy they throw in an extra one or two just to make you feel like you’re getting a deal. Then you and your kids spend tokens with reckless abandon. Before you know it you’ve spent forty bucks two hundred tokens on games and have nothing but cheap plastic toys or maybe a crappy giant stuffed animal to show for it.

People spend ridiculous amounts of money in a short amount of time without even thinking about it because it doesn’t feel like they’re using money. The same principle can be applied to higher education. You’re going into lots & lots of debt. A token system would help make the burden of this debt more manageable.
It does seem to be working for me so far. My level of stress over the cost of going back to school has decreases drastically since I’ve changed my thinking to incorporate Edubucks.

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About nights7

A metamorphosis in progress...always.

4 thoughts on “Edubucks: A Tool for Managing the Exorbitant Cost of Higher Education

  1. […] no more excuses. It’s got to happen. I’ve got this shiny new part time work/full time school schedule and Wednesdays are an unscheduled day now so I decided Wednesday would be long run day. […]

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  2. […] meaning. When deciding to return to school the financial aspect held a lot of weight but hey, Edubucks, […]

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  3. […] going to have to actually pay for these classes. I was out of Monopoly money for the year. No more Edubucks for this girl (until September of course). Crap! I put off even looking at the e-bill for a few […]

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  4. […] have picked up some easy bullshit class to fill the time and ,in doing so, avoided fucking up my financial aid. Of course I didn’t realize the financial aid was effed up until two days after my overages […]

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