Monthly Archives: August 2012

Seek Out Those Discounts!

It always helps to be aware of special offers and discounts that can help save you money.  Here are a few I have noticed recently.

-If you have a Costco membership, consider buying gift cards to your favorite restaurants from Costco, as you will usually pay less than face value for them.  (For example, they were recently selling California Pizza Kitchen gift cards: 2 $50 cards for $80.)

-If you are buying services for more than one child, ask the service provider if they have any sibling discounts.  We recently visited the Playroom (an indoor play place) in Sherman Oaks, California, and they have “2-for-1 Mondays” throughout the month of August, so a sibling gets in free.

-Consider signing up for  It is free, and they email you with discounts that are often quite impressive.  Recently, they were selling WNBA tickets at over 50% off.

-In another month or so, school supplies will be on sale—consider stocking up for next year so you don’t have to pay full price come next summer. 

Happy discount hunting!

-Allison G.



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Should Student Loans be Discharged in Bankruptcy?

Outstanding college student loan debt is rapidly approaching nearly $1,000,000,000,000 (that’s one trillion dollars) and nearly 20% of adults over the age of 50 may very well go to their graves owing (at last count) $36 billion in student loans according to new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The picture is equally bleak for recent college graduates, many of whom leave college deep in debt, only to find zero job prospects due to the sluggish economy. Some discover that the only jobs they are being offered don’t require the educational skills they worked so hard to achieve.

Fast Company senior writer Anya Kamenitz has written a thought-provoking Opinion piece for CNN in which she proposes adding both private and federal student loans to the list of dischargeable debts for individuals seeking bankruptcy relief in the courts.  Kamenitz argues that making loan debt dischargeable in bankruptcy would do two things: 1) Force colleges to start putting the brakes on the skyrocketing cost of college tuition; and 2) compel private lenders to significantly tighten their purse strings, lending only to those who can actually afford to repay their debt.

No matter what you might think about the subject, Kamenitz makes an intriguing argument. What do you think? Is extending bankruptcy protections to include student loan debt a good plan?

-Cindy M.

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