jumpstart from scratch
Mr. JumpStart and family.

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Recent posts by Mr. JumpStart

Incredible Offer.

My son Jack got some junk mail that actually turned out to be an incredible offer.  He recently opened a new cash back credit card, just for the introductory bonus.  After spending $500 bucks, he will get $184 in cash back.  With food, gas, and miscellaneous charges he will spend 500$ in a little over […]

increased college costs

Real Cost of Annual Tuition Increases: When 3% = 7%.

The “Early Estimate of Financial Aid” letter recently arrived.  FAFSA and the EFC, get lots of attention, but this financial aid letter cuts to the actual bottom line.  During college, there are two huge bills due per year, and this letter provides details about our next two bills.  One giant bill will be due in […]

Warning for Parents of High School Seniors.  Expect to Pay Higher Taxes Senior Year.

Raising kids is expensive.  In the first years, it begins with formula, diapers, and toys.  I find it amusing when new parents complain about these costs, because the expenses quickly escalate quickly through the teenage kids with activities, cell phones, and cars.  The biggest financial shock comes after high school if you fund their college […]

Fly out of Roanoke?

Is Flying out of Roanoke Worth it?

Roanoke, Virginia is my example here, but this question and these issues apply to any small town airport.  ROA has limited destinations, with most flights headed to the hubs at Charlotte, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.  There are also limited flights to Chicago, NYC, and DC.  Allegiant Airlines also has a selection of Florida destinations, but only […]

Popular Posts

Buy a beach house on a teacher salary? We did it.

Is it possible for a teacher to buy a beach house?  My wife and I are both teacher,s and in May of 2013 we bought a townhouse in Myrtle Beach.  People are often surprised when I talk about our beach house.  It sounds like that would be an unreasonable expense, or require a huge inheritance, […]

understanding the cost of college with jenga blocks

Understanding the cost of college with Jenga blocks.

A major part of my job as a physics teacher is to increase student skills at interpreting data and graphs.  The green JumpStart logo is actually a graph of cost by school year, to send my 2 kids to college.  It is 7 years long and there is a spike in the middle of the […]

Calendar instead of To-do List

“Instead of to-do lists, schedule tasks on your calendar.” I read this advice several weeks ago, and must apologize to the blogger, because I can’t remember where I read it. To-do lists have been a strategy of mine as long as I can remember.  I decided to give the strategy a try, and used excel to […]

Are Dual and AP classes worth it?

Are Dual and AP Classes Worth it?

Options for high school classes have skyrocketed over the years, and now feature dual enrollment and AP classes.  In our school system, the price for dual enrollment credits has bounced around over the years.  AP test fees are lower, but 94$ for a test the student might fail could be considered a gamble.  I’ve spent […]

Meet the

JumpStart Family


Mrs. JS and I teach for a public school system in Virginia.  Our son JS Jack is a freshman in college, and our daughter JS Jill is a sophomore at my high school.

We are another family facing the daunting task of paying for college and raising financially mature kids.  The green JumpStart logo is actually a graph representing our personal 7 year obstacle.  Each large green block represents a year of college expenses.  That middle terrifying block is the year both kids will be in college.

College info can be confusing, generic, and unhelpful. Today’s typical college grads are crippled by high student loan payments, credit card debt, poor credit, bad financial habits, and they lack established accounts.

My blog tells the story of our family’s journey. We’re striving to give the kids a JumpStart along the college path, and intend to create graduates with low debt, high credit scores, established financial accounts, and a generous stash of travel points.

After a JumpStart, students graduate with a financial framework, money IQ, and freedom entering adult life. They leave college with strong credit that opens doors, points that give an opportunity for cheap travel, and are financially ready to begin building wealth.

I’m Mr. JumpStart, a career physics teacher, coach, landlord to one townhouse, and a travel hacker. I'll give honest details about our decisions, successes, and missteps.  Follow along as I document our kids on their JumpStart from Scratch.


JumpStart Jack

JumpStart Jack snapshot