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Recent posts by Mr. JumpStart

Are the JumpStarts on FIRE?

Don’t panic.  Of course the JumpStart family is not literally on fire. FIRE stands for Financially Independent-Retire Early.  Some people tweak it slightly to stand for Financially Independent-Retire Elective.  The basic idea is that once your investments earn more than your expenses, you are FI.  Your money is earning so much money, that you don’t […]

credit report

Credit Score Crash

I logged in to check my son, JumpStart Jack’s creditkarma account, and found out his credit score had crashed. The latest estimate of his Equifax score had dropped 33 points to 750.  The Transunion score is still at 786, but it will update soon, and I expect another credit score crash. Why would a credit […]

hack the FAFSA

Best time to complete the FAFSA?

Since 2016, FAFSA filing has opened on Oct 1. The FAFSA is the first step in the financial aid process. Anyone planning on going to college next year needs to file.  For High school seniors it is time for their first FAFSA.  Current college students repeat the process each year, until they no longer have […]

My Thoughts on Some Expert Advice.

“College students don’t understand the high finance costs involved with credit cards.” “They view credit cards as an endless source of money.” “I would much prefer that a college student have an account with a debit card, and have a set amount of money deposited monthly for spend.” I put these in quotes to identify […]

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