jumpstart from scratch
Mr. JumpStart and family.

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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.

Recent Posts

pay for college

Save for both college and retirement.

New parents who want to send a child to college, and also retire one day? This method will put away $94,000 for college, and is likely to add a bonus $50,000 or more for retirement. The 2 keys to save for both college and retirement are: an early start. the Roth IRA. This method works […]

Mr. JumpStart and family

Why We Travel Hack.

The JumpStart family works hard to achieve high credit scores, but it isn’t about borrowing money. Our mortgages are a few years old, and have pretty low rates.  I just bought a car without a credit pull, because I paid cash.  We declined the Stafford loans offered for my son’s tuition. Our family wants a high […]

Teacher Pension Case Study: by Actuaryonfire.

There is some good news.  My biology degree and teacher license hardly qualifies me to examine my pension, and I wasn’t the guy to do this analysis. Actuaryonfire’s day job is as an actuary (compiles and analyzes statistics, and uses them to calculate insurance risks and premiums).  He is one of my favorite bloggers, and […]

Sankey Diagram Chain Gang

I spotted my first Sankey diagram on Othalafehu’s site, and was immediately intrigued by the simple representation of money flowing into and out of their household. Apparently Sankeys are the new thing, and recently I’ve seen a bunch of them, in many places.  Some use yearly numbers, while others are monthly.  There are Sankeys with […]

car negotiation story

Car Negotiation Story.

We made one of those really big purchases today, and spent about a month of our income, all in one shot, on a 2013 Honda Civic.  People buy cars all the time, but here is the JumpStart car negotiation story. The JumpStarts have had 2 cars for 2 drivers for a several months now.  Our […]