Meet the JumpStarts

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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

Quick, Easy, Car-free, Cheap Trip from Roanoke to Alexandria on the Train.

For the beginning of Christmas break, Mrs. JumpStart and I took a quick 2 night trip to Alexandria, Va.  Neither of us have ever been to Alexandria, and we chose the location because it would be an easy, quick, cheap trip on the train.  We really just wanted a few days alone to recover from […]

Can a student earn too much, and lose financial aid?

Students qualify for financial aid based on the results of a federal form called the FAFSA.  The FAFSA generates a number called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  A high EFC indicates low financial need and prompts colleges to offer a lower financial package.  One of the factors that raises a family’s EFC is student income.  […]

First month of JumpStart from Scratch and the stats are:

There is one hole in my stats that is frustrating.  The post “Think of all the money you’ll save once they’re in college” is not showing up in my stats.  It came out Dec 11, and I know people visited it, but my stat page doesn’t even show that post. Facebook page likes.      29 likes. […]

A Tale of 3 Families Applying for College Financial Aid.

The family makeup and incomes of these fictional families are identical.  The Dads are 45, work as software developers, and all earn 80k$ per year.  The Moms are also 45, are homemakers, who have no income.  The single daughters are 18 and college bound, with equal grades and test scores.  The results of these families […]

Think of all the money you’ll save once they’re in college.

I admit the title is a little misleading and there is no way a 25k$ a year expense will save you money. Grocery cashiers always feed me a line that I saved 34$ today at check out. Silently I always think, “Funny, it feels like I just spent 90$.” If Kroger can force their cashiers […]