Back-to-school season is doubly busy for me as our kids enter grade two and pre-school respectively while at my University day job we’re getting ready to welcome back thousands of students to campus this weekend.

We all know the cost of post-secondary education has risen dramatically in the last decade and so students (and their parents) should be increasingly mindful of the value of their university degree.

Two conflicting reports in The Globe and Mail explored the relationship between education costs and the future benefits received, from a career and personal fulfillment perspective. One article states that graduates still face an unwelcoming job market when they get out of school, arguing that universities are doing a poor job preparing graduates for the workforce.

The second article countered the “barista myth” with data compiled by 14 universities and colleges revealing income patterns between 2005 and 2013 for graduates earning bachelor’s degrees and college diplomas:

“Except for fine-arts graduates – who have the hardest time finding well-paying jobs – earnings of social-science and humanities graduates are well above the “barista” level, even in the first year after they graduate, the study shows. Social-science grads who finished university in 2005 started with earnings of $36,300, but that rose to $62,000 after eight years. Humanities grads went from $32,800 to $57,000.”

Post-secondary resources for students and parents

If you – or your son or daughter – is enrolled in post-secondary this fall, check out RateHub’s back-to-school money hacks.

Don’t forget about my student credit card guide. Should you get one? Probably.

Types of ‘free money’ for school – and the taxman’s view.

Rob Carrick shares some smart ways to save up for your child’s post-secondary education.

On the flip-side, Jamie Golombek explains how to strategically withdraw money from an RESP.

This Week’s Recap:

The Plutus Awards celebrate the best in personal finance and we are honoured to be nominated this year for best Canadian personal finance blog. This is a category in which we have been nominated five times – and won in 2012. Best of luck to the other stellar blogs who have been nominated, including Canadian Budget BinderJessica MoorhouseMoney After Graduation, and Young and Thrifty.

On Monday I wrote about eight habits that are killing your retirement dreams.

On Wednesday Marie continued her financial planning for couples series with a look at starting a family.

And on Friday we opened up the mailbag and answered a reader question about ways to fund your grandchild’s education.

Adam Mayers, my former editor and personal finance columnist at the Toronto Star, wrote his last column after 30 years as a financial journalist. Adam taught me a lot about writing and I wish him all the best in his future endeavours, which undoubtedly will involve sailing.

Another prolific personal finance writer is moving on as Morgan Housel wrote his 3,382nd and final post for The Motley Fool.

Weekend Reading:

Here’s another attack on The Fraser Institute’s “study” that said the average Canadian pays 42 percent of their income in taxes. This CBC article says Canadians aren’t economically equal and we need to stop pretending they are.

Here are five financial realities that millennials have never seen (but be prepared).

Read this to learn the 10 smartest things ever said about debt.

Financial Uproar says don’t make these dumb financial decisions.

Why investing success is less about hitting home runs and more about staying out of trouble.

Why luck plays a major role in making you rich:

A Cornell economist is alive today because his heart stopped on the right tennis court. He wants us all to know how fortunate we are.

12 timeless and invaluable investment lessons from Dilbert. My favourite:

Dilbert investing lessons

The index fund turns 40 – and gets its revenge on those who said it was a fad that would soon disappear.

Mixed Up Money shares 17 GIFs that will make you say “No Mo’ FOMO”.

Wealthsimple’s blog looks at how to be your own boss without wanting to fire yourself.

Michael James reflects on how his mindset changed from when he first started investing to today.

The Economist has a fascinating article on the endowment effect among stock market investors – the tendency to value things you own more highly just because you already possess them.

Ron Lieber offers 7 essential money questions sure to start a conversation.

Finally, Nelson Smith explains how he got richer by spending a year travelling.

Have a great long weekend, everyone!


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