Why I’m Quitting My PhD – An Economic Argument

Big Red X Over a Degree and Graduation CapMeet Jill. Jill has a Master’s degree, works an average job and makes $60,000/year. She is loyal to her company, and they reward her with an annual average increase of 3%/year over the course of her 30 year career. Jill is a diligent saver, and every year saves 20% of her gross income. Over the course of 30 years, through financial up and downs, she earns an average 5% annual return. At the end of a 30 year career, Jill has a retirement portfolio valued at $1.14 million dollars.

Meet Sarah. Sarah is a PhD student at a Canadian university. She is funded and receives $20,000/year over the course of her 5 year degree. Because she is essentially making minimum wage and just barely supporting herself, she doesn’t accumulate any significant savings. Continue reading

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Why I’m Quitting My PhD or ‘I’m a Scanner, Not a Diver’

Big Red X Over a Degree and Graduation CapMy plans to start this blog earlier were mildly derailed by a minor life crisis. I’m downplaying it, but it was really rather huge. Last year, in a similar crisis of conscience, I left my well-paying job to go back to school and complete a PhD.

Fast forward 1 year later and two weeks ago, I initiated the process of downgrading my registration from a PhD program to a Master’s program. I actually had planned to quit completely and walk away with nothing, but my supervisor pointed out that that wasn’t necessary as long as I’m willing to stick it out for another 6 months. So that’s what I’ll do. By the end of the summer, I will have another degree and be back on the street.

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Let It Begin!

Welcome to Earth and Money!

I know what you’re thinking…yet another personal finance/lifestyle blog! Isn’t the market saturated with those by now? What makes this blog worth reading over all the others out there?

Let me begin by answering those questions. The market probably is saturated, or if not, its getting pretty close. And whether or not you think this blog is worth reading is completely, totally, up to you. But I think its worth writing – in fact, I should have started writing this years ago. To understand how I got to where I am today, why don’t you read about me…

This blog is about two things that are near and dear to my heart – personal finance, and living a low-impact, sustainable, green lifestyle. Wow, that was a lot of buzz words! Seriously though, what really excites me even more is writing about how to combine the two. This blog is my journey towards financial security while minimizing my impact on the world we live in. And no, I don’t believe those two concepts are mutually exclusive. To get you excited, here are a few topics I’m planning to be cover in the near future:

  • Is Budgeting Necessary or is Awareness Enough? How tracking my finances allows me to live without a budget (a multi-part series).
  • Ethical Investing – What practices does your money support?
  • How to Save Your Money and the Environment at the Same Time – a multi-part series exploring things like taking advantages of common resources, eating real food without breaking the bank, DIY ways to lower your impact, and more.
  • What’s In My Food? Did you know that microwave popcorn is carcinogenic? And that for a fraction of the cost, you can make healthier popcorn in the same amount of time? This will be an ongoing series.

If you like what you see, and if you want to learn more, keep coming back or subscribe to make it even easier!

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