Going back to school
Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages
When the markets go berserk and the country slips into recession, you can count on these trends: People scale back their spending, focus on paying off debt and building savings. They also head back to school.

Many of the people who've written to me lately were recently laid off. Others are trying to skirt becoming jobless by learning skills that will make them more valuable to their bosses. And some are stay-at-home moms or dads who want to earn a degree so they can get a job and add to the family's income.

All of them ask: "What's the best way to make this transition? How the heck do I pay for it?" Luckily, neither issue is as difficult as it seems.