Money Advice For Graduates

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Posted on 06/05/2009

You’ve got the degree, but do you have financial sense? Setting off into the real world after graduation can be exhilarating and scary mixed with a whole lot of temptation. Before you celebrate landing that grown up job by heading to the car lot, soak up some free money advice from those who’ve been there.

Read on for our sage words of wisdom!

Start Good Habits Right Away
Don’t give yourself a chance to pick up bad habits. Once you get a job and start earning regular paychecks, get on a budget. Meet with a financial advisor to help you lay out a written plan for meeting your financial goals.

Be Leery of Credit Cards
They sound great. Complimentary airline tickets. Cash back rewards. Free t-shirts. Credit card companies love to entice people with perks– especially new graduates. Your cash flow may be more like a trickle, but don’t let that force you into making credit cards a necessary crutch. The 30-year-old you will be thankful.

Get Health Insurance
You may be used to getting this for free from your parents, but now that you’re an adult it’s time to pick up this responsibility. Even though you’re young and healthy, this is an important purchase you won’t want to skip over.

Think About the Future
It may seem tough to imagine retirement. Heck, you just graduated. But think back to Econ 101 and the power of compounding interest. The earlier you start saving, the longer your retirement fund will have to grow. Check out the Vanguard retirement calculator to see how much you should be saving in order to reach your goals. Enroll in your company’s 401k plan right away.

Don’t Expect to Have It All Right Now
It’s a trap many grads fall in to. You earned the degree so that means you earned the right to a new car, new flat screen, and maybe even a new jet ski. Going from earning zero to earning anything will make you feel wealthy, but be patient. Don’t expect to have all of the stuff you’ve always imagined having as an adult right away.

By Alison Storm

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