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Money Tips For Graduates That We Call All Use

Posted by on Jul. 2, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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The caps have been tossed into the air, gowns are now in a puddle in the corner of the room. Graduates, those folks leaving high school and college, are now out in the world, making those first steps on their next path. Granted, for some, it may mean a summer of fun, then off to school again, but for others, it means they are entering the realm of The Real World (and I'm not talking about the MTV reality show...though I do admit to watching it back in the day).

These past few weeks, everywhere I surfed online, I spotted advice for these graduates, hints and tips on navigating their way on the financial minefield and job hunting 101. And you know what, there's some great advice for all of us in these articles. Here's a bit of what I found. Some may be reminders, some may be a new approach to the same old money issues:

--  Live within your means. Always a good thing to remember. Getting a first paycheck -- or paycheck #1,039 -- can make anyone a bit giddy, and the words "shopping spree" may pop into mind. For kids new to the workforce, that may mean a closet full of new clothes or brand new apartment décor; for us, it may mean a similar thing. Keeping a handle of spending is tough, especially when you work hard during the week and want to treat yourself, but it is essential to remind yourself of needs versus wants. Tuck a little mantra in your wallet to be a bit of a Jiminy Cricket for your spending or make a list of wants and spread them out over the year, whatever works to keep you mindful of money.

-- Avoid starting bad money habits. Young folks who head to dinners out every other night (because they can!), lunching out every day or brunches on the weekends can add up to money not-well-spent and it is easy to fall into a money-flowing-to-nowhere routine. We can learn from this, too: not packing lunches or take-along snacks, ordering in, paying unnecessary fees, all of those little things we do and fall into a pattern with can add up. One way for new grads -- and us -- to combat that: bad-habit-proof your meals. For young adults, learn how to cook a few easy meals, ones that you can invite friends over and have everyone save money. For us, it is all about meal planning and have a stash of ready-to-go snacks (we've talked a lot about this in our hub, right?).

-- Get a good bank account. Many grads have a regular checking account. Many of us have had the same bank account since getting married or graduation. Take a minute to look over what your bank is offering you. Do you have a linked savings account? Does it give you a decent interest rate? Shop around and get the best banking deal you can.

-- Prepare for emergencies. Make it automatic and do it now. Once you get those bank accounts -- a linked checking and savings account -- start having a bit taken every month from your checking and transferred over to the savings account as an easy way to start building that emergency fund. A few thousand dollars to have on hand in case of emergencies (not a new flat screen or a vacation). We all need this these days and making it so simple is a great thing.

Do you know any young moms or people starting out? What financial tips do you give them? Do you have a hard time with any on my list?


by on Jul. 2, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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by Dawn on Jul. 2, 2012 at 8:09 AM
I agree with all the above.
by Dawn on Jul. 2, 2012 at 8:12 AM
I don't know anyone graduating this year but I would buy them a few of Dave Ramsey's books and hope they read them.
by Member on Jul. 2, 2012 at 8:35 AM

I have adult children.  We start them on a 2 signature checking account when the get their first job at 16. We also teach them to budget and save. They pay their own insurance and buy their own car.

So far, we are doing pretty good.  Our oldest, 23, just bought his first house.

by Member on Jul. 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM

Quoting momto3isme:

I don't know anyone graduating this year but I would buy them a few of Dave Ramsey's books and hope they read them.

Both our youngest are in hs this year.  One is a freshman, the other a junior.  We are teaching them early.

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by Carissa on Jul. 2, 2012 at 9:23 AM
Great tips. I wish someone would have told me these when I was starting out. Had to learn the hard way!
by on Jul. 2, 2012 at 9:24 AM

I agree with all 4 tips and I believe tip #1 and tip #4, should be priority!

by on Jul. 2, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Great tips. I don't know anyone just starting out, but I am thinking about opening a savings account for my dd.

by Amy on Jul. 2, 2012 at 9:37 AM

 Those are great tips!

by Member on Jul. 2, 2012 at 9:45 AM

 avoid credit cards like the plague!  Don't get all wrapped up in the 0% world either.  Sometimes if you don't pay it on time that 0% will bite you in the butt!

by on Jul. 2, 2012 at 9:50 AM
Thanks for the tips.
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