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« The Seven Pillars of Financial Success, Pillar 4: Saving for the Future | Main | And Yet Another College Student Who Needs a Clue »

June 07, 2010


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My advice would be:
*Start saving for retirement with that very first paycheck. You won't miss what you never had
*Do not start using credit cards if you can help it
*Have some saving goals right away. If you have a goal, you may be less likely to spend unnecessarily. It can be exciting to get your own paycheck every couple of weeks, but don't spend just because you can.
*I agree with FMF - splurge a little and remember to still live. Just don't get too carried away! :)

My advice would be this (I am 4 years removed from college, and learned this lesson all of 5 days ago).

Your employer does not give a sh*t about you. They might say they do, but they don't. If there is a decision to be made, your personal wellbeing will not be taken into consideration.

Case in point - for the first 3 years out of college, I was working for a large regional bank, making decent money, good job security, well thought of within the company. 6 months ago, a smaller bank which I interned for during college came knocking. Offered me a nice promotion with more responsibility. My only hesitation was that the bank was family owned, so I was concerned about it being acquired by another large bank (exactly what I was trying to get away from). I was assured by my future boss that this would never happen, because the bank had been in their family since before 1900 - they would never sell.

Fast forward 6 months (to last Thursday). I am informed that the bank has been sold to a large bank, all the insider family members have received large, long term contracts. As for the rest of the employees, they have no idea if we will be kept, and they don't really seem to care.

Lesson is:

Look out for yourself, because it is highly doubtful that anyone else really cares about you or your career.

If they tell you they do, look them in the eye, and (respectfully) say, bullsh*t.

My advice is this: Just because you have finished school, doesn't mean you are done learning. Educate yourself about trends in your chosen field, investing and personal finance, DIY repair, cooking techniques, anything to keep your mind active and engaged. It will come in handy as you go through life if you understand your finances, can fix things yourself instead of calling the repairman, can cook a decent meal instead of eating take-out, etc.

My advice would be:
1)Enjoy your life. This gets lost in much advice about what grads should do, but I think it should be right up there. This coming from a father of 2 who believes family is his own greatest enjoyment, but whatever it is for you, pursue it responsibly.
2)Continue your education. Obtain a graduate degree, and keep the attitude that you will need to learn throughout your life. It's that investment in yourself which will keep you moving forward throughout life, through ups and downs.
3)Actively manage your career. This is the engine that drives your financial life. If that engine crashes, it will impact other parts of your life as well.
4)Save early and often. Make sure that you live within your means, maximizing the income minus expense gap, and start early. You will be more thankful than you realize when you get older.

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