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The truth is, we don’t fully appreciate the money in our bank accounts unless we’ve poured our own blood, sweat, and tears in to earning it. As responsible adults, it’s important that we manage it properly in order to avoid going broke, damaging our credit, and generally making life more difficult than it should be. Here are a few tips we’ve compiled that’ll help you get off to the right start financially:
After a couple months of familiarizing yourself with your finances, you should know if you can afford to take on any additional payments. You don’t want to live month to month.
Leasing can offer lower monthly payments, but you’ll be paying for a while until the lease is up. If you plan to buy, you should be prepared to provide a hefty down payment. Obviously, the process of buying (or leasing) is extremely complicated and requires a considerable commitment of time in order to get the best price possible. Here’s some a great advice about car buying from mint.com.
How about you all? What tips helped you get ahead on your finances after joining the real world after college? What didn’t work for you?
Share your experiences by commenting below!
Jacob’s Thoughts – Listed below are my random thoughts as I was reading this article.
- @ Resisting spending from the get-go
- I am continuously amazed at how many people feel seemingly obligated to load up on a extra debt the minute that they have a real job. You think, “Hey, I’m making $60k, I gotta spend it somehow, right?”
- But, you really can give yourself a head start on life by resisting the urge to buy a house, a new car, new furniture, and new sound equipment the first year out of undergrad.
- Another fact of life is that having more debt makes you less flexible in your life plans. Think about it, if in 2 years after starting working, you want to go back to graduate school, you won’t be able to afford to take that step if you are $100k in debt on cars, houses, etc. The same thing goes with if you were asked to move to be with someone you were wanting to marry.
- Two of the most important things I did coming out of college were 1) establish an emergency fund with 6-9 months of expenses in liquid, cash assets (high yield money market online savings account) and 2) set up and fully fund a Roth IRA each year. Do both of these things and you’ll be well on your way to financial freedom!
- @Mint.com – I have signed up for Mint.com, but have never really used it. For me, I have a very good idea about where I am financially each month that the budgeting interface Mint offers doesn’t add any value.
- How about you all? Do you use Mint.com? How does it work out for you?
***Photo courtesy of http://www.clevelandwomen.com/images/virginia-marti/03-26-08column/young-professional-women-2.jpg