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Five Smart Money Moves for New College Graduates

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Five Tips For Financial Success

If you're graduating from college, congratulations! Here's a free graduation gift: five smart money moves for graduates.

  • Smart Money Move #1: Choose Your Job Carefully
    If you've chosen your career, remember that a lower-paying job in your field is likely to be a better deal in the long run than a higher-paying job in a field you have no long-term interest in. Accepting a job in an unrelated field, simply because it pays more, either delays your career progress, or traps you in a field of work that may not make you happy.

  • Smart Money Move #2: Don't Move In With Your Parents
    Thinking of moving back in with your parents to save money? Think again. It's difficult to move back home when you've been independent. You'll grow faster and learn more by being on your own, even though it may be a struggle at first. Many college graduates return to their parents' home to save money, but most of them lack the discipline to save, and end up blowing their earnings on cars, entertainment, electronic gadgets, and their social life. Moving home will work for you only if you're sure you won't fall into that trap.

  • Smart Money Move #3: Don't Buy a New Car
    You may be tired of driving a clunker in college or having no car at all, but buying a brand new car is a costly mistake that could keep you on a tight budget for years. Instead, buy a car that's one- to three-years old and save a bundle of cash. You can get a car that looks like new for a lot less money, and save for a downpayment on a house instead. See Your Car Payment Can Keep You From Qualifying for a Mortgage.

  • Smart Money Move #4: Get In the Budget Habit
    Don't get turned off by the "B" word. Think of a budget as a spending plan to guide your spending and saving so you can have the things you really want and that really matter to you. See Budgeting 101 for everything you need to know about budgets, from getting started to staying motivated.

  • Smart Money Move #5: Educate Yourself About Personal Finance
    When you needed to learn about mathematics, you took a math course or read a math textbook. The best way to learn about personal finance basics is to read a good personal finance book - one that covers all the basics without boring you to tears. That's why I wrote Everything Personal Finance in Your 20s and 30s, available at Amazon.com and other online bookstores and at your local brick and mortar bookstore. It's an easy read and a great overview of how the world of money works.
Good luck!

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