Friday, October 23, 2009

Financial Tips For New Grads

Save up for an emergency fund. 

There are few things that will help you sleep better at night than knowing that you have enough cash on hand to deal with unexpected expenses. Decide how much your fund needs to have in it and be consistent about contributing to it until you reach your goal. Continually living on the brink of disaster is ultimately self-defeating and caused me to experience major disruptions in my life that didn't really need to happen.

Make yourself nutritious meals at home. 

I wasted an awful lot of money on food by habitually eating out instead of preparing my own food. I look back on this now and realize that I could have used the money I would have saved for an emergency fund and could have had a lot left over besides. Brown bagging it can also keep you in control of what you put in your body and you can save yourself all the driving involved in eating out too.

Share an apartment instead of living alone. 

This can really save you a lot of money too. Not only can you split the rent, but you can also save on other monthly expenses such as cable and internet. You may even find out, as I did, that having  roommates is a lot more fun than living alone, and that it makes cooking food at home seem like much more worth the effort involved. Just make sure to choose roommates that you can trust and enjoy being around.

Become a smart shopper. 
Stay away from the malls to buy the things that you need, and instead comparison shop on the internet or even consider buying a near-new used item when it makes sense. Craigslist, eBay, Amazon and Half are all websites that can yield great savings on both new and used items. If you're lucky, you may even discover a good thrift store nearby that has some real bargains on everything from furniture to electronics. Some of these items may still even be brand new. You can also check out your local library to see what books, cd's and dvd's they have that you can check out for free.

About the Author: Alan Winkler writes for the blog at www.rightstartllc.com. Right Start is a debt solutions company, which helps consumers improve their financial situation through credit counseling and debt management.

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