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          Don't blow it all at once: financial tips for recent graduates

          Danielle Bly, OSCPA Ambassador to CWRU

          Issue date: 4/23/10 Section: News
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          It's important to manage your expectations once you enter the real world. Temper your expectations so you don't set yourself up for failure. Do you really need that new car?
          It's important to manage your expectations once you enter the real world. Temper your expectations so you don't set yourself up for failure. Do you really need that new car?
          [Click to enlarge]
          You've worked your butt off for the past four or more years, and it is finally time for graduation. Your gown has been purchased, you're finishing up finals, and you may even have a job already. But with the joys of graduation come the frustrations of the expenses associated with living on your own, paying student loans, and holding down a job.

          But the most common mistake that new graduates make is not planning their finances. You'll be making more money; so many graduates are tempted to spend their extra dough as though they are millionaires. The first time newly employed graduates touche their first professional paycheck, visions of new cars and shopping sprees at the local mall start dancing through their heads. For recent graduates, the old saying of "earn more, spend more" usually holds true. Don't allow yourself to fall into this trap that can create greater debt and keep you from reaching your financial goals. Follow these tips, and you'll be well on your way to financial independence after graduation.

          1. Pay off your debt. Most college students leave with at least some amount of student loans and/or credit card debt. Make paying off this debt your first priority after getting a job. Think about consolidating your student loans so you only have to worry about one payment each month. In addition, the sooner you pay off this debt, the less money you'll be throwing away on interest accumulations. The longer you wait to pay, the more interest you'll have to pay down the road.

          2. Manage your expectations. All throughout college we've been hearing about the "real world" we will be launched into upon graduation. This brave new world includes new cars, apartments, independence, lots of money, and maybe even weddings. What we sometimes forget to think about is the expenses associated with all of these great things. New car? Try $200 per month at least. Apartment? Think $500 per month minimum (not including utilities). All of these great things cost money, so try to temper your expectations from the start so you don't set yourself up for failure. Yes, you'll be earning a lot more money when you begin working full time, but you will also have many more expenses that you expect to go along with that newfound cash.
          Continued...
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          In This Issue

          News

          • A Conversation with Caroline Goulding
          • Don't blow it all at once: financial tips for recent graduates
          • International student session to debut during 2010 orientation
          • Name That Place - 4/23/2010
          • Relay For Life raises $76,000, short of goal but not short of spirit
          • Student Leadership Award Winners
          • Tanning dangers abound as summer approaches
          • What Now?
          • Mass funding successful for some, headache for other organizations

          Sports

          • Case falls to Wooster at Progressive Field
          • Spartan Spotlight: Obinna Nwanna
          • Spartans are optimistic heading into UAA's
          • Spartans extend win streak to six
          • Spartans snap long losing streak
          • The next step
          • Top 10 Spartan stories of 2009-2010

          Opinion

          • 2009-2010 Year in Review
          • Letter to the Editor: Straight Answers to Questions about Greek Life Funding
          • Living - and dying - on your own terms
          • The last hurrah: experiencing senior week
          • What are you doing this summer?

          Focus

          • A final fling for finals
          • Despite an oppressive crowd and disappointing opener, Ben Folds continues to impress on stage
          • MaDaCol performance distinguishes dance as alternative communication medium
          • Parting word of advice: Express yourself
          • Springfest blowout to feature activities, student bands and national headlines
          • The best bars in Cleveland
          • Tri-C Jazz Festival features stunning jazz organ performance, among others
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