A lot of young people graduating from college are discovering finding a job is difficult in this economy. And they may need pointers on finances in these troubled times.
Ron Lieber form Money Magazine has some sound advice.
First. Credit cards are not evil. While abuse of credit cards has plunged a lot of college kids deep into debt, not using one also poses problems. A lot of landlords want at least three years of credit history before they'll rent a house or an apartment to someone. So using a credit card can establish a credit history. Just don't go crazy. Pay the bill on time and keep the balance low.
Second. Balance your checkbook. Sounds obvious but a lot of people don't do it. How will you know if that bank made a mistake or a check didn't clear if you don't balance your account monthly. There are software programs out there to help you.
Third. Budgets are not complicated. The only way to know what you can afford in life is to make a budget and stick to it. Set aside some savings and check your budget monthly to make sure you are staying on track.
Fourth. Beware of daddy's wallet. You may have spent money like there was no tomorrow in college when your parents will helping you out but this is the real world now. Learn to live without the parent's back account now so you don't get in credit card debt later.
Fifth. Don't buy a home. You may have heard advice to the contrary from some who'll tell you it's a great tax deduction. It is also a way to strain your finances. It's not just the mortage you have to pay for. It's taxes, insurance, upkeep. A lot of young people don't realize how expensive home ownership can be.
Take your time. Save some money and wait for your income to increase to the point home ownership make's sense.