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Bargaineering 2010 New Graduate Guide

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Graduation Cake!

Welcome to Bargaineering’s 2010 New Graduate Guide! This entire week will be devoted to focusing on financial advice for new graduates. It doesn’t matter if you graduated high school, college, or graduate school, the information we present this week will help you get started on the right foot.

When you start working, you will be inundated with a lot of information. It’ll be difficult to separate the important from the mundane and the applicable from the irrelevant. I’ll go through a checklist of what new graduates need to know about real life. Many of these lessons were borne out of my own experiences, which likely won’t be much different than what graduates are experiencing today.

To give you a sense of my experience, I graduated college shortly after the dot com bust. The economy as a whole wasn’t nearly as weak as it is now but my area of expertise, software, was. The world as I knew it shares many of the characteristics of the world many graduates are seeing today. Hopefully that insight will prove to provide helpful color to the discussions.

Links will go live once the articles are published.

Establishing a Foundation

Financial Basics

Your First Place


Tips for New Graduates

I hope you enjoy this week and if you can’t use this information, please pass it along to someone who may be graduating soon!

(Photo: carbonnyc)

{ 15 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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15 Responses to “Bargaineering 2010 New Graduate Guide”

  1. Ken says:

    I would tell a new graduate to NOT RULE OUT working outside of their degree specialty. Broaden your scope when looking for a job. Some employers see a degree as a symbol of discipline in your life. The type of degree is sometimes not a big deal. In today’s job market it’s very likely you may work a non-conventional job. Bottom line: You must find an income even if it means going outside your career field to get it.

    • I agree, a very large percentage (I think the majority) of the people I went to school with have jobs that are not at all related to their majors. Granted, I went to a Liberal Arts school, but still, they are not using their majors because other great opportunities came their way. While the major can be important in some areas, I think just having the degree itself is what is really needed.

      But then on the flip side, I know several people who did not go to college, and are doing quite well. I guess it is all dependent on what you do to make the best of your situation.

  2. billsnider says:

    I always told young people who worked for me to stay broad and current with their education. Some did and prospered and some didn’t. You can fill in the last few words that I omited.

    Jim – this is an excelant post.

    Bill Snider

  3. DIY Investor says:

    Great idea. I look forward to reading it even though I am far from being a new graduate. I will definitely recommend it to new and recent graduates.
    I suggest putting the link on the Howard County Public School site and sending it to Calvin Ball who is a financial literacy advocate.

  4. Shirley says:

    “…share your best tip for new graduates…”

    Goals provide motivation.
    Make them accessible and rewarding in your own mind in fairly short time at first. Be realistic about them and WHY you want to accomplish them.

    Test for authenticity: Physically explain them aloud to yourself in the mirror.

  5. daenyll says:

    Thanks Jim, looking forward to this week.

  6. Bryan says:

    As a recent grad myself, I can easily say the best tip is EMERGENCY FUND! If you’ve still got time before graduation, save every penny you can. You will need it as it is very likely to take a while to find employment (At least in my book being unemployed counts as an emergency). Also don’t discount moving back in with mom and dad.

    I personally spent 9 months out of work despite graduating with a masters in engineering. During this period my car also died (another emergency, when it rains, it pours) and I had a week to come up with new transportation to get to a career fair 200 miles away(where I made the contacts that got me my job). Moving back home and cutting almost all my spending is the only reason I made it through with enough to put down a security deposit on an apartment when I had to move for my new job.

    I’m not back on my feet yet but another couple paychecks and the emergency fund will be back in place. I’ve learned the less financial room you have to cover an emergency, the more likely you will have one…or two.

  7. zapeta says:

    I can’t wait to read the series! Sounds like it will be great.

  8. eric says:

    Definitely looking forward to it!

  9. A lot of good points here that I am sure will be noteworthy.

    I would comment on a couple of things. While I know it is nice to have your own place, having roommates is a great way to keep some extra cash in your pocket.

    Also, fight the urges to go out and re-outfit yourself. By this I mean new wardrobe, new car, all the latest electronics, etc. Buy things along the way and make your old stuff stretch. Sometimes recent grads who land their first job think it is like hitting the lottery.

    Good luck out there.

  10. Once all the links are complete, this will be extremely helpful for any graduate.

    I think another suggestion would be to explore entrepreneur opportunities. Once they graduate from high school/college, get married and have kids, it’s a lot harder to take a risk.

  11. One huge tip that I would share with the college grads… continue to live like a college student for as long as possible. By that I don’t mean the 2-3 AM drinking on week nights, but the acceptance of potentially “less than ideal” living conditions. For example, keep accepting “hand me down” furniture, and try to eat at home whenever possible. I know you may be sick of Ramen Noodles, but there are lots of other options (as a quick self plug, you could check out my website for ideas). Even if you are moving back in with your parents, try to keep your expenses to absolute minimums so that you can quickly build up an emergency fund.

  12. echidnina says:

    Looking forward to this series! Looks like the articles will be useful even for non-graduates (I’m still in school, but I went hunting for my first apartment last year).

  13. Michael says:

    Waiting on

    Don’t Buy A House (Yet)

  14. Josh says:

    I’m waiting on…

    everything, looks to be a very interesting series! 🙂

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