The College Grad Money Guide has been out less than a week and some first impressions have been coming in. If you are a blogger who has had a chance to read it and wrote a review on your site, please email me. If you are a reader and want to share your thoughts, you can leave them as a comment here or email me.
Nicki, who took a “personal finance” course in
high school college (sorry!), sent me this email:
First, I wanted to say that both your blog and the mini-book for College Grads are great! I enjoy reading your blog on a daily basis. And I believe you achieved exactly what you wanted to with the College Grad Money Guide – it outlines the basics for those who are new to the world of personal finance! Your writing style/light humor made it a fun read as well.
In my “Personal Finance” course that I took, we covered a wide range of subjects (the textbook we used was Personal Finance – Turning Money into Wealth by Arthur Keown, 4th edition. We discussed the reasons behind financial planning, how to measure your financial health (using various ratios, etc), understanding the time value of money, tax planning/strategies, cash/liquid asset management (no mention of high-yield savings accounts there!), the use/role of credit cards and open credit, consumer loans, purchasing a home/automobile, life/health insurance, property/liability insurance (ie increasing this as your net worth increases), investment basics, mutual funds (my finance professors all made a huge emphasis on the importance of investing in mutual funds), retirement planning and finally, estate planning. [...]
Everything that you say in the short book is great and to the point. I believe it is a wonderful basic tool for those who do not have much previous knowledge. Some things you mention, which was not covered in my course and I have since learned about via PF blogs include: High-Yield Savings Accounts, Online Bill Pay, the 120 Rule (though we were told that starting young, it is good to go with 100% invested in equity, split 80/20 between domestic/int’l stocks indices by using mutual funds) and how to actually set-up a Roth IRA (though we covered IRAs in a lot of detail and were recommended to set up a Roth). Essentially, the course just went into much more detail regarding all the topics. One topic you cover which we did not was that of student loans (we discussed consumer loans).
Sorry this was so lengthy! Overall, I think the guide is fantastic. I am already passing it on to a few friends who I think would certainly benefit from it. I do not think any changes need to be made at all. Thank you very much for creating it, it is a wonderful introduction on the basics of personal finance!!
Tim, who downloaded the guide for his brother in college, had this to say:
This is a good guide. I’m not sure how much interest a fresh graduate might have in the health savings plans, I didn’t follow through to the site for your write up. I feel like graduates don’t get a good idea of what their “usual” medical expenses will be until they’re out of school for a few years.
I especially liked the section which talked about planning for the big life events, marriage, first home, etc. I know I kick myself for not planning a little more on those things. For guys you’d like to think about having that engagement ring fund ready so that you aren’t stressing about it later when you decide to propose.
Great guide overall. Even for those that have established good habits, a good guide is handy because a whole bunch of new things happen after graduating which you don’t have experience with.
If you’d like to get your copy, the instructions are on the College Grad Money Guide download page. If you’re already a subscriber, just look below for the download link.