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Your Take: Teaching New Graduates About the Real World

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Next Tuesday (at 2pm ET), I’m participating in #AllyBRChat, a joint tweetchat with Ally Bank and Bankrate, and the subject of the chat is teaching new college graduates about the real world, so I thought I’d get myself ready by trying to come up with a few tips I’d give the parents of new graduates. Some of these are actually from our own Tweetchat last week with Jeff Rose, which was investing strategies for new graduates (the many wrinkles of personal finance!), so if you were part of that a few of these may be familiar.

Here were our tips:

  1. Get your child a consultation with a financial adviser. This is an idea shared during the tweetchat (Thanks Fatwallet!) and I thought it was brilliant. Why not schedule a consultation where the adviser can help your child get their finances in order? Their situation shouldn’t be complicated and it gives them a leg up.
  2. Help, but don’t support. When you first go out on your own, there are a lot of up front costs. If you had an apartment, the first month’s rent and a security deposit was a big deal. I remember my first month’s rent was a share of $1200. Security deposit was something like $500-800. Give your child a hand but don’t support them for too long.
  3. Teach them the value of networking. This isn’t directly financial but teaching your child how to network and helping them expand their network is crucial. Whether it’s trying to find a good mechanic for their car or finding their next job, your personal network is invaluable. It can save you a lot of time and a lot of money.

Do you have any suggestions for parents of new graduates?

{ 11 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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11 Responses to “Your Take: Teaching New Graduates About the Real World”

  1. I think #2 is a great point! A little help goes a long way and too much help won’t allow them (generally) to begin to see what things really cost in the “real” world. I would also add things more closely linked to day to day financial living like budgeting for groceries, where to go to buy a lot of the upfront things, etc.

  2. Make sure they realize that they will likely have even less free time to get stuff done. Sad but true.

    As far as money, start saving immediately because if you ne er see the money it won’t hurt as much as if you spent it first and cut back later.

  3. Warren Boyd says:

    TRUST ABSOLUTELY NO ONE

  4. Shafi says:

    “Get your child a consultation with a financial adviser”

    Even though a credit counselor (CC) is consulted when one can’t get rid of huge debts, for new graduates, CC can be a great help as well for a typical price of a session $20 or less.

  5. My father-in-law’s approach to #3 was to yell at my husband, “You need more SOCIAL!” (Imagine a very thick accent….)

    Not terribly helpful, but that was about the extent to which he understood networking, too!

    The most important lessons, though, come before graduation and are about managing money and making life choices….

  6. Lei Lani says:

    Always know how much money you have, and how much you need to spend (aka “a plan”). Keep track of what you spend your money on, and compare it to what you though you would spend it on. Adjust as necessary.

  7. admiral58 says:

    Teaching them about money should begin long before they graduate.

    • SZQ says:

      Totally Agree!

      One other thing is: You can move back home ONE TIME! The parents shouldn’t be expected to have a revolving door installed for kids moving out, moving back in. If you give them this rule, they hopefully will be more prepared for the first move, and strive to be successful and financially responsible.

  8. Shirley says:

    “Never lend or gamble what you can’t afford to lose.” and “Co-signing for anybody for anything is a gamble.”

  9. If an agreement involves money, get it in writing. If it doesn’t involve money, consider getting it in writing anyway.

  10. Pay off your debt as fast as you can. Many people enter the work force with a variety of different debts. Lowering your monthly payment to the min is usually not in your favor. The sooner you pay things off, the more you will save in interest.


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