What Should be the Next Financial Step for Recent College Grads?

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

I read the article (below) and I’m not sure if I agree with the steps and suggestions. Or maybe I just read it incorrectly.

Upon graduation, if a person doesn’t already have a job I think they need to hurry and get one, and then begin working a plan that will help you to save and pay off your debt. People should budget to save 10-15% to repay student loans, 10-20% of their earnings for emergencies, 10% for tithing or other donations, 10-20% for investments (which includes saving for that first home), 10% just to save (for something special), and use the rest towards their bills and living expenses. Whatever is left, they should invest in their emergency fund or use towards a vacation fund.

Their biggest debt upon graduation will be their student loans, and 6 months after crossing that stage their lender(s) will be calling and flooding their mailbox with letters. Even if they get a deferment or forbearance, I don’t recommend saving money for large purchases without first allocating funds for loan repayments. Why put yourself further in debt?

Additionally, if the graduate ever defaults on their student loan(s) how do you think that will negatively impact the money they have stashed away in their bank account or retirement plan? How will it affect their credit, and their ability to take out loans of any kind in the future? Could that default cause a domino effect that could lead to a lien, seizure of property, or other traumatic situation?

With more student loans being taken over by the federal government I would caution students and new grads from taking a casual approach to repaying their loans. We have been warned not to play with the IRS, I would also add, don’t play with federal student loans—there’s no where to hide!

Read the article in its entirety here and then share your thoughts: http://www.techyville.com/2013/07/news/which-do-you-do-first-save-money-or-pay-off-student-loans/

Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Natasha L. Foreman.

7 Habits of Highly Frugal People

I ran across this article not too long ago that caught my attention. Simply titled the “7 Habits of Highly Frugal People”, it does an impressive job breaking down seven habits that everyone can do (if serious and committed) to become frugal in their spending and living. Living frugally means spending sparingly, scrimping, and skipping on purchasing simply because you have the money– choosing rather to save towards a purchase or investing in something with greater returns.

If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, barely making ends meet, having more month than money (with only high-end clothes or gadgets to show for), or realize that your financial legacy may not be much of one in 50-70 years (or worse, 5-10 years), then this article is for you. I took each habit, highlighted key characteristics and then provided additional details and resources at the end. I of course also included a link to the article so you can read it for yourself. Let’s get started shall we?

Habit One: Be Proactive
**Taking the first step and claiming responsibility; telling others this is your goal and intended lifestyle; listen to yourself and your excuses for buying things**

Habit Two: Begin with the End in Mind
**Visualizing effective frugality**

Habit Three: Put First Things First
**Recognize the effects of your finances and understand it’s okay to say no**

Habit Four: Think Win-Win
**Creating frugal win-win scenarios**

Habit Five: Communication
**How listening can help you to become effectively frugal**

Habit Six: Synergize
**Learning ways to be more frugal, and surrounding yourself with other frugal people**

Habit Seven: Sharpen the Saw
**Learning to frugally renew yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually**

To read the article in its entirety visit: http://moneyning.com/frugality/7-habits-of-highly-frugal-people/? There are also some other great things and resources to consider that were mentioned in the article:

1. There are six action steps to take when you are feeling financially vulnerable: http://moneyning.com/better-yourself/6-action-steps-to-take-when-you-feel-financially-vulnerable/

2. When building wealth, remember to think of the big picture too http://moneyning.com/investing/seeing-the-big-picture-in-creating-wealth/

3. Learn to embrace the positive influence of saving money http://moneyning.com/money-beliefs/positive-influence-of-saving-money/

4. Frugality doesn’t mean having to give up all of your luxuries and things that make you happy  http://moneyning.com/frugality/are-you-tired-of-being-frugal/

5. Practicing frugal principles  http://moneyning.com/frugal-living/

6. Making SMART goals http://moneyning.com/better-yourself/add-an-s-to-smart-goals-this-year/

7. Consider these 25 ways to pay off your debt more easily. http://moneyning.com/debt/25-debt-reduction-tips-for-your-immediate-action-plan/

Copyright 2011.
Copyright 2012. Natasha L. Foreman