Tag Archives: first car

The Big Decisions (And Pitfalls) After Graduation

Last week we talked about the dangers of that first credit card for someone who just graduated.

The same applies to banks getting you hooked on an overdraft or line of credit once you have some income. That overdraft will be there for at least a decade, and it’s not like you know how to shop around for the best loan deal or rate.

Car dealers also can’t wait to meet you. How many cars are you going to buy in a lifetime? Five, or six, maybe? Well, the average salesman sells that many in a week!  So who do you think knows stuff and have the upper hand? It’s like bringing a plastic knife to a gun fight – you’re gonna lose, even if you bring one of your parents or a buddy.

So you’re all set. At some point you may have student loan payments for two decades, you’ve got the credit card, an overdraft, and a car payment. Grade five math says that majority of your income is now going to pay all that every single month – forever. So someone telling you save some money is just a pipedream.

Now you’ll be thinking about how to get rich for the next 40 years. But you’ve already forgotten how easy it really is to actually GET rich, instead of just wishing it. When you were still in high school you probably had a summer job. You worked hard, had a goal of what you wanted to do with that money and saved like crazy. Plus, because you had so little money, you were careful how you spent it, right?

But that was before graduation. Now you have a paycheck and access to borrowed money, so you’ve forgotten how to get rich already, and you’re just getting started. Let me remind you again and maybe, just maybe, you’ll do these things to actually get rich, instead of that coming 40-year dream:

Pay cash for stuff

Don’t buy crap you can’t afford and don’t need

Save at least 10% of your money right off the top

In your high school class maybe one or two people will do that. The rest will just be the people hoping to get rich, looking to the government to lend them a hand, or maybe the lottery will come through for them. I don’t know which group you’re in: The going to be rich, or the just ‘wanna be rich’ group.

Maybe someone in your family will print this segment out for you. Maybe I’ll see you at the top, or maybe I’ll get an email from you in 10 years or so to help you with some of your financial mess.

You’re an 18-20 something who is about to make a lot of financial decisions which will impact you for a lifetime – literally.