Financial Advice for Your New College Graduates

Lauren Smith |
I’m sharing a few financial tips that all new college grads should know.

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Today I have some advice for your children beyond the college dorm. It’s about that time of year where there are lots of graduations. I have a senior in high school who is graduating this year and a junior at UT who is graduating next year. I thought I’d dole out a little financial advice based on my experience. It’s not parenting advice, but it’s just a bit of financial wisdom for you to share with your graduates.

If your kids end up moving back home, and many do, I think it’s only fair that they start paying rent. They’ll probably get a pretty good deal when you factor in the home-cooked meals, but getting into the habit of paying rent is a good thing for college grads to do.

Your kids have probably been with roommates for their entire college career. They know how to live with other people, so maybe that could be another living option. Living with roommates is more economical than not.

"Some debt, like buying a house, is good."

When it comes to budgeting, that’s another important lesson to learn. Help them out with a little spreadsheet that adds up their expenses and income. As for debt, the first time they can’t pay off all their credit cards in one month, it’s time to stop using them until they are paid off completely.

On the other hand, some debt is good, like buying a house. If your son or daughter can afford it and you can help a little with the down payment, that’s a great investment. Buying an asset like a house is good debt, but buying drinks at the bar with a credit card is not.

It amazes me how many of our kids don’t know anything about finance. As parents, we have to teach our kids some of these things along the way.

If you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. Congrats to the class of 2021.

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