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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Advice for the Recent Grad: Low Salary Genre

Ahhhhh. The recent grad. Time for advice: get a no-fee credit card, contribute to your 401k, get a Roth IRA, blahblahblah. But what about the recent grad of the low salary type? the Vista volunteer who will be making $1000/month at a worthy endeavor? (In the meanwhile studying for MCATS) I already gave the grad two books. And I say it's also time to learn basic frugal skills, which are a necessity when you have little and allow you to get more out of your money even if you are a well-paid physician. The grad asked me to help him save money on basic household expenses. To start, I say: buy a big bag of dried beans. Then buy a big bag of rice. Both are investments that will pay off. What would you advise?


Kare said...

Send the girls to the Vivienne files, to learn the wardrobe core concept. All students need to know some very basic cooking skills. So maybe a simple cookbook is in order.

Patience_Crabstick said...

Great topic and of interest to me, as my son is graduating this weekend with a BA in classics. There is no high-salary job waiting for him. I would suggest thinking about transportation. Do you need a car? If a car is a must, can you get along with a cheap old beater? I'm always surprised when I hear of kids who buy a brand-new car right after graduation, saddling themselves with car payments in addition to student loan papyments. My son can not afford a car. He will be using public transportation and a bicycle. No car payment, no insurance, no gas.

SewingLibrarian said...

Learn to cook! Get a library card! (Remember, libraries now carry all kinds of media as well as providing computer and Internet services to their patrons.)

Shelley said...

After cooking, I'd say learn some basic sewing - buttons and hems at least. Also ironing; looking well groomed is important. The more things you can do for yourself the better off you'll be.

Find frugal friends - one's you don't feel pressured to spend money to 'keep up with'. If I had to get by on a starting out salary, I'd be looking for room mates.

Duchesse said...

Learn to cook and then to shop for food with a list, coupons and a calculator in hand.

Get a dumb, cheap hone, no one needs to get baseball scores in real time.

Anonymous said...

I was a low-income grad. Thinking back on my salary, I'm amazed that I was able to survive on it.

I learned 3-4 basic recipes, mostly soups and stews cooked in a large pot, which would provide 3 or more days' worth of meals. I did as you suggested, bought rice, pasta, and beans in bulk, and then supplemented with whatever fresh produce I could afford.

Another thing which has always saved me money is that I've always lived very close to my work and I have always chosen to live in inexpensive but safe neighborhoods.