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Old 09-07-2011, 03:19 AM   #1
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Default How to save money after college

Any tips for living cheaply out of school? FYI, I already cook a lot, bake, and obviously brew. I figure HBtalk people are some real DIY-types, so any suggestions are welcome. I'm down for anything--just started making my own cheese, for example.

One caveat--I don't eat processed foods (they're not even cheaper than stuff from scratch, anyways).

The problem is that I am not used to living on a budget. I worked throughout school but that was for spending money, parents paid rent and groceries.


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Old 09-07-2011, 04:39 AM   #2
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Do a budget at the beginning of the month and stick to it. You work too hard to not know where your money is going. My wife and I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University at our church and it was life changing. Since going through it we do budgets every month and find that our money goes a lit farther because we are being intentional with it. That and getting out of debt have been the keys.

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Old 09-07-2011, 06:26 AM   #3
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One place to start is to actually track your money... all of it. Like mistercameron said, "know where your money is going"

Next, I suggest that you get direct deposit from your job and then pay yourself an allowance, and leave the debit and credit cards at home. Just withdraw your allowance each week or each payday. It's your choice how to spend your allowance, or you can save it up for a bigger purchase. You'll find it easy to turn down stupid purchases ($5 coffees and such) if you have to watch the wad of cash in your wallet get smaller each time.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:33 AM   #4
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Buy nothing on credit.
Wait until you can fully pay for something before you buy it.
If you do that, then you will have more money in the long run and it will be easier to not buy on credit in the future.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:34 PM   #5
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Cook as much as you can.

Don't buy a new car yet.

Live in a place with cheap rent.

You don't need cable.


I set our budget every month, which helps. But the best way to save money is the above. Right now, since I am looking for work, my wife and I make far less than most of our friends. But we still seem to have about the same amount of money. Because we don't have two new cars, a 3,000 sq ft house for two people, and we cook a lot.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:27 PM   #6
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From a philosophy perspective, remember that the world doesn't owe you anything and you don't deserve that material thing that is going to sit on the credit card. I think the worst trap people get into is swiping the card when they know there's no way to pay it off in 20 days. Someone will probably throw a Wii controller through the flat screen before it's even paid off ;-)

From a practical perspective, I have no idea really. Split rent with room mates for as long as you can stand it. Drive crappy cars for as long as you can stand.

I was at the bank the other day filling out the paperwork to transfer my regular Visa cards to a rewards card. A couple patrons overheard the conversation and asked about it. See, the perk is that you get 1% cash back but the downside is that the interest rate is 3 points higher. I was floored when 4 adults working at a technology company scoffed at the idea of trading 3 points of interest for 1 point of cash back. They tried telling me I was bad at math when they were just bad with money. You pay it off every month and the interest doesn't come into play.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
You pay it off every month and the interest doesn't come into play.
Most people can't handle this because they don't understand it.... most people are overwhelmed with high interest consumer debt!
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:20 PM   #8
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I get 1-3% back on all purchases without ever paying a dime in fees or interest. Over the last few years, I've gotten about $1500 deducted from my statements. $1500!!!

I get confused when I explain this to really smart people and then later I still see them using cash and/or debit cards. I guess some people just don't like money.
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:37 PM   #9
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I'm a credit card 'freeloader' too--don't pay an annual fee, never carry a balance. I got an Amazon card not too long ago, and their rewards are great. That being said, it doesn't sound like the OP can afford to buy enough stuff to get significant rewards.

And yeah, people don't seem to understand interest, and how to calculate it yearly.
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGarnigle View Post
I'm a credit card 'freeloader' too--don't pay an annual fee, never carry a balance. I got an Amazon card not too long ago, and their rewards are great. That being said, it doesn't sound like the OP can afford to buy enough stuff to get significant rewards.

And yeah, people don't seem to understand interest, and how to calculate it yearly.
Actually, I buy a fair amount of stuff on Amazon for baking and cooking, but I see it as an investment. Just got a bunch of stuff for pizza making, which is one of the cheapest foods you can make, and is delicious.

The credit card seems like a good thing to check into, thanks.


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