Best financial advice for high school graduate

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MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3218
Best financial advice for high school graduate

What is the best financial advice that you would give to a high school grad? (I'm compiling for a requested gift.)

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6561

"MissyJ" wrote:

What is the best financial advice that you would give to a high school grad? (I'm compiling for a requested gift.)

Establish a savings account for emergencies. Even when things are very tight, put at least something in the emergency account. Stay away from Credit Cards.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

Put your loose change in a jar every night when you get home, and don't touch it until the jar is full, then cash it in.

(When I graduated from high school I wasn't thinking long term, so I think this is a good one.)

Honestly I am the last person to go to for financial advice. I get sleepy just thinking about anything finance-related.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Put things in your name, not your parents. Car loans, phone lines etc. Don't be 23 without having a checking account (my dh and his brothers....everything was paid through mom and dad so they could monitor money usage. They had 0 idea on how to handle money correctly.)

I'm not one to say stay away from credit cards....but I would show how to use them appropriately.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

I have a friend that went away to college and had no idea that her parents had to pay for things like the water and heat. We plan on letting them help us establish our monthly budget starting their junior year so they can see what things actually cost.
So I guess like Jessica I think I would say to put things in their name right away

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

If you don't have the cash in your account for something, you can't afford it.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"Danifo" wrote:

If you don't have the cash in your account for something, you can't afford it.

It depends. There are things I can afford the monthly payments on but don't have cash to cover. It's not a bad thing to finance college or take out a car loan or mortgage. It just has to be realistic. And sometimes, no matter how broke you might be you still have to find a way to pay for insurance, utilities, food, etc.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

Do your homework!

If something seems like a good deal, research it. If it's a good deal today, it will still be a good deal later.

Don't be afraid to walk away from high pressure sales people.

Pay your bills first. Make an automatic savings transfer one if your bills even if it's only $25.

SO's son just got his first job. I told SO that he should open a Roth IRA now because you pay the taxes on it now. He will never be in a lower tax bracket. LOL

Check your accounts daily. Sometimes things take a while to post - don't forget about them when you balance your accounts.

Never take a payday advance loan. Interest on a credit card will always be less than paying $45 to borrow $300.

Don't accept too much help. Or offer it.

DD1 is 17 and going off to college this fall. She seems to be like me know a lot of ways. If I find something I want, I walk around and think about it. Most of the time I don't buy it but when I do, I've put thought into it. She's sees me with coupons and deals on everything. Watched me negotiate and walk away if I think it's a bad deal or I'm still not sure. OTOH she is still careless with things like her retainer and glasses.

Her Econ teacher had them research the cost of stuff and what they could afford. She had no idea how much trash, water, power, & gas cost. He told them not to finance cars. I told her it depends. If you had the money to pay cash, but financing meant 0% and cash back, you are better off financing. (And make sure you get GAP insurance!)

She has seen the consequences of good financial decisions and really bad ones. I hope she has learned from both.

DD2 is 10. We walk away from stuff we want but she will still want it weeks, even months later. Case in point: One Direction suspenders. She started wanting them the beginning of March and finally got them 2 months later. She's had them for 3 weeks. Guess where they are.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Put your loose change in a jar every night when you get home, and don't touch it until the jar is full, then cash it in.

(When I graduated from high school I wasn't thinking long term, so I think this is a good one.)

Honestly I am the last person to go to for financial advice. I get sleepy just thinking about anything finance-related.

But don't cash it in at Coinstar! They take 11%

When state quarters first came out in 1999, I wouldn't spend them. 15 years later, I still hoard them and can rarely bring myself to part with one. Currently I am about $2 shy of roll 429. (I number and date the rolls.) The America the Beautiful series began a few years ago. I hoard those too but only have 9 rolls so far.

Yes, I have $4400 in quarters in my closet. It works out to be about $25/month saved.

MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3218

Thanks! Great tips!

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

But don't cash it in at Coinstar! They take 11%

When state quarters first came out in 1999, I wouldn't spend them. 15 years later, I still hoard them and can rarely bring myself to part with one. Currently I am about $2 shy of roll 429. (I number and date the rolls.) The America the Beautiful series began a few years ago. I hoard those too but only have 9 rolls so far.

Yes, I have $4400 in quarters in my closet. It works out to be about $25/month saved.

I have had a habit at work of saving my coins in my desk, in some container. When I leave a job, I cash in. It's never a lot, but twice I have gone to banks to use their machines, and then won a coloring book or a beach ball for guessing the amount within $1.99.

A coloring book! A beach ball! These small excitements make me happy.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

I think the best advice is to figure out what kind of spender & saver you are because there are very few financial decisions that are cookie cutter one-size-fits-all. Some of us prefer to carry very little cash & pay for everything with a debit card, where others prefer cash because they know once the money in the wallet is gone, there's nothing more until payday. Some of us can easily save up change in a jar, but some of us will raid the jar for special treats. Some of us are good at socking away a percentage of our income, or transferring to savings whatever is still left on payday, while others do better with an automatic withdrawal so they never knew they had money to spend in the first place.

Also, never skip insurance even if you're a renter. It's only a few dollars a month, and in case of an accidental fire, it can mean the difference between paying a small deductible, and being liable for potentially millions in damage to the building, between having emergency shelter paid for and your belongings replaced, and being homeless with nothing.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

But don't cash it in at Coinstar! They take 11%.

There's no fee if you load the money onto a gift card. Most of the banks around here won't take change, rolled or not, unless you're a merchant. If you have a Starbucks habit or go to the movies or need to shop at Lowes anyway, then Coinstar is a great way to use all those coins without the fee.