Advice to Graduates (and others) about spending saving money

Sunday, June 10, 2007 | 07:35 AM

Good advice for new graduates (and nearly everyone else) from NYT columnist Damon Darlin:

"Over the last two years I’ve been dispensing advice in this space about how to spend and save more wisely. This will be my last column for a spell as I am taking on editing duties that give me little time for reporting. But before I go, I want to remind the young graduates, their parents who scrimped and saved to get them there, and anyone else who stuck with me this far that are a few other rules of life worth considering."

Among them are the following.

• Never pay a real estate agent a 6 percent commission.

• Buy used things, except maybe used tires.

• Get on the do-not-call list and other do-not-solicit lists so you can’t be tempted.

• Watch infomercials for their entertainment value only.

• Know what your credit reports say, but don’t pay for that knowledge: go to to get them.

• Consolidate your cable, phone and Internet service to get the best deal.

• Resist the lunacy of buying premium products like $2,000-a-pound chocolates.

• Lose weight. Carrying extra pounds costs tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime.

• Do not use your home as a piggy bank if home prices are flat or going down or if interest rates are rising.

• Enroll in a 401(k) at work immediately.

• Find a partner and stay together. Study after study show that two can live more cheaply together than each alone and that divorce is the great destroyer of wealth.

• Postpone buying high-tech products like PCs, digital cameras and high-definition TVs for as long as possible. And then buy after the selling season or buy older technology just as a new technology comes along.

• And, I’m sorry, I’m really serious about this last one: make your own coffee.

I have violated most of these -- and regret doing so.


At the original column, there are links to just about every item.


More Advice Graduates Don’t Want to Hear
NYT, June 2, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007 | 07:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack (0) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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Great list, with the exception of "• Enroll in a 401(k) at work immediately." Great way to save, bad way to invest and too many variables can work against you long term, not the least of which may be the entire plan blowing up or you blowing it up with bad investments, poor timing, too many moves or buying company stock. {Enron}
I have never like these plans. They are great on paper. But, too much can go wrong.

Posted by: Larry Nusbaum | Jun 10, 2007 9:20:28 AM

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