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 annualcreditreport.com 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