Advice to Graduates (and others) about spending saving money

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
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