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Graduating Seniors Must Establish Healthy Money Management Habits to Ensure Future Success

Columbia, MD (PRWEB) May 17, 2007 -- The transition from college student to working professional in the "real world" can be scary. As twentysomethings face overwhelming choices about career, home, social networks and other adult responsibilities, the one challenge they must tackle immediately is their finances. It's now time to see if that baby bird can fly on its own.

In 2004, 83 percent of undergraduate college students had at least one credit card in their name with an average outstanding balance of over $2,300, according to Creditcards.com. That amount on top of student loan debt is intimidating to anyone -- especially those on an entry-level salary.

"Now's the time for graduating seniors to start out the right foot," says Clarky Davis, CareOne Credit Counseling Services spokesperson. "The money management habits that young adults implement in their first few years of independence are critical to their future financial security."

CareOne offers the following tips as starting points for young adults who want to successfully support themselves without digging into debt or getting a handout from Mom and Dad.

  • Manage your expectations -- Don't expect to start this chapter of your life at the same comfort level your parents have or better. You're just starting out, and it took them 15-20 years to establish themselves at their current financial level.
  • Keep your expenses low -- Now's the time to live on a shoestring while you're establishing your career. Share an apartment with friends to save on living expenses. Learn to cook to save money by not eating out. Skip expensive vacations and take advantage of free entertainment events available in your town. Be creative to live a lifestyle within your means.
  • Payoff any student loan or credit card debt -- The most important thing you can do to accomplish this goal, is to always make your payments on time without incurring any additional debt. To really get this monkey off your back, you should try to make more than the required minimum monthly payment. This will speed up the time it takes you to get out of debt and reduce the total cost of debt you generate from finance charges.
  • Invest in your company's 401K -- When you get settled into your first job, invest in your company's 401(k) plan and never touch the money until you retire. You'll be amazed at how the money will grow and what a difference it makes by starting your retirement savings at a young age.
  • Don't use credit cards -- Live within your means. If you want to buy something, but need to put use a credit card credit, then you can't really afford it. Be patient. Rewards are much sweeter when they are earned.
  • Write it down -- It's hard to keep track of all those transaction receipts, so keep a financial journal of all expenditures. You will be amazed at the little things that you blow your money on. By writing down what you're spending, you can create a budget that works for you, and you won't get in trouble by spending more than you earn.

CareOne is the industry's leading debt management program brand, linking consumers together with agencies that provide customized solutions, 24-hour account access, electronic payment options, strict privacy controls and ongoing support and counseling.

Contact Information
Clarky Davis, Spokesperson
CareOne Services, Inc.
9755 Patuxent Woods Drive, Suite 100
Columbia, MD 21046

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