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Survival Guide Helps Students Get Finances In Order

"Don’t Spend Your Raise: And 59 Other Money Rules You Can’t Afford to Break," by Dara Duguay (Contemporary Books, January 2003) is a financial survival guide for young adults in their 20s and early 30s to help them get started on the right foot.

Consider these facts. The average college student graduates owing almost $20,000 in student loans. In addition, nearly 10 percent of undergraduates owe more than $7,000 in credit card debt. Young Americans aged 15-25 filed bankruptcy at a record rate in 2000, accounting for nearly 7 percent of the nation’s personal bankruptcies. Clearly, young people today need help managing their money better.

Don’t Spend Your Raise, by one of America’s leading advocates for personal finance education, offers young people in college or just starting out in the real world practical, doable "money rules" to help them handle their money more wisely and dramatically increase their personal wealth. It does not contain lengthy, complicated charts and equations for financial analysis and planning.

Instead, it presents 60 clear, uncomplicated, easy-to-follow dictates such as: Never have more than two credit cards, never buy a new car, and don’t fly first class for the free cocktails. If followed, this guide will guarantee fewer money mistakes and more money successes.

Just a few of the tips offered in the book include:

Don’t rely on relatives for financial aid– this will only ensure that you are not truly independent.
Financial self– reliance is the only way to assure you will be taken care of in the long run.
Write down your money goals– by breaking a goal into manageable pieces and writing them down, it makes achieving that goal more realistic and less overwhelming.
Never buy a new car– the minute you drive a new car off the dealer’s lot, you’ve lost several thousand dollars in value before you’ve even made your first loan payment.

Don’t Spend Your Raise also explains why it’s best to pay a mortgage bi-weekly, why getting an advanced education is a good investment, why it’s important to check your credit report regularly, and most importantly, how to avoid the credit card trap.

Dara Duguay is the executive director of Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, an advocacy group promoting financial education for young adults. She appears regularly on MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg and other TV and radio venues.

Copyright ©2003 Dara Duguay

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