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College of Human Ecology

K-State expert says new college graduates still have lessons to learn when it comes to handling money

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

MANHATTAN - After final exams, new college graduates face an even bigger test - their resolve when it comes to managing money.

Joyce Cantrell, an instructor of family studies and human services at Kansas State University, says young people with their first jobs may be relieved to have money finally flowing into their bank accounts. But that's no reason for graduates to give up the penny-pinching ways of their college years.

Cantrell says even young people who have just begun working need to keep a household budget and begin saving for retirement. Young people may find it easier to tuck away money for retirement if their employers offer 401k accounts, she says.

Some graduates may feel pressure to pay off student loans right away, but Cantrell says they need to consider credit card debt and everyday expenses, too.

New workers may be tempted to spend those first few paychecks on luxury items. And that temptation offers a teachable moment for what Cantrell considers a fundamental lesson: Living within your means.

This article was posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2006, and is filed under College News, Family Studies & Human Services.