Getting Started: How To Not Stay Young And Penniless

By Carolyn Bigda
Chicago Tribune.

WWR Article Summary (Tl;dr) Women and Money, it’s not only the young who are concerned about their financial well-being. Plenty of women in their 30’s and 40’s can also use the advice of Carolyn Bigda to get debt under control and finances in order. As Carolyn suggests…. “every dollar counts and is counted”


When I was in my early 20s, I was living in a mouse-infested apartment and counting every penny.

If you’re young and in a similar situation, let me tell you from experience: There’s hope! Your diet, one day, will include more than ramen noodle packs and you won’t have to snuggle up with a mouse at night.

But a better financial future takes effort and good advice.

Be realistic about student loans: Many students need to borrow money in order to pay for college. But Mark Kantrowitz, a student loan expert, said it’s imperative to keep that debt “in sync” with your potential income.

“Education debt may be good debt because it is an investment in your future, but too much of a good thing can hurt you,” he said.

His suggestion: Keep your total student loan debt to less than your projected annual salary after graduation. (You can find a number of salary estimator tools online.) Do so, and you will be able to repay your student loans in 10 years or less, Kantrowitz said.

If you borrow more, you’ll likely need an alternative repayment plan after college in order to afford your monthly student-loan bill.

“These plans reduce the monthly payment by stretching out the loan term, and that means you might still be repaying your student loans when your children enroll in college,” he said.

Think about your career early: You don’t have to decide on a career as a freshman, but it’s a good idea to start exploring the possibilities early, said Philip Gardner, director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University.

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