Three Financial Rules for College Graduates

The hardest part about graduating from college isn’t the final exams or saying goodbye to friends from your dorm—it’s the more subtle process of transitioning from a student role into that of an independent adult. Life after college is full of questions—where will I live? What will I do for a job? How will I make ends meet?

Decisions you make now, including financial habits, will set the course for your post-college life. Here are three financial rules for college graduates.  These tips will help establishing good financial habits that your future self will thank you for:

  1. Make paying off student loans a priority.

    Don’t get too comfortable during the grace period after graduation—those six months will fly by, and monthly bills for your federal loans will kick in before you know it. Instead, spend that post-college grace period finding a job that will allow you to pay more than your

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Avoiding an Audit: A Taxpayer’s Guide

One of the biggest fears a taxpayer may have is the dreaded phone call from the IRS or the letter in the mail labeled AUDIT.* Although your chances of being audited are slim (only 1% of U.S. taxpayers are selected), there’s good reason to want to avoid it—if the IRS finds out you’ve misreported income or expenses, you could be faced with back taxes, hefty fines, and possible jail time.

The selection process isn’t random; the IRS selects taxpayers for auditing if their returns raise questions—things like large deductions, extravagant purchases on a meager income, and cash-only business transactions are a few of the red flags that might put you on the top of the list.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your taxes in order and stay on the good side of the IRS:

Hire a Tax Professional

Using the services of a licensed accountant … Read More

Is Your Financial Situation Affecting Your Health?

According to a recent telephone survey conducted by Harris Interactive, nearly half of the American population is highly stressed about their financial situation, and this stress is spreading to other areas of their lives. Nearly half of those stressed aren’t sleeping well and find themselves becoming impatient with friends, and 31% are eating more junk food or gaining weight.

 The startling result of the survey draws a correlation between money and wellbeing—not only can financial stress cause weight gain, poor sleep, and strained relationships with loved ones, but these negative personal consequences may even create a higher level of money-related stress.”

“This can lead to a double whammy, with ensuing physical and emotional stress potentially leading to higher long-term costs,” says CPA Ernie Almonte.

But how can you get out of this vicious cycle?

A significant cause of money-related stress is a lack of understanding of one’s personal financial situation—navigating the … Read More