You just got your diploma and have joined the working masses. For some new graduates, entering the working world is the signal that you should go on a spending spree. After all, you have worked hard for your money. However, there is a right time to buy things that you want or need. This article lists some things that a recent college graduate should refrain from buying, especially while we are living in a tough economy.
1 A New Car
Graduating from college is often the justification for most of you when you get a new car. After all, it’s a reward for spending four years of your life inside the university, living in the dorm and eating ramen noodles. You’ve been driving your car for several years now and you deserve a new one that would befit your new status in life. Of course, you need to travel to and from work.
However, you don’t need a new car if your old one still runs reliably and can still get you from Point A to Point B. Even if you take out a relatively long term car loan, you will still be making payments that will eat up a significant chunk of your paycheck. Don’t forget that your car payment is just one part of the true costs of car ownership. You will have to take into account car insurance and personal property taxes. Those amounts will be based on the value of your new car. Since the new car is more expensive than the current one you are driving, expect your total ownership costs to rise dramatically. Heck, with the way gas prices are rising, it would be better if you biked to work.
2 The Latest Computer
Mass consumerism has flooded the market with all the latest gadgets. You tend to covet each new gadget even though your computer is still perfectly usable. While there is a wide range of computers out there in the market, they do cost a significant chunk of money. The younger market segment is also obsessed with buying the latest name brand laptops that cost thousands of dollars.
However, unlike your college days, you probably won’t use your personal computer all the time. Chances are you’ll probably be issued a laptop at work and you’ll be spending the majority of your computer hours on that machine. Most of the time, you’ll end up using your smartphone to check email and surf the internet. Your personal computer will be relegated to weekend use.
3 Expensive Furniture
Ikea and Target are often a popular choice for most college graduates because they offer stylish, yet functional furniture at affordable prices. Buying real furniture made with hardwood, real leather, or wrought iron is not practical while you are in your twenties. They are expensive and difficult to move. You also need to take good care of them, and that can be hard to do when you’re splitting the rent with some roommates. Wait until you buy an apartment or house of your own before you purchase some really good furniture.
4 Diamonds And Other Jewelry
It is one thing to receive a pair of earrings or a necklace from your parents. It is another thing to head out to the jewelry store and splurge your paycheck on one of those blue boxes. Yes, buying jewelry can be a good investment, but it is not necessarily the time to be purchasing them. Unlike the previous decades where one had to wear the sparkles, it is perfectly acceptable nowadays to wear paste jewelry. These are made of crystals, beads, and metals that would only cost you twenty to thirty dollars, and many shops in the malls that sell this kind of jewelry. Just make sure that they match your outfit and are not too funky if you work in a more conservative workplace.
5 Designer Coffee
For young people, status can be everything and sadly, that even includes your coffee habit. You are no longer satisfied with ordinary run-of-the mill coffee. You have to line up at your corner coffee shop and order an espresso with soy and vanilla. A cup of this designer coffee costs anywhere from $3-$6. The more you customize, the more expensive it gets. This can run up to several hundreds of dollars every year.
Think of your twenties as the chance to begin building your net worth. You should only spend on items that would be of true value to you. What were some of the items that you bought even though you probably shouldn’t have?