Blogs

Starting Out

Are you finally out on your own and figuring out how to balance your finances? If so, this is the group for you. In Starting Out, you can talk about the challenges you are dealing with in a group of like-minded people.
Browse Blogs in Starting Out
Blog Posts
In College and Starting Out In college and just starting out as young adults, read along as these bloggers face a new stage and increased responsibility. 100
Just Graduated and Starting Out Just graduated and starting out bloggers examine life after school. Read along as they manage their debt and expenses, while trying to make a living. 127
Married and Starting Out Married and starting out features newly married couples sharing their experience as they combine finances, lifestyle and in-laws. 38
  • In College and Starting Out

    Master’s Degrees’ – Are they Worth the Time and Money?

    • 8 Comments

    Since I've graduated from college I've been having a hard time finding a job. And, a lot of post grads are in my same situation, leading me to the idea of going back to school to get my master's degree.Mainly to possibly make myself more marketable in my career field, but also because I wouldn't have to start paying back my student loans, as well as freezing up some extra time to prepare myself for the professional world.

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  • Just Graduated and Starting Out

    Taking Care of a Pet on a Tight Budget

    • 8 Comments

    I always wanted a dog.  I finally bought my new best friend when I graduated from high school.  As an 18 year old, I should have known better and saved my money for something more practical - such as books or supplies for college.  Since then, I've been learning how to take care of my dog, Molly, the best that I can on my tight budget.    

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  • Just Graduated and Starting Out

    A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

    • 7 Comments

    There are numerous ways to save money, such as a using a savings account, joining a credit union, stuffing money under a mattress, burying a box of cash in the backyard, or saving change.

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  • In College and Starting Out

    Credit Cards Can Be a Dangerous Option for College Students

    • 7 Comments
    Even though everyone was telling me that this was a dangerous decision, I applied for a credit card and was approved with a limit of $500. I told myself that I was only going to use the card for emergencies and to build up my credit – but I soon found out that I had no will-power. I was 18 years old with $500 to spend – not understanding the full realization that someday I’d have to pay it back. Without a second thought, I was soon in debt and things only got worse from there. With Christmas around the corner, I found myself approved for yet another credit card, but this time it was a whopping $2,000. How could I resist? Knowing I needed money to buy gifts – I thought this would be a good way to do just that. Soon after, I got a clothing store credit card with a very low credit limit. Needless to say I spent that right away. ...
  • In College and Starting Out

    Used Textbooks Are the Way To Save

    • 6 Comments
    I loved college. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my young life. Even though I enjoyed college, there was one aspect I loathed – textbooks. College textbooks are a substantial part of what makes college expensive – especially if you are a science or math major (science textbooks can cost over $200 when bought new in a campus bookstore). ...
  • Just Graduated and Starting Out

    Utilize your Savings Account

    • 5 Comments

    Free or not, a savings account is a good thing to have, since its sole purpose is to save money. 

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  • Married and Starting Out

    How to Have a Social Life Even When You Are on a Budget

    • 5 Comments

    Even though we were enjoying spending more time together, we missed seeing our friends for meals. But, we also knew that we could not go out to eat in a restaurant.

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  • Married and Starting Out

    Rather than Eating Out, Try Eating In!

    • 4 Comments

    While being on a budget could mean that we sit at home and eat canned baked beans, I use it as an excuse to have some cozy meals at home with my hubby. In some ways it is even nicer than going out. Who wants to battle the elements to get a meal? There is something so reassuring about coming back from work to a toasty warm house and eating some home-cooked food.

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  • Just Graduated and Starting Out

    What to do when you fall behind…

    • 4 Comments

    When late fees are added to your regular monthly payment, it puts your finances in the hole, making you feel like you'll never escape.

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  • Just Graduated and Starting Out

    Living With Parents Before and After Graduation to Save Money

    • 4 Comments

    I've lived with my parents all of my life.  I lived with them during college and I live with them still.  Living with the folks may seem unimaginable to some, but to me - it's been very beneficial; for me as well as for my finances.

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  • Just Graduated and Starting Out

    Cheap Places to Eat - In Lieu of the Cafeteria

    • 4 Comments

    College is expensive especially when you have to buy food every day.  To ease the financial burden, most students apply for meal plans, which are great, but can get boring.  

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  • Just Graduated and Starting Out

    3 Ways to Trim Your Spending and Clean up Your Checking Account

    • 3 Comments

    Do you ever feel like your checking account needs some cleaning up?  Every so often, my checking account seems out of control, which is mostly due to my spending habits.  Eventually, I take control and trim my spending to bring my checking account back to life. 

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  • Married and Starting Out

    How to Live on a Budget

    • 3 Comments

    I think there's a point in everyone's adult life when there is an ah-ha moment when it comes to their finances. The moment when you suddenly realize that you don't have forever to begin saving and that you are not going to be bailed out of financial strife; that it is the time to begin making investments towards your future.

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  • In College and Starting Out

    Half-Priced College Degree

    • 3 Comments
    After I graduated from high school, I wasn’t sure of which degree I wanted to pursue or where I wanted to go to college. So, instead of trying to find my niche at an expensive university, I decided to give community college a try. A good idea, I must say, because most community colleges are set up as pay per credit instead of a large lump sum. A perfect situation for someone like me! I attended my community college for two years, for approximately $12,000, compared to $20,000 at a major university. In those two years, I was able to take all of my general education courses, plus others devoted to my major, with most transferring to my chosen university. Going to a community college gave me the room and time I needed to explore my options -- without incurring major debt. ...
  • In College and Starting Out

    Balancing My Checkbook Sucks

    • 3 Comments

    At the end of each month, the bank sends me a statement for my checking account, telling me the transactions that have gone through since the last month. 

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  • Just Graduated and Starting Out

    It Seems Like an Introduction is in Order: Who I am, how I got in debt, and what I’m doing about it

    • 3 Comments

    I'm Jason, nice to meet you. 

    One thing really explains a lot about me:  I'm a military brat.  Both of my parents are Chief Master Sergeants in the Air Force, and from the age of 0 to 18 I moved every four years.   

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  • Married and Starting Out

    Getting Pre-approved

    • 2 Comments

    We had to go to the people who would be able to tell us what we could and could not afford, before we would be able to move forward with the process - we needed to meet with mortgage lenders.   

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  • Married and Starting Out

    How to Save Money When Buying Groceries for Two

    • 2 Comments

    Before my now husband and I began cohabiting, I ate minimally. I would eat most my meals at home.

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  • Married and Starting Out

    Choosing the Right Type of Mortgage

    • 2 Comments

    There was never a question of whether we would buy an apartment outright. We knew from the start we would need to get a mortgage and as I mentioned in my last post, we did not know a thing about them.

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  • Married and Starting Out

    Keeping Trim while Trimming Our Budget

    • 2 Comments

    We decided that we would cancel our gym memberships and go it alone.

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  • Married and Starting Out

    Ways to Save on Your Thanksgiving Table, Part II

    • 2 Comments

    I have everyone pitch in to help me save time and money. I also think it helps everyone to remember the true meaning of the day by having a community meal.

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  • Just Graduated and Starting Out

    I Would Like to Thank…

    • 2 Comments

    With the Thanksgiving holiday around the corner, it's important to remember to be thankful for all of the good in our lives - especially those who have helped us through tough times.

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  • Just Graduated and Starting Out

    Keeping you & your wallet strong…

    • 2 Comments

    When we have a strong account of our money we feel more secure with our finances and are hopefully less stressed. 

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  • In College and Starting Out

    Summer Weekend Fun for College Students – Without Breaking the Bank!

    • 2 Comments
    I love summer. That’s true for most college students, but a summer job and the stress of saving for next semester can put a damper on summer activities. My friends and I have become very frugal over the years, because we know what it’s like to be in college without the funds to do things on the weekends. Even though we’re older now, we’re still savers and know how to have a low-cost weekend of summer fun. Our favorite summer activity is going to the drive-in. It’s much cheaper than going to the theater. A ticket costs less than a ticket at the movie theater, plus we get to see two movies for the price of one. We pack up the cooler with drinks and snacks - which is cheaper than buying food at the snack bar. ...
  • In College and Starting Out

    Student Loans - Waiting in Grace

    • 2 Comments

    I recently graduated from college and am anxiously awaiting the month of October when I will begin to receive letters, e-mails, and phone calls about consolidating my student loans. Until then, I will be counting down the days when my grace period will end. When that happens, I certainly need to be prepared.

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