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Millionaire Kids Ezine, Issue #011 -- Life After College - How College Grads Can Get Ahead
November 19, 2007

Is Life Tougher For Today's College Grads?

You've probably heard it before...or maybe you've said it yourself...

"It's more dangerous out there."

"It's harder to get into a good college."

"Good jobs are harder to find and harder still to keep."

"It's just so much tougher for kids these days."

There are even books out, such as Strapped, subtitled "Why America's 20- and 30- Somethings Can't Get Ahead."

It's about escalating college costs, high rents, and a tough job environment that forces our young people into an endless cycle of borrowing.

The result? A generation that simply can't make it in today's economy.

She concludes her book with a short chapter urging governmental reforms and running credit card companies off campuses.

I Don't Agree and Here's Why...

I don't believe the problems or challenges college graduates face today are any worse than what you and I faced, or your parents, or your grandparents.

Just different.

When my dad first started out, he didn't have a college degree, and he didn't have his high school diploma either.

But he worked hard and did everything he could to make a buck - and it was tough.

He bought and sold lawn mowers, motorcycles, and antique cars to make a profit.

And he started one of the very first door-to-door vacuum repair services, then a house painting service, and finally an interior painting and taping business.

He didn't have any capital or connections when he first started out, but he knew how to work hard and learn from his mistakes.

When I graduated from college, I had $8,000 in debt. (And $8,000 back then... in 1987... is the equivalent of about $15,000 or $20,000 today.)

I made payments from my first job and put any extra windfall of money such as gifts, side jobs, etc. towards my loan.

And I was able to pay it off in 2 years.

Here Are 9 Steps To Get Ahead For Your Future College Grads

1) Don't fret about your problems. And don't wait for the government to solve them. Create a plan for success and stick to it.

2) If you can get a great job (and it's not impossible), then get to work earlier than everybody else and work harder and longer than everybody else, and do everything you can to work smarter than everybody else.

3) If you can't get a great job, start your own business. Service-oriented businesses, though they have drawbacks, are the easiest and cheapest to launch. The good habits you (hopefully) developed in college will serve you well in this competitive, primarily blue-collar, environment.

4) Get an apartment with two or three roommates. And, believe it or not, you can live very well for practically nothing. Good food, wine, and entertainment don't have to be expensive.

5) Better yet, buy a house or condo that you can get roommates to pay part of the mortgage. You'll live for cheaper plus be building some equity.

6) Skip going out and buying a brand new car because you deserve it. Instead, buy a good looking used car that gets decent gas mileage and take good care of it. Be sure it has a good sound system!

7) Save much more than the experts tell you. Pay the government first (taxes can't be avoided), your college loan next, and then put 15 percent of your income into an investment account. If you don't make enough money to do that, get another job. Work 16 hours a day if necessary.

8) If you begin to feel sorry for yourself, volunteer to work for an institution that treats people who have real problems - like cancer, AIDS, ALS, etc.

9) Give yourself a little time once a week to slow down and smell the roses. Then get back to work.

If you follow these 9 steps, you'll be way ahead of most people your age and almost guaranteed success. And you won't have to cross your fingers and wait for the government to come to your rescue.

Random Acts of Tithing

Help your kids be good role models.

If there are younger cousins in your family, encourage your older child to play catch, bake cookies, or go to the movies with his little cousin.

It will really make an impression on these younger cousins who look up to and admire their older "cool" cousins.

Profitable Investment Idea:

Can money really grow on trees?

You bet it can. Especially in timber stocks.

Did you know that timber stocks have beaten the stock market for the past 33 years? It's true.

That's why I own Plum Creek Timber (PCL) in my investment portfolio. For more profitable niche business ideas, check this website...

Fun Ways to Make Money For Little Kids

Here's a fun contest for your 9 to 12 year old to make $50 bucks before Christmas:

Just have him/her write a short essay on "How I Give More Than Just Presents for Christmas" and send it to me by December 5th to:

smishek@gmail.com with "Contest" in the title.

The winner will get a $50 dollar cashiers check to go Christmas shopping!

So good luck to all of your kids and have some fun...and remember to invest half of the winnings!

It's Good to Know...Financial Terms For Kids

1) Debit: A subtraction or withdrawl from your bank account.

2) Credit: An addition or deposit to your bank account.

3) Donation: A free gift to a charity organization. For example to church, goodwill, or the Humane Society

Cheap Family Fun

With the holidays right around the corner, it's tough to keep up with all the baking, decorating, school concerts, etc.

And when it comes to baking...well, let's just say I'm no Martha Stewart!

That's why I loooove being a part of a cookie exchange! My kids help me bake and decorate ONE kind (the easiest possible) of Christmas cookie, and then we go to my sister-in-law's house for the annual cookie exchange.

We get a beautiful variety of cookies without the work, plus get to socialize over hot cocoa and yummy snacks!

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