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Subject:  Re: Book suggestions for Grad student Date:  11/30/2011  8:34 AM
Author:  aj485 Number:  303747 of 312189

I am looking for suggestions for a book on finances that I can give my daughter. She is in her second year of grad school in a 5 year PhD program which pays her $20k a year. She has no debt and slightly over $11,000 in a savings account. She drives a 2005 Civic with about 50k miles on it.

Just thought I'd point this out.....

With a $20k/year income and an $11k savings account, she currently has 6 months of income for an e-fund, plus an extra $1k for a 'freedom/irregular expense' fund in savings. Add that to the fact that as a student, she has no debt, I'd say she's doing great!

As far as books, "The Millionaire Next Door" is a pretty good book for general financial advice.

At this point, she may want to start thinking about investing. Unfortunately, as a PhD student, she may not be eligible for an IRA, as student income is often not considered 'earned' income. If she gets a W-2 for her income, and the $20k is shown in box 1, then she is eligible for an IRA. If her income is reported to her on a 1099, then she's not eligible for an IRA. She should also check into if she's eligible for any retirement savings accounts through her school, but she may run into the same type of eligibility issue.

However, even if she's not eligible for an IRA, she can still invest in taxable account. If she's interested in investing, I would suggest directing her to TMF's "13 Steps to Investing Foolishly" for some pretty good basic information. There's also a set of boards at TMF for investing beginners:

Here's an old TMF article (sales pitch) with book recommendations If you drop to the bottom (to get past the sales pitch), it has a list of non-TMF books. Even though the article is 8 years old, the books on the list will still provide a good education - the list starts with "The Wealthy Barber" and "The Millionaire Next Door" - as already recommended in this thread.

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