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I graduated about a year and half ago and working in my field (not for profit sector) making peanuts. Like all recent grads I have about a kazillion dollars in student loans, which I pay religiously, even if it means Ramen noodles for a while. I try very hard not to use my credit card and have a small amount I pay on every month, but not the whole amount, unfortunately. I have held off in buying a car, use carpool with fiance, and mass transportation. Even though the Dept. of Education tells me I have a nice probably European car with all the bells and whitles, CD player, leather seats, warmed of course, sun roof, mapping device, etc.

As far as investing, I put 10% on my salary every month toward 403b in an index fund and every little bit extra after pay off all the bills goes into my MM at Waterhouse(important to have and build an emergency fund). Pays competitive dividends, low commission, FREE dividend reinvestment plans, FREE IRA's, unlimited checkwriting and check card with no minimum use for FREE!! It only requires $1000 dollars to open an account.

As a recent graduate and fiance going towards a PhD it is hard to put away money for savings. It can be done, it just means sometimes going out to eat, bars, movies, etc is eliminated with hanging out at home with a bottle of wine, bought on sale, and just waiting for the day one can buy and sell at will and sit, wait, and watch those greenbacks grow like a Fool should do.

It's hard at first, but can be done. Once you get in the mood or habit it's hard to stop.

Hope this helps out.

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