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Personal Finance
Managing Your Finances While Starting Off

Mike Jensen -- Leaving the comfort of college and entering the real world means taking steps to take to protect yourself and your property. Here are some financial fundamentals for those starting their career.

Everyone reading this article has started their career or is about to start their career. For some of you, the road ahead will bring many unknowns such as where you will work. One area that is critical to success later in life is money management. Starting off on the wrong foot can lead to financial hardship when you go to buy a car or home down the road. Protect your financial well being now so you can be secure later.

After school you will probably be moving away from campus and into a city apartment. Leaving the comfort of campus means you need to be aware of your surroundings and protect yourself and your property. What would happen if someone broke into your apartment and stole all of your valuable possessions? Could you pay to replace everything out of pocket? For most young people the answer is no. Consider protecting your financial state with renters insurance.

Another great way to protect your financial well being is to start an emergency fund. An emergency fund is money you put aside in a savings account for a rainy day. This money can be used in case your car breaks down or you have unexpected medical bills. Your emergency fund ensures you can deal with life's unexpected events while still paying your day to day bills. The recommended amount for your emergency fund as a young person is $1,000.

The easiest and probably the most underutilized way to stay out of debt is to live within your means. Don't spend more than you make. Don't even get close. If you have $100 left in your bank account for the month, don't go out to eat with your friends. That money should go into your savings or "emergency fund" account. Be smart with you money. In the words of Dave Ramsey, "live like no one else today, so you can LIVE like no one else tomorrow."

Protect yourself financially from the unexpected because "it" will happen to you. Living within your means is the best way to set yourself up for success in life. Following these financial fundamentals will put you in the position to have everything you want out of life.

Mike Jensen is a financial professional specializing in wealth management and insurance. His practice is located in Orlando, Florida and focuses on conservative proven investment strategies, and insurance products such as life insurance, renters insurance and Florida health insurance.

© 2012 Mike Jensen

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