As high school and college seniors graduate, many are faced with the financial predicament to spend versus save. Despite some college programs, like St. Johns University, which offers computers to its incoming freshmen, high school graduates have many expensive needs for college, leading many to spend their graduation money, the Poughkeepsie Journal reports.


Samantha Gioffre, a graduate of Roy C. Ketcham High School, is heading to Marist College this fall and hopes to save half of her graduation money, yet knows she must spend the other half on preparation for college and gassing up her car this summer.


Jim Santangelo, a certified financial planner, has advice for graduates such as Gioffre: to save and invest as much as possible.


Santangelo says that students heading to college should invest in growth mutual funds, which offer diversity and long-term growth. For graduates not going to college, Santangelo points to the importance of investing maximum amounts in tax-deferred 401(k) plans offered from employers.


“With the softness in the economy, it does make it a little harder for those college grads to find a position,” Santangelo said, “But if you’re working, I suggest save, save, save—invest, invest, invest.”

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