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Financial advice from a new Tech grad

Life in Austin can sometimes be annoying for a Texas Tech grad, what with so much of the city's attention directed toward another Lone Star State university that happens to call the city home.

So you can understand my excitement when I opened today's paper to see, on the front page of the business section, an article about Texas Tech's fine financial planning curriculum, popularly known as Red to Black (handy, isn't it, that our school colors are scarlet and black?), and this year's top graduate of the program.

Of course, the newspaper of which I speak isn't the local one, but rather the New York Times. But such national recognition actually makes it that much better.

Texastechuniversitylogo In "Financial Wisdom From One Grad to Another," Your Money columnist Ron Lieber talks to Madison Nipp, who graduated Texas Tech's financial planning program with the highest grade point average of anyone in the major. That's certainly a laudable accomplishment for a graduate of what Lieber describes as "arguably the best undergraduate financial planning program in the country."

Nipp already has a job lined up; next month she'll be in San Antonio counseling clients of financial giant USAA on their portfolios. But she gives Times readers a quick tutorial on some personal finance basics.

Nipp's advice, writes Lieber, is based in part on personal experience and "is useful for people far older than new college graduates."

Here are the high points:

  • Credit cards are not inherently evil.
  • Balance your checkbook.
  • Budgets are not complicated.Beware of Daddy's wallet.
  • Don't buy a home.
  • Don't mess with taxes.

I swear, that final financial caution is directly from the article (Thanks, Ms. Nipp and/or Mr. Lieber!).

For anyone with any familiarity with financial planning basics and a smidgen of common sense, the advice isn't groundbreaking. But it's worth repeating, so check out the article for elaboration on each point.

And congratulations to Ms. Nipp and all her classmates, past, present and future, at my alma mater, Texas Tech University.

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