What are smart things to invest into? Stupid things to invest into? I come from a poor family and I'm really going to be the first generation that graduated college, got a good job and "made it". Things I'm considering: There's houses in my hometown that are selling for around $5,000~$8,000 at auctions. I thought about buying one, having it reconditioned and renting it out (They are somewhat near a community college that's accredited) and also having it as like a "In case I get laid off" type of deal. I also am thinking of investing into the stock market but I have no idea how to do this or even where I would begin looking. I'm going to pay off my debt and clean up my credit but how much should I put into this? My original plan was to focus on paying off my student loans but I owe about $34,000. I could pay it off in a year but is that even smart or should I just chop it down to where it's reasonable so I can still enjoy my life and have money to spend? I was thinking that during the months where I'm not saving for a trip or a big purchase, put whatever money I'm earning extra toward the loans, like pay $100 above minimum from like late April until June (So I have money for summer fun) and from late October to December (for holidays) but on other time periods, paying like $300-400 above to cut down the principle. I also need a better car. I have a 2004 Taurus and it's decent, 128,000 miles but it's starting to lose its wearing parts (Lost another coil pack, my IACV is sticking, needs new hoses, alignment, etc) and I feel like it's going to be a money pit. But at the same time, I don't want to invest in a car that I would hate. I'm very selfish about vehicles and all through college I told myself, when I graduate I'm getting a sports car. I can't stand the idea of living the rest of my late 20's and early 30's driving a fucking Corolla. I hate it. So I'm considering what kind of moderately fun car I can get under $30,000. I've found 135i's certified pre-owned (come with warranty up to 6 years/100,000 miles for drive-train) for around $30,000 and I'm sure I can talk them down to $26,000. Is this feasible for a guy in debt that wants to invest? I was considering a Lancer Evolution but they have massive mark-up. (STI is out because of the ring land issue and S2000's only seat two people. I need it to seat 4-5 and I HATE American cars) How much should I help my mom or family? This is where the hole never reaches a bottom I believe. I want to help my mom and my sister but everyone else in my family I want to tell them to go fuck themselves. They never answered my calls when I was in school and I don't want them feeding off my success. Any advice?