Financial Tips for Grads
Gain financial success after college graduation
Life after graduation can be a scary and exciting experience filled with new opportunities and responsibility, not to mention full-time employment. As you begin to explore the “real world,” have one less concern by making sure you get ahead in your financial life early on with these financial tips to prepare for your future.
Ideally, the first thing you should do to get on the right track towards financial freedom is to create a budget. Yes, even if that means you are not making the salary you want just yet. It doesn’t matter if you’re making minimum wage or six figures a year, by building good budgeting habits now, they will carry on throughout your career and life. A good starting point when creating a budget would be to start will be the 50/30/20 Budget. Once you grasp the basics, you can evolve your budget as you become more comfortable with crunching numbers.
Avoid debt – Many college grads have already accumulated a large sum of debt from student loans or a credit card or two when they graduate. Do your best now to avoid opening new credit cards or upgrading your old high school car to a newer model. The goal here is, once you pay off your debt, stay out of debt. If you do have a credit card or plan to open one in the future, make a plan to pay off the balance in full at the end of every month. This way, you are building credit without the lingering debt.
Take control of your credit – Credit and your credit score will dominate your financial life and it can have a positive or negative impact in your adult life. You want to begin establishing a good credit history so you will be credible to lenders in the future, especially when it is time for you to buy a new car, a home or even rent an apartment!
Start an emergency fund – Throughout life, we all come across speedbumps and, sometimes we may need cash at the drop of a hat, this is where emergency savings come in. If you’re wondering exactly how much to save, the general rule of thumb is to save enough to cover 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses. I know, 3-6 months’ worth of savings seems like a lot but $20 here and there will eventually build up to hundreds and then thousands of dollars.
Don’t stress if you don’t have your financial life figured out completely right after college. Life isn’t perfect and neither are we. As long as you actively work towards bettering your financial health and understand your spending, the more successful you will be.
At FCCU, we love to see our members succeed and achieve their financial goals. From building a budget to saving for a home, our financial counselors will talk with you to find the right plan or advice to help you achieve your goals. Make an appointment today to speak with a financial counselor.
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