For soon-to-be graduates, transitioning from the classroom to the real world can be exciting and overwhelming. It's important to start planning now, and create a financial plan that incorporates your short- and long-term financial goals. The financial decisions made during these first wealth-building years can affect you years down the road and set you on the path to financial independence.
Take control of your finances and keep these strategies in mind:
- Start a budget. Learn about our online services available to help you manage your finances and track spending remotely.
- Pay off student loans. It may be tempting to make the minimum monthly payments, but a more aggressive repayment plan can save you thousands in the long run. Some companies will help you pay off your student debt; make sure to ask about this when negotiating benefits with prospective employers.
- Plan for retirement. Automate your savings so that a portion of each paycheck goes directly into a savings account. Take advantage of your employers’ 401(k) plan and any matching contributions, if offered.
- Spend responsibly. Shopping and weekend getaways are a great way to recharge from the work week but can eat away at your budget. Do your research and comparison shop before major purchases.
- Establish an emergency fund to cover life’s unexpected events and give you greater peace of mind. You can start small with a 52-Week Money Challenge (in a year’s time you’ll have socked away $1,378) or be more aggressive and start out with a lump sum and build from there. A good goal is three to six months of net pay.