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April 26, 2021

5 Money Tips for Fresh Graduates

Financial advice for newly minted college graduates.

Adjusting to life after college can be difficult if you are not sure how to handle money wisely. Whether you have a part-time or full-time job, your salary may not be as high as you had hoped it would be. If you’re a recent college graduate or in the process of graduating, here are some tips on how to handle your financials as a job seeker or full-time employee.

Educate yourself on finances

If you’ve never had first-hand experience with handling your own money, the best way to start is to educate yourself with some research. Pick up a book or two on money basics to set a good foundation for yourself. If you are not the biggest fan of reading, find videos of experts that talk about how to best handle your finances. You do not need to go too deep into the subject unless you want to; even some basic knowledge could help you in the long run.

Figure out a budget

The first step to take after graduating from college is to figure out a budget. The best thing you can do for your future is to live below your means for the first few years so you can save up for future financial goals. Even if you are living at home or you do not have a job, you should come up with an estimated post-graduation budget to prepare yourself. You just have to tally up your income and expenses, or you can search for a budgeting method to find what suits you best.

Control your credit

It is never too early to start worrying about maintaining good credit. A credit score in the 600s and higher is ideal for getting the best rates on loans and a mortgage. Even if you don’t have plans on making any big purchases yet, this is the best time to start improving and controlling your credit. So, when the time comes that you are looking to purchase a new home, you can get the best options possible. If you don’t have a credit score yet, you can get started by applying for a credit card.

Start investing

When you think about investing, the first thing that pops into your mind might be to buy individual stocks. Although this is an option, it is not necessarily recommended for beginners. You should prioritize investing in your future by opening a retirement account. It is never too early to think about retirement. The money you consistently put into the account will grow over time due to interest.

Begin making student loan payments

Now that you are out of college, you should try to tackle your student debt as soon as possible. Doing so will save you interest payments in the long run. Even though student loans have lower interest rates, you should take it as seriously as you would any other debt. Start figuring out repayment plans. The earlier you start, the more you will save on interest. Also establish a habit of paying on time. That way, your student debt will not pile on future debts as well.

It is never too early to learn about money and the best way to handle your finances regardless of your situation. Feel free to drop by your local branch to talk to a financial advisor about your options on how to best utilize your money.