It’s hard to believe that graduation time is just around the corner. I know students who have worked so hard for their degree and are excited to start the next chapter of their lives. I also know just how many students wish their college life didn’t have to end. The realization that the “real world” is creeping up quickly can be very overwhelming at times. Below are a few tips that can help any graduating senior transition into the work force:
- Create a budget AND stick to it! Once you know what your income will look like take the time to compare it to your expenses (do not forget the fun stuff you spend money on). If you are spending more money than you should be, see where you can make changes to your expenses. Big impacts don’t always happen from big changes…start small and work your way up. If your income exceeds your expenses (which let’s face it, rarely happens), then increase your contribution to savings. The goal here is that your income and expenses should balance!
- Set savings goals and start saving for them immediately. Take the time to write down your financial goals and the timeline in which you hope to accomplish them. Post these goals where you are reminded daily of what you want your money to accomplish for you. Remember to make sure your goals are realistic and attainable; there is nothing worse than defeating yourself with unrealistic goals.
- Manage your credit responsibly. Just because every department store and credit card company will give you a large credit line does not mean that you need to take them or use them. Be careful and only borrow what you can pay back! Take the time to understand the terms of any loan or credit card that you sign for. Always ask questions!
- Start retirement planning your first day on the job. It may feel like you have the rest of your life to work and save for retirement, but the time will go by so fast and starting later can be a huge disadvantage for several reasons. The most obvious, is that the sooner you save, the more money you will save. But also, many employers will match a certain percentage of what their employees invest into their 401K. Essentially this is free money given to you that is being saved for your retirement…never pass up free money!
If you need additional help with any of these steps, feel free to visit us at the credit union, any of our qualified associates would be more than willing to help you get on the right track financially from the beginning. This is YOUR financial future. Take control of it now, and give yourself the opportunity to be financially successful.