College graduation is a huge accomplishment. It is also the first step of your adult life! That’s why it’s important to have good financial practices in place for a successful future.
To help kick start your future, here are 6 financial practices to start after college graduation.
#1 Build a Budget & Start Saving (NOW)
Create a budget for yourself that takes in account the following:
Your Savings Goals
Monthly Payments (rent, utilities, car payments, student loans, etc)
Weekly Spending (gas groceries, entertainment)
Tip: There are many mobile apps now-a-days that can help you get started with your budgeting goals.
Once you have a budget in place, you’ll have a good idea as to where your money is going and be able to build a realistic budget based on your needs. As a result, this will help you save money overtime!
#2 Keep Your Finances in Check
It’s important to set some time aside at least once a month to review your finances. By doing this, you’ll develop good money habits.
Tip: Set a reminder in your phone each month to review your finances
What should you review? Review your bank account and credit card statements to ensure your spending is in line with the budget you’ve set for yourself, along with any other accounts you save, spend and invest in. In addition, stay on top of your credit report to ensure your credit score isn’t being negatively affected by your financial habits.
#3 Prepare for Student Loan Payments
After graduating college, you usually have a grace period of 6 months in which you can prepare your finances before starting your student loan payments. If you prepare properly you won’t be surprised when it comes time to make your first payment.
Tip: Pay attention to the interest rate on your student loans. When you can afford to pay a little extra, you’ll save the most money by paying down the loan with the highest interest rate first. Set up automatic payments, too (sometimes you’ll get a discount by doing this). This is a great way to save money and build good credit.
#4 Have You Started Your Retirement Fund?
To sooner you start saving for your future retirement, the better! We promise! One of the most recommended ways to setting up a retirement fund is with a 401K. This may be offered through your workplace or you can set up one as a personal account through your bank or a brokerage firm.
Many workplaces offer 401(K) matching. This means that your employer contributes to your 401 (K) up to a certain percentage or dollar amount. The best part… it’s essentially FREE money from your employer designed to encourage you to save for your future.
#5 Switch from A Student Card
If you own a student card it may be time to switch to a credit card that has perks and rewards.
#6 Start Investing
Invest a portion of our paycheck into individual stocks or mutual funds each month. This is a great financial practice especially if you start to invest early.
Saving early is key to a successful future. Getting into simple saving habits will benefit you long-term. It will even help you put a down payment on the home of your dreams some day. So, try putting these 6 financial practices into play now!