During the economic decline of the recession many households struggled, with the loss of income people stopped investing for college and retirement. This means many of the children from that era paid their own way through college, racking up the debt. Among recent college grads (ages 21-24), 79% have student loans they must pay back.1 This puts them starting out adult life “underwater” and they are not completely prepared to enter the workforce, manage their own money and tackle what life throws. The following are ways to help your recent graduate find their financial footing and create successful money management habits.
Building A Foundation
Having a good foundation includes things such as goals, networking and a resume. It’s okay for young adults not to know exactly where they want to end up, but knowing their interests and skills should give them a good idea of what type of job they would like to start with. They will learn their likes and dislikes and know what they want to pursue and what to avoid. With this knowledge they can create goals. Goals beget more goals. Expanding their network is also a great way to build a foundation. With today’s social media its easy for millennials to reach out to people through platforms such as, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Several companies post positions they are trying to fill and the qualifications they are asking for this way. What bow can’t be tied? Answer: A bow Current Savings Rates: 5 Year – 4.01%* 3 Year – 3.05%* *Rates change frequently, call to verify. Visit Our Website At: www-yr071.hosts.cx Email Us At: firstname.lastname@example.org Another step to a good foundation is having a good resume. Right out of college most resumes are filled with summer jobs, volunteer opportunities and college organizations. It’s what they do now that is important. They should look for jobs that will diversify their job skills. Having a wide variety of job skills and experience can help when there is an unexpected turn in life.
Habits There are four habits that can lead to successful money management; spending, saving, investing and protecting. The trick is to create a budget that includes things such as necessities, big ticket purchases, those silly little indulgences and some for savings.
Even a college grad who is making a good salary should still pack a lunch to work instead of eating out every day. Eating out every day is a small indulgence that can add up and create bad spending habits. The advice is to live like you’re still a college student.
Saving money is also important for a recent college graduate. Even if it’s just a small amount each month, it’s about creating the habit. A good goal would be to create an emergency savings fund where there is about 3 to 6 months of expenses. Once that savings is created it could be a good idea to focus on paying off debt, starting with the high interest loan first. Don’t forget it’s important to keep saving while paying off debt!
Many young adults think investing is for people who are further along in their career. This couldn’t be further from the truth, invest while you are young! The easiest place for young adults to invest is with their workplace retirement plan. Often the employer will match a portion of the contributions. The younger they start contributing to investments the more money will be earned over time.
It’s important to protect your credit score by not missing a payment on a loan or credit card. Having late payments can lower your credit and create higher interest rates, making it hard when purchasing a home or a car.
Developing good behaviors with money early on helps to build a strong foundation and entrench good financial habits. You can help by offering patience, understanding and your own pearls of wisdom.
Funny enough, the most gratifying revelation in parenting is when young college graduates, after years away at college, learn how smart you’ve become!
Scott B. Wharton & Staff
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