FNB Fox Valley would like to congratulate high school and college students who are graduating this May. This exciting step begins a new chapter in life, but this new found freedom may have some graduates feeling fearful, too.
Not every recent graduate is as knowledgeable about their personal finances as they should be. Understanding the importance of saving and investing can start them on a road to financial success and independence and subdue any lingering worries of debt that they may have.
Here are 5 personal finance tips for recent college grads.
- Pick up a book on money basics. Bookstores and libraries are filled with resources that guide young professionals on their journey of earning, spending, investing, saving, and giving back. Learning the basics is the first step to managing your finances.
- Create a budget. After being employed for several months and adjusting to the amount of take-home pay you’re earning, figure out how much money you can afford to spend each month. This comes down to mapping out your purchases to see where your money is going- restaurants, taxis, clothes, bills, etc.?
- Be smart about your living situation. Yes, an awesome apartment or condo would look amazing, but it could definitely kill your budget. Find something that works with your income. Sharing the costs of an apartment and utilities with a roommate or two is a good option. It may mean having to share a bathroom and kitchen, but a little more sharing beats spending most of your monthly budget on housing.
- Closely manage your debt. Debt can be a dream killer. If you’re stuck paying credit card bills, have a big car payment, and still have to pay student loans, you may have bitten off more than you can chew. Spend responsibly and only take out debt you can feasibly afford to pay back, while still setting something aside in a savings or retirement account.
- Eliminate debt as quickly as possible. If you have some hefty student loans to pay back you may want to find a way to consolidate them into one loan with a lower interest rate if you can. One payment is easier to manage than multiple payments, so refinancing those loans could be an easy way to get rid of your debt more quickly.
If you know a graduate, share these finance tips with them; it could change the way they think about their debt! FNB-Fox Valley has the resources necessary to help graduates get on the right road to financial independence and break free of debt. For more information on checking, savings, and loans check out FNB Fox Valley’s website!