College Graduate Financial Tips

posted May 30, 2019 in Blogs

If you recently graduated college you may have mixed emotions about a lot of things. You are probably excited for this new life chapter that’s about to start, but you may also be nervous and unsure of how it will go. While there is a newfound freedom that comes with your new lifestyle, there are also a lot of responsibilities. It can seem overwhelming but don’t worry - in time you will figure everything out and work through any challenges.

If you are like most people, your money and what you should do with it may be something weighing on your mind. That’s where we can help! We’re here to help you every step of the way and give you some pointers. If you’re able to start making smart choices with your money at this stage in your life and set good habits, it will be far easier to continue throughout your life.

Keep reading to learn 5 things you should definitely be doing now!

  1. Build good money habits. This first tip is important because while it may seem general, good habits will build the foundation for your future! You may think you don’t make enough money right now, but this is the prime time to start building healthy habits with your money. Then, as promotions and pay increases come into play, you will already have your healthy spending habit foundation in place and will be able to allocate more funds to your savings.
  2. Set a monthly budget. No matter how much you do or don’t make or what your age is, a budget is key. It will keep you in check and you won’t end the month wondering where your money went. Consider everything you have to spend money on each month first. This includes expenses such as utility bills, rent/mortgage payments, groceries, gas and other items that are essential. After your necessities are accounted for, you will be able to see if there is room for extra things like new clothes, drive-thru coffee, or a fun night out with friends!
  3. SAVE. Saving your money is key. A general rule of thumb is that you should save 20% of what you make. Think of saving your money as paying yourself first - it's a good thing. If you’re paying all these other people, why wouldn’t you also pay yourself?
  4. Invest in yourself. If getting to the next step of your career means getting a certification of some sort or attending a conference to introduce yourself to others, you should do your best to work towards the capability to do so. Learning and expanding your knowledge to continue to grow in your career is always a smart move, even if it means spending your own hard earned dollars.
  5. Build your credit. Credit is very important for a lot of reasons. Credit will help you get better loan rates when purchasing a car or home which will in turn save you money on interest. A good credit score can even help if you are renting an apartment. Since landlords check your credit before they allow you to be a tenant. One way to build credit is by having a credit card and being very diligent about making prompt payments. If you don’t yet have a credit card, check out Greater Iowa’s credit card options here!

Greater Iowa is always happy to help you get started on the right financial foot and can help you achieve your goals at every stage of life! Stop by one of our branch locations or give us a call today to find out how we can help!