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Five things you must do with your money after graduating from college
Syracuse University Derek Brainard, a financial literacy coordinator, AFC®, offers new graduates five pieces of advice for managing their money after graduating college
Five Essential Money Tips for New College Grads:
- Embrace second-hand shopping. Ask “how much does it cost” versus “how much per month?” Financing things like cars, furniture, appliances, and clothes can add layers of stress to any transition. Shop for quality, pre-owned items and buy within your budget to end up in financial peace instead of pieces.
- Have a debt elimination game plan. Dumping debt early can have a huge impact on your financial future. Pay off credit cards in full each month and if you have student loans, work closely with your servicer to select the repayment plan that makes the most sense for your income level and long-term goals.
- Sometimes the best offense is a good defense. Now that your expenses are higher with rent, utilities, food, transportation, and clothes, your emergency fund may need a lift. Aim to save enough to cover three-to-six months of these expenses, just in case.
- Max the match. Consider contributing to your 401(k) or 403(b) at work, especially if your employer offers to match a percentage of your contribution. Investing early on with even a small amount per month can make a big difference in the long-term.
- Surround yourself with excellent council in your financial life, and work with professionals who will teach you and check for understanding before you invest in anything. A good financial planner is one who develops your plan with you, not just for you.
Brainard is available to talk to the media about these tips for new college grads. Please contact Ellen James Mbuqe, director of news and PR, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315.443.1897.