Whether you’re still in school, just recently graduated, or have started your career, it is always important to have your finances in order. It will give you a greater peace of mind and give you more opportunities in the future. Read on for eight money tips.
1. Create a Budget - It’s good to know how much money you can afford to spend and save each month, especially if you have student loans that you need to start paying. Planning and monitoring your budget will help identify things you may be wasting your money on, adapt quickly as your financial situation changes, and achieve your financial goals.
2. Limit your visits to fast food joints - Try to cook at home. It could save you so much money and the food will most likely be healthier.
3. Start Saving - If you don’t already have a home of your own, you might want one in the future. And, a down payment is more than a chunk of change. When you land your first full-time job, it’s a good idea to set up an automatic transfer to your savings account when you get paid.
4. Set aside some money for an emergency fund - You never know when unexpected events may happen, such as your car breaking down, a major dental expense, or medical bills.
5. Build your Credit** - If you are just starting to build your credit, a secured credit card is a good choice. You can ask a close friend or family member if they’d be willing to add you as an authorized signer on their credit card, or if they’d be willing to co-sign on a credit card or loan for you. Another way to build credit is by simply paying your bills on time. Your score can drop if you make late payments regularly.
6. Don’t max out your Credit Card - Try to use only 30% of your available credit. This looks good to creditors because it shows that you can use credit wisely without becoming overly dependent on it.
7. Take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) retirement plan - There is no reason to pass up free money. Contribute as much as you can, ideally at least enough to get the maximum employer match.
**Subject to credit approval.