Graduating can be exciting, overwhelming and scary – a lot of change happens in a short period of time! Be financially prepared for your future with the help of our UW Credit Union experts. Read their useful advice on things they wish they would have known about their finances when they graduated from college so you can manage your money with ease.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
“One thing I wished I knew about my finances when I graduated is the importance of building a safety net in case of emergencies. Not being able to fall back on your savings can get you into a bind and force you to extend debt and live paycheck to paycheck.”
Set an Organized Budget
“One thing I wished I knew about my finances when I graduated is the importance of figuring out your budget as soon as you graduate, and then living within your means. Without making a budget, it is easy to spend more than you make, and end up in a stressful financial situation.”
Building Credit is Key
“I wish I knew more about the value of building good credit. When I graduated and landed my first real job, I wanted to purchase a newer vehicle. Unfortunately, since I did not start building my credit at an earlier age, my credit history was very limited. Although I was making enough money to purchase a vehicle, I still needed to rely on my parents to co-sign on my loan. If I would have built my credit history, I may have been able to purchase this vehicle on my own and have more financial independence.”
Save, Save, Save!
“I wish I understood the importance of budgeting and the power of compound interest in building wealth. The earlier you begin a savings plan and contribute to it on a monthly basis, you will begin the process of earning interest on your interest. This process of earning interest is very beneficial for early investing because it helps your contributions multiply over the course of time. Begin saving early and benefit financially.”
Invest in Your Future
“One thing I wished I knew about my finances when I graduated is the importance of asset allocation inside of your 401(k) and any other investments. It is one thing to start investing for retirement, but don’t forget how your funds are being invested. It is vital to seek the help of a professional who understands the market and how to create a well-diversified portfolio that is appropriate for your risk tolerance and time horizon. Along with ongoing contributions, this process will help ensure a long, stable retirement.”