Finishing college and starting a career are huge accomplishments and should be celebrated. While doing so, follow these easy financial tips to ensure the foundation you are creating can be built upon for years to come.
Create a budget: Just like a business, you should keep at least a monthly accounting of your income and expenses. This will give you a clear picture of where your $'s are going on a monthly basis and can provide you the info you need to make investment decisions.
1. Start with your income: What amount of income are you receiving on a monthly basis (After-tax Income)?
2. Subtract out expenses: Categorize your expenses between ones that are mandatory (rent, food, bills) and ones that are not (dining out, entertainment, travel)
3. Take what is left over (surplus) and divide it amongst your goals such as creating a savings safety net, paying down loans, or contributing to investments
Start investing early: If your budget allows, and you are comfortable with some risk then you can start looking at investment options. These include retirement plans offered by your company, or accounts that you can set up yourself. Time is one of the greatest assets you have when investing and starting early is a great way to take advantage of that.
Over a few decades, even $25 a month can add up to a significant amount.
Keep it Simple: At this stage of life, you shouldn't have to complicate your financial plan. Keep things simple and efficient and let compounding do the work for you. There will be plenty of time ahead for more complex strategies. For now, start easy and build your base every month.
“Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.”
Be the champion of your financial life and prepare now for years of future success!