AS HEARD AND SEEN ON CNN!! Our Susan Bruno was interviewed by CNN to share her thoughts on what recent college grads need to know about their personal finances and here is some of what she shared:
The ABC(D)S of Personal Finance for the Recent College Grad
We decided to start backwards and saved the most important for last…
S is for Saving. First to move out or avoid boomeranging home after college. Freedom only comes when you are no longer economically dependent on anyone, including your parents. Second, save enough money in case you lose your job or have a fender bender. It’s called an emergency fund so use it just for that. Third, start saving for your goals, including retirement if your employer matches, but also for short term goals so you can feel the satisfaction of delaying immediate gratification like a much needed vacation or even a used car. You will appreciate it more when you have earned it! It’s ok to keep it small. Think about saving your 20’s in your 20’s!
D is for Debt. First deal with your student loans. (http://www.igrad.com/articles/take-control-of-your-student-loan-debt) Second stay out of credit card debt but ok to wisely use credit cards. Use only for Needs (Not Wants). Third, pay off your credit cards every month! And get the lowest interest rate if you can’t. Do you know your credit card interest rate? (http://www.igrad.com/articles/funny-video-financial-literacy-survey-college-campus)
C is for Credit Score. Why should I care? Your score impacts everything ranging from interest rate on a car loan to getting a job or apartment. Think top SAT score on each part: 800 which is also your goal for your credit score. A good score is 700+. You can get your credit score once a year for free. Get your free report by clicking here (www.annualcreditreport.com) This is the ONLY site to get this for FREE from all 3 companies.
B is for budget. Reverse engineer your budget by figuring out how much you have to spend AFTER taxes and savings. Truly understand Needs vs. Wants. Set it and monitor it it regularly. Good rule of thumb is 50/50. Half your money goes towards taxes and savings and the remainder for needs…and then finally wants.
A is for Anxiety. Don’t beat yourself up. It is normal to feel anxious. You’ve gone from feeling on top of the world as a newly minted college grad to boomeranging home with your parents and no money, no job and looming student loans…and maybe even a curfew again! If you are lucky enough to have a job, you realize it’s a full 8+ hours every single day!!Add this all up and of course you may be depressed! It’s ok. Share your feelings with others and you will feel better!
TELL us how you are feeling! We want to hear from parents too!
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