5 Financial Recommendations for Recent Graduates With MA’s

After graduating from school, many graduates entering the workforce will find that managing their personal finances can be a challenge. While managing your personal finances can be difficult, there are five financial recommendations that all graduates can follow, which will help to ensure they are able to save money and ultimately achieve financial freedom.

Start Saving for Retirement Early
The first financial recommendation to follow is to start saving for retirement early. While retirement can be up to forty years away for graduates, the time it takes to accumulate a lot of assets takes a lot of time. To ensure that you eventually have enough money to comfortably retire, you should start saving as soon as possible. By taking advantage of tax-advantaged retirement accounts, such as 401ks and IRAs, you can save even more money. You should attempt to save at least ten percent of your income and always take advantage of any employer-provided retirement contribution matches.

Build a Safety Net
When you first start working, it could be tempting to buy some personal items and pay off personal debts. However, before doing this you should ensure that you build a safety net. Your safety net should be equal to at least twelve months worth of living expenses. This will then be available to you in the event that you lose your job and have to support yourself without an income.

Pay Down High-Interest Debts
The third recommendation for graduates is to pay down any high-interest debts that they have. Many students end up graduating with a lot of credit card debt. While credit cards could have helped them to get through school, paying off these debts can be tough. Once you have saved up an appropriate safety net, you should next focus on paying off all of your credit card debt. Doing this earlier rather than later will help you to save a lot of money on interest charges over time.

Build a Budget
The fourth recommendation for graduates is to build a personal budget and stick to it. Graduates who are entering the workforce need to learn to stick to a financial plan, which will include setting up a budget for how much money can be spent each month on fixed expense, such as rent and car insurance, as well as discretionary expenses, such as dining out. When building a budget, it is important that it is realistic and includes reserves for saving money, paying down debt, and achieves both short-term and long-term goals.

Invest
The fifth recommendation for graduates is to look for ways to invest. While most graduates may feel that they are already financially strained, graduates should look for ways to invest their money when they can. Graduates should look to invest their money in well-managed and regarded mutual funds and blue-chip stocks. While it can be tempting to invest in more speculative stock investments, the amount of these investments should be limited to a small percentage of your portfolio.

In conclusion, managing personal finances can be a big challenge for recent college graduates. While it can be overwhelming, there are several tips that all graduates can follow, which will make it easier for them to save money and manage their finances.

10 Things You Can Do Today to Get Your Financial Life in Order

Your finances are an important part of your life. If you don’t learn to manage your money well, you are destined for financial struggles now and in the future. There is plenty of good advice available so all you have to do is follow it to become more financially secure.

1. Create a Budget

The best way to set up a budget is to tally up all your expenses for the last six months. Once you calculate how much you actually spend, you know what your average monthly expenditures are. With this information, you can create a monthly budget.

2. Reduce Your Debt

The best way to lower your overall debt is to stop buying things on credit, except for large purchases such as a car or home. If you have credit card debt, paying off more than the minimum each month is a good method for reducing your debt and the amount of interest you have to pay.

3. Increase Your Income

While you can ask for a raise at work, many people earn an additional income by moonlighting. If a part-time job is not for you, there are many at home businesses you can start for very little money such as content writing or affiliate marketing. Other possibilities are making and selling crafts or doing odd jobs in the neighborhood.

4. Open a Savings Account

It’s always good to have money in the bank for an emergency. You can set aside a certain percentage of your income each month. Although any amount will do, try for 10 percent or more every month.

5. Handle Credit Wisely

If you have any type of a loan such as mortgage or student loan, you need to pay each bill on time. It is also important to pay your credit card bills on time to establish good credit. If you will be late with a payment, contact the creditor and ask for more time to prevent your account from going to a collection agency.

6. Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit scores are important if you ever want to get a loan. The first step is getting copies of your credit report from the three credit bureaus and checking each file for errors. By disputing errors and getting them corrected, you can raise your credit scores.

7. Plan for Your Retirement

It is important to plan for your retirement. As most people know, they can’t depend on Social Security benefits. If your company doesn’t offer a pension plan, you can set up IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) or other retirement plans so that you have an income after you retire.

8. Have Insurance

Insurance protects you from financial loss due to illness or loss or damage of property. Health insurance is a necessity, but life insurance, renter’s insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and car insurance are also important for most people.

9. Make a Will

A will provides for your family after your death. It is a way to distribute your assets and personal property to your heirs.

10. Organize Your Financial Documents

You need to keep all your financial documents in one place for easy access. These documents include tax returns, pay stubs, a copy of your will, insurance policies, and bank and credit card statement. Putting them all in a fireproof storage box for safekeeping is a good idea.

The only way to truly get your financial life in order is to make a commitment to your future. With proper planning, you can weather any financial emergencies while increasing your assets and preventing problems such as a bankruptcy. By following these 10 steps you can stay on track to achieve your financial goals.