Finance is Fun: Financial Tips for Graduates 

Marion Syverson was in for this week’s Finance is Fun to talk about financial tips for graduates.

You’ve spent years getting this shiny, new degree but now you have completed the thing towards which you have striven. Congratulations! Planning is not done, though, because now you are getting to start your beautiful adult life. We all want it to go well for you. Here are some tips to make your finances beautiful.

Budget – Don’t see a budget as a restriction. See it has FREEDOM! Because with a budget YOU control your money life, instead of it dragging you from one crisis to another, with too much spending in the middle. Kind of like a crisis sandwich. Not very tasty. But with a simple budget, you can plan how to make your life the happiest with a vision to your future and a nod to the past.

Pay off loans – Speaking of the past, many of you will have school loans. Getting them paid off as soon as possible is a great goal. And with a budget you can figure out where in your spending you can find the money for as fast a repayment as possible. While still having a life.

Keep housing costs low -Consider less expensive housing options such as getting a roommate or two, or maybe even live with your parents. If you feel okay about making serious financial headway, frame these options as excellent, money-saving choices and not restrictions. Really, you can save a ton of money being frugal. However you manage that, it will make the many years of your future financially more awesome. Consider the wisdom of the suggestion.

Watch out for debt – You have potentially nothing but school loans to repay. Please don’t add to it, shrinking your cash and adding to your fixed expenses. I know you feel that you have worked for so long to finally be making an adult wage. But if you can see this adulthood as lasting more than a year or two, if you can pace yourself on the awesomeness of life, it will be worth it, my friend! Try to save or things or wait to have them just a bit so you can make more progress in saving and paying down past debt obligations.

Save – And about saving, start an emergency account right off. And save this money for real emergencies. That car, the other things that unexpectantly go wrong will feel much less out of control if you start putting money away. And when you have to use it, just keep on this path of juicy goodness and start again next pay period to save anew.

Invest – If your employer offers a retirement savings plan, consider contributing to the plan when you become eligible to do so. This early start to saving for your retirement should help make you happy later.

Have occasional FUN– And then reward yourself with superlative times of fun. If you don’t spend each weekend night and are a bit more careful, there will be money for amazing fun. Vacations in Florida or the Caribbean. Trips to Europe. Real and serious fun all because you were prudent.

All we want for you, my friend, is that you be as wise as possible. The reason? We know where the trouble lies and we want to save you from the pressure, the phone calls, the feelings of living life off the rails and sinking fast. We want you to be free and happy and we think a life of really knowing where your money is going is a great step in a great direction.