3 Financial Skills to Master Before you Graduate
College is a great experience – one when you begin forging a path in life that is unique to you. You are faced with loads of fun as well as many big decisions without parental supervision. Among those decisions are your financial choices – and as you hit the books and earn your degree, you can be working toward developing basic financial habits that will benefit you your whole life. Below are four financial habits you should master before you graduate to get you started on the right financial foot.
Create and Stick to a Budget
Set up a monthly budget to ensure your money goes the distance. Add up all of your income then start adding in your fixed expenses (housing and tuition) as well as flexible costs (gas, food, utilities). Track your expenses and if it seems that you are spending more than you have available, consider picking up some extra income or paring back expenses. Stick to your budget and don’t go into debt.
Save, Save, Save
Make saving a priority. When this becomes a habit, graduating with a positive savings account balance will do you well and it isn’t as hard as you think. Make small choices (like skipping that afternoon latte every day or returning books on time). Try saving some of your paycheck each month to create an emergency fund.
Establish (and Maintain) Good Credit
It takes discipline and maturity to be a wise steward of money. When you consider a line of credit or a loan, review the fine print and be sure you understand the details before you choose to sign up. Also shop around for other options before you choose a credit card or loan.
Once you have a line of credit, use it wisely and stick to the payment schedule. Pay off your balance in full each month to avoid fees.
Developing good financial habits early on is with your energy and time. If you can keep your finances under control during college, you will have a foot forward for the days you fly solo and pursue your career post-college.
To learn more about how Madison Monroe & Associates can help you, contact us today.