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Avoid Money Mistakes Made By New Grads
Being on your own with your first professional job can be daunting. Use these tips to help you on your way to financial success.
Avoid Overspending –
With having a new job and real income, it can be tempting to splurge on yourself and your new place. Besides larger purchases like furniture,
little expenses can add up, too, like going out to lunch and renting movies. It also may be easy to turn to credit cards to help you afford
the lifestyle you’ve had in mind. If you haven't rented an apartment yet, consider a more modest one or living with roommates.
Track Your Spending –
To avoid overspending, do this for a month or two to see where your money is going. Incorporate income and expenses, including rent, student loans, car
payment, utilities, etc. When you've determined your budget, spread out larger purchases over time, and use your credit card for small
purchases or items you can pay off monthly.
Our Helpful Services
- Money Management Tools – Categorizes your expenses in Web Branch to
show you where you spend your money.
- Pending Items – Acting like a virtual check register, it shows you a more
realistic balance by incorporating future expenses, Web Payments, etc.
Use Credit Responsibly –
Besides building up debt by overspending, many college graduates haven't established a credit history. One way to start building a positive credit history is to open accounts in your name for your apartment, utilities and more. Then be sure to make your payments on time. This accounts for 35% of your credit score, the largest component of your score.
Learn more about what other factors impact your score »
Our Helpful Services
- Low-Rate Credit Cards – Besides helping you establish credit, having a credit
card is a good back-up for emergencies. Use it for small purchases you pay off monthly. Our credit card
rates beat the national average by 3-6%.* You can even apply for a
Cash Rewards card, earning
cash back on your purchases. No matter where you have a credit card, be sure to make the payments on time and know your interest rate and
- My Credit Score –
View your credit score for free in Web Branch. Register to take advantage of more benefits including the Credit Simulator which lets you see
how financial decisions impact your score. Learn More »
- Credit Consultation –
Review your credit report and gain a better understanding of your financial picture.
Start Saving –
Even if your budget ends up being tight at first, it's ideal to start an emergency fund for car repairs, unemployment, etc. Having three
months of living expenses set aside is a good start, and later build up to 6-9 months. You can begin putting a small amount aside each month,
like $25, and have it deposited directly into your savings account so you won’t miss it. You'll also want to take advantage of your
employer's 401(k) plan and any matching opportunities, contributing a small amount to start.
Learn about our Savings opportunities »
Have Health Insurance – Make sure you have some form of health insurance coverage, whether it's an
employer-based plan, individually purchased or your parent's plan. If you have a medical issue without health insurance, the financial
impact can be devastating.
More Budget & Planning Articles »
* National average for credit cards as of April 2012 is 14.96% APR. Source, creditcards.com.