Graduating in May?
A watch, a string of pearls, money, gift cards, balloons. Graduating from college, grad school, the military, or a trade program can be an exciting time of celebration. What a relief to be “done”! The rest of your life awaits!
Whether or not you have secured your “dream job”, or just a “placeholder for now “(3 decades later I am still working in my “let’s just see if this is for me” industry that became my dream job!!!), sound money management is essential. Once that graduation gift envelope from Aunt Shirley is spent, you’ll have a lot of financial decisions popping up from where to live to where to work to what’s next for additional education and training. The activities of daily life like food, clothing, and shelter are expensive.
Be wary of amassing a lot of credit card debt - that can become a hole that is tough to dig out from as interest compiles - and if you miss a payment, those fees can be crippling. Your spending now on credit cards can follow you for many years when you want to do other things - like purchase a home. Your mail will be chock full of offers for hot new cars and other temptations. It can be difficult to resist, but be realistic.
Before making any major financial decisions, take a breath. Delay the decision so that it is not impulsive. Make a list of pros and cons. Read the fine print on contracts and offers. Gather information. If student loan payments begin in 6 months, can you afford the apartment, the car, the credit card, and the loan payment?
This is a time for celebration, for fun, and for pats on the back. Just make sure that your money behaviors don’t slap you in the face!
This information is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended as specific advice for any individual.
Seek professional advice before taking any action in regard to your finances.
Todd A. Slingerland, CFP®