We know that for many new graduates, trading in the school life for the working world can be a crash course in adulting. There are many new responsibilities, and establishing financial independence ranks up there as one of the most important — and sometimes — most daunting.
As an independent community bank, we want all of the young people in our community to feel well-prepared for their financial future. We can help you create a financial plan that incorporates short- and long-term financial goals and sets you up for a lifetime of financial success. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Start a budget. Take advantage of the budget analyzer tool on the First National Bank website, as well as our online banking, bill pay and mobile app to help you manage your finances and track your spending remotely. You may also want to utilize a budget planning tool such as Mint® or You Need a Budget. Take a look at this list of best budget apps and personal finance tools for 2018 from NerdWallet.
- Pay off student loans. If you have student loans, it may be tempting to make the minimum monthly payments, but a more aggressive repayment plan can save you thousands in the long run. Some employers will help you pay off your student debt, so make sure to ask about this when negotiating your new job.
- Plan for retirement. We know you just started your professional career, and retirement is the furthest thing from your mind, but saving for retirement early in your career when you don’t have as many financial obligations can help jumpstart your retirement account. Take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) plan, including matching contributions, and make automatic deposits into your account every pay period. Chances are, if you don’t see the money, you won’t miss it.
- Spend responsibly. Shopping and weekend getaways are a rewarding way to recharge from the work week but can quickly eat away at your budget. Research the products you’d like to buy, along with restaurants and excursions in your price range, and plan accordingly so these purchases and activities don’t become a financial hardship.
- Establish an emergency fund. No matter your age, everyone needs an emergency fund to cover life’s unexpected events. Having an emergency fund gives you greater peace of mind. Start by putting away $1,000 and then contribute spare change or a little from each paycheck until you have between three to six months of net pay.
This stage of a young person’s life is all about empowerment, and financial matters are no different. If you’d like to meet with one of our retail bankers to help plan for a prosperous financial future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!