If you just graduated college, congratulations!
Like thousands of other recent college alumni, you may be starting your first full-time, salaried job and earning your first paycheck. Here are a couple of things you can do now, to make sure you set yourself up for financial success for now and later!
Start Saving for Retirement Now
It may seem like it’s too early to be thinking about retirement, but the sooner you start saving the better off you will be when you’re ready to retire. If your employer offers 401K with match options, you should take part in that program! You should also try and contribute as much as your employer will match, if you don’t it’s like saying no to free money. If you do not have retirement options through work, you should open an IRA or Individual Retirement Account. Even if you open an IRA and only put in $5,500 now and never touch it again, by the time you’re ready to retire you will have over $90,000 saved! Read more about the benefits of savings with an IRA.
Now that you have a steady source of income, you should make sure to track and budget this money. If you have never budgeted before start by tracking your expenses to see what you spend and where. Once you’ve done this for a few weeks and have a clear picture of what your habits are you can choose a budget that works for you. You should also automate fixed expenses like rent, credit card bills, and other utilities to make sure you stay on track and don’t damage your credit score. You can do all of this with the help of online banking features available to PCU members.
Know Your Credit Score
Your credit score will have a huge impact on your financial future so make sure to take care of it. If you had to take out loans for college, had a credit card, or even opened a utility account in your name while you were in school then you were already building credit. Take the time to check your credit score and request your credit reports from the three main credit agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can request one credit report a year for free, and you should to make sure all the information is correct, and your score is not being hurt due to false information. If you were not building credit in college then you can start now by paying back student loans on time and buying a car or opening a credit card in your name. You can also read more about how to build your credit here.
Take control of your finances and set good habits now to help you for the rest of your working life. If you still have questions about saving for retirement, or how online banking can help your budget a representative at Palisades Credit Union can help you! Visit one of our branches or schedule an appointment with a financial advisor today.
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