Hey, we get it. This isn’t what you expected life to look like right now. Maybe you’ve just graduated with one of the most unusual senior years ever and you’re wondering if going away for college in person is even going to be an option? Maybe you’re ready to embark upon your career? Whatever is happening in your life, we know you’ve got plans for the future, and you’re not going to let anything stop you.
Statistically, if you’re between the ages of 18 and 22, over half of you are living at home. If you do choose to attend a community college or need to stay home with parents for online learning, there are some cost savings to either. Trust us, saving money is a good thing! On average, community colleges are considerably less expensive than attending a four-year university. Plus, living at home is typically less expensive versus on campus in a dorm or in an off-campus apartment with costs that can also add up. Think rent, electricity, food, furnishings for your apartment, and more. The less debt you incur now, it will mean less debt you’ll have to pay back later.
Here are a few things we’d suggest you do to get started on your financial journey:
1. Check out Checking. If you don’t have one already, open a Checking Account with a reputable, FDIC-insured bank with free access to eBanking, mobile banking, and online bill pay. Simply have your paycheck direct deposited and do your banking from your laptop or mobile phone. We know you don’t want to bank like your parents, so there’s little need to go into the bank after you open your account.
2. Budgeting is Legit. We know it sounds boring, but budgeting doesn’t have to be. It’s yours, so make it what you need or want it to be. Adjust the non-fixed categories (like restaurant take-out) as needed, set up your regular monthly expenses, and stay within the amount you make each month. Find a reputable budgeting app, download, and get started.
3. Get the Credit You Deserve. Establishing your credit score is pretty important. It’ll help you do things like setting up your own place someday. Start by paying any bills you now have on time each month. Consider opening a good, starter credit card, keep your usage manageable, and always pay it on time.
4. Save Like a Boss. You never know what life may throw at you and it’s always better to be prepared. Plus, you don’t want to have to go to the bank of mom and dad! Once you’ve saved for an emergency, then you can start saving for things you want—hello, new cell phone, first car, apartment deposit, or a future spring break trip (when we can travel again)!
Be sure to also check out Adulting 101: A How-To Guide for a Bright Financial Future.
Speaking of saving for the future, download an app called Plinqit, a simple, digital savings tool, provided by First Bank. Download, sync it to your checking account, and set up each of your savings goals. It’ll calculate how much you’d need to have automatically withdrawn to reach your goals. Set it and forget it!