You graduated! Congratulations! You’re off to a great start! Remember, though, that the financial choices you make today will greatly impact your life down the road. Therefore, before you start spending your paycheck, learn to take control of your finances by keeping these strategies in mind:
- Start a budget. Learn about our online services or apps available to help you manage your finances and track spending.
- Pay off 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 companies will help you pay off your student debt; make sure to ask about this when negotiating benefits with prospective employers.
- Plan for retirement. Automate your savings so that a portion of each paycheck goes directly into a savings account. Take advantage of your employers’ 401(k) plan and any matching contributions, if offered.
- Spend responsibly. Shopping and weekend getaways are a great way to recharge from the work week but can eat away at your budget. Do your research and comparison shop before making a major purchase.
- Establish an emergency fund to cover life’s unexpected events and give you greater peace of mind. You can start small with saving just $1 in the first week of the year. Then, gradually increase your savings by a dollar a week throughout the year. So, you save $2 in week 2, then $3 in week 3, and so on, until you’re stashing away upwards of $50 a week next December. In a year’s time you’ll have socked away $1,378! Or, be more aggressive and start out with a lump sum and build from there. A good goal is three to six months of your net pay (which is the amount of your paycheck after taxes and benefits have been taken out).
Always know that if you have any questions along the way, our PWSB personal bankers are eager to help!