NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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New Grads & a New Job

New Grads & a New Job

 

Congratulations if you are a new college grad who has landed a new job!  You have many “firsts” happening – a new place of residence, a new schedule, new co-workers, a new boss, new tasks and a new salary. It also means new financial challenges.  To insure that all those “firsts” create a positive financial experience for you, consider the following.

Become acquainted with your human resources department. The HR will assist you with signing up for benefits, filling out the correct tax forms and getting the rest of the paperwork in order to maximize benefits. They can also assist with any trouble concerning vacation days or tax form mix-ups. Getting a head start on those benefits is important, because it can pay off big-time later. According to TD Ameritrade's calculations, savings of $100 a month between ages 21 and 41 will grow to $471,358 by age 67, assuming a return of 8 percent per year.

Keep track of all the paperwork.  Part of being a new employee is completing all types of forms. Start both an online file and a paper file of all the documents so that if and when you switch employers, insurance carriers, are married, divorced or for other major life changes, you have the needed info at your fingertips.

Take advantage of your 401k, especially if your employer has a matching program.  If the company does not offer one, call a financial planner and start an IRA. 

Start an emergency savings account:  Most new job holders have stretched their dollars to the maximum to complete their education and now view eating out, a new wardrobe or a new vehicle as emergencies.  Treat yourself for completely all the hard work necessary to land your job, but also start an emergency savings fund to support you in the future. This is not your life savings – that is another type of fund. This is strictly for emergencies

Buy With Cash - It’s tempting to want to furnish your first house or apartment with all new furniture.  Interest rates are incredibly low right now, but make most of your purchases in cash to avoid future credit card debt.

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