NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Congrats to the Grads!

Congrats to the Grads!

 

            Congratulations to all graduates! You have completed four or more years of advanced studies, perhaps completed an internship and passed a separate board exam.  You, no doubt, anxious to begin the next stage of your life.

             The next few years will significantly impact your entire life – including your financial future.  Following are a few money management tips for all those new grads.

            It isn’t only the salary. When you're looking for your first post-college job and hoping it helps advance your career, remember to think beyond the numbers on the paycheck.  It may seem natural to focus on just the salary, remember there's more to evaluate when thinking about a job's total financial compensation. Look at whether you're receiving medical and retirement savings benefits and other benefits from your employer such as health club membership, etc.

            Start saving for retirement immediately.  Many college grads join the workforce at an entry-level position and may be tempted to delay participation in the employer-provided programs, but it definitely doesn't hurt to start ASAP. Even if you do not become fully vested in the retirement plan, all of your contributions are yours to keep and may be rolled over to a new employer's plan or into an individual retirement account."

            Slow down on credit card debt. Be cautious about accruing credit card debt. Some debt can be beneficial in order to build a solid credit history that someday will allow you to get a low-interest loan for something like a car or house. But pay off your debts quickly to avoid high interest costs.

            Save! When you're setting up your direct deposit, automatically funnel part of your payroll deposit into a savings account. Even $10 or $15 per pay period will add up. The money will be there when needed and you won't miss it or spend it, because the amount will be processed automatically."

            Create a budget.  Yes it's very old advice and very boring advice, but a budget is always needed. For many college grads, this can be the first time they're experiencing life with a disposable income. Don't let that throw you off course. Many assume that budgeting means limiting or restricting one's self when in reality creating a budget tells you exactly what you have so that you can spend and save with conviction

          Manage your debt   Student loans often have multiple branches with varying interest rates that can be fixed or variable. Your best option is to pay off the loans with the highest interest rates first.  Pay the minimum towards the balances with the lowest interest rates and make your largest debt payments on the balance with the highest interest rate.

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