Have you recently graduated college, started a new career, or have excess money? What should you do with it?Financial planning is extremely important for you and your future. There are many options out there on where you can put your money. Should you invest? Should you save? Should you build your credit? Should you plan out your payments for student loans? You may want to choose all of these options. Here are 5 tips to jump start your financial future!
1) Be aggressive in your pay down of your student loan and know your provider
Student loans can be a lingering pain for years. Once graduated, you typically get a 6-month grace period before you need to start paying them back. The first step you need to do is know the provider of your loans in order to see how much owed and plan on how to decrease the amount. Pay them back aggressively, that way you can have no debt sooner and use your excess money for other things like investing and saving.
2) Max your 401K, max your Traditional IRA and your Roth IRA
Maxing out your 401K, Traditional IRA, and Roth IRA are specifically important for your retirement. You will accrue a lot of money if you continue maxing out the account each year. 401K's may contain an employer matching whereby your employer contributes a certain amount to your 401K plan based on the amount of your own annual contribution. Typically, employers match a percentage of employee contributions, up to a certain portion of the total salary. Roth IRA and Traditional IRA’s are different based on their ramifications and other specific factors. If you are able to, please review: https://www.investopedia.com/retirement/roth-vs-traditional-ira-which-is-right-for-you/ for the full explanation.
3) Establish your credit and get a credit card to build your credit
If you are able to, check out what your credit score is. Once you know your credit score, if you do not have a credit card you should open one. A higher credit score means you're less likely to default on credit cards, loans, and other bills. Having an excellent credit score puts you in the most favorable light of all when it comes to borrowing money. Credit scores can range from 300 to 850. If you are able to, please review: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/finance/credit-score-ranges-and-how-to-improve for the full explanation.
4) Create good spending habits – plan monthly expenses
Creating good spending habits starts with a plan. You must figure out your monthly expenses and plan your finances around them. You want to make sure that your bills are paid before you buy the new outfit or the new pair of sneakers for the gym. Planning is important because if you are unaware of your expenses, your spending habits will spiral out of control.
5) Save 6 months’ worth of monthly expenses for a rainy day
You cannot predict the future and sometimes unexpected situations occur changing your circumstances. The best thing you can do is save for 6 months’ worth of monthly expenses. That way when these unexpected situations happen, you are prepared to pay for the necessities. It is always better to be safe than sorry if this does happen and you find yourself needing extra money.