3 Financial Tips For College Graduates Just Starting Out

If you're fresh out of college and just starting your career, you may feel as if you've been thrown from the frying pan and into the fire. While the sudden change in responsibilities and circumstances can be daunting, there are a number of things you can begin doing now to ensure financial stability for yourself—now and in the future. Below are three financial tips to get you started on your path.

Small Changes Make the Biggest Difference

When it comes to making healthy financial decisions, there doesn't need to be an all-or-nothing approach. It's important to remember that small changes add up over time and can actually make the biggest difference in the long run.

If you're just starting your career, a sudden change in cash flow can cause you to make some not-so-great financial decisions. You've now got a steady income, and it can be easy to exchange money for simplicity. Perhaps you think buying lunches at work instead of bringing your own from home doesn't make that much of a difference, but a $5 lunch 5 days per week adds up over time. In a year, you've spent $1,300 on lunch alone! It's important to consider even these small, seemingly harmless purchases and how they can impact your future financial goals.

Work with a Financial Advisor to Solidify Your Goals

Financial advisors aren't only for the wealthy or those interested in investing. Instead, a financial advisor can set you on the right path towards reaching your financial goals—both current and future.

A good financial advisor can not only help you to make worthwhile investments, but they can also help you to make a current budget, explain the risks and benefits of different financial options, and give you a better overall look at how your current spending situation can affect you in the future. From income tax planning to retire income planning, a financial advisor can set you up for a life of financial stability.

Begin to Build Your Credit—NOW

Ideally, college students should begin working on building their credit prior to graduation, but if you haven't yet, it's important to start now.

Your credit will impact a number of things, such as your ability to get a certain job, secure your first auto loan, or to rent your first apartment. If you've taken out student loans, lucky for you, you're already on the path towards building your credit. Student loans appear on your credit report, so it's vital that you pay them off on time every month. This will help you to establish yourself as a financially responsible individual and will give you the leg up you need to apply for other forms of credit, such as credit cards or auto loans. Secured credit cards are best for young adults, but there are numerous ways for you to begin building a healthy credit report that will serve you well in life.

To learn more about managing your money, consult with a financial advisor at a company like Community Resource Bank.