Congratulations, you have accomplished a long-term 4 year (or longer) goal of obtaining your new degree!!!
With this milestone checked off the list, you begin your transition into adulting. Many commencement speakers have shared their messages with graduates all across the country. While thinking back to our own graduations, we realized that personal finances were MIA during those crucial moments. Please allow us to share our tips with you today, hoping to spark the flame towards a very strong and fortified future kingdom!!
Tip 1: Start building your kingdom early
Get a jump-start on our roadmap, beginning with steps I-V asap!
- Consistent Income
- The more income you accumulate, the more money you save and invest
- Start Budgeting
- Control the flow of your resources in and out of your newly minted bank account. By learning to budget while your expenses are minimal compared to family life, you prepare yourself to be a better provider later.
- Commit to a better future for your family
- Personal finances are a war between your income, expenses, savings, and investments throughout your life. Commit now to direct your life in the direction you want to go.
- Begin contributing to your company’s 401K
- Bigger paychecks mean bigger tax payments, utilize your 401(k) to change up the game!
- Emergency Fund
- Many Americans are unable to handle emergencies in their life, causing much stress. Be different and level up your emergency fund early!
Tip 2 – Compound interest
Let’s take a look at $100 invested today, compounding at 6% interest over 30 years. In simplest terms, the first year your earn 6% on $100, earning $6 for a sum of $106. The second year, you earn 6% on $106, earning 6.36, totaling $112.36. Each year you earn the same percentage, but on a greater sum of money. By year 30, that original $100, becomes $541 dollars, and you didn’t have to do a thing!
Taking advantage of compound interest by investing early = savvy financial prowess
For the newly graduated, this demonstrates compound interest at its simplest form. It doesn't account for varying earnings or inflation rates/
Tip 3 – Pay off high interest debt!
DO NOT. WE REPEAT. DO NOT. let yourself get into high interest credit card debt. A very serious situation occurs when your minimum payment doesn’t cover the amount of interest being added to your balance each month. The cycle will never end and your kingdom will not be built.
For example (using fake numbers for easier expression):
Let’s say you owe $110 on a 20% interest rate credit card. They are offering you the opportunity to make minimum payments of $10 on your balance. After the first month, you pay $10 on the balance, decreasing it to $100. They add the 20% interest, or $20 in this case to the balance. Although you made a payment of $10, you now owe the company $120. You’re payment didn’t touch the principal, only the interest, so each month your balance will continue increasing.
We ask you future Duke, spend less than you earn, and NEVER fall victim to this construction halting catastrophe.
Tip 4 – Make independent decisions for your finances, as traditional wisdom isn’t always true
Adulting is hard work. It takes learning from experience and sometimes learning from experts in areas you don’t have intellect in. The old saying, take it with a grain of salt comes to mind. Why? Because financial advisors don’t always have your best interest, and Billy down by the inn doesn’t know what he’s talking about. When it comes to your LIFE and your FINANCES, you must be in control. Research or seek proper help before making big life decisions that determine your future stability.
In 2007, experts and neighbors alike were loving the house market boom, until it all fell down! People lost their homes, couldn’t afford payments, and held upside down loans. People were investing in areas they didn’t know anything about because he-say, she-say recommended it. It ended up causing the Great Recession with many filing bankruptcy (due to all of the subprime mortgage loans that increased rates) who couldn’t pay their bills. After the crash, many were very scared to invest into the stock market. The investors who independently decided that rather than sell, they bought many shares of stock at very discounted rates – growing their wealth in the recovery. Both examples show why independent can save or make you money in the financial world.
For those too young to remember, check out the The Fall of the Market.
Tip 5 – Order the same sets of Pyrex Storage Containers
One of the most frustrating parts of food prep is searching through a bunch of different lids, trying to find the right lid for the right containers. Instead, buy the Pyrex containers below with lid coloring and various sizes. It will make your Sundays easier for the times ahead.
Tip 6 – Experiences are where its at!
- Spend $100 each weekend in a month bar hopping downtown
- Save $80 by spending $20 on frugal activities each weekend, then scheduling a weekend get-away with your friends or spouse
The experiences at the bars downtown are consistent. New weekend, same drinks, same people. Experiences like hiking to a waterfall and staying at a national park log cabin will be a memory full of pictures that lasts a life time!!
Most people say they want to travel, yet they never do. They always bar hop though! Live for the experiences by prioritizing what is most important to you in your life, then do what it necessary to make those bucket list experiences happen.
Tip 7 – Easy to incorporate frugal habits
- Make coffee at home to save ~$90 per pound
- Meal prep on Sundays with Budget Byte Recipes
- Hang dry your clothes
- Tip taken from Mr. Money Mustache that makes your clothes last longer and saves on electricity
- Buy and ride a bike around
- Another tip from Mr. Money Mustache
- Get books and movies from the local library
A huge step in our lives begins when we start to receive that first salaried paychecks. The first time you take a peek, you’re going to be flabbergasted and scream hallelujah!! With barely any assets or family, the world is yours. It is in that moment we hope to inspire you to recognize the opportunity you have. By making smart decisions from the get go, you won’t have to make a comeback in your finances. You will dominate the game from tip off!!
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