5 Tips for College Grads to Establish Healthy Financial Habits Post-Graduation

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The transition from a college campus to the “real world” comes with a combination of excitement, eagerness and challenges. Whether you’re immediately entering the workforce in your desired field or taking some time to explore what comes next: the financial advisors at Pinnacle Wealth in Sioux Falls have some tips on ways to establish healthy financial habits post-college graduation.

  • “Find a healthy balance between saving, paying down student loans (if any), paying for responsibilities, and fun money. Being intentional with where you are allocating your income is a great habit to foster early on.” – Ethan Brouwer, NSSA®, Associate Wealth Advisor
    Ethan has an impactful debt payoff success story of his own. Read more here.
  • “First, I would read the book, ‘The Millionaire Next Door.’
    Second, I would set up a savings or investment account that you can automatically save into each month. Starting the habit of saving first and spending second is the #1 difference between millionaires and those who struggle financially.
    Finally, you may not want to do what your friends are doing. Instead, get with your financial advisor and create a customized plan aligned with your goals in mind. Decide where your money is going to help safeguard it from disappearing.” – Ryan Ovenden, CFP®, Wealth Advisor
  • “Pay Yourself First – this can be accomplished through your 401k, savings or investment account.
    My Favorite is- Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.
    My Second Favorite is It’s not what you make, but what you do with what you make that will often make the difference.
    My Third Fav would have to be – never spend more than you make. All simple but effective when respected.” – Kevin Engbers, CFP®, CEPA®, Wealth Advisor, CEO & Founder of Pinnacle Wealth
  • “Once you land a job after college, it can be tempting to overspend and splurge after years of ramen.
    Resist this temptation and create a budget to live within your means.
    Maybe you do need to spend some money post-graduation before you begin your professional career, but having a plan in place and a timeframe to begin striving toward your financial goals is incredibly important.
    Great goals to begin striving for once settled into a job post-graduation are to:
    1) ensure an emergency fund of 3-12 months’ worth of living expenses is in place, or create a plan to build up a fund to that point,
    2) Create a plan to pay down debt, and
    3) If you have adequate disposable income after these first two goals, getting started on saving for retirement will put you ahead of the curve.

Strive to work towards saving 10% of your gross income if you can, and in time, increase that number if possible. Consistently saving 15% of your income throughout your working years is likely to reward you with a comfortable retirement.” – Luke LaRock, NSSA®, Associate Wealth Advisor
Ethan Brouwer, Ryan Ovenden and Luke LaRock are non-registered associates of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.
The opinions are those of the writer, and not the recommendations or responsibility of Cetera Advisor Networks or its representatives.

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