Money-Saving Advice for Grads

Money-Saving Advice for Grads

How Graduates Can Save Money During this Challenging Time:Students are finally graduating and are now turning a new page in their chapter in life. Understanding various money strategies can significantly impact their financial success in the real world. It is equally important to start to save money to build up short term liquidity. All too often people will throw all the money they have at their debt ignoring building short liquidity. The old saying that “cash is king” really applies here. Start a monthly saving habit and stick to it. Do not worry about a rate of return, because it is a short-term strategy. This money may be needed for an emergency or to purchase a new home or condo. One of the early traps are “investing” into a risky investment so the money can grow—to potentially lose money to market volatility.

Money-Saving Tips:

  • If they have debt their repayment schedule should fit their current income
  • Balance debt and short term liquidly—Do not use every disposable dollar to reduce your debt.
  • Start a monthly saving habit and stick to it
  • Don’t worry about getting a rate of return. This is a short-term strategy. Having money for an emergency or new life event will far outweigh chasing a rate of return.

Savings Account vs. Retirement Account for New GraduatesGraduates’ are often so eager to start saving money into a retirement account like a 401 (k), but should heed with caution. Often, graduates are at the start of their career and are in the lowest tax bracket of their lives. There is no such thing as saving taxes only postponing the tax that will eventually be due. Graduates should celebrate, pay their tax today and save their money into post-tax strategies.

401(k) Company MatchesIs the match worth it this early on? Having money in the bank to purchase a home or deal with an emergency or unexpected event are important considerations. The 401(k) is rules-based and the rules can change. Putting one dollar into something to get another dollar that you can't touch or use for 40 years is a hard feat. All too often there are various life events that pop up over a 40-year period that can devastate these portfolios and set people back to zero.

By Harry J. Abrahamsen Abrahamsen Financial Group