The Class of 2011 is now ready to take on the world. If you are a recent graduate, chances are you have a lot to think about in terms of your future. The quality of your decisions from now on will pave the way for the quality of your life ahead. It’s all too obvious that our world today is faced with many factors that will also have a direct impact on your growth ahead, so the best plan for a new starter is to set clear goals, make smart decisions and spend very wisely.
US unemployment is at a 9% high, salaries are down, and college loans (if you have one) are now waiting to be paid. Therefore, spending your money wisely is perhaps the best thing you can do going forward. Here are some first steps towards making successful decisions ahead:
- Put your plans on paper- identify your goals and write them down!
- Devise a plan to achieve your goals – how you will do what you have set out to do; how will you make money, where do you want to work and live, etc..
- Don’t delay goal-setting! Start working on your spending and savings plans now. There are many online savings calculators to help you. And if you already have a job, start contributing towards your 401k plan as soon as possible.
- Be disciplined! If you start with good habits now, you will reap the benefits throughout your life. Don’t lose your focus.
- Find ways to save on even necessary expenses - Be creative and flexible with big decisions like renting with or without roommates, cost of commuting to your job, auto and health insurance – these are all large expenses that can be kept under control if you are vigilant.
- Don’t be a follower! Keep your own goals and capabilities in mind when making decisions. Only you are responsible for your finances.
- Last but not least….dream big! Keep the focus, spend wisely and save as much as possible – this combination will allow you to make the most of your educational assets!
By Ritu Mehta
Editor, ACE Cash Express Money Management Tips