Financial well-being February 9, 2023 By
As a college student, your focus is probably more on getting good grades than it is on being financially stable. But, once you graduate, wouldn’t it be nice to have your finances in order so you can start doing things you want to do, instead of having to wait even longer to do so? Even if your checking account looks pretty dismal, or you don’t have any idea what a credit report is, you can start with three easy steps to improve your overall financial health:
- Step 1 - Put Money Away NOW. Set money aside every month to help build an emergency fund or start contributing to your retirement. Yes, we said retirement! How can you do this if you are living paycheck-to-paycheck? Just start with saving a small amount every month — like $10 or $20. And, to make it easier on you, have that amount set up to automatically transfer from your checking account to your savings account every month, or transfer $5 a week.
- Step 2 - Stay Out of Debt But Build Credit. The most important thing you can do is avoid buying anything with a credit card that you can’t afford. Or, in other words, don’t buy anything you can’t pay off the next month. By making small purchases on your credit card, and paying off those purchases on time, you develop a strong credit history. You don’t have to get into a lot of debt to establish credit. Using credit wisely is the best way to develop a credit history.
- Step 3 - Track Your Spending and Live Smart. Get into the habit of keeping track of everything you spend — and we mean every penny. Review your spending every day, week, or month to make sure you know where your money is going, and adjust where necessary. This is really the best way to live within your means and help you on the road to a strong financial future.
Take a moment to visualize what you want to do in your future. What does it look like? Where do you want to be? That vision is not going to happen overnight. If you take small steps today, you will be on a faster route to achieving your goals and dreams.
To start improving your financial health today, take a look at some of the tools available at First United Bank or give us a call at 1-800-924-4427.
Sources: HCD ConsumerU – Youth – Understanding Your Money