After graduating college, the most pressing things on your mind are:
- Where am I going to find work?
- How am I going to pay rent?
- How do I fill out a W2?
- Should I sign up for the 401K plan or keep that extra $100 a month?
- And the list of daunting adulting questions goes on….
Those may seem like scary questions at first, but as you get older the questions only get harder to answer and their repercussions more intimidating. But there’s hope! Your hope in these situations could be a trusted advisor in a Financial Planner and taking the right financial steps to set your future up for success.
A Financial Planner will be your guide–your Yoda so to speak–to all your investment and finance-related questions. They’ll keep you on track for your future goals. Sure, you may not be thinking of buying a house or having a family right now, but 10 years down the road you’re going to wish you started the process of saving and preparing for your future.
Perhaps your goals have less to do with a future family and are more philanthropic? Maybe you want to amass wealth so you can generously give it away and leave a legacy. Or you want to fund research that will cure cancer, bring clean water to remote villages in Africa or build schools for girls in Afghanistan? A Financial Planner can help you more efficiently reach your financial goals than going at it alone.
Thinking about the future now, while you’re in the prime of your youth is the best way to ensure your future is more prepared. Here are five tips for preparing for your financial future.
Meet with a Finance Professional You may not be ready for a full time financial planning commitment, but finding a professional who can give you important feedback and help set realistic goals will set you off on the right course.
SAVE. SAVE. SAVE. It’s important to make sure you have savings. Not only for your future, but as a safety net should you lose your job, have unexpected medical or auto bills, or need to relocate. Being prepared with a basic savings account not only helps secure your future, but provides peace of mind as you enter a season of life that can be marked by a lot of change.
Pay Down Debt. Yeah. Student loan debt is no joke. Try to get ahead of it ASAP. If you can pay it off early, do it! After you build up a “safety net” in savings, PAY YOUR DEBTS. You’ll thank your future self for this step more than the others. If you have credit card debt, get that under control first.
Invest. After the first two items above are done, it’s time to start looking at investing. There are different philosophies and ways you can invest so make sure to do your homework, and find a philosophy that sits well with your values. During these times it’s helpful to meet with an advisor or investments professional to help you navigate the murky and difficult waters of investments.
Live Within Your Means. This goes with the paying off your debt and saving. Sure, it’s cool to have a flashy Instagram life and we all have wanderlust and want to go to Coachella, but think about how necessary are these things to your actual joy? If you’re setting yourself up responsibly then you’re going to be a lot happier in the long run and with a lot less stress. You don’t want to be stressed, thinking about how you’re going to pay that credit card bill and make rent this month.
Getting guidance early on and being disciplined can go a long way to building a successful future.