Tag Archives: planning

Financial Advice for College Graduates

Graduating from college can be one of the most exciting milestones in any young person’s life. Hard work truly does pay off and depending upon one’s chosen occupation, college can open up many doors. However, an awareness of certain financial strategies can particularly come in handy for college graduates.

While the aforementioned graduates may have worked part-time jobs during their years of academia, there are still some critical points which they are unaware of, which is to be expected. Moreover, it’s worth noting that the game completely changes once students leave college and enter the real world.

This is why understanding and heeding the following tidbits of financial advice will prove to be extremely advantageous.

Pay off Student Loans ASAP

One of the most important steps for college graduates is paying off their student loans as soon as possible, as affirmed by Fidelity. While some grants and scholarships do provide full rides to university, most college students end up taking out loans. After graduating from college, the now former students are expected to pay back their loans. Moreover, there are usually interest rates which are added on top of remaining, unpaid loans after a certain period of time.

Virtually everyone has heard the nightmares of individuals who have taken decades (or a lifetime) to finally pay off their loans. Despite the necessity of loans (for most people) to attend college, they are still a form of debt and should be taken care of. College graduates can tackle their loans by getting part-time jobs, freelancing, or otherwise earning income to return the previously borrowed capital. Failure to do this can subsequently breed longterm and undesirable consequences.

Start Building an Emergency Fund

USA Today recommends that new college graduates immediately begin putting money into a savings fund. Between 5% and 10% of one’s regular payments are generally the advised amounts; not only does this built positive financial habits, but establishing a healthy emergency fund moreover ensures that one will have their bases covered in the event of unforeseen occurrences. It is better to have something and not need it than to need something and not have it. Proactive, preventive maintenance is always wiser than reactive damage control.

Do What You Love

Virtually everyone wants to do well in life and make money. However, a huge part of success is being passionate about one’s career or occupation. Now, there are some individuals who maintain that passion is overrated, but they’re wrong. Genuine passion is often a motivating factor; it’s the source which drives people to work hard, overcome obstacles, and keep pushing forward during times where others would have given up.

Sometimes, unearthing one’s passion can take awhile. Many people take certain classes for fun or try new hobbies. One of the best ways for college graduates to tap into their passions and interests are to consider acitivities they would partake in, even without being paid. While everyone has to make a living, the foregoing consideration can be quite eye-opening. Nine times out of ten, our passions are our callings. Once they have been recognized and identified, the process of building a career can commence.

 

By Gabrielle Seunagal

7 Reasons Why Your Budget Isn’t Working For You

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Have you really asked yourself why your budget isn’t working for you?  Now, clearly, you must know that a budget is absolutely critical to have if the goal is to pay off debt?  You might be running into an issue where your calculated numbers just aren’t matching up with what you’ve been working with.  You might be overspending, or you might be forgetting where some money is going, therefore this calls for a quick analysis to pinpoint where the problem really lies.  Below you’ll find some advantageous tips that might steer you back on track.  Budgeting and tracking finances is one of the more difficult things in life, but this can be mastered and you can get ahead.  Let’s take a look!

10 Tips That Will Help You Overcome Financial Obstacles

Bad spending habits are most often the reason why a budget isn’t working!  However, it isn’t always easy to find these errors, as mentioned. Admitting there is a spending issue and not enough accountability is a starting point in a positive way!  Now, to really get an achievable budget working perfectly you need to begin sizing up what expenses you can cut back on or remove altogether.

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Tip 1:  What expenses to cut back first?

Perhaps cutting back on driving might be a way for you to begin saving more and meeting a better budget?  For instance, you could park a few blocks from work to save on city parking costs and also to help your physical health as well.  Here, with this tip you can save medically and on everyday expenses!

Tip 2:  Only use cash when out and about

That’s right, leave credit cards, debit cards and your checkbook at home!  Only allow for cash purchases and you’ll find this will help you stay on track of a budget.  You’ll not be able to overspend this way, and you’ll save far more!

Tip 3:  Visualize your gains when you establish financial goals

In order to keep yourself on track, visualize where your saving and budgeting is going to get you in the future.  If you’re saving for vacation, think of the stress relief you’ll have for having planned and prepared ahead of schedule.  This same strategy can be applied to home improvement ideas and other necessities.

Tip 4:  Think about a purchase before actually spending

This is an age old strategy that will really work for you if you apply it correctly!  Of course, this is one that has been discussed time and again, but it seems to be one of the hardest to stick to.  Impulse pending is a hard habit to break.  If you don’t have any necessity shopping to carry out, make sure you carry only a small amount of cash to avoid the temptation of immediately buying something you really don’t need.  However, make sure you’re covered financially, in case of an emergency or mishap!

Tip 5:  Detoxify your budget

You simply have to work out the kinks wherever they may be lurking!  Take the time to challenge yourself to save more and spend less in smarter ways!

Tip 6:  Record every transaction

You have to stay on top of your spending and where your money is going.  Carry a small notebook and pen at all times!

Tip 7:  Always write down all of the necessary expenses

Not doing so can lead you astray and make you lose track of your expenses.  From allowing for extra gas, to groceries, to prescriptions and more–know where every penny is going.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Easy Steps To Get Started With An Emergency Fund

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You need a stable financial plan and honestly, you simply must have one today.  The economy has always been a slippery slope, but then, for that matter, so is life.  Having a plan of action is the smart thing to do, but for so many families it is one of the most complex and difficult to achieve.  The steps to getting started with an emergency fund are only as hard as you make them.  You have to be willing to stick to a budget, possibly even a frugal one. You also have to be willing to seek long-term results.

Current statistics across British Columbia illustrate that Canadians 35 years of age and under who have incurred debt are unprepared for an adverse financial event, whether it be from illness or job loss. According to the CNW, an average 70% of “respondents” have significant debt and have no idea what they would do if a sudden illness or crisis occurred.  While you can’t predict personal life circumstances you can certainly be prepared for them.  Here you’ll find how you can begin taking the steps to start building an emergency fund today.

Begin Taking The Steps To Build An Emergency Fund Today

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Start with a positive plan and have a purpose

If you’re going to start positive you need to have a goal, or a purpose for beginning an emergency fund. Once you define what you’re establishing it for then perhaps you won’t be as likely to dip into it. Remember, it’s important to start small and build from this if you hope to make steady progress.  So, know your goal!

Make sure you discipline yourself at the beginning

Have rules related to your emergency fund so you’ll be able to navigate through the uncertainties in a positive manner.  For instance, if you plan to deposit $25 a week then do so and don’t make excuses. Whatever you set your goals to, you need to consistently meet them.  Don’t look for an alternative, stay on course!

If there is no way for you to take steps to get ahead you might look for an alternative

Putting money aside can be difficult for those families who are already having a financially difficult time. You might be able to start making progress if you reach out to a financial advisor or seek out professional credit counseling services to begin taking steps to gain control of your debt and begin setting goals for the long-term.

Set up your emergency savings fund separate from your primary account

If you establish an emergency savings separate from your primary chequing account you won’t be as tempted to spend it.  Furthermore, establishing precautionary measures is simply smart and will definitely help you meet your long-term goal, which is saving money and preparing for your future!

Open an account that will provide you with more interest on your money

You can ask your financial institution about an account that might bear more interest on the more cash you regularly put in.  This might encourage you to save more than what you normally would.  You also want to shoot for an institution with the lower fees but a decent interest rate–and watch your money accumulate faster when you do.

Automate funds into your emergency savings fund

Set up an automatic transfer into the emergency savings fund that you can’t change and treat this just as you would a bill.  Once you deduct the money from your primary account you mark it off as if it is no longer present. Financial experts believe this helps prioritize better, but you’ll never know until you try it.

Look for ways you can cut expenses comfortably

If you can cut back on entertainment or other areas of your life you can grow your emergency fund faster and you can definitely feel more confident in meeting obligations no matter what happens in your life.  If you go out to eat often, cutting this down to twice a week can make a huge difference.  Target what you can live with and what you can live without and go from there.

Don’t sabotage your efforts, stay focused

No matter how large your emergency fund might grow, don’t look for reasons to use it unless there is a real emergency to do so.  Some make rationalizations for doing so, but this can sabotage your long-term goal and get you right back to where you started.  Manage and maintain your goals and stay focused.

Just remember, the smallest savings can be a clear life saver in times of emergency as even a little bit can help with necessities.  This is a process, but once you become comfortable with it, it will become second nature to you and really give you something to feel confident and positive about.

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