The personal financial advice every graduate student needs

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For years you lived on a study budget, scrape together meals where you can, buy gas on a trip-by-trip basis, and never once think about the term “401(k). When you get that first paycheck from your employer, it feels like more money than you know what to do with it. but bBefore you start daydreaming about fancy cars and beach vacations, make sure you have a longterm ducks in a row with these ten financial tips.

Know your value in salary negotiations

Negotiating your first salary is difficult, but you are not without leverage. Use the resources at your disposal, such as your university’s career center and others recent graduates in your industry, to assess whether the offer you have made has sufficient market value. Otherwise, you certainly don’t have to accept the first offer that comes up.

Be realistic about moving

After four years of freedom, you probably don’t mind moving back in with your parents. But if this is an option, it’s worth considering, especially if you’re there those saddled with significant debt. Saving on monthly rent payments can help you save money and repay loans at a lake impressive speed. In addition, you want a nest egg before you sign a lease

Match your company’s 401(k) contribution

When you get a job, you have to decide what percentage of your salary you want to contribute to your 401(k) retirement plan† Your employer will most likely offer to match your contribution up to a certain percentage; you want to make sure you contribute at least that amount. If they offer up to 3%, contribute at least 3%. If you were to do anything else, you would be leaving money on the table, and the interest on that money will increase significantly over time to get you ready for retirement.

Open a Roth IRA

I know these terms all sound scary and confusing, but they’re not. a Roth IRA is just an account to which you can contribute up to $6,000 per year to invest and you don’t have to pay tax on the gains when you withdraw them in retirement. puse the full $6,000 in each year if you canand invest in a low risk, longterm investments.

Do your health insurance due diligence

If it’s an option for you, stay with your parents health insurance for as long as possible. If not, then really consider which of the plans your employer offers is right for you. For example, you may not need the most expensive option if you don’t anticipate needing a low deductible. And if you don’t know what that means, here’s a good place to start.

Building a credit score

Your credit score matters because ideally you will one day make a purchase that requires you to take out a loan. Building good credit is not difficult, it can just take a while. You can build your credit score by paying on time at a low limit, secured credit card, paying your utilities and even reporting your rent (if you have a rent payment)† start early, and thank yourself later.

Make a budget

It’s scary at first, but it’s important to know how much money you’re spending and on what. many like the 50/30/20 rule: S50% depend on needs (such as rent, groceries, and minimum loan payments)spend 30% on excesses (such as outings, takeaway meals, and concert tickets)and spend 20% on savings and extra repayments on high-interest debt.

Understand your student loans

Once you havee graduated, you usually have a six-one month grace period before you have to repay those student loans. Sit down and find out how much you have in federal loans versus private loans, compare interest rates, and create an action plan to best pay it off.

Buy a car

Unfortunately, due to inflation, now is not a good time to buy new or used cars. If you think you can manage without it, that might be the right decision. But if having a car is non-negotiable, remember to factor in recurring line items in your budget, such as auto insurance, gas and frequent vehicle maintenance.

Save some money for fun

Saving money is great, and iIt is important for your future. But it’s important to build a little “nice money” into your budget. Find small ways to spend money to buy those concert tickets, or go to that trendy restaurant—just don’t go into more debt to do it.

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