If you know a recent college graduate, you may be thinking about an appropriate gift to mark their important accomplishment. Beyond something you can wrap up with a bow, consider contributing to their financial well-being with three final lessons that will stay with them:
Live Within Your Means
This is about being realistic and honest with what you can really afford. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of trying to keep up with the Joneses. At the end of the day, it’s not worth a life of debt and stress. Instead, be happy with what you can afford and live the smart life by avoiding this trap.
Make Paying Down Debt a Priority
Whether it’s student loans (a staggering $37,000 on average1), car payments, or credit card balances, pay down debt with the highest interest rates first. Then work your way down and tackle debt with the next highest interest rate. One exception: secured debt (debt secured by your home or car) takes priority over unsecured debt (like credit cards). But always stay on top of monthly minimums for all your debt.
Start Saving Now
Investing in the stock market takes patience and time – and young investors have more time than others. Don’t waste this advantage. You don’t have to start with a lot of money – the key is to start in general. Just make the commitment to slowly increase your savings over time. It’s about paying your future self — and you are certainly worth every penny.
The information on this page is provided for educational purposes only and is not tax, legal, financial planning or investment advice. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed in this section constitutes an offer to buy or sell any securities or advisory products. The information provided is general and is not information reasonably sufficient upon which to base an investment decision and should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. You should not regard this information as a substitute for the exercise of your own judgment. Investing involves risk.