Suze Orman TwitterSuze Orman FacebookSuze Orman YouTubeSuze Orman LinkedIn
View Blog & News List

Four Financial Moves Every College Grad Must Make ASAP

June 04, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Forget all the commencement speeches about your dreaming big, not compromising, and following your passion. That’s all terrific advice, but not nearly as important as the nuts and bolts of four make-or-break financial moves every college grad needs to make ASAP:

  1. Get On Top of Your Student Loans. Yes, you have a six-month grace period before repayment of federal loans must begin. Don’t you dare wait five months and three weeks before focusing on this. Screw up on repayment is one of the most damaging mistakes you can ever make, and it becomes both hard and expensive to get on track if you fall behind.
  2. Make Sure You Have Health Insurance. If you haven’t yet started a job with benefits, or you’re taking a gap year, please don’t go naked here. Yes, the odds are low you might get sick, but insurance is about protecting yourself from the big “what ifs.” Besides, it’s not just about illness; any type of injury can set you back, from a broken bone to a torn ACL. If your parents have health insurance from an employer they should be able to carry you on that policy until you are 26, for a cost. Ask them to find out the cost, then compare it to what you can purchase for yourself (Go to healthcare.gov). If you and your parents decide it’s best to go with their plan, and you have a paying job, you should pay your share of their premium, or at the very least contribute. You’re their kid, but you are also an adult now.
  3. Get a Credit Cardif You Don’t Already Have One. As much as I applaud using just a debit card-paying as you go, rather than being tempted to overspend with a credit card-it still is important to have a credit card as well. The goal is to use it just a few times each month-for small purchases. And then pay your  bill, in full, each month. Doing that is going to go a long way in establishing a solid credit score.

4. Automate Savings ASAP. Okay, you know how I feel about the emergency fund. And you know how I feel about saving for retirement. Both are non-negotiable Must Do’s-and the sooner the smarter. I respect you may not have a big income just yet. But please listen to me:  that’s not an excuse for doing nothing. You need to do something-save something-every month.

  • Emergency Savings: Set up an automatic monthly transfer (it should be free) from your checking account into a separate savings account. How much? Well, how much feels right? Then add 10% to that number. That’s my challenge. Just try it for six months. I think you will surprise yourself at how doable it is, and how powerful it feels to start building an emergency savings account.
  • Retirement Savings:If you are offered a workplace retirement plan that comes with a company matching contribution, you better grab it. Be sure to confirm that you are contributing enough to qualify for the maximum match from your boss. It’s sad, but many companies set the “default” contribution rate for new employees at such a low level that the employee doesn’t get all the matching contribution they are entitled to. Don’t make that mistake!

     

    If you don’t have a retirement plan through work, or the plan doesn’t offer a match, the best first-step for new grads is to start saving via a Roth IRA. Again, you can set up a monthly transfer from a checking account into a Roth IRA investment account. Some discount brokerages, such as TDAmeritrade  don’t have a high minimum initial investment, so you can get started transferring say $100 or so a month into a Roth IRA. 

Tag Cloud

overcome financial fearslong-term care Federal Stafford loandon't do five year car loanadult childrenlower mortgage interestInvest for savings growthVeterinary Schoollow credit scoreAuto Savings Legal Guardianback door Roth IRAbecome member learn good financial choiceshealthy retirement weightpurely financial standpointprotect and provide for minor child zero rate transfer dealsMust Have Documentssocial security not going brokedon't spend BeautyFederal Funds Rateorigination feesFree Debt Eliminatorsavings pleasure20% equityquick closingdebtearn allowanceworkaholicGraceautomate student loan paymentscredit reportpaid in fullreduce monthly paymentCory Bookeridentity theftretain separate credit cardsFinancial Cliffdon't ignore open enrollmentteensdental savings planloan big picture Moneyclosing disclosureholiday spendingNew York LifeJose Rodriguezcreate new truthbudgetCollege of Veterinary Medicineincrease retirement contribution ratenot enough life insuranceHDHP's are not badSave Us Moneycnbc alarm clockclosing costs 2% of loanbuying car 2016Changing Livesreduce withholdingTelepicturesvalue moneycredit cardleave a legacySuze changed my lifedon't use allowance as bribefraudulent returnfocus on new truth face your financial fearStudent LoanInfluential Celebrityworst financial mistakecar buying mistakesgrandchild summer job IRA contributionlive below your meanspay down car loanno splurge Lovechildren under 18Overspendingteach importance of helping otherscredit managementlower premiumAARPgift not loanterm insurancedebt freebetter loan dealshealthy aging is it necessaryteens and moneyYoung Adult Exhibitionultimate compounding giftmental healthcommunity bank!00% tuition paidplan3 bucket approachsidelinedinterest on student loansSuze Orman Scholarshipcontribute household expenses too expensive schoolsame-sex marriage50 over 50ritual schedulestandard rate20% down paymentHoliday Shoppinganticipated salaryHigh FICO Score = Better RateLifestyledental discount planreplace permanent life insurance with termverify wellness screening and programsUS Tax Codewaive home inspection bidborrowing plan University of FloridaFHA loan feesGay Rightsreal estate marketno fee transferlow mileage discountclosing feessummer job match income focus on needsmonthly benefit credit utilization rateemployer offered life insuranceAlarm Clockshop online guaranteed level term policypositivereal estate mistakesoverspend on nights outpremiumincentives for health care wellness screeningnot gender specific pay more than minimumbetter loan ratesInterestMarlo ThomasSuze Orman's Money WarsCommunication Skills no life insurance financially irresponsibleAmy LacyetOne Wallet At A Timeignore 6 month grace period 401(k) Contributionsbill paying prioritiesRetirement Incomespeak new goaldo you need life insuranceMoney-Savingmortgage interest tax deductionwomen outlive menloan is giftgrandparent IRA contribution social security never insolventtelevision hostspecial saving accountno apologyborrow each year, capitalization is going to pile up preexisting condition not coveredpaid vacationrefinanceconsider roth 401(k)car leasingno private loanhigh FICO scorehealthy youinsuranceFixed Rate MortgageMost Influential Celebrities ListFinancial Educatoraffordable premium8 month emergency fundMotherinitial tax break Money MarketHolidaymarriage inequalityannual cost of living adjustmentfile asapback-to-school budgetfinancial arguments401KSuze is my biggest mentorGiftcollege studenthome buying seasonloved ones dependent on incomehome budget after tax costcut monthly cellular billpresident Obamafinancial concernconfident of solutiondangerous money seasondream schoolCredit Card Interest RateNew american Dream Suze approvedraise insurance deductibleswitch to spouse coveragechildren's bookdon't defer interest paymentsGiftscar loanrepay student loansswitch to roth 401(k)2015 financial roadmapschedule vacationgift grandchild IRA contributionstay positivemake saving a pleasureFundshigher insurance deductibleno retirement funds for down paymentrising home pricesraise your deductibleFederal PLUS loanRevocable Trustlet them have 50% controlrefunditemized deduction40% toward financial goalNewtowniffy incomeno tax on withdrawlspermanent life insurancehome insurance3 savings buckets cost of capitalization calculatordear suzeRichcompare monthly expensesmarriage financial responsibilitymortgage disclosurelow down paymentstandard deduction death benefit needs for family8 month safety netAmericans don't use all paid vacation timePersonal FinanceEric Dodge The Suze Orman Showfinancial fearshighest possible benefitInfluentialspay off debtgift up to 14,000mortgage brokerFiscal ResponsibilityLTCi ASAPEmployer Matched ContributionSchool of Social WorkWashingtonSuze Ormanautomatic withdraw to savings Long Term Care premiumsEmergency Savings30 year mortgage percentage of women widowed 75-84Conventional loan PMIlow-cost index mutual fundhome loan credit score below 740 2015 record year car sales20 year level term require chore in exchange for allowanceBaby BoomersStudent Debtstudent loan debtidentity fraudderailed planFinancial Power of Attorneyalways use all paid time offbuy home you can affordrent vs buy740 credit scorerequired disclosurestaycationlower interest rateFinancial Awarenesstraditional vs roth 401(k)loan no longer than 36monthsphysical healthHigh Credit ScoreHow To Build Credittake actionsavingsIRA contribution gifted moneylower rateprovider of financial support2016 adjust estimated taxPBS Specialretirement planincreased auto insurance premiumhigh credit score discount2016 adjust withholdingUniversity of Illinoiscostly insurance mistakesocial securitymortgageFICO Scorethree year car loanpublic service loan forgiveness programfull retirement agedeath benefit 20 to 25 times annual incomeloan necessity15-year refinance dealfamily save at least $100 monthlyat worst still pay 75% benefitdebit cardSatisfyingcredit unionstudent loan repayment planone credit cardhigh down payment3 step financial road mapincrease retirement savingshigh deductible health care planis it necessary?commitbad retirement planningARMpay credit debt ASAPemployer funding HSAsmall changes home buying mistakesage appropriate choreBill and Pennymax employer matched 401(k) contributionHSA tax savingsdon't extend mortgage Easy Life Insurance letter to suzeSpendingapproved medical 100% tax-freeRetirement Savingsstretch out haircut appointmentsFinal Goodbyeget over life insurance phobiamaintain standard of livingunsubsidized Stafford loanadjust allocations pay interest while in schoolinsurance mistakemonthly dental insurance premiumhigh premiumsyours, mine & oursFinancialeight month living expense same sex marriage band end Floridaescrowcomparison shoppingconfidentCPI-Wbest interest ratesmoney-aware childForbes Top 10higher monthly paymentSandy Hook Elementary Schoolreduce interest rateCNBCmax benefit coveredmoney vows3% debt transferred spring summer Civil Rightsjanuary billshome buying budgetAdequate Auto and Home Insurancestore credit cardsdon't derail retirement savingsraise deductiblesETF'sfour steps to retirement savings studentWall StreetMinor Children Sandy Hook Promiselong term goallower overall drug costemergency fund Credit scoreroth irais it kind?Durable Power of Attorney for Health Careknow before you owehome related tax break bonus 8 Rules19 years cash flow problembuying a cartax refund fraudno late fee term life insurancewomen long term care20 to 25 times annual incomecompare provider pricinghealthy retirement blood pressurefile taxes quicklyemergency fund savingsadvice for college graduatespoint cost offset by savingsautomatic paymentpay down student loan debtreferrals no waiting periodfinancial goal phrasebig results Staffords this year have a fixed 6.8% interest ratewomen live longerget health insurancepercentage men widowed 75-84Vital Documents6 month waiting periodenjoy saving co-sign Post-Divorcenew carcontribution save moneyHeartAccuQuote.comoverspend on dining outbe true to yourselfPrime Rate Rise 2015responsible with moneypay 100% cashbe kind to yourselfmax employee matchfinancing car no sneaking in feesFICO credit score credit card mortgageunexpected expenseGoodbyewould you decline a bonuscharges on credit cardPay Off Debt Before Retirementprotect your familyFRArollovercollege graduateno private loanscan you afford itsecured cardLong Term Care shoppingexercise reguarlyPhyllis Shelton expert long-term carevalentines dayBankruptcyForbesStock Investmentsfinancial independencelousy investmentopen enrollment review dental insurance Student Debt Crisispaying for collegeincrease emergency savingsadd teenTeachno interestdon't buy wantsalternative FICO scoremultiple lendersuniversal college access15 year mortgageLTCAshley SpringerMortgage Credit Availability Indexdoctor no longer in networkLong Term Care Insurance Gay Couplesemotional stakesmobile appfinancial aidbetter termspeace of mindaffordabilityWarner Bros Television GroupgraduationLTC shoppingSelectQuote.comteach your child good money habitsnear historic lowscouple financesHDHP keep a schedule4 Must Have Documents do not pay allowance for good behaviorshort term goal only offered while employed protect dependent avoid burn outlong term careinsurance yearly reviewhome ownershipCommencementone annual feeBanktax ID theftpowerfulRoth 401(k)get the most out of social security HDHP's are good for yousetup automatic savings withdraw2017 TaxesFinancial Solutions For YouFinancial Gift Cliffpush yourself to save more for retirementFinancial Advicelife insurance name trust as beneficiaryretirement accountstitle insurancewrite new goaloverspend on giftsdon't cover cosmetic dentistryno negativityinterest capitalizationsocial workfederal student loan deferment student loan repaymentMass Mutualsuccessnon conventional routeresponsiblesave verify retirement plan with HR or plan sponsorFinancial Systemdepreciating asset wives should be involved in retirementFinancial Awareness Video FestivalWillunder 18 financial giftUrbana-ChampaignAARP Social security calculatorkids schedule paymentsschool buy down property taxsecure creditwomen longer life spandon't blow tax refundHDHP'sHoliday SeasonARM Cautionis it true? burn outbest loan deal only refinance if it paysmeet monthly 20% down payment avoid feesCiti Simplicity Card HDHP/HSApublic service career student loan repayment balance transfer life insurance10% donate to charity10 year repayment plan pay high rate off firsttaxesSuze Orman spouse Kathy TravisRevocable Living Trustallowanceretirment savingsFICO at least 720bad decisionskid borrow firstmanage student loanscostly legal community collegeSelfishbuy homelong-term care premiumscalculate dependents annual income needsstudent loan repayment estimatorage appropriate goalsallowance taskCOLAbreakdown projected monthly housing costgay marriage ban end Florida get credit cardlowest cost fund optionstrained relationshipcut monthly cable billprescription tierhousing marketForeclosurenegotiate points with bank or sellerCredit Card Rate Increaseprotect loved ones retirementPrime Rate Increaseheartachejuggle multiple financial goalsdangerous retirement planshorter payback periodbe good exampledoctors in networkdon't charge a penny


View Blog & News List
People First. Then Money. Then Things.
Connect with me on Facebook Connect with me on YouTube Connect with me on Twitter
© 2017 Suze Orman Media Inc. All rights reserved.
 
 |  Search  |  Sitemap  |  Privacy  |  Terms
Sign Up For E-mail Offers
Open Panel
Close Panel