Financial Do's and Don'ts for New College Graduates


As many students graduate from college this year, they will enter the workforce armed with knowledge from the past four years—but financial planning, investments and savings isn’t always included in their college curriculum.

School is back in session with the following financial do’s and don’ts for new college graduates:

Don’t take on too much debt by not exceeding 20 percent of your take home pay each month. Complete this helpful worksheet from the University of Illinois Extension for a true picture of your debt level.

Don’t make bad money habits like morning mochas, daily lunches and happy hours. If you repeatedly waste money now, it will cost you for years.

Don’t wait to save and invest. Work towards achieving your long-term financial goals, like retirement and homeownership, today. To get a picture of how much you could save over time, calculate your savings and set savings goals with our Savings Goals Calculator.

Do live within your means through planning and discipline. First, create a budget by examining your income and expenditures. Next, figure out where you can spend less to achieve your financial goals. Busey's Money Manager tool allows you to create a personalized budget - tracking your financial targets while controlling spending. 

Do appreciate the power of compounding—and save, save, save. When you open a retirement account—such as a 401(k), Traditional IRA or Roth IRA—you benefit from compound interest. These accounts are actively invested and have the potential to make the most benefit.

Do advocate for your own financial security—by better managing your money and making informed financial choices. Don’t rely on someone else or others to do it for you.

To give the gift of sound financial advice for the graduate in your life, give one of Busey’s many convenient locations a call, or call 1.800.67 | Busey. 
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