May is a special time of year in the communities we serve and across the state of Iowa. High school and college seniors go through graduation, a symbolic ceremony commending them for their hard work and beginning the transition to the next part of their life.
But that next step, whether it’s heading off to college or joining the real world, can be scary, especially when it comes to money. More independence means counting less and less on mom and dad to help with money.
Titonka Savings Bank wants to help out our grads by offering five timeless tested pieces of financial wisdom. Each of these tips will help you now and for whatever comes next in life.
- Get in the habit of budgeting- using a budget allows you to have an overview of all the money coming in and going out. It can also help you create short and long-term savings goals and make better financial decisions.
- Make saving money a priority- life happens, and when it does, it’s good to have money you can fall back on just in case. You may have to start out small, but creating a good savings habit is all about consistency, no matter the amount you are saving.
- Use credit cards responsibly- there is no such thing as “free money.” Every cent you spend with credit cards must be paid back within a certain period of time or it starts to rack up interest as well. A good strategy is to co-sign a credit card with your parents and use it only for one specific cost, such as gas. Since you already pay for your gas anyway, you can use your credit card at the pump, then pay off the balance online. Just be sure to pay the entire balance off on time every time to avoid interest charges and late fees.
- Take advantage of interest when you can- the longer you have money invested earning interest, the higher it grows over time. Don’t be shy about looking for accounts to stash your money for long-term savings. And yes, we mean saving for retirement, because you can never start too early.
- Recognize that being frugal isn’t a bad thing- yes, your friends and advertisements may tell you that having the latest and greatest everything is the only way to live. However, life and college are about more than the stuff you own. Learn to differentiate between a “want” and a “need.”
We hope these tips serve you well in the coming years. If you need any help finding the right products or services to manage your finances, the friendly staff at Titonka Savings Bank is more than happy to help. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Titonka Savings Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender