As high school graduation approaches, adulthood is right around the corner. Adopting smart money habits in your daily life will put you on the fast track towards gaining your financial independence. Whether you are going to college or straight into the workforce, here are some important tips to help you manage your money and get off to a great start.
Not all checking and savings accounts are the same. If you don’t have an account already, opening a checking and a savings account is an important first step to managing your money wisely. Believe it or not, some checking accounts make you maintain a minimum balance, have a certain number of deposits a month, or even charge service fees. In the beginning, you will need to make sure that you open a checking account that is free to users, gives you a debit card, allows for mobile/online banking options, and that can be linked to a savings account such as the Save The Change checking account from AmeriChoice Credit Union. Check out all the benefits that come along with this type of checking account.AmeriChoice Checking Products
You don’t need to put away much to start saving. Not only does AmeriChoice allow you to open a savings account with a $5 deposit, but it also rounds each debit card transaction to the nearest dollar and deposits the difference from your purchases in your savings account. Keeping your change for yourself is the fastest way to start saving. This, along with putting a fixed amount into savings each week/month will help you start building that coveted rainy day fund for whatever emergency life might throw at you in the future. Most times, employers who offer direct deposit paychecks allow you to allot a certain percentage of your paycheck directly to your savings account. Taking advantage of this direct deposit feature will easily allow you to use the budgeting technique called Pay Yourself First and prioritize saving for a certain goal. You can read more about the Pay Yourself First budgeting strategy in our Smart Start eBook.
Whether going into workforce or off to college, it is important to start thinking of income as about meeting needs, not just wants. Even if you’re still living at home, you can easily track your finances. Most young adults are reactive with their spending habits instead of proactive. After high school, your list of financial responsibilities is going to grow. To make sure you set yourself up for success, follow these simple steps.
By getting into the habit of not only prioritizing your bills but putting your savings away first, you’ll be on the right path from the start. For more detailed information on budgeting, check out these great budgeting tools and guides.
Credit cards are a common way to build credit that you will likely want later on to be able to make major purchases like buying a car or a house. Like banks accounts, all credit cards are not the same. It is smart to open a credit card with a small limit in order to begin building your credit. Opening a card with low-interest rates and with no annual fee is vital. Research which type of card you’re going to use. Will your card be just for emergencies or are you looking for a card that gives rewards for spending? Remember, your first credit card is important because it will stay with you throughout your lifetime. The length of time you’ve had a line of credit open counts toward your credit score, so maintaining your first account in good standing is in your best interest. Opening the right card for you will ensure your credit gets off to a great start. For more information about opening credit cards as a teen, check out these blogs.
Tracking your spending habits, scheduling online payments for credit cards, and even making deposits have become so much easier with online and mobile banking.Struggling to remember when a payment is due is a thing of the past. Not only can you set up payment reminders, you can also set up automatic payments. Planning out a budget is right at your fingertips. You can also use our budgeting tool to take the guesswork out of spending. Click here to see how to use our budgeting tool to your advantage, discover FOCUS: AmeriChoice’s Personal Financial Management Tool
There are many ways to manage your finances as an adult, but the most important point to remember is finding ways to manage your own finances that work for you. Educating yourself about different types of checking/savings accounts, credit cards and loans that are available to you is a great first step to putting yourself on the right track. Monitoring your own spending frequently with the ease of 24/7 online and mobile banking will allow you to make the best decisions for your future and aid you in your journey to financial independence.