Let’s talk money. I like money. We all need money to live.
This is, I think, the first post I’ve made in a while that is planned. I’ve been a bit busy with work and dealing with anxiety, but I’m starting to get back on track, which is a relief. It’s a good time to talk about money management, since I will (hopefully) be getting my first paycheck soon. (The story goes like this: I needed to wait for them to put me in the system, and then make an account, and then wait a couple of days to access timesheets, and after all that I ended up missing the deadline to submit the timesheet in time for the first pay period. So now I’m waiting for paperwork to go through to get that paycheck.)
But yeah, right now I’m pretty much completely dependent of my parents and my (admittedly meager) savings. I took a personal finance class (or rather, I audited the course, lol) my last semester in the hopes to learning how to deal with scary financial things like taxes and planning for retirement. I didn’t learn as much as I was hoping I would, because taxes still confuse me to no end, so here’s hoping that I’ll get it figured out sooner rather than later. Like, I literally don’t actually know what I’m doing. If nothing else, I have my parents right here to help. Which brings me to my first point:
Use all your available resources
Your parents have already been successfully adulting for years. At the very least, they probably know more about taxes and shit than you do. Ask them for help. Find every free or low-cost resource you can and use them if you feel that you need it. If you’ve got the money, use a financial adviser to help you get your shit together. (I think they’re expensive? And also more useful for longer-term planning?) But hey, they know more about money management than you do, so…
Keep it simple
This is something I learned from my parents. And all those articles about how to handle your money in college and stuff say to keep your situation as simple as possible. No reason why this can’t work after college too. Sure, in the future when your sources of income are more established and such, you should probably branch out to maximize as much as possible. But for all the newly-graduated not-quite-adults? Take it slowly but surely. You don’t have to suddenly know how to play the stock market or invest in a bunch of retirement accounts. Like, I don’t even have a retirement account. I literally canceled one of my bank accounts recently so that I could just use one bank, with a savings and a checking account.
Credit is important I think?
People always tell you to be very wary to having too many credit cards. And people also tell college students to not get a credit card. But then people tell you that it’s important to start building your credit history early so that you can get the best loan rates and stuff. I’m not sure that there is even a right answer to this, but I think moderation in everything is probably the safest route? I got a credit card after I started living off campus. It’s still the only credit card I have, but my credit score is really good? Like I should have little trouble getting loans I think? (I actually don’t have students loan and also no debt, so there’s that too.) I mean, I pay off my bill in full every month, because interest rates are terrible. As long as you’re responsible and don’t have a whole bunch of cards, it should be good?
A lot of people say that creating a budget and sticking to it is the way to go
I keep hearing this advice, and it seems to work for just about everyone? I’ve never actually created a monthly budget for myself. I never really needed to? Because I try to spend as little money as possible, so… Since near the end of high school, most things I buy is out of necessity (new jeans because my old ones ripped, toiletries and groceries, etc.) I do like to shop, and I do buy new clothes just because (mostly when they’re on sale lol), and I like buying some frivolous things like scented candles. The key is to keep it to a minimum. I’ll buy a nice scented candle but use it for several months. And some more expensive things are just better quality so you’ll want that. And following this system, I’ve never really overspent? (Middle school was a different story, because I got my mom to buy me a lot of unnecessarily expensive clothes then.) So yeah, I’ve never really seen the absolute necessity of a budget (yet), so I’ve never adopted that method. Still, it is a good idea to at least keep track of where your money goes. And a budget greatly helps with that.
Seriously, I also still have very little idea of what I’m doing as far as finances go. It’s probably because I’ve been getting a ton of support from my parents, but I’m mostly worry-free as far as money to live goes. So there’s that. I do have my own bank accounts and pay for my own lesser expenses, and I guess what I’m doing is working right now? Who knows. Good luck to both you and me.