The following blog is by Sophia Bera originally published in her website Gen Y Planning.

This time of year can only mean one thing: a new wave of students is donning their caps and gowns, and walking across that stage to finally accept their hard-earned college diplomas. It’s a really exciting time in anyone’s life – but it can be pretty scary, too.

For recent grads – and even members of Gen Y who have been out of college for a year or two – thinking about how they’ll become financially independent from their families and start to take care of themselves in the real world can be intimidating. But with the right advice and financial knowledge, managing your money when you’re still young and figuring things out doesn’t have to be impossible.

Recently, I went on WPR’s On Your Money to talk about Financial Tips for New College Grads. There are four major steps recent grads and Millennials just starting out can take in order to maintain good financial health:

  1. Avoid Credit Card Debt
  2. Boost Emergency Savings
  3. Plan to Pay Off Student Loans
  4. Take Advantage of Company Benefits

Eager to learn more?

Click on the image below to check out WPR’s On Your Money article, and to listen to the segment!

gen y and money image

How about some bonus tips, too?

Here are 4 more ways Gen Y can maintain good financial health:

  1. Earn a little extra income on the side. I know it may seem totally overwhelming to be thinking about starting a career and maintaining a part time job or side gig, but it’s well worth considering. Imagine how much faster you’ll be able to reach big financial goals, like paying off student loans and saving for your future, if you had some extra cash available each and every month!
  2. Get your financial life – from expenses to savings to goals – organized so you know what’s going on. It’s hard to build a budget if you can’t track what your money is actually doing, and it’s even harder to maintain good financial health when you have no idea what the big picture looks like. Take the time to get organized, and then stay that way. It really makes a difference when you’re trying to build your wealth.
  3. Be proactive and start saving for retirement. For Gen Y, retirement can seem like a million years away. But your biggest investment advantage is time, so don’t squander it! Even if it’s just $100, $50, or $10 a month, a little bit seriously adds up when you start young. Make your savings automatic, so you won’t even need to do anything to maintain this aspect of your good financial health.
  4. Make sure your spending aligns with your values. The best lesson you can learn fast is that material goods aren’t going to fulfill you or bring you true happiness. You should prioritize your spending so that the important things are always taken care of: your needs, present and future, and the people you care about most. Put relationships and experiences before acquiring more material possessions. This is what it means to align your spending with your values.

Even though you may feel like you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of places to turn for help, advice, and guideance. Plus, you don’t have to have it all figured out right away. What’s more important for recent grads – and for Gen Y in general – is to be proactive about financial matters. Keep learning, keep asking questions, and keep making smart decisions that will help you maintain your good financial health.

 

Bera - Small HeadshotAbout the author: Sophia Bera, CFP® is the Founder of Gen Y Planning and is a financial planner for Millennials. She’s passionate about helping people in their 20s and 30s across the with their money. She is a contributor for AOL’s Daily Finance website and has been quoted on various websites and publications including Forbes, Business Insider, Yahoo, Money Magazine, InvestmentNews, Financial Advisor magazine, and The Huffington Post. She was named one of the “Top Financial Advisors for Millennials” by the website: http://www.MoneyUnder30.com. Sophia is a sought after speaker and presenter and is an active member of the Financial Planning Association. In her free time, she enjoys performing as an actor/singer and traveling the world with her husband, Jake. Follow her on Twitter @sophiabera or sign up for the Gen Y Planning Newsletter to stay up to date on financial articles geared towards Millennials.

 

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