New job? Here are 3 tips to set your financial course.
You earned your degree and scored your first “real” job – congratulations! Your professional career is off and running. But what about your financial future? Amid all the paperwork, introductions and passwords is an important opportunity to set the course for your adult financial journey.
Here are three easy tips to help keep you on track.
Ask a pro.
Chances are you are going to be making more money and have your first chance to participate in benefit programs like retirement plans and life insurance. Parents and friends are always happy to give advice, but everyone’s financial situation and goals are different. A financial professional can provide unbiased advice based on your unique lifestyle and goals. Visiting with a professional now about your short- and long-term plans can be well worth it later. The longer you wait to establish good spending and saving habits, the harder it is to start.
Take your time.
If your new job offers benefits you will need to make choices related to benefit programs. Some benefits, such as health insurance, have enrollment periods and need to be addressed within a certain time window, but nothing needs to be signed on the spot. Take the documents home, do some research, and visit with a financial professional to help you decide what is right for you. Did you already sign up for everything? Don’t stress – benefit programs such as 401(k)s provide opportunities to modify your contributions.
Set attainable goals.
Now that you’ve scored the job, are you dreaming of buying a new car to celebrate? Maybe you would rather pay off student loans, or save for your first home. Whatever goals you set, make sure you budget appropriately and set mini-milestones to keep yourself motivated. If you want to save $12,000 in a year – start by trying to save $3,000 in three months. If you meet that goal, keep going! If you struggle, re-evaluate and set a more attainable goal.
Entering the professional workforce is a huge milestone with plenty of responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to consult with a financial professional during this time and set yourself up for a successful, secure future.