ATLANTA - Congrats. You are a new college graduate. It's the beginning of the rest of your life. But this is a turning point time - a time to get moving in the right financial direction. These early days can really set the tone for your future.
Get a budget together. This may actually be your first real attempt. Make it an early habit and make sure you include savings. Try these easy-to-use templates.
OK, here's a biggie - paying back that student loan. You can't ignore it. It will only grow into a cancer if you don't start tackling it now. Take a look at these two websites to find options for repaying that loan and ideas for lowering your payment.
With the basics out of the way, let's look at three things that you may not be thinking about yet. Let's start by talking about retirement savings. Seems like a long ways off. It is, but there is a reason Albert Einstein called compounding interest the eighth wonder of the world.
Here's are two scenarios. Let's start with a 22-year-old saving $200 a month. With a six percent average return by the time you are 62 years old you will have saved $393,714 for retirement.
Here is your procrastinator who saves this same amount, with the same return, but doesn't start until age 33. Your savings will be a $201,124. Nearly half as much. Just waiting 11 years has a huge financial impact.
And finally, get renter's insurance. It only costs $15 to $30 a month. It's a no-brainer. And check your credit score. You will need to buy a car at some point and knowing where you stand makes you less vulnerable to someone trying to serve you up a high interest rate loan.