1. Keep your debt limited
When you’re starting out in your first job, you quickly find yourself making about five times what you were making from your part-time college gig. That account balance can look quite enticing. Trust me, I know. While I loved my new truck, 15 years later I would rather just have that money back. Leaving college you’re probably taking a substantial amount of student loan debt with you. Try your best to not let that debt grow. Tackling debt can take years, and you don’t want to add to it.
2. Start a savings account/emergency fund
When you’re young, you tend to push things off because you think you have plenty of time. When it comes to saving, the earlier you begin, the more you’ll appreciate it later. If you save $100 a month, during the first 5 years after college, you will have created a $6,000 fund that could come in handy when you need to make lemonade out of the lemons that life will inevitably throw at you from time to time.
3. Stick to a budget
This may one of the harder tips to stick with, especially when you have more money than you’ve ever had in your life. Buying every meal from your favorite restaurants is tempting, and the sooner you curb that habit the better. By budgeting, you can see how you’re really spending your money. Try not to look at it as restricting your spending, but rather a guide to help you spend confidently.
4. Don’t forget about retirement
I know retirement seems like it’s 40 years away, (and maybe it is) but it’ll sneak up on you. Putting your money in an IRA early is one of the best decisions you can make. There’s a little thing called compound interest that wants to be your best friend. Read about it and tell me you’re not happier than a kid in a candy store.