By Debbie Shelton
SVP, West Wabash Avenue Branch
Each August, social media feeds around the world begin to fill with posts and photos showcasing new backpacks, school supplies, classrooms and the smiles of children and young adults heading back to school.
But maybe this season is different for you… maybe, for the first time in your life, you’re not heading back to school, but instead you’re preparing for the “real world” with the exciting beginning of your first job, internship, or other work program.
And if that’s the case, you may also be feeling a little overwhelmed by the responsibility, particularly as you try to make sense of your personal finances. At Illinois National Bank, we’ve all been there ourselves, and we’ve assisted thousands of others with the careful management of their savings plans, retirement plans, mortgages and more.
As you work to get your footing in this new season of life, you don’t want to neglect good financial decisions that could have a huge impact on your future. Here are a few things to consider with your personal finances as a young adult:
1.What should you do with your first paycheck? Though it’s tempting to begin acquiring new furnishings, living space, wardrobe and other purchases we think we need immediately, you’ll set yourself on the right track for the future by taking certain steps with that very first paycheck. Immediately setting up an emergency fund, budgeting, and saving for retirement may feel like less fun than other ways you could be using your money, but you’ll be glad you did in the months and years down the road!
2.What it means to give yourself a budget. Have you heard others talk about budgeting, but you’re not really sure how to set up a budget or why you even need to budget in the first place? A budget can change your financial future, because you’re telling your money where to go instead of letting your life be run by late payments or debt.
Once you’ve got a budget decided on, the only way it works is if you follow it. Setting up a budget is one thing, but sticking to it is entirely different! Once you make it a habit, it becomes a lot easier. Try INB’s 4 easy ways to stick to a budget.
3.Retirement saving should start now. Retirement may almost feel unimaginable as you begin your first job because it seems so far into the future, but it won’t be unattainable if you start your retirement saving as soon as possible. The earlier you start, the more you will accumulate, which means there is no better time to start contributing to your retirement savings than right now!
4.Having a hard time thinking about savings because of debt? Perhaps you accrued some debt in your younger years, whether it’s from student loans, vehicle loans or credit cards. You may be ready to begin tackling personal debt, and INB has some advice on how to get started paying off debt.
5.What are credit scores and how do they affect the loan process? As you think about your future and some of the things you want to purchase, either soon or eventually, the first thing you’ll want to consider is what your personal credit score is. INB can offer insight into what a credit score is, how it is used when you apply for a loan, and specific ways you can raise your credit score.
For instance, perhaps you are starting to consider purchasing your own home or making another kind of real estate investment. It’s never too early to start thinking about how your credit score will affect your mortgage loan, and then how and why you should begin saving for a down payment.
Need help figuring out your personal finances, debt management, loan options, or any other aspects of your financial health? Let INB keep it easy for you – just give us a call at 1-877-771-2316 or stop by one of our branches!