How to become a financial adult after graduation

Brandi Smith spoke with Certified Financial Planner Bobbi Rebell for advice for new graduates.

It’s graduation season and we know there are a lot of people fresh out of college looking for their first job. But there are things you should think about before you even get your first paycheck.

I spoke to a personal finance expert (and certified financial planner) Rebel bobbi on how new graduates can become financial adults.

BOBBI: Even though you might not be starting your new job right away, having a solid financial foundation is very important. Get your ground game in order before you jump in.

BRANDI: I think a lot of us had the attitude coming out of school that you had the perfect job in mind. You knew exactly what you wanted to do and you weren’t going to settle for anything else.

BOBBI: You can bet your dream job based on your income needs. That’s great! But it can be a lot more work than when you might be an intern. On the other hand, you can have a job that saves the world and does all of these amazing things for the company, but it can’t pay your bills. It’s something you really need to be honest with yourself about – if it’s sustainable in the long run.

BRANDI: I don’t think I was ever stressed enough about this when I finished school. You have to start saving, really, as soon as you can.

BOBBI: Absolutely. Sometimes people get so caught up in paying off their debt in an almost manic way. It’s good to pay off his debt and I don’t want to do anything to discourage him. But the truth is, compound interest is a great thing too. It is important to invest as early as possible and especially in the right vehicles. If you have a corporate job, you need to make sure you’re on the bandwagon with all the free money they have. I’m talking about the 401K and maybe other things your business has to offer you. Do your homework.

BRANDI: You mentioned it as a priority: paying down the debt. How do you do it systematically?

BOBBI: You have to watch how your mind works. It can be as simple as writing down everything you need and prioritizing it. There are different methods. Sometimes people like to pay off the card with the highest interest rate first. Sometimes people like to pay the lowest amount so that you feel a sense of accomplishment. But there are also different types of debt, and it’s important to understand where that debt fits in the bigger picture.

For more information on how to become a financial adult, visit Bobbi’s website.

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