Financial Literacy Basics for Recent Grads

Every personal finance guru, NerdWallet article, and anything that talks about money well will encourage you to know thy self. I’ve been obsessed with personal finance YouTube since at least 2018 and it’s paid off, even when I flounder a bit. But I always remember this: If you are not aware of where your money goes, it will dry up and go away. It gives you motivation to change the situation for people who cannot earn enough to live.

1. Budget. Know how much you make and how much goes out. Whether you use a checkbook, envelope method, or an online money management system, know what goes in and what goes out. I struggle with this. What has helped me is has been a tip Minority Mindset lives by: pay yourself first. After my bills are paid, I save and invest enough that it could just hurt a little.

2. Read. Personal finance, entrepreneur blogs, investment magazines. Take notes. I’ve been observing and absorbing Dave Ramsey and his team’s Baby Step process as if it were gospel for the past two years. It’s helped me build up my emergency savings while in college (which came in handy when moving across country for my job) and pay off my student loans before they became an issue later in life. Now if only I could be convinced that credit cards are evil…

2. Save in a high yields savings account in either a credit union or an online bank with >.5%~  and place it away from your primary checkings account. I’m putting away money to eventually have a ‘fun-employment’ year between finishing up VFA and going to grad school or my next job.

3. Invest for retirement and for a passive income source. Acorns, STASH, Robinhood, and your bank have index funds and stocks that match you risk tolerance. A Roth IRA is also a great thing to start the moment you get a job!

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