• Marie

The ONE Thing Every Grad Needs to Know About Money

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

woman college grad in cap and gown learning about how to manage her finances

Congratulations class of 2020! I know this is a weird time in the world, and you’re probably facing a lot of uncertainties. When I graduated college back in 2007, the economy was on its way down, I was going on job interviews, my credit score was in the low 600s and my car was on its way to being repossessed.

In other words, I had no freakin’ clue how to manage my finances.

Now, 13 years later, the economy is 🥴, but now I have a credit score in the low 800s and a six-figure net worth that is rapidly growing. Oh, and I paid cash for my car.

I’m not saying this to brag. In my 20s, I made every financial mistake in the book until I finally got it together in my 30s.

I don’t want you spending your first adult decade getting into debt or squandering your hard-earned money.

I want better for you.

Sure, I could give you a list of ways to cut expenses and budget your money (insert avocado toast reference), but I firmly believe having a money mindset is your single most valuable tool.

So here is the best financial advice for young adults this elder Millennial can give to the Gen Z Class of 2020:

YOU are Your Most Important Bill

Perhaps you’ve heard of the phrase “pay yourself first.” That doesn’t refer to buying the things you want first. It means when that paycheck hits your bank account, you put a percentage of that money towards your savings/investments FIRST.

Everything else comes second to you.

Before you pay your rent, before you buy groceries, before you pay your student loans, before any of that stuff. Pay yourself (meaning your savings) first.

I know what you’re thinking...if rent is due and I need to eat, how...why would I do this?

Because if you don’t make yourself, your future, your life goals your #1 priority, then you’re going to scale down your dreams and scale up your expenses (i.e. lifestyle creep).

Paying yourself means when it’s time to go apartment hunting, you’re not going to scale up and pay extra rent for the granite countertops and stainless steel appliances just because you can “afford” it. Instead, you might choose to get a roommate so you can share primary expenses and meet your goal of saving for yourself.

Scale down your expenses so you can scale up your dreams.