We all want it.
As college students, we are all sorely lacking a six-figure bank account to provide our every need or want. It is hard enough to plan out the next semester without the added pressure of having to hear loaded questions from adults 20 or more years older asking, “What will you do when you graduate?”
“How will you support yourself financially?”
“Will that major amount to anything?” We have concerns for our own futures, too.
“Will I ever be able to pay off my student loans?”
“Will I land my dream job? “When and where should I invest my money, when I actually have some?”
“Is there enough money on my card to get a Chik-Fil-A sandwich from the Grille tomorrow?”
According to a survey conducted by Adecco Staffing US, “college graduates lack confidence in their future retirements. The survey found that only 19 percent of participants believe Social Security will exist when they retire, and only 46 percent had confidence that their personal savings plan will be able to fund their retirement lifestyle.”
Navigating the adult world of investments and 401Ks is no easy feat, and just like you, I am no expert. Graduating from college gives a person a financial edge for the future, allowing the possibility of better paying jobs. We’ve got the advantage.
Here is a suggestion, for those of us coming out of college with a degree and a dream, and a less than average bank account statement. Save your money. Invest when it feels right. Investing money can seem like a daunting task better left for stock broking Wall-Streeters with all the business know how one could ever want.
It is easy to think investing is something for the “old” ones to worry about: the people who have already lived long enough to figure out what it means to budget, save and spend their hard earned pennies and dollars within their meticulously calculated personal limits.
However, Forbes Magazine suggested in a recent article that it’s not too soon for college graduates to think about investing.
“In fact, one of the great advantages you have over people at your parents’ and grandparents’ age is that you have many, many years ahead of you, which means more time for your money to grow,” said Kerry Hannon, Forbes contributor.
“And, historically, buying stocks or mutual funds is the best way to do this.” While we should not wait until we are 60 years old, investing right now is not the best idea. Before we can buy these stocks or mutual funds, we need to save. “If you have less than $2,000 in both your checking and banking accounts you should prioritize saving over all other money to-dos,” according to Lifeaftercollege.org. Many of us fall into this category.
With student loan debt, along with possible unemployment until the right job presents itself, graduates can be stuck in financial limbo. We do not have enough money to pay the bills, much less invest. Unexpected expenses such as a car repairs, replacing stolen items or hospital visits could leave graduates in even more debt than they started with if they do not begin to save the money they are earning. Begin saving, and educate yourself along the way. Luckily for us millennials, the internet is teeming with information to sift through, giving us the opportunity to become educated and, in turn, make decisions for ourselves. Pick up a copy of The Wall Street Journal and talk to a financial advisor at a bank, or even just an older relative with experience investing. After your bank account is stable, then think about taking a walk down the investment road. TAS