You're Officially An Adult. Now What?
Turning 18 and officially becoming an adult is a huge milestone! You’ve probably been driving on your own, just graduated high school and soon beginning college or joining the workforce. But what comes with the adult title? What should you be thinking about to make sure you start off on the right foot in life? Are there things that you should avoid or other things to make sure you do? Below are some helpful financial tips to make sure you set yourself up for success as you take on more “adult” responsibilities.
Open a savings & checking account (if you don’t already have one established)
- The key is to start saving as soon as you’re able to. Begin automating your savings to create a good habit of spending less than you make because building a strong financial base will allow you to feel confident when any unexpected costs come up, such as your car breaking down or in times when you’re switching jobs.
- This ties into the comment above. Understanding where your money is being spent and living within your means will ensure there isn’t more money going out than coming in. For example, having multiple subscriptions that you may not need will save you money by cancelling them! Having a good handle on this at a young age will set you up for success down the road (especially as life gets more complicated!). If you need some help with this, https://mint.intuit.com/ is a great website to help you track expenses.
Beware of credit card offers
- Having a credit card is important so you can start building credit in your name! However, don’t view a credit card as “free money.” Just because you can buy things now and pay them off later (aka go on a shopping spree or buy the newest PlayStation) doesn't mean you should. Having a running balance on your card can incur a large amount of interest so if you start accruing credit card debt young, it can take a long time to get out. This can also delay other goals you may have later in life (i.e. buying a house).
- You don’t need a bunch of different credit cards to build credit, even if they have special promotions going on that make you want to get another. Start by getting a credit card with a low limit and make sure that you use it responsibly and pay your balance in full every month unless there’s a 0% interest promotion.
Be Ready to File Taxes
- If you didn’t have a job in high school and are just beginning to join the workforce, be prepared to file taxes by April 18th. Also be prepared that if you don’t withhold enough money from your paychecks, you may owe the government some money (another reason why having a cash reserve is so important!).
Trying to build a financial foundation can be scary but also very exciting! There will be hiccups along the way but don’t get discouraged. Try to master the tips above and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out as we’d be happy to share our getting started guide.
Investment advice offered through Great Valley Advisor Group, a Registered Investment Advisor. Great Valley Advisor Group and Haas Financial Group are separate entities. This is not intended to be used as tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax or legal professional for specific information and advice.
All content and information is for informational and educational purposes only.
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