Pomp and Benjamins: Using Your Graduation Money the Way it Deserves

So, you’ve graduated from college. While it may be tempting to take your graduation gift money and spend like crazy, its time to think like a college graduate and spend wisely. Nothing says “accomplished graduate” like meeting your financial future with a plan.

Here are the best ways to use your gift money, prioritized to help you make the most of your money:

• Bad Debt—Pay off bad debt. Credit cards with high interest rates.

• Insurance—Make sure your auto, health, disability, and renter’s insurance are covered.

• Living Expense fund—This account should have two to three months of living expenses all the time. This includes rent, groceries, gas, and cell phone.

• Emergency fund—Set aside some money for car repairs, doctor and veterinarian visits, job loss, or travel due to a family emergency. Expert Dave Ramsey recommends $1,000 here. But when anything can happen, anything helps.

• Student loans—If you have private loans, pay them off before federal loans.

• Long-term savings—Plan for retirement by investing in a Roth IRA (individual retirement account) if you have earned income.

• Vacation—Thinking about going somewhere exotic to celebrate your accomplishment? Scott’s Cheap Flights is a great site where you can find discounted trips to amazing places across the globe… If you can afford it, there’s value in experiencing the world. So save up, you deserve it!

If you have questions about the best way to save or invest your gift money, Altana is always around to offer expert advice.