3 Finance Tips I Wish I’d Have Known After Graduation

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My social media accounts are filled with graduation photos and statuses. As a college teacher, I can’t help but be proud most especially to my students. They have made it through the course and I couldn’t be any prouder. Later this afternoon, I will be joining each and every one of them as they march to the stage and receive their diploma. Even if I will just be sitting there to watch them, there is that sense of pride and I solemnly pray that they will be able to reach their dreams and their heart’s desire.

Right after graduation, I was lucky to land a job I never thought I would get into. I was hired as a teacher in our local university. It may not be part of my plans since I so want to try the corporate field, I guess it was my calling. And after x number of years, I’m still here even though there are opportunities away from the academe and away from the city. This is where I belong. However, there are things that I learned financially as I’ve made my way through my career. And today, I want to answer the question as to what would I tell my graduate self I could travel back in time. I guess my whole financial life would be way different than today. And here are some of them.

Save Your Salary Early

I know we tend to get excited as we get our first pay check. After all, this is something that we longed for and worked for how many years. That is why, when we have our first salary we tend to gather our friends and treat them to some lunch or a few booze. While that is not wrong, it would be best not to exhaust your first pay check to it. It is desirable that you save a portion of it to your savings or to your investments. I can still remember what I did with my first pay check. I treated my family to dinner then bought a new phone. After that, I got nothing on my ATM and no savings at all. I have to ask my mother to give me my allowance to the office. It was shameful to think I was already working.

Invest Your Salary

The knowledge on stocks, investments, mutual funds are items that I know just a year ago. If only I have known these things when I was 20, I would have accumulated much over the years. I was so dependent with savings and time deposit. Little did I know that these things could yield so little not even beating inflation at all. Simply imagine how much I could have invested in the x years that I have wasted. That is why, as early as your first salary, invest it somewhere profitable like the ones mentioned above.

Never Stop Learning

Yes you’ve finished college however it does not mean you also need to stop learning. The best investment that you can have is to invest in yourself. There are things you can still learn in the process. Proceed to higher education like getting a master’s degree. Learn stuffs that you have been interested in all these years. Explore new things and opportunities. I graduated with a degree in computer science yet I took up master’s in business administration. I know business administration is something different from my teaching field more so my undergraduate degree but I was able to use it in my blog and my other ventures. Apart from that, I got strong connection with talented people who were my classmates. And I learned a lot in the process. Now I am engage in personal finance and investments. Learning never stop once you step outside school. It is always eternal and lifelong.

To all the graduates, congratulations! You close a great chapter in your life and soon enough you will be opening another one. Good luck in your future endeavours and more so good luck in your finances. 

P.S. To those doing the 52 Week Money Challenge and 52 Week Money Challenge Version 2, it is Week 13 already! Did you deposit the next amount yet?

P.P.S Want to know more about investing, savings, stock market and more, check out my reference here. You can download free ebooks and resources too.