Post Graduation - Getting Your Finances in Check

Now that you are done with school, and have a steady job what is the next step?

I suggest getting your finances in check.

1.First start off by checking your credit report

A credit report is basically a written history of all your credit repayments. It will tell you the balances owed, the scheduled payments, and the actual amounts paid. It will also tell you if you were late, or if you were on time.

For a more detailed explanation of what a credit report is follow the link:

You are entitled to 1 free credit report every 12 months, follow the link to obtain your copy:

2.Next step is to check your credit score

There are three main credit bureaus:
Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.

All three will have their own way of calculating your credit score, but they should more or less all be in the same range. If you go through their respective sites, there will be a fee to get your credit score.

One way to get your credit score for free is by signing up with Discover IT Credit Card, they provide free monthly credit scores on your credit statement.

Another way is through Credit Karma, they are a free service that has both Android and iOS apps that provide you with your credit score as well as different information on what affects your score.

3.My third step is to setup a Savings Account, you can start by using one with your current bank. It does not have to be anything fancy, just a separate account from your checking so that it will not be as easy to spend. I advise against having your savings in your checking account because of the temptation to spend it. Keep spending money in your checking account, and your savings in your savings account.

I believe Capital One 360 lets you set different sub-savings accounts to help you allocate your money into different goals:

My recommendation is set up automatic contributions so that the saving will feel "effortless". I recommend giving yourself a few days after you anticipate your check so that it will have time to clear.
Example: If you usually get your checks on Monday, set your automatic contribution to be taken on Wednesday, or Thursday. 

4. Lastly, I would recommend monitoring your accounts. I recommend using Mint, a free account viewing app that will allow you to track multiple accounts at once.

While I would like you to think that I magically gained this knowledge, I must confess that is not the situation. One pivotal book that has helped me get a grasp on my finances is:

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

I learned many of my techniques including many other topics not discussed such as: what a Roth IRA is, what Lifecycle Funds are (Target Date Funds on, employer matching, and how to beat the banks and get out of debt.

While I did not mention paying off debt, I believe that should come first, this post is meant to advise you on ways to save. 

Feel free to comment and tell your strategies on saving.