Best Financial Goals to Set After Graduating College
And How to Accomplish Them with a Money Management App
by Kenneth Medford
Yes, the title is a mouthful, but let me explain why every one of those points is important. First, what better time to get your financial mindset right than when you are diving head first into the wonderful world of adulting? Second, you already knew the first part but you’re probably wondering, “Yeah, but how do I do that?” Third, we’re all using apps anyway, so why not use them to get our money right? So, now that we all agree the wordy title is perfect in every way, let’s get to work showing you how using an app for financial planning is the wave.
Get By with a Little Help. . .From Your Phone
I *sigh* am a millennial. I have spent much time denying that fact but according to the year I was born (1986. 80’s babies stand up!) I fall right into that pocket. I have lived in a world where the NES was a top of the line console and I now live in a world where I can play more complex games on my cell phone. I watched my parents stack paper bills and manually balance checkbooks (not for very long because WOW is it boring). With the level of technology that we have literally at our fingertips, it would be super counterproductive not to use it for the greater good. In this case, the greater good being getting your money right.
One of the easiest ways to find yourself in financial trouble is to lose track of how your money is moving. Having Nav.It’s financial app by your side can help you side step a lot of the traditional faux pas that most young adults fall into like over charging credit cards, overdrawing debit accounts, and buying that new pair of sneakers leaving you with a whopping $2.10 in your account (true story, I’ve seen it happen). Rather than running to 20 different apps to keep track of your budget, you can link your accounts through the Nav.It app and see what you’ve spent, what you’ve saved, and compare those numbers to what you’ve done the week, month, or year before. Trust me, being able to see the numbers right in front of your face will make it much easier to say, “nah, I’m good” when that next Jordan release hits. Of course, if you budget right, you just might be prepared in advance. As a matter of fact. . .
Budget Your Money. Yes ALL of Your Money
I want a PS5. I want it like I need air. This $399 (I just want the digital version) piece of machinery will, without question, help me sleep better at night knowing its popped collar is watching over me. The thing is, I don’t NEED that system. My bills need to be paid, I need to satiate my overwhelming need for delicious foods, and I need to save money in case. . .I’m sorry for WHEN things inevitably go wrong.
My car, I’m talking about my car. The same car I started the new year sinking $600 into the day before I received my stimulus check for, you guessed it, $600 dollars. Here’s the thing, despite all my complaints there, I was able to do it. At 34 years old, I know how to budget my money NOW. If I had this knowledge when I was 20, 21, 22 or so, I could be so much closer to the financial freedom I now know exists in the world.
This is the time. Right now. Not once you land that dream job, not after you move out of your parent’s house, the time is right effing now. Set your priorities and be real with yourself. If you’re a fashion person, set aside some new clothes money. If you’re like me and you’re all about that #GamerLife, set aside money for new games, consoles, and accessories. What you can’t do is blow all your money on eating out, sneakers, and liquor before you make sure everything else is taken care of.
Exercising money mindfulness will allow you to reach your goals without going through the monetary stress that comes with living beyond your means. It’s not easy. I burned through so much money simply because I had a poor mindset about it. I’m sure having an app with alerts about how much I was spending would have helped, but alas, I’m from the dark ages and had to fend for myself with my dumb dumb brain. Don’t make my mistake. Get yourself a good app for financial planning and start off on the right foot.
Quality > Quantity
More so than the last two points, this will probably stand as your greatest challenge, not only financially but just in life. Social media, much like magazines back in the day, lead us to reach for heights that may not necessarily be impossible but are beyond our means at the moment. You see someone your age with 100,000 followers and 90,000 likes and you think, “I must suck cause I’m not even close to that”. You then fall into this spiral of inadequacy and anxiety. We’ve all been there. Next time you feel that, consider this; do you want a million “friends” or 5 real ones? Take that idea and project it on what you buy. Would you rather buy 5 shirts on sale that will be faded in a couple months or 1 shirt that’s a bit more costly but you’ll have it for the next 3 years?
When you’re young, many things are pretty black and white. “This cost less/this is on sale, so this is what I should buy” is the usual the train of thought. I watched a friend buy a pair of jeans for $125, spending money I knew he didn’t have, because they were normally $200. To him, it was an irresistible deal. To me, it was $125. He didn’t actually save anything because I watched him blow that other $75 on shirts instead of stashing it. I promise you they’re not even in his closet anymore.
Do better than my friend and make research your best friend. When it comes to spending money and the earlier you make it a normal part of your purchasing journey. Not to say that you need to be an expert but you do need to know if the things you purchase will really satisfy your needs or are they just a band aid that you will have to reapply (spend more money) in a couple weeks/months.
Again, seeing the numbers will help you see if you’re blowing your money on excessive numbers of short-term solutions or getting the most bang for your buck with quality purchases. If you’re going to spend an average of 3.7 hours on your phone (I know that seems excessive, but a lot of people smarter than me came up with that number), you can definitely dedicate some of that time to opening a financial app to help you plan your next move.
It’s Not All Work and No Games
And I want to stress this, I’m not telling you not to live life. That PS5 I mentioned before? I have money just sitting on the bench waiting to get swiped for it. I have $100 set aside for liquor. . .get that look off your face! The point I’m making is as long as you prioritize, you can avoid a lot of the financial trouble and money stress that many of our parents went through/currently go through.
Take care of the important things, budget well, and you can still enjoy yourself. I am no rich man but that didn’t keep me from going to Japan, having an over 700 credit score, and affording a $65 Naruto and Dragon Ball Z shirts (only because the quality is unmatched by anything else on the market). It took me time to get here and it would’ve been far sooner if I started off on the right foot out of college. Take advantage of this time. Take advantage of this technology. Take advantage of this digital world and get your money right before the world of adulting gets its paws on you.
Writer, rhymer, gamer: the easiest way to define the man known as Kenneth Medford. I’m a simple man who loves to learn and loves to help and I wander the digital world trying to find ways to sate my hunger for both. Basically, I’m Galactus but helpful.
Check out my other work here or reach out to me on LinkedIn.