Right out of the gate, DON’T SPEND IT ALL! I know you’re excited and with extra cash in your pocket you are probably thinking about all the things you’d like to “treat yo self” to but RESIST!
Graduation money is a golden opportunity! Here are three suggestions of advantageous ways to use your gift.
1. START YOUR EMERGENCY FUND! This is a perfect opportunity to give your rainy day fund a boost. Just think how good it will feel to know you have a little financial safety net for life’s surprises.
2. OPEN A CD! No, not that kind of cd. A certificate of deposit (CD) pays a slightly higher rate of interest than a traditional savings account. The trade-off is that you agree not to use the funds for a specific amount of time, usually 6 months or more. You can still access the funds in an emergency but you forfeit part of your interest. With a minimum of $500 to open, the starting bar is a higher but so are the potential rewards. This is a great option to earn a higher rate of interest if you can meet the minimum balance.
3. SAVE FOR A SCHOOL PURCHASE! Need a laptop for school? Need to purchase a response system for one of your classes? Need to cover the tuition balance after your scholarships? Graduation money is a perfect opportunity to cover some of the unexpected (and expected) costs of college.
Are you sensing a pattern?
Savings, like exercise, can be difficult to get started but the results are worth the effort! I’m not suggesting that you can’t or shouldn’t spend any of money your family and friends have so generously given you. You have to weigh the satisfaction of the moment against the security of the future. Life is full of surprises and uncertainties, especially from a financial perspective.
Plan to be surprised.