A recent CNN Money story offers parents some advice on how to talk to their new graduate about personal finance and the real world. One part of their list touches on something we think is very important: saving.
CNN Money suggests explaining to your recent grad the benefits of building an emergency fund to handle life’s surprises. Chances are they won’t want to go into debt by putting car repairs or some other unforeseen expense on a credit card, especially if they’re already paying back student loans. They also recommend encouraging new graduates to open a savings account and scheduling regular automatic deposits to make savings easier. They advocate the use of budgeting tools such as Mint to help keep them on track.
The story suggests encouraging your recent graduate to start thinking about saving for retirement. Yes, it’s a while down the road, but the earlier they start saving for their later years, the better off they’ll be. When they land their first job out of school, encourage them to sign up for their employer’s 401(k) plan. If you’re feeling generous, they even encourage parents to match your child’s retirement contributions in a Roth IRA.
While there’s nothing wrong with a little help now and again from Mom and Dad, the article encourages parents to only offer financial assistance with life’s necessities like food or health insurance. When it comes to subsidizing their housing or entertainment, you can inadvertently encourage financial dependency, something that can undermine all those good financial habits you want them to have.
What’s one piece of financial advice you wish someone would’ve told you when you were a new college graduate?