Graduation is an exciting time for many students transitioning to the ‘real world’ and starting to establish their financial independence. As a local community bank, we can work with recent graduates to set them up for success by creating a financial plan that incorporates their short and long-term financial goals. Remember, the financial decisions you make now will affect your future for years to come. 

First Western Bank & Trust offers the following tips to help new graduates take control of their finances:

  • Start a budget. Put your smartphone to good use and learn about our online services available at the bank to help you manage your finances and track your spending remotely.
  • Pay off student loans. It may be tempting to make the minimum monthly payments, but a more aggressive repayment plan can save you thousands in the long run.
  • Plan for retirement. Automate your savings so that a portion of each paycheck goes directly into a savings account. If you don’t see it, chances are you won’t miss it so much.
  • Spend responsibly. Shopping and weekend getaways are a great way to recharge but can quickly eat away at your budget. Research the products you’d like to buy, along with restaurants and excursions in your price range and plan accordingly, so these purchases and activities don’t become a financial hardship.
  • Establish an emergency fund to cover life’s unexpected events and give you greater peace of mind. Start by putting away consistent amounts of money then contribute spare change or a little from each paycheck.

We congratulate this year’s graduating class and wish them a prosperous financial future!