Priceless Financial Advice For Recent Graduates
If you could rewind your life to graduation from high school or college, what would you have done differently with your money? Confession: I'm a financial voyeur. For as long as I can remember I've been fascinated by the unique relationships people (and especially women) have with their money. So when I was recently asked by my Alma Mater, Wellesley College, to serve as a Financial Fellow in residence and create some unique personal finance programming for students and alums, I jumped at the chance. One of the most popular events we held was called "Powerful Women & Their Pocketbooks." In this session, I asked three VERY successful Wellesley alums (C-suite level, corporate board member, business founder, etc.) what their best and worse financial moves were right out of college. By design, we did not compare notes before-hand. Alums were from the classes of '68, '73, and '90 - so spanning various stages in businesses receptivity to women leaders. What struck me the most was how incredibly similar our best tips (& worst trip ups) were despite very different ages, career choices, and life experiences. The top three pieces of advice every one of us gave were:
- Learn to live within your means right out of the gate - and understand that means your life likely won't look like mom & dad's right away.
- Bow down and respect the incredible power of compounding - start saving right out of school no matter how hard it hurts & how unpleasant the tradeoffs.
- Be an advocate for your own financial security - whether in the workplace or on the home front.