Welcome to 2015. We hope you are getting ready for the start of another session? Some of you have coursework to hand in while others have exams to face. Some have neither. Whichever boat you fall in, make sure you are prepared to face the term that’s ahead.
We have a lot of interesting things in store for you this year. Today however, we want to share an article we found some days ago on Christianpf.com. It is about the financial tasks you must know how to do before you graduate and it is just the kind of thing we like to talk about on the 1Plify blog.
Here are some important excerpts from that article. Read and learn . .
1) Balance a Checking Account
This is probably the most basic financial task you need to know. It’s also important to realize that online banking doesn’t remove the need to perform this task. In fact, in a real way, it’s more important to be able balance your checking account than ever before. The widespread use of debit cards, automatic debits, and online payments mean that money is going out of your bank account in all different directions. If you forget about an automatic payment, or about a couple of debit card purchases you made, you can easily overdraw your account. And even if you have overdraft protection, this is still not a good habit to get into.
You should know how to balance your checking account on a continuous basis. That means that you will be aware of charges that have been made against your account, or will be coming up soon, even before they appear in your online statement.
2) Create and maintain a budget (Live Within Your Means)
Though you may not be running a household, with all of the expenses that come with it, you do represent a financial unit all by yourself. That being the case, you should have the ability to live within your means, wherever those means are coming from. Whether you use budgeting software with or a budgeting spreadsheet, you need to come up with some sort of budgeting system that works for you.
The basic point of budgeting is to:
- Be aware of your income, including how much it is and when it typically arrives
- Know your expenses – especially recurring payments
- Balance your income and expenses, and
- Hopefully, maintain a technique to make sure your expenses don’t outrun your income.
As a college student you may not think that having a budget is important, but it actually is on at least a couple of fronts. First of all, if you have expenses, you need to have a budget – it’s that simple. A budget is a way to manage money and that’s what you’ll be doing, whether the income is from a part-time job, a summer job, your savings, student loans, or money from your parents.
3) Understand the Basics of Investing
Even if you don’t have any money to invest at all, you should still begin to learn the basics of investing. Some of those basics include:
- Learning the various investment classes, like stocks, fixed income assets, commodities, and even real estate
- Understanding the benefits of investing through funds, like mutual funds and exchange-traded funds
- The basic concept of investment diversification
- Compounding of investment returns
Learning at least the basics about investing will also help you to appreciate the importance of doing it. And that’s huge, because the sooner you begin saving and investing money, the easier and more successful it will be. If you can begin doing it as soon as you take your first job, you’ll be way ahead of most people.
4) Handle a Job Interview
Strictly speaking, handling a job interview is more about a career than it is a financial task. However, given that a career is the key to your financial life, you will need the ability to handle a job interview as a matter of financial survival.
Being able to handle a job interview is particularly important. While you can always hire someone to prepare a professional looking resume for you, you will be on your own when it comes to job interviews. Your resume might get you an interview, but it’s the interview that will determine whether or not you get the job.
It’s that important, and that’s why it’s a skill you need to begin developing and mastering now. It will help you to get jobs that you need while you’re still in school, but it will also be a skill that will help you get a career position, and that will benefit you for the rest of your life.
Even if some of these tasks don’t seem to be particularly relevant to you right now, embrace them anyway – they’ll matter soon enough.