College graduates need these 10 ‘inflation-proof’ career tips and the money now
It’s graduation season – and that means millions of college graduates are ready to enter the job market now or very soon.
This year’s graduates will enter the labor market and an economy that has been hit hard by inflation.
While the idea may be intimidating to some, career experts and personal finance gurus share smart tips for college graduates that are worth listening to closely.
FOX Business has collected 10 smart tips from leading industry professionals.
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Here’s what they say today’s fresh college graduates should know and do after earning their diplomas.
1. Student loan review
“It’s a good idea to take a dip in the student debt review,” said Sarah Parrish, president of CampusDoor, a Pennsylvania-based loan creation solutions company.
“Start by reviewing your statements carefully, so you can get things under control early,” Parish said.
“You should write down your services, lenders, due dates and monthly payment amounts,” she said.
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“Once you have a solid inventory of what you owe and who you owe, you should then dive into your online statements or accounts to understand all of your interest rates.”
“Start by carefully reviewing your statements, so you can get things under control early.”
When conducting a review of student loan interest rates, Parrish advised recent graduates to compare them with the current rates offered by refinancing lenders. This way, they can refinance at a lower rate, especially for private loans.
2. Elimination of debt
“Keep on living like a college student,” said Dave Ramsey, founder of Tennessee-based personal financial advisory and wealth creation, and host of The Ramsey Show.
“Chances are, you’re not making money for the grown-ups yet. So don’t go buy a new car or a new house,” Ramsay, author of the eight bestselling books, told FOX Business.
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He advised recent college graduates: “Instead, get yourself out of debt.”
“Get seven jobs, sell things online, and do whatever it takes to pay off your student loans and any other consumer debt you’ve accumulated.” “The faster you get out of debt, the faster your life will be,” he added.
3. Build a budget
“Trying to negotiate a salary without knowing how much you need to earn is like trying to build a house without looking at plans before ordering materials,” said Josh Simpson, investment advisor at Lake Advisory Group at Lady Lake, Florida.
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“Before you even start a job interview, budget so you know how much you’ll need to be able to support yourself,” he continued.
4. Give priority to the path
“Don’t take the job that pays you the best — take the job that prepares you for the future you want,” said Ken Coleman, professional coach at Ramsey Solutions and host of The Ken Coleman Show.
Coleman also recommended that recent graduates learn how to budget, so they can “live on less” than they earn.
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“Those two decisions will give you a competitive advantage,” Coleman said.
5. Be willing to do hard work
“Currently, US unemployment is at a historic low of 3.6%, and there are two job openings available for everyone looking for one,” said Sankar Sharma, founder and investment authority at RiskRewardReturn.com.
It is a private business and investment advisory resource based in the United Kingdom
“Good character takes you to great heights.”
“This is the best year to graduate,” he added. Meanwhile, everyone should watch out for inflation and rising food and energy prices.
“Good behavior takes you to great heights. It is important that you demonstrate a desire to learn, enthusiasm for hard work, exhibit a ‘can do’ and ‘will do’ attitude, and go above and beyond your employer all expectations will give you great success and career development.”
Additional tips he gave recent graduates to “taming the inflation tigers” include subtracting up to 10% of their salaries to “invest and make money work in the markets” or put a lump sum into Series 1 savings bonds, which earn interest and are inflation-protected, according to US Treasury Department.
“Close it for at least a year,” Sharma said.
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“Series 1 savings bonds pay more interest than the current rate of inflation and this is the simplified way to beat inflation.”
6. Negotiate salaries, even if they are entry-level
“Don’t be afraid to negotiate your salary,” said Kristen Myers, New York-based editor-in-chief at The Balance, a personal finance site.
“You might think that as you get older and inexperienced, you are not in a position to demand more money, but [it’s better to] Get in the habit of negotiating salary increases and promotions now rather than later,” Myers continued.
“The salary you earn now will affect the salaries you earn tomorrow.”
7. Think about retirement and beyond
“Start saving and investing now, even if it’s $20 a week or a few hundred dollars a month, not just for retirement, but also for big events on the road, like buying a house or a boat, or saving for a wedding — you’re saving for a wedding,” said Michael Ashley Shulman, Partner. The founder and chief investment officer of Running Point Capital Advisors, a California-based portfolio management firm, “can do this with a bank or investment account.”
Shulman also said, “If your company doesn’t offer a 401K retirement plan, open an IRA and try to start by putting at least 6% of your regular salary into retirement savings.”
“You want your purchases to increase your happiness, not burden you.”
“I realize that retirement may seem a long way off for a recent college graduate, but the compounding effects of savings and investing in the long run are very favorable.”
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He added that recent college graduates can consult financial advisors if they need guidance. They should make sure to avoid high-interest debts such as payday lenders and credit cards.
“You want your purchases to increase your happiness, not burden you,” said Shulman.
8. Ask about discounts
“Contact providers and ask for lower rates or costs,” said Lauren Anastasio, director of financial advisory at Philadelphia-based Stash, a personal finance app designed specifically for novice investors.
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“If you have a credit card balance, call the card company and ask them to lower your rate. Often they can do that at no cost,” Anastasio said.
“The same goes for insurance providers, cable and cell phone providers, etc., who can lower your expenses.”
9. Write down the benefits of financial wellness
“College graduates should pay attention not only to the starting salary or signing bonus, but also to the broader financial wellness benefits companies offer,” said Edward Gottfried, product manager at Betterment at Work, a Texas-based employee benefits company.
“This can include benefits such as a 401(k) or 401(k) matching program, student loan management programs, a health benefits paycheck, a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or a Health Savings Account (HSA),” Gottfried.
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“While accessing these benefits may not sound quite as exciting as receiving your first paycheck, it cannot be underestimated when considering how to set yourself up for long-term financial success in life.”
He continued, “Make sure you sign up and take advantage of the financial wellness benefits – or else you’ll be leaving free money on the table.”
10. Consider high-income industries
Nathan Fort, certified financial planner and founder of Texas-based Vital Retirement Planners, an investment advisory service.
“Stay valuable and get well compensated.”
“For example, searching for career opportunities in energy, information technology, and real estate may give you the upper hand over jobs in consumer discretionary sectors such as high-end apparel, entertainment and automobiles,” he continued.
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“Make yourself valuable to the world – and you will be well compensated for it.”
Regardless of which job sector recent graduates choose, Fort said it’s in everyone’s best interest to fill their minds with information relevant to their field and skill set.
“Keep your value and get a good compensation,” he said.