Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

So you graduated. Now what?

SSLqYou have to grow up financially pretty quickly'

  • Print

When 22-year-old Cole Finnbogason graduated from Western University in June and landed a job, he celebrated in his own way.

He didn't splurge his first paycheque on buying a car or a new suit. Instead, one of the Richard Ivey honours business administration graduate's first stops was his bank, where he met with an account manager to map out a financial plan.

"I knew I was going to have a regular paycheque coming in, so I wanted to make sure I made the most of it," said Finnbogason, who works as a lecturer at his alma mater in London, Ont.

"When I was in school, my finances were more about getting by and less about how financially sound I was. Now that I'm in the real world, it's a major priority for me."

But not all young Canadians take the same steps after landing their first job.

For many recent graduates fortunate enough to get hired in today's tough labour market, suddenly earning a salary tempts people to spend, spend, spend, simply because they didn't have the luxury to do so before.

It may be an exciting time, but if young adults aren't careful during this crucial transition from student life to adulthood, it's easy to develop bad habits -- and dig yourself into a huge financial mess, said Alim Dhanji, a certified financial planner at Assante Financial Management in Vancouver.

"It's a whole new world," Dhanji said.

"It's challenging, because students are not used to having to make a budget or worry about finances.

"You have to grow up financially pretty quickly."

Part of that growing-up process usually means going from living off student loans to suddenly having to organize personal finances to work toward meeting financial goals.

It's a time when goals such as paying off debt, saving up for a house or a wedding, or starting a business comes into focus, Dhanji said.

One of the biggest mistakes Dhanji sees young adults make when starting to bring home the bacon is the accumulation of more debt. "It's easy to get caught up with society, which encourages us to spend more money and take on debt," he said.

As a first step, create a budget and distinguish between what you need and what you want.

Think about your top goals for the next five years and beyond and decide which purchases fit into your plan, says Mike Henry, Bank of Nova Scotia's senior vice-president and head of retail payments, deposits and lending.

That may mean tracking spending with tools as simple as writing down every purchase in a notebook, to creating a computer spreadsheet.

Cole Finnbogason, for one, uses budgeting websites and mobile apps such as Mint.com .

The online service helps organize all of his financial accounts in one place, allows him to set targets, make a budget and track his own spending.

"I've noticed I'm spending less on recreational stuff and going out with friends," Finnbogason said. "I always tried my best to put money away, but now I feel I do it even more so with full-time employment."

Henry also recommends people who are just starting work to check their wallet: Are you holding onto a childhood savings account that no longer suits your needs?

Is your credit or debit card right for you, and is it giving anything back?

"Look into cards that offer rewards for your everyday spending, such as Scotiabank's SCENE debit and credit cards, which allow you to earn rewards for free movies," Henry said.

"As you hit adulthood, there are a broader array of services that you can take advantage of. You have to make sure that as the complexity of life goes up, so does the relevance of your financial solutions."

-- The Financial Post

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 23, 2012 B8

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Photo Store Gallery

  • KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / Jan 10  2011 ‚Äì WEB STDUP ‚Äì Frosty morning at -15 degrees C , in pic frost covers the the Nellie McClung statue  on the MB Legislature grounds at 7am
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Now that the snow is mostly gone, what are your plans?

View Results

Ads by Google