New to the Finance World? 6 Tips to Get You Started

man sitting on a table

By Jason DeGarmo, District Manager– Fond du Lac, Marine Credit Union

Amazingly enough, personal finance has not become a required curriculum in high schools or colleges and young adults are left to fend for themselves when it comes to managing their finances once they enter the real world. Use these tips to help get you started in the right direction:

  1. Pay yourself first. – It’s important to start saving for your future early and often. On the first day of any job you will likely be asked about a 401K contribution. If you can, start with 10% and forget about it. The magic of compounding interest will allow this retirement savings to grow significantly over time. Additionally, determine a percentage of your net income to automatically transfer into a savings account each month.
  1. Keep track of your spending. – When money gets tight, and it inevitably will, everyone must tighten their budget. If you don’t know where you are spending your money, how can you know where you can trim back? If you can look at your budget in retrospect a few times a year it will allow you to analyze your spending and make necessary adjustments.
  1. Have an emergency fund. – Unexpected things happen: an appliance will stop working, your car will break down or you will encounter a health issue. By putting a small amount of money into an emergency fund each month you will be able to avoid using high interest rate credit cards to pay for these unexpected expenses.
  1. Learn self-control. – You don’t always need the newest iPhone, newest car or a fresh, new pair of shoes. Plan ahead for large expenses and don’t purchase them until you can pay for them. Give yourself a predetermined disposable budget each month you can spend. Once you spend it, you’re done.
  1. Take care of your health. – According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the average American spent $11,212 on healthcare in 2018. This number is expected to exceed $14,000 by 2023. We all have control over managing this expense by taking good care of our personal health. This included a consistent workout routine, regular doctor visits and making healthy eating choices.
  1. Build your credit AND your savings. – Poor or no credit can be a major damper on the things you want in life. Everything from getting a car, renting an apartment and even applying for a job can involve a credit check. If your credit score is poor or you have no credit, you’ll have a difficult time getting those things. Worse yet, it may come at a big cost. Marine Credit Union offers an exclusive product called Get Credit. Its simple…..just set a savings goal, make on-time monthly payments to a secure account and watch your credit AND your savings grow in just one year. To learn more or to get started visit

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