Bethany Welsh

Aug 09 2017

7 Tips to Creating Good Financial Habits


good-financial-habits-when-starting-out

As a young adult, whether you are starting college or beginning a career, you are starting to enjoy your freedom while acquiring assets. It’s crucial to establish good saving and borrowing habits, and the following tips will help you.

Find a Mentor: Years ago, most professions started out with an apprenticeship while workers learned a trade. Today, a mentor has a similar role as an experienced professional with a career you admire. Develop friendships with a colleague at work, someone you meet at a conference, or a professional associate in your field who can become your advisor and help with challenges as you grow in your career. Be sure that your mentor never feels taken for granted. Take them out for lunch, send them thank you cards, and give them positive feedback about advice they have given.

Continued Education. It’s important to continue growing after landing your first job, keep up on with the latest technology and sharpen your skills. You can enroll at your local college or online, join professional associations, and attend conferences in your career field. Continued professional development will aid in a successful career.

Learn to Budget. There are several online resources that offer budgeting tools. A simple Internet search will allow you to compare different budgeting tools so you can find one that is best for you. Start by identifying your current expenditures, track them, then create goals that take into account your long-term financial objectives. A smart budget will help you build your emergency fund and save for your future. We can help you budget and manage your entire financial picture within Hills Bank Online banking, under the Manage my Finances tab.

Time Is on Your Side. Even though you are probably at a starting wage, time is on your side. Through compounding interest, the earlier you start saving, the more you will have for retirement, even if you are not contributing large amounts of money. If your employer offers a retirement plan, sign up at the earliest opportunity. If your employer doesn’t have a retirement plan, utilize Individual Retirement Accounts* (IRAs), Roth IRAs, or other savings vehicles to start saving for your retirement.

Basic Estate Planning* and Insurance Documents. Now that you have income and are starting to build wealth, you should work with a financial planner and estate planning attorney to draft a will, general durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and a living will. You should also meet with an insurance specialist to make sure you are adequately covered.

*Investment products are not a deposit, not FDIC insured, not insured by any federal government agency, carry no bank guarantee, and may go down in value.

Rethink Social Media. When looking at your social media accounts, view them through the eyes of a potential employer. Many times employers do an Internet search on job applicants before they hire. Do an Internet search on yourself, and you may be surprised at what pops up. Is this the online brand you want for yourself? If not, clean up anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see, and lock down those social media sites to close friends and family. Use your LinkedIn account to network and make connections. Need help? Visit the LinkedIn Learning Center to learn about profiles, find out how to get a new job, and make meaningful connections with other professionals.

Discover a Healthy Work/Life Balance. Sure you have to pay your dues when you are learning a new job, but all work and no play is a way to burn out fast. Even though it’s hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, getting the minimum amount recommended each week pays big dividends. Exercise can help boost your mood, expend built-up energy, allow better quality of sleep, and increase your energy level by making you more alert—and will keep you healthier so you pay less for medical bills down the road.

Another way to keep a healthy work/life balance is to explore hobbies and activities you are passionate about. Maybe you enjoy volunteering, or have always had an interest in theatre. Now is the time to do those things. Find ways to give back to your community on the Live Local page of HillsBank.com. There are also many community theatre groups in the area that you can get involved in. Visit HillsBank.com/LiveLocal and explore potential hobbies such as biking/hiking trails, community clubs, recreational leagues, and start expanding your social reach with family and friends.

What’s your favorite tip and which will you implement first? Let us know in the comments below!

Bethany Welsh

About Bethany Welsh

Bethany Welsh is a Treasury Management Officer at Hills Bank’s Iowa City location on Gilbert Street. She has been with Hills Bank since 2014 helping business owners with their deposit and cash management needs to help them be as productive and efficient as possible within their business operations. Bethany is a Chamber Ambassador through the Iowa City Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at bethany_welsh@hillsbank.com.


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