Being Single and Starting Out

You’re young, single and starting out in your career. And with a full-time job comes a steady paycheck and the opportunity — finally! — to pursue the lifestyle you desire. It’s an exciting time, filled with possibilities. And decisions you make today can enhance or diminish your financial well-being and future opportunities. Some important steps you can take:

Establish a budget

  • Keep track of what you spend each month for living expenses, including rent, utilities, food, and household and personal items.
  • Consider what other new expenses you might have, such as clothes for work, furniture for an apartment, and transportation.
  • Be sure to include any payments you make on debts such as student loans.
  • Strive to budget a minimum of 10 percent of your income per month for saving and investing.

Manage debt wisely

It’s a good time to begin establishing credit in your own name, and you’ll likely receive a number of tempting “low introductory rate” credit-card offers. But the long-term consequences of credit card debt can be severe when you “max out” your credit-card limit, the introductory rate expires, and you make only the minimum required monthly payment.

Similarly, a new car is often one of the first major purchases an individual makes. But consider the cost not only of monthly payments, but insurance and maintenance as well, before you buy.

Save for a rainy day … and stormy weather

Saving for a planned purchase can help you avoid the pitfalls of credit-card debt. But regular saving can also help you weather the unexpected, like a job loss, medical crisis, major car repair or other expense. A common rule of thumb is to set aside enough money to cover three months of living expenses.

Invest for retirement

When it comes to planning for retirement, the sooner the better. And even though retirement may be decades away, consistently investing — through a company-sponsored 401(k) plan or individual retirement account — can help you move ever closer to your retirement goals through the power of compounding.

Talk to a qualified Financial Advisor

Through knowledgeable advice and a personalized financial plan, a First Command Financial Advisor can help you as you begin your financial journey — with solutions for building up your financial resources, reducing debt, managing financial risk and planning for your future. To learn more, contact a trusted First Command Financial Advisor today.

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