SOURCE: BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank

August 13, 2013 11:30 ET

Avoid Sitting on the Sidelines: How to Conquer Fear of Financial Life After College

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Aug 13, 2013) - BMO Harris Bank offers tips to help students plan for a financially sound future after graduating college. Students can prepare for life after graduation by setting attainable goals and creating an action plan to manage credit cards, loans, and other expenses.

  • Plan a budget: Creating a budget is a good way to organize and manage money. First, track monthly expenses and then identify items to prioritize. Next, find out which items to reduce or eliminate -- consider putting any extra money into a savings account.

  • Build work experience now: Network with as many people as possible in your field of interest before you graduate. Attend career fairs, workshops, and talk with professors to get advice on your professional goals. After taking advantage of networking opportunities, look for jobs that relate to your degree. Consider choosing an internship, part-time, or full-time position that will serve as a catalyst to help you fulfill your passion.

  • Manage credit card debt: Try to pay off your balance each month to avoid creating additional debt. Have a system to remind you to make payments on time -- making credit payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit score. Consider paying off credit cards with the highest interest rates first.

  • Get ahead of student loans: Make a plan ahead of time for how you will pay off your student loans. If you anticipate any repayment difficulties, contact your lender immediately to try to work out an agreement. In addition, you may want to consider making biweekly payments instead of monthly payments.

  • Find affordable housing: As you plan for your first house purchase, live modestly, try to save and manage funds before you make a purchase. Consider saving additional money by living with a roommate or your family.

  • Contribute to a savings account often: Check to see if your employer has a 401K with a matching program and start contributing what you can afford as soon as possible. Open a savings account and contribute what you can afford. Get in the routine of setting aside funds to help increase the value in your savings account -- online savings accounts may have some of the best yields. This savings strategy may help you develop good habits and maintain a positive outlook on your financial future.

About BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Banking products and services are provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. and are subject to bank and credit approval. BMO Harris Bank® is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank® is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and approximately $555 billion in assets (as of April 30, 2013).

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Tiffany Smith
    (312) 461-7815