7 Things High School Grads Must Do This Summer to Prepare for Life

Group of Diverse International Students Celebrating Graduation

Congratulations on graduation. Ready for life?

 

Congratulations on graduating from high school! Whoo hoo!

Since you’re graduating, you either 18 years old or about to 18 years old very soon. That means that you are, or will be, legally an adult. It’s time to think about starting your financial empire. Below, you’ll find 7 financial things high school graduates must do this summer:

Check Your Credit Report
It’s imperative that each graduate get a print out of their credit report from each of the “Big 3” credit reporting agencies. The government has passed a law that makes our credit reports available once a year for free from www.AnnualCreditReport.com. This is the only site that will provide a copy of your credit report at no cost to you, from each of the “Big 3”, once a year. You will not get your credit scores though; scores are computed through separate companies.

Tip: Nothing in life is free. Any company offering you a free credit report and/or score is more than likely trying to sell you a monthly credit monitoring service. Read the fine print.

 

Figure Out How Much College Will Cost
Whatever college you choose, it’s important that you understand how much the total cost of your degree will be. Consider the costs of tuition, books, dorm fees, and any other monies you’ll have to pay. Take a look at estimates fees per semester and then multiple that by eight semesters, perhaps ten semesters if your school is impacted. Once you see the costs in terms of tens of thousands of dollars it might make you a little more motivated to be responsible with your money. Apply for as many scholarships and grants as possible because you don’t have to pay those back. When you take out loans not only will you have to pay the money back, you’ll have to pay it back with interest.

Tip: Look for opportunities to make small financial changes that make a big difference. Buying used textbooks can save you hundreds over four years.

 

Consider the Return on Investment
You are going to make some decisions in the next year or two that will be the foundation for your life. Don’t make decisions based on your emotions or what your friends are doing; look at the return on investment. If you are spending money on something, it’s because you are expecting to get some kind of benefit. If you choose to attend an Ivy League university you expect to command top salary at a major fortune 500 company. If you choose to attend a community college it’s because you want to save a few dollars on your foundation classes. Did you know that you can attend a community college, transfer as a junior to a university and no one will know? You’ll cut your college expenses by half and end up with the classes you need. You must consider the return on investment with any purchase and paying for college is a big one.

Tip: If you’re undecided about a purchase, sleep on it. Never make a decision in a hurry.

 

10-Things-2nd-Edition-Book-Cover-FRONT-

Save 30%. Buy now.

Create a Spending Plan
Writing things down is good. I’m sure you have a general idea of how much money you’re expecting from jobs, financial aid, etc., but unless you have a written plan to spend it the money will pass through your account and you’ll have no idea what happened to it. Have you ever taken $20 out of the ATM and the next day you have no idea how you spent it? Research studies have proved that writing down your goals makes it easier to achieve them. When I want coaching clients to focus on spending, I ask them to write down the financial goal on a Post-It Note and stick it onto their debit card or credit card. The same thing works with writing a spending plan. Knowing how much money you want to spend in each category will help you stay on track.

Tip: making the plan before you actually have the money is the key to putting the spending plan into action.

 

Move Your Money
Visit www.aSmarterChoice.org to find a credit union in your area. Credit unions are financial institutions that offer the same products and services as traditional banks, but they are not-for-profit. The only purpose of credit unions is to serve the community; each credit union member loans money to the other members so loan interest rates are usually lower than a bank. Pretty soon you’ll want to purchase a car and in the not-too-distant future, a home. Credit unions tend to be smaller, offer more personalized service, and offer better rates on loans so having a relationship is a good thing. Moving your checking and savings account to a credit union could potentially save you thousands of dollars over your lifetime.

Tip: Search for a financial institution that is a good fit for you, don’t just choose whatever your parents have.

 

Start an Emergency Fund
Ever heard of Murphy’s Law? It states, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. It’s up to you to make sure that you have at least $500 in an Emergency Fund at your credit union or bank because there will always be something that you need money for unexpectedly. Having at least $500 in an account that you can have access to when times are rough might be the difference between having to borrow from a family member or take out a cash advance loan or being able to borrow from your stash and go on about life without being a hindrance to anyone. Start by opening a money market account at your credit union or bank and then add $20 a week to the account until you have at least $500.

Tip: Don’t touch it unless it really is an emergency.

 

Open a Retirement Account
Did you know that investing $5 a day will make you a millionaire by retirement? You read that correctly, investing just $5 a day in an average performing mutual fund account that returns 9% a year (industry average is 10%) will put $1.3 million in your pocket. The first step is to find a mutual fund company that will let you open a no-load Individual Retirement Account (IRA) with no money as long as you contribute at least $50 a month. Put your money in an account that’s not too risky and not too safe. You have a long time horizon so don’t be scared to invest more in stocks, but you have to be able to sleep at night. A fee-only advisor can help you determine how comfortable with risk you are and suggest some mutual funds to you. The process is as easy as filling out a one page application and sending in your credit union or bank checking account information. The second step is to commit to adding at least $50 a month to the account. The third step is to watch your account become fatter every month.

Tip: Set up the account so that the money is added to the retirement account automatically every month from your checking account. Add at least $150 per month to reach that million with no sweat.

 

Graduation-Caps-Gowns-Hashtag.fw

 

In case you’d like to find out more financial information, you can order 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money from Amazon or directly from the author through PayPal. Happy summer!

 

10-Things-2nd-Edition-Book-Cover-FRONT-

buynow-orange-2

 

Like this article? Register to get more just like it!

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Email Address *

First Name *

Last Name

City *

I am a *

Student
Parent of a student
Youth educator
Adult
Other

Email Format

  • html
  • text

Start Small Think Big Conference

Shay at the Start Small Think Big Conference in Los Angeles.

Shay at the Start Small Think Big Conference in Los Angeles.

Guess what I did yesterday? I presented at the Start Small Think Big Conference in Los Angeles! I was fortunate to work with South LA Saves and a host of other wonderful non-profits, businesses and organizations to provide financial education to the south Los Angeles community.

Speakers included:

Dawnneisha Smith from the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs

Shay Olivarria of Bigger Than Your Block

Deborah Perez of New York Life

Martha Maldonado of  California Credit Union

Deborah Der of Edward Jones

Wilson Lee, a certified financial planner

The event was hosted by Zaneta Smith.

Besides speakers there were informational tables and the winners from the poster contest were announced!

Students were instructed to draw a photo about being a super saver.

Students were instructed to draw a photo about being a super saver.

Each winner received a recognition award, a monetary prize and a piggy bank (provided by Bigger Than Your Block) with separate compartments for saving, investing, spending and charity.

The winners of the poster contest at the Start Small Think Big Conference from South LA Saves.

The winners of the poster contest at the Start Small Think Big Conference from South LA Saves.

 

Disclosure: Bigger Than Your Block is a South LA Saves partner.

 

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, NBC Latino and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com

Seniors Get Financial Education at Western HS in Las Vegas

Financial education speaker and author Shay Olivarria with WHS teacher and SCE representative after a day of workshops at Western High School in Las Vegas, NV for SCE Credit Union.

Financial education speaker and author Shay Olivarria with WHS teacher and SCE representative after a day of workshops at Western High School in Las Vegas, NV for SCE Credit Union.

How  awesome is it to be able to do something that you love and get paid for it? Friday, May 10th Financial Education Speaker & Author Shay Olivarria was in Las Vegas speaking to more than 200 Seniors at Western High School about personal finance for SCE Credit Union Foundation.

High school students in Nevada are required to receive financial education and most take part in an online course, however there is no substitute for the interaction and feedbackloop of working with a live person.

Financial Education Speaker & Author Shay Olivarria talking about compound interest to Seniors at Western High School in Las Vegas, NV for SCE Credit Union.

Financial Education Speaker & Author Shay Olivarria talking about compound interest to Seniors at Western High School in Las Vegas, NV for SCE Credit Union.

During each hour long workshop students learned about the difference between credit unions and banks, the need to pay yourself first, what compound interest is and how it works, the parts of a credit score and credit cards, specifically the CARD Act and why paying the minimum payment on your credit card debt is problematic.

 

If you’d like to hire Shay to speak with your group, call (323) 596-1843.

10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, NBC Latino and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com

Shay Olivarria Quoted on FoxBusiness.com

Financial education speaker and author Shay Olivarria was quoted about credit unions on FoxBusiness.com.

As you know, Shay Olivarria and Bigger Than Your Block have always been huge advocates of credit unions. If you are thinking about moving from a traditional bank to a credit union, here’s an article to help you think through your options. Want the short version? Read Shay’s quote below:

Many credit unions have programs to coach you through saving, reducing debt, saving for short-term and intermediate goals, and investing for retirement, says Shay Olivarria, author of “10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money.”

“Not only will they help you get where you want to be, you’ll understand how you got there and why it’s important to stay there,” Olivarria says.

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, NBC Latino and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com

3 Reasons to Buy Money Matters

Order Money Matters on Amazon.com

If you are looking to make some changes and get on track financially, Money Matters by Shay Olivarria is the book for you. There is a check-up for where you are with your financial goals. The book addresses savings; short term and long term. It tells you how to set up retirement accounts, investments, and how NOT to get into deep debt. This is great for those beginning their journey into the real world. Also, for those that have already messed up, Olivarria has steps on how to get back on track.

Olivarria creates a great guide for you to create your own individual plan to get out of debt and on the track to financial freedom. She states that you have to be patient and consistent. It is never too late to turn it around. I suggest you gift this book to college graduates. It is straight to the point and interactive.

This book was provided courtesy of the author for review.

DCSquared

 

#1 You want to know more about personal finance, but you’re not sure where or how to begin.

We all want to make better financial decisions. The challenge is that sometimes we’re not sure what to do or we have hard decisions to make where both options seem like bad ideas. We get so caught up in running from day to day that we forget that we can make changes if we take a moment to plan instead of react. Money Matters was written with that in mind. The very first worksheet is one page long and helps you see the bigger picture by asking a few simple questions.

#2 You are intimidated by personal finance jargon.

Have you ever tried to read a personal finance book or spoke with someone in the financial services industry and you didn’t understand what they were saying? Me too! Personal finance is not complicated, but it’s easy to make it seem complicated by using industry jargon. Money Matters is written clearly. I don’t try to confuse the reader by making things sound harder than they are. That’s why media outlets across the country have quoted me and asked me to write for them. I make money management simple.


#3 You want to know what you need to know to make things change.

Take a look at the Table of Contents from Money Matters in the image above. This book covers “just the facts ma’am”. There are tons of books that do into depth about any area of personal finance that you might be interested in. This is not that book. Money Matters is a bare-bones, simple read with worksheets to help you make good decisions about money. The book covers net worth, retirement planning, paying off debt, managing your credit score, payday loans, rapid tax refunds, and even saving money on your groceries.

 

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, NBC Latino and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com

100 Free Books

Get 100 copies of this book for free for your students.

 

Get your bonus today!

Sign the contract before June 30th to bring Shay Olivarria

to speak on your college campus & receive 100 copies of her book

10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money as a bonus!

Visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com to find out more about

financial education speaker Shay Olivarria. Watch videos.

Read testimonials. Book workshops.

Book with another college

and both colleges save.*

Shay’s been quoted on:

         

 

*Both colleges must have workshop scheduled within 7 days of each other.

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com

Improving Every Year

Abby Ulm, Foundation Manager at SCE Federal Credit Union, and Shay Olivarria at the Los Angeles Federal Reserve during a field trip with local high school students.

More great news! SCE Federal Credit Union Foundation (now the Center for Financial Empowerment) works with several high schools around the San Gabriel Valley and in the 2012 National Financial Capabilities Challenge 24 of the 415 students nationwide (that’s about 6% of ALL the students across the nation) were students that SCE Federal Credit Union Foundation worked with!

In 2012,  35 schools in California took the challenge (that’s about 67% of all schools in California) and the students that SCE FCU Foundation worked with scored really well. In fact, there was an increase of students that scored in the top 20% in year two.

In 2011, the SCE FCU Foundation had 10 students that scored in the top 20%. This year that number increased to 24 students. That’s more than 100% increase!  There were:

12 students from Baldwin Park High School

7 students from Duarte High School

5 students from Colony High School

 

Congrats to all the students and the team at the SCE Federal Credit Union Foundation!