What They Didn't Teach You In School

"When you know better, you do better." Maya Angelou

By: Daniella Saldana, Staff Writer, The Memo

With all of the graduations happening over the last few months, it got me thinking about my own school experience and how there are so many essential things they just don't teach you in school. Here are a few tips, especially for new grads.

1.Have a Savings Account and SAVE: Armed with our newly earned degrees, we're told to start saving the moment we get our first jobs out of college. Unfortunately, sometimes life happens, and even with a job, many feel like they don't make enough to save. According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2014 many millennials were saving at a rate of negative 2%, spending much more than they saved. If an emergency were to happen now, would you have enough money to cover it? Learn to put some money aside with every paycheck, even if a small amount, to add to your savings account. Save now, be thankful later. Your future self will thank you.

2.Build Up Your Credit: Building good credit is important, especially if you ever want to get an apartment, a house, a car, or a loan. It's a way of letting bankers, landlords, or lenders know if you’re dependable and can pay off your debts. So what’s a good credit score? The range starts from 300 to 800. Anything over 700 is considered good/excellent. And anything below 550 ..is..not..so great.

So how do you build your credit? Usually a good start is by getting a credit card, and being responsible with it. Make sure to do your research first to determine all the bank's terms and rate.

3.Ensure You Have Healthcare: So this one is a tricky one, mostly because of what’s currently going on in the government, but do NOT let that discourage you. Your health is important, and you shouldn’t be afraid of going to the doctor because you don't think you can afford the bill. Before accepting a job offer, take into account whether or not they have a health insurance plan. For many recent grads, check with your parents to see if you could still be under their insurance. If not, consider looking into alternative insurance companies that offer low payment plans.

4.Learn to Network: Networking has never been more important. You never know the value of a good connection. Always seek opportunities that are relevant to you/your field and be grateful for advice from others. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and exchange information -- usually people are more than happy to help. Make sure to give as much as you get, and pay it forward when you are able.

5.Plan for Retirement: This advice is also tied to the first tip. If you begin to save early, then retirement planning will become easier. Check to see if your new company offers a retirement plan (401k, 403b, etc.), and start contributing to it. Merrill Edge offers some other good tips here. Lastly, consider saving more by budgeting so you can still live life and indulge every once in a while. The best budgeting system I’ve come across recently is the 50-30-20. 50% for your needs (bills, rent, groceries), 30% for wants (eating out, hanging with friends, etc.), and 20% for savings.

If you invest time and effort now in the tips above, the older you will thank you. Here's to a great week!

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” - Oprah Winfrey