5 tips to help grads start on the right financial footing


(BPT) - For recent high school and college graduates, these life transitions often bring dramatic change — as well as opportunities to learn and grow. As young adults embark on these milestones, learning how to handle their own finances is key. While a great way to learn these skills is by doing, it pays to have a little help along the way.

To support recent grads navigating their increasing independence, here are tips to help them develop good financial habits as they pursue their educational goals, begin their career, and beyond.

1. Talk it out

One of the best things you can do is be open to having candid conversations about money. As parents, discussing the challenges, accomplished goals and pitfalls of finances with kids who are becoming adults can be hugely impactful. Don't shy away from sharing your own mistakes, explaining what you learned from them, and letting them see that the financial journey doesn't come easily to everyone — with or without mistakes. Help them talk through their money decisions and discuss financial goals they want to set.

If you're a recent grad embarking on your own for the first time, decisions about where to live and how to manage your money can be overwhelming. Don't be afraid to reach out to parents or other trusted family members who may have advice and guidance to help you navigate these new experiences.

2. Use tools designed for young people

Financial tools and resources, including checking accounts, can help high school students, college students and recent grads manage their money with confidence.

  • Chase High School Checking is an account with tools and resources for students aged 13-17 that is co-owned by the parent to provide oversight and monitoring, with no monthly service fee.
  • Chase College Checking is created for students aged 17-24, giving them the confidence they'll need to help manage their money independently, again with no monthly service fee up to the graduation date.

Both checking account options can help high school and college students gain financial independence while teaching them how to budget, save and spend wisely. Plus they come with the benefit of having direct deposit, to receive and monitor funds more easily while tracking expenses each month.

Young person using mobile app to deposit a check.

3. Consolidate money tools

If you're just getting started with using online budgeting tools and trackers, it's tempting to download all of the latest apps to help, but learning how to budget and manage money is easier and more convenient if you do all those things through one app rather than using multiple to keep track of your money.

Chase student checking accounts offer account alerts, the ability to track spending, plus use Zelle® to quickly send and receive funds with friends, among other helpful services — all in one place, the Chase Mobile® app.

4. Track income and spending

Teaching your recent grad how to monitor how much money they're earning, plus tracking where and how they're spending, is vital as they begin living more independently. It's crucial to understand the difference between needs versus wants, some of the basics of budgeting, to help establish these habits early in life and better prepare them for future financial stability.

5. Enjoy today while planning the future

Today's generation is on-the-go and action-oriented, hoping to leave the world better than they found it. They are often focused on a future they may sometimes doubt. Similarly, much of what you do today is in the hope of a better future. Even steps that may seem small or unimportant truly add up — like saving for an emergency fund or other future financial goals. Staying focused on long-term goals or establishing the routine of healthy habits will make the seeds being planted today lead to growth in the future.

Explore more tips, financial resources and tools at chase.com/studentbanking.

Young man taking a selfie on campus.

Bank deposit accounts, such as checking and savings, are subject to approval.

Chase Mobile® app is available for select mobile devices. Message and data rates may apply.

Zelle and the Zelle related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.

Deposit products provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.