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Financial Basics: A Money Management Guide for Students

7 Financial Literacy Gifts You Can Give to A HS Graduate

High School students are having virtual, abbreviated, drive by and partial graduation ceremonies. More important than graduating is being prepared for this next stage of life, whether it is college, the military, work, apprentiship or otherwise.

No matter what comes next, financial literacy and being able to balance earnings, and money with life is essential.

SECU, a credit union in Maryland recently shared its gift ideas in support of financial literacy and wellness as part of their ongoing commitment to enable the financial well-being of the communities in which they serve.

Here are its 7 tips on how you, yes you, can help impart financial literacy with a new Class of 2020 High School graduate:

  1. Write a personalized note on the inside cover of a helpful finance book that offers basic personal finance knowledge.  SECU’s top reading recommendations include:

  2. A year of budgeting software to help the recent graduate better understand their income and expenses so they have a more complete picture of their cash flow and can better identify and articulate their needs.

    Here are some free ones with upgrades and in app purchases:

    • Mint is an all-in-one resource that allows you to make budgets, track spending, pay bills and keep track of your investment portfolio
    • Clarity Money allows you to set savings goals, make budgets, check your credit score, and track your spending.
    • Albert analyzes your finances, spending habits and savings goals and creates a plan based on them.
    • You Need a Budget – Gives you a “job” for every dollar so you know exactly howmuch you have available for purchases.
    • Wally allows you to track your daily, weekly, and monthly expenses against your overall income to see where money is coming in and going out.
    • Acorns saves money automatically by rounding up purchases on linked accounts and moves the differences into savings.
    • Prism is a streamline bill payment system that shows all account balances, bills and payments to creditors in one platform
    • Digit tracks all your loans in one place, along with your payment due dates and debt amounts
    • Settle up keeps track of your shared expenses to show all money owed and who you should pay next
  3. Help jumpstart the recent graduate’s emergency fund so they aren’t tempted to turn to pricier financial cushions in an emergency, such as credit cards.

4. Offer to pay down a debt such as making a payment or set amount of payments towards their student loan or their highest interest credit card.

5. Designate a cash gift that can be used to help them create a retirement account. Thanks to compound interest, it’s the gift that will continue to grow well into the future.
6. Give a financial contribution that can be used to create an investment fund or that can be added towards an existing fund.

7. Become a mentor to help the graduate transition from school to the workforce and to support them in their job search.

It’s never too late or early to start being more financially literate!