July 9th, 2019 Revature

7 Helpful Steps Toward Financial Independence

From barbecuing hot dogs to watching fireworks light up the night sky – on Independence Day, we all celebrate differently. As fun and easy-going as July 4th is, releasing Britain’s tight grip on our freedom was not. It required determination, resilience, and most importantly, hope.

As a recent college graduate, financial independence can seem like its own battle requiring the same traits. Revature believes that just like trailblazers before you, you won’t give up, and we offer the support you need to fight for financial freedom. Although we are not a certified financial planner, we think it may be helpful to equip yourself with the following tips.

1. First thing’s first, prioritize your financial goals

What does financial independence mean to you? It could mean a mode of transportation, living with a roommate, having a pet, or just living on your own. Attempt to work on these goals one at a time by prioritizing and addressing your short term goals first.

2. Put a safe amount into savings

Depending on what curveball life throws at you, try saving 20-25% of your paycheck every month (Money Under 30.) If this amount is too large or too little for you to put away, that’s OK – figure out what works best for you. Determine the percentage you would like to save while remembering 50% of your income will most likely go towards necessities like rent, food, gas, etc.

3. Plan for retirement

It’s essential to save for retirement when you’re young. Later on in life, the last thing you will want to do is dip into personal savings. It’s suggested that 10% of your income should go towards retirement (MoneyMatters.) While 10% might sound like a small percentage, it adds up to be a healthy amount when you’re ready to retire.

4. Invest what you can

It does not cost much to eventually make millions by investing. Nerd Wallet estimates, “if you contribute 6% beginning at age 22, you’ll have over $1.2 million by 65, assuming a 7% return and annual salary increases of 3%.” If you don’t think you can put 6% away, download the free app, Acorns. This app invests the small amount of change left over from your other purchases.

5. Consider a roommate

Living alone is not always affordable. The average resident could save just under $10,000 per year by switching from living alone to living with a roommate (SmartAsset.) When rooming with someone, you aren’t just splitting the rent – you are splitting living expenses. From buying toilet paper or groceries to the monthly cable bill, costs can be cut in half.

6. Continue to learn 

No matter where you are in your education, learning never ends. Stay sharp in the business world by challenging your skillset with new projects. By being one step ahead, your income will increase when companies see your value and work ethic.

7. Work with Revature

At Revature, we strengthen your skillset beyond just teaching you how to code. We take the time to assess what’s needed to enhance your resume and experience. From having a financial advisor answer your questions to providing subsidized housing (location dependent), we help make your financial goals come to life.

Keep in mind freedom does not happen overnight. Be proud of the small accomplishments and continue moving forward. Soon enough, you will be lighting fireworks in celebration of your financial independence.