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Early Career

You're just starting out in your career. You have time to build wealth. Most important, start early.

Young Female Teacher Outside With Students Learning

Save Now, High-Five Your Future Self.

Getting started early can make all the difference later on.

Getting Started The Right Way

Sure, you're out of school and on your own. Maybe you're even making pretty good money. It's tempting to spend it when you're young and free. But others have bravely gone before us, and their wisdom whispers a little secret in our ears, "Save as much as you"

How Much is Enough?

It's hard to know an exact number, especially early in your career. But you should save as much as you can and remember that KPERS and Social Security won't be enough when it's time to retire.

There is Power in Starting Early

The difference in starting your saving early vs waiting later in life is dramatic. Don't just take our word for it, check online and other retirement resources.

Saving early in your career (video)

How Do I Save?

There are many different ways to save, to figure out what is the best method for you consider speaking to a financial advisor. A financial advisor will be able to guide and educate you on your options for saving money. KPERS 457 | Other employer plans | IRA

Have you been giving your credit cards a real workout? Has all the swiping given you "tennis elbow" and the threat of crushing debt? Don't give up! Three simple steps to crush debt:

Stop Using Credit Cards

Don't risk adding additional debt to your credit cards.

Make a Payoff Plan

Debt with the highest interest rate comes first.

Consider a Cash Budget

Cash can't be used for online purchases.

Student loans looming over head like a last-minute term paper? Should you pay off students loans or save for retirement, or both? Start by looking at your student loan interest rates.

Over 6%

Consider making more than the minimum payment, cutting the time you're paying the high rate. Leave a little for retirement savings. Remember, you're in your savings prime!

5% - 6%

Thinking about splitting it. Lets say you have $100 left after a minimum loan payment and minimum retirement contribution. Put $50 toward the loan and $50 in savings.

Under 5%

With a low rate, it makes more sense to make a minimum payment and put more in retirement savings to take advantage of your prime saving age.

If you establish and keep good credit now, you can save big money by qualifying for low loan rates down the road.

  • Establish credit as early as you can responsibly manage it.
  • Pay bills on time. Even tiny unpaid bills can do big damage.
  • Keep a low credit card balance, and pay it off every month.
  • Spend less than you earn. Budgets really help here.
  • Don't get too many credit cards. One or two is about right.
  • Check your credit report and rating once a year.

Budgets. Not as Boring as You Think.

Learn and take smart steps now, it will pay off!

The Basics

A budget is simply putting money earned and money spent into categories. After that, you can easily track and plan your spending. A budget isn’t scary. It makes managing money easier.

Get started by writing down the money coming in and money going out. All of it. Even the small things. Then put them into categories, like “Dining Out.” You’ll start to see how much you spend in each category and where you can cut back. If you haven’t already, give budgeting a 3-month try. See how much you save!

Try a Cash Budget

People tend to spend more with credit or debit cards than with cash. Cards are more convenient, and you don’t often see immediate effects.

Try a cash budget for things like groceries, dining out, golf, etc. Just label envelopes with your categories. Each week, put a budgeted amount of cash in each envelope. When the cash is gone, you’re done spending until next week.

Budget Toolbox

Although pencil and paper are ok, there are other tools out there to help. Some choose to use a spreadsheet program, like Microsoft® Excel® to set up and track their spending. It even has budget templates ready to go.

Or you might want a personal finance and budgeting app to put in your toolbox. They often have more features than a spreadsheet, like connecting to your bank accounts.

Investopedia gives a review of top finance and budgeting apps for different needs. Visit the page and figure out which one works best for your situation. Best Budgeting Apps

Budgeting Apps