Post-graduation financial tips

I will likely be graduating from a computer programmer program in April  What are your financial tips?

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  • Oof, that's a pretty broad question. Do you have a job in your field? Debt? What are your monthly expenses expected to be post graduation? Do you plan to move for work or can you stay in your current location? Have you already started saving money or are you starting with almost nothing? 

    You've got a budgeting app and you already know financial mgmt is important enough to be asking questions about it, so honestly you're probably going to be okay! But your question is beyond vague. It's hard to give meaningful advise without context.

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    • Kombucha Kid I don't have a job in my field yet, I plan to look next semester in Jan - April.  I have no debt. The only expense that will increase is rent. I'm hopefully staying in my current location and plan to move later. I have savings of $5,000 for emergency funds. Retirement savings of $3,000 in total between RRSP and TFSA .

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      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 1 yr ago
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      queerdykekylie 

      That's a great start. You might want to check out the subreddit on Canadian Personal Finance for in depth discussions on TFSA and RRSP investing. https://www.reddit.com/r/PersonalFinanceCanada/

      My general getting started advice is to build a solid savings foundation. And don't invest it in anything risky.  I keep half of my emergency fund in a high interest savings account at Tangerine, and the other half in GICs in my TFSA.  With my longer term investing, I am free to choose more volatile investments because I know I've got the available cash in an emergency.

      1. Keep building your emergency fund.  When you've got money, emergencies are inconveniences.  Money just gives you so many more options. If you've got a car, start building a car repair fund.

      2. Public health care in Canada doesn't cover everything.  (shock!) Build up a medical/dental fund. I literally didn't spend a dime on medical expenses that weren't provided through the public system for years, then Bam! nearly $12,000 in dental over three years, big prescriptions, and eye surgery -- the surgery was covered but the super-duper optic lens option was extra -- and sometimes you have access to additional add-on plans through an employer, but sometimes you won't, or you'll be between jobs when you need the dental work done.

      3. Build up a Get Out of Dodge Fund.  As a renter, I always like to have the funds in place for the next move, and I start building it up as soon as I land in my new place.  For me the goal is to have two months of rent in a comparable apartment (first month and damage deposit) plus the cost of hiring moving services for the heavy items.  I've also moved to different provinces and cities, so having funds ready to go was a big plus.  If you share accommodation, have enough on hand to cover the entire rent/utilities for a couple of months in case your roomie walks out without notice or loses their job.

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    • HappyDance Re #1, i am contributing  with automatic deposits to my emergency fund. I have no car. #2 and #3 are good ideas that I'll definitely start when I get a job.

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