5 Money Tips Every New Grad Needs To Know

Easy-to-implement ideas to help set you up for financial success.

Written by Katie Cloyd

Were you one of those kids who proactively asked to open a savings account, running to the bank to make a deposit every time you got a few bucks in a birthday card or from babysitting?

Or were you the one spending your birthday money on trading cards and spicy chips, mostly ignoring your parents when they warned you, “Don’t let that money burn a hole in your pocket?”

Well, hot-chips-and-trading-cards kids, we can’t stay young forever! And for a lot of us, we tend to realize the need to grow up around graduation. For those of you who just pocketed that hard-earned diploma, first of all: congrats! Second, a little suggestion: It may be time to consider opening a student bank account. Because if we know one thing to be true, it’s that choosing the right bank account based on your individual needs is one of the best ways to help set yourself up for financial success right out of the gate.

Wondering how the right checking account can come into play for your long-term financial health? Keep reading to learn the five money tips that every recent grad should know.

1. Choose a checking account that works for you.

Of all the accounts you’ll open in your lifetime, a checking account is probably the one you’ll interact with most regularly. It’s likely where you’ll deposit your paychecks and you may use it to pay your monthly bills. Since this account may also be your entryway into managing your own money, you’ll want to go with one that grows with you as you set and achieve financial goals. Chase First Banking is parent owned, so designed for younger kids between ages 6-12, and Chase High School Checking is co-owned with a parent, both with no monthly service fee. Chase College Checking has options for students to avoid the monthly service fee while in college, making it also a solid option for new grads.

2. Save for the future, live in the moment.

One word: Autosave. You’ve got so many exciting things to look forward to in the next few years like starting a new job, moving to a new city, buying a car, or outfitting your first apartment. Every one of these milestones will require a bit of cash, but saving your money can be a tough game to get into. Luckily, Autosave can help make saving easier by automatically transferring money from your Chase checking to your savings account. A lump sum of graduation money is the perfect savings account-starter, after which you can keep the party going by setting up automatic transfers. Easy peasy.

3. Stay in the know with your credit score.

You’ve probably heard people mention things like “building credit” or “credit score,” and for good reason; your credit score is a number that basically serves as a snapshot of your credit history. Do you carry a lot of debt, or do you pay your card in full every month? Are you opening several lines of credit, or are you carefully managing how many credit accounts you open? These decisions are boiled down into your credit score, which lenders will look at when considering things like how much money you can borrow to buy a car or a house. Sound overwhelming? Well, it can be, but with tools like Chase Credit Journey, you’ll maintain easy access to your credit score, plus tips for how you can improve your score over time.

4. Set up account alerts!

You’ll learn pretty quickly that it’s important to keep track of funds coming in and going out of your accounts. It’s also important to keep an eye out for activity on your account. With features like text alerts, Chase makes it easy to stay in the know. When you sign up for account alerts, you’ll be informed when you have a low balance, when your recent payment has posted, and more.

5. Choose a bank with lots of branches and ATMs.

It’s a hard truth: You will need to go into the bank sometimes. Whether you need to open a new account or just talk to someone about your financial situation and goals, you’ll want to choose a bank with branches nearby so those in-person trips are as convenient as possible. You’ll also avoid convenience fees by choosing a bank with plenty of ATMs for those times when you want to kick it old-school and carry paper money. With more than 15,000 ATMs and 4,700 branches, it’s easy to see why so many people opt to bank with Chase.

Banking might be new to you, but managing your own money and credit is totally doable. A learning curve is to be expected, and with Chase’s student banking resources and tools, you are more than capable of making solid financial decisions. You’ve got this, and Chase is here to help.

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

Account Alerts: There is no charge from Chase, but message and data rates may apply. Delivery of alerts may be delayed for various reasons, including service outages affecting your phone, wireless or internet provider; technology failures; and system capacity limitations.

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