Expert offers tips to handling finances after graduation

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – More than 5,000 students are now Purdue University graduates. But while they may hold a degree, some said they are left blind on how to handle their money.

Onyeka Uzomah can now call herself a Purdue University graduate. She recently received her Masters Degree in biological studies.

“I like physiology,” Uzomah said. “I like to know how all the systems work together, like all the different parts, and how they complement each other.”

While Uzomah studied biological sciences and can now walk away with a masters degree, she said her college experience lacked learning how to handle her finances.

“The sad part is that they don’t teach us this in college,” Uzomah said. “This is something that I picked up from my parents, both from all the good stuff they did with their finances and all the mistakes they made.”

However, Uzomah isn’t alone when it comes to entering the “real world” with no experience in handling finances, or at least handling them properly.

Joe Clark is a certified financial adviser. He said the majority of young adults who graduate from college are not educated when it comes to dealing with their money.

“There are three things that most of the students need to be thinking about,” Clark explained. “First, saving the right amount of money, saving it in the right place and then paying attention to the dash board.”

Clark said the sooner you begin to save, the better off you are.

“If you can commit to saving 5 to 7 percent of your income, don’t worry about what you make, and you start in your early 20s and commit to that, mathematically you will wind up being able to replace your standard of living when you retire,” Clark explained.

“At least in most schools, they don’t teach it,” Uzomah explained. “I do think they can teach it as a class, I really do. Even if it’s like half a semester and they teach students about their finances, they can get some credit for it, but they will pay attention to it because it starts there.”

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