Michelle Obama Delivers Commencement Address At The City College Of New York

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If you’ve reached your late twenties, it’s probably time to explore one of the most rewarding responsibilities that complements adulthood: giving back. Yes, it’s cool to say, “I’m grown” or finally exercise your independence by opting in or out to your parents’ suggestions. But maturity isn’t just about looking ahead— you also have to peep into the rearview mirror.

And what’s behind you? Younger siblings, relatives and loved ones who are looking to you for support, guidance…and a little financial love—yeah, bet you weren’t thinking about that. What should be numero uno on your hit list? According to Arnita Johnson, CEO of Luxurious Credit, one of the best presents you can give is helping a youngster understand the importance of good credit. “Good credit will affect every important decision of your life, from where you can work to where you can live to what kind of car you drive,” Johnson tells CASSIUS. “These kinds of conversations prepare you for life. Your credit score is your life report card.”

‘Good credit will affect every important decision of your life, from where you can work to where you can live to what kind of car you drive.’

It makes sense. How many times have you participated in—or even ear hustled—a conversation with folks talking about what they wish they would have done differently with their finances when they were younger? No one talks about how credit cards, particularly store cards, can be a trap and how to navigate them—folks just say, “No cards” or don’t even discuss at all. Or what about the importance of opening, maintaining and not overdrawing your bank account?

Showing up for a young graduate where it counts is truly life changing. Consider these gifts for those just starting out:

 

 

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1 Secured credit card.

One of the best ways to build your credit is with a secured card. These cards require an individual to deposit the amount of money s/he would like to have as a spending limit, which secures the loan. Secured cards allow users to borrow and repay short-term debts, and increase their credit scores.

 

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2 Opening a bank account.

Check cashing companies charge high fees and prevent individuals from building relationships with banks. Help your graduate start building a history with a financial institution by escorting him or her to their business of choice to start an account with your gift as the first deposit.

 

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3 An online personal finance course or book.

Ask your grad whether he or she prefers to read a short book, sign up for an online class or sit down for an in-person course to learn about personal finances—make sure the method of communication is complementary to their personal tastes. Next, make sure they partake by scheduling a follow-up date—a free meal is great bait— to discuss what was learned and share a bit of your personal experiences.

F.Y.I.,you don’t have to be the Tony Robbins of personal finance to impart a little wisdom. All you have to do is start the discussion. #Assetgrab

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