Daily Difference: Graduation gifts that truly make a difference.

Graduation Image

Graduation season is upon us and a new class of young men and women are moving on to the next stage of their life, whether it be to college or a new career. There’s no secret that this new class of millennials have some tough road blocks ahead of them!

How do we prepare these young adults to be financially independent? What advice can we give them that they will actually listen to? 

At Gill Capital Partners our team came up with a few ideas:

The gift of Investing:  Buying shares in a stock is a great way to help a new graduate enter the stock market and perhaps start building for retirement. Consider purchasing stock in a company that aligns with their interests or that pays a decent dividend that they can reinvest into something else.  Over time, this will teach our new graduates about stock market swings, the benefits of buying and holding, and how a small investment can add up to big returns over time.

The gift of Budgeting: Creating a budget and sticking to it are the first steps toward reaching any financial goal, large or small. Many of us get overwhelmed by the complexity of keeping a detailed budget, not to mention the time it requires. The good news is that a budget doesn’t have to be complicated. There are plenty of free tools and resources to help our graduates get started:

A Simple Notebook – to help track initial expenses prior to creating a budget. PearBudget.com – perfect for graduates new to budgeting; hits the basics without being overwhelming. Shows what is spent versus what is budgeted. Mint.com – an internet and smartphone-based budgeting application that is slightly more complex than PearBudget. Level Money – an internet version of the envelope system; this app lets you know what you can spend each month, week and day.

The gift of Financial Literacy: The gift of a simple book about money.  Today there are plenty of books that can help young adults understand the value of money and how to manage it effectively.  A few of our favorites include the following:

The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovel – the life lessons a billionaire grandfather teaches before leaving an inheritance to his spoiled grandson. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – Napoleon Hill researched more than forty millionaires and shares the philosophy on how to succeed in all lines of work and how to do or be almost anything you want. The Millionaire Next Door – identifies seven common traits that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth.  Most of the truly wealthy don’t live in Beverly Hills or Park Avenue – they live next door.

The gift of Financial Planning: The priceless gift of meeting with a financial advisor for a comprehensive evaluation on a variety of topics from investing to college budgeting, student loans and savings.  Ultimately, creating a financial roadmap and peace of mind for our millennials so they can prepare for the tough road blocks ahead of them.

What are some of your favorite graduation gifts?