You’ve just received your paycheck and for the first time your bank account shows a higher amount for deposits than withdrawals. While it’s tempting to make indulgent purchases, between student loans, rent, utilities, groceries and a social life, it won’t take long for those funds to vanish.

Laura Boedges, Wealth Advisor at HighTower St. Louis, lists the five most important practices for young adults to navigate newfound financial independence.

  1. Establish Credit
    It’s important to establish credit early on. You can find a low-limit credit card to use for monthly expenses and pay it off every month. This will help you in the future when you plan to make larger purchases such as a home, car, et cetera.
  2. Create a Budget
    Keep track of your monthly expenses by writing them down or create a spreadsheet. This is a great way to visualize your personal finances — especially when many of your costs are fixed.
  3. Live Within Your Means
    Your upbringing, career or experiences might lead you to want to live large, but that may not be realistic. Establishing a budget will allow you to spend money on things that you both need and enjoy. “When young adults are just starting off, it’s easy for them to get carried away,” said Boedges. “As difficult as it may seem, practicing self-control early on will pay off later with a healthy financial future.”
  4. Pay off Student Loans
    If you have college loan debt, stay the course. Work through it with reasonable monthly payments that allow you to pay it off in a timely manner.
  5. Prepare for the Unexpected
    Accidents happen. It’s crucial to have a “rainy day” fund — even a small one — set aside in preparation. Set up automatic, small monthly deposits into a savings account; these will add up over time, and you’ll thank yourself later when something unexpected occurs.

For more information, Laura and her team may be reached at 314-598-4060 or at

HighTower St. Louis is a team of investment professionals registered with HighTower Securities, LLC, member FINRA, MSRB and SIPC & HighTower Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the SEC. All securities are offered through HighTower Securities, LLC and advisory services are offered through HighTower Advisors, LLC. This document was created for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of the author, and do not represent those of HighTower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates. M