If you’re graduating this May, congratulations!  Your family and friends are eager to celebrate your accomplishment, and one of the ways they know how to do that is with cash.

Planning for your graduation money can help set you up for future success. Money you don’t have a plan for has a funny way of turning into concert tickets, electronics, and other splurge items.  Here are a few ways you can use those funds that will benefit you as a post-grad.

Professional Clothing

Getting two or three professional items of clothing will help you when interviewing for jobs or internships in college.

Start Growing Your Savings

Investing in a Certificate will keep your money growing.  A Certificate is a fixed term savings account.  Funds placed in a Certificate Account earn a fixed-rate dividend for a fixed period. Your funds remain in the account for that set time and are not accessible without penalty. Because these funds are "locked," you generally earn a higher rate on the account than you do on a Regular Share or Money Market.

Create a Budget

The first step to financial wellness is knowing where your money is going and how much you actually have to spend. The best way to always have this information is to create and stick to a budget. You can find budgeting tools available in Tyndall’s Online Banking for creating a trackable budget and setting savings goals. As you work on building and sticking to a budget, be sure to leave some room in your budget for things like entertainment costs, dining out and vacations.

Build an emergency fund

Before you have rent payments or utility bills is the best time to start saving for emergencies. What would you do if you found yourself unable to work for several months? What if you needed car repairs to get to work? Stashing away a little money in a rainy day fund is one of the best ways to ensure the significant investment you’ve made in yourself.

The choices you make today will help to ensure your brighter tomorrow.