Watch CBS News

Graduating from college? Here's how to increase your financial literacy

MSU Denver wants to help students navigate finances after graduation
MSU Denver wants to help students navigate finances after graduation 01:57

Spring graduations are right around the corner and life after college can be full of challenges, including navigating finances. Metropolitan State University of Denver wants to help equip students with the tools to do just that. 

Recent graduate Monica Hansen knows how important it is to manage finances. She's been working to do it all her life as a mom and grandmother, taking an untraditional route to earn her degree. And money has always been a passion of hers. 

"I am not your typical student. I knew that I wanted to be an accountant so that's what I did. I just took it one step at a time," she said. 

Hansen, with the help of Associate Finance Professor Robert Persichitte, achieved that goal. Persichitte is passionate about helping students and grads make wise decisions with their money. 

"We try to make it as easy as possible. When you get into the real world you find nothing works that way. The money coming in needs to be more than the money going out. In a case study that's easy, simple arithmetic problem but in real life it's very difficult because you have to prioritize," Persichitte said. 

Persichitte says students have a few things to prioritize after graduating. 

"Loans and another thing that students often encounter is not knowing how to deal with taxes when their income rises up. Typically, as a college student you have very low income," he said. "In many cases, they don't even have a requirement to file a tax return if their income is sufficiently low. But then you get a job, and you get hit with you have to file those tax returns, you have to pay those taxes especially if your taxes are rising year over year."

So, you have to implement a strategy. 

"For instance, if you're going to buy a house, are you saving? How much do you need to save? How long is it going to take you?" Persichitte said. "Look at where is my money going? The expenses that are the most devastating are those that are recurring. They're more impactful to cut out than a one-time expense." 

Also, Persichitte says don't be discouraged if numbers aren't your thing. 

"I'll hear students say, 'I'm not a math person or accounting person.' You can't think like that," he said. 

Hansen seconded that saying, "I think one of the barriers is that I don't think I know so I'm not going to try. Give yourself the chance to try it and learn." 

Persichitte recommends or You Need a Budget to help with easy budgeting. 

MSU Denver also offers tax help here:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.