For many professional athletes, it's an almost overnight leap from no income and relative anonymity to fame and nine-figure fortunes. That's something at least a few of the basketball players hitting the backboard during this year's March Madness tournament may be experiencing soon.
Of course, that won't be the case for most other college grads. But many millennials will see a big jump in their annual incomes in their 20s. And many of the same financial lessons apply, regardless of whether you're making thousands or millions.
The key is to have a sense of awareness of what you have, said Erika Safran, a certified financial planner in New York City. "Pro athletes suddenly have a lot of money they didn't have before and they aren't trained to think about money, so they don't visualize allowing for a healthier financial future."
The same applies for many millennials when they graduate college and start pulling in a paycheck. "Having a sense of awareness of what you have and don't have and what you are spending is huge," Safran said.
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She recommends making a budget of your monthly expenses that includes essentials and a set amount you plan to save, and sticking to it. Apps like BudgetPulse, Mint and Wally can help you track your spending and progress toward your savings goals.