College exposed you to bits of the adult world – it taught you to live by yourself, find your own way, made you independent, and gave you the experience of jobs. As a college graduate, you’re doing great so far. But bear in mind that adulting has more challenges in store for you, like saving money.
You’ll move out of your campus housing and find your own place; you won’t have a cafeteria but maybe a kitchen, and you’ll be traveling about a lot more.
The sooner you have a grasp on your financial situation, the better. It can be overwhelming, but don’t stress! We’re here to help you figure out the basics with these financial tips.
1. Open a savings account
You may not have a lot right now, but opening a savings account is the first step. Keep your money in the bank and do the transactions through there. Take a day or two to understand which savings account works best for you and your career plans. The saved money in this account will serve you during emergencies, sometimes return interests, and make you feel more confident in your ability to save.
2. Review your budget
Now that you’re taking care of your own finances, understand where your money is coming from and where it’s going. The next step is to draw a budget plan. Your budget plan should include a list of all your major expenditure, and how much of your money goes into each one monthly:
- Rent and utilities
- Student loans
- Wardrobe, entertainment, miscellaneous
Calculate the approximate amount of money you must set aside for these purposes. Now, if there are any leftovers, it goes into the savings or debt repayment. Install apps that help you save money and give you financial tips. At first, it’s not going to be easy at first. But as you get better jobs and get the hang of managing money, your budget plan will start looking better.
3. Make a student loan payoff plan
Is the adulting college graduate in you ready for this? Student debt: The biggest challenge in the lives of Millennials and Gen Z. The sooner you clear your debts, the more you will save money on interests. The first steps to take:
- Fix the budget
- Set a goal
- Consider your payment options (below)
Consider switching payment methods for federal loans – here are the different repayment plans by the government. See if you qualify for deferment of your student loan, or for forbearance based on your financial situation.
4. Review your credit report and scores
Get a credit card as it helps you build a positive credit history; it also comes with benefits and rewards. A card helps build your credit score. The most important financial tip here is to use your credit card responsibly and make payments on time.
Your credit report holds details of your credit use and history. Your credit score is a score that depends on your credit report details. These are important in making long-term decisions like refinancing student loans, getting a mortgage, buying a car, etc. Check your credit report here.
5. Prioritize your spending
Your highest priority while saving money:
Pay off debts > Emergency fund > Everything else
On a smaller scale, keep going back to your budget plan to remind yourself of the priorities. We’re not saying don’t have fun with friends at all, but consider what kind of fun you can afford to have as a fresh college graduate. There will be times when you come into more money than other months – resist the urge to splurge.
Some everyday financial tips to save money
Learn to cook for yourself, clear your due payments and bills on time, use public transport, find free stuff and discount sales around you, freelance, hold your own movie nights, and make use of happy hours. Frugal living is the way of life of college graduates, and it can be fun!
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