Financial Tips For Recent College Graduates
If you’re a new graduate, congratulations! You’ve worked hard to get where you are. Now that you’re starting a new life and career, make the effort now to establish yourself financially so you can rule your finances rather than let your finances rule you. You’ll thank yourself later.
DON’T BE ASHAMED TO GO HOME
There’s nothing wrong with moving back in with mom and dad after graduation! Take advantage of the opportunity to SAVE some money!! Use it as a great financial opportunity to save money on rent, build a sizable emergency fund, max out that new 401(k), or start paying down that student loan debt.
You’ll be out before you know it anyway. Try to consider how much extra cash you could save if you lived at home for just six months! Now imagine what a year would be!
START A BUDGET
Getting that first paycheck is exciting, but it’s also an important time to realize your new earning potential. You don’t want to go crazy and burn through those first few checks on frivolous things. It will make you feel better about the money that you spend if you budget it all out and know exactly how much you have allocated to things like eating out, and shopping.
ASSESS YOUR STUDENT LOAN SITUATION
Even if it’s stressful or overwhelming to look at, sit down and add up all your student loan debt so you can figure out a way to fit it into your budget. If you have too many payments, consider refinancing or consolidating them into one lump sum or to get a better interest rate.
SHARPEN YOUR RESUME
Consider the kinds of skills your ideal employer is seeking and highlight any of those you might have obtained while working on campus as a student worker, an intern, a tutor, or even through volunteer work.
Just because you were paid nothing (or very little) to do certain jobs as a student doesn’t mean you didn’t learn valuable skills! Prominently emphasize those skills on your resume to show that you would make a valuable asset to any company.
CONTINUE LIVING LIKE A BROKE COLLEGE STUDENT
Keep up your frugal college student habits to save money so you can start your post-grad life off well. Living like you’re still broke doesn’t have to be permanent, but if you’ve already been practicing not spending your money, keep up the good work and maybe even start saving!
SAVE FOR THE FUTURE
You’ve probably heard this before, but that’s only because it’s so very important. I bet if you ask anyone who graduated 20, 30, or 40 years ago what they wish they’d done sooner, it would be this — start saving money as soon as possible after graduation.
DON’T SPEND YOUR PAYCHECK BEFORE YOU EARN IT
If you can’t afford to pay for something with cash, then don’t make that purchase, period. It’s not worth strapping yourself with future debt, especially before you have had any time to save money! If you buy that new car or that fancy new wardrobe today, chances are you’ll be tired of all of it 6 months from now, but you’ll still be paying for it. Is that new car smell really worth it?
A REMINDER ABOUT CREDIT CARDS
Just don’t. Really, don’t. Credit cards aren’t free money. You’ll be paying for purchases long after the newness of them has worn off. It’s not worth the monthly payment.