If you make it to the end of college with a degree, then you deserve a medal. All those years of assignments and tests can really wear you out, especially with the many hours of studying you have to put in. Unfortunately, things don’t y get any easier once you graduate. When you’re out in the real world, you have to worry about paying your way, whether you have a job or not. Luckily, there are some tips to keep you on your feet post-graduation.
Get on a budget
If you weren’t already living on a budget in college, now is absolutely the time to start. Limiting how much you spend on certain things can help you keep on top of your spending. That way, you can cover all your essential costs and know how much you have left to use on the fun things in life.
If possible, try splitting things up into a 50/30/20 divide. The 50% is for the important stuff like rent and groceries, while the 30$ is for nights out, takeout, and the like. The 20% that’s left over should be put in a savings account, so you have money stashed away for future needs.
Set up a retirement plan
When you’re fresh out of college, retirement is probably the last thing on your mind. However, it’s essential to think about it now, so you don’t have to worry about it when you’re older.
Once you’re employed, look into whether your job offers things like a 401k. If so, start contributing to it as soon as possible, because the more money you save, the better. Plus, if you’re employer’s putting some of their own cash into it, then you’re essentially getting free moolah. If a retirement account isn’t available through your work, then set one up yourself at a bank. Roth IRAs are usually recommended for recent graduates.
Use a credit card
Putting a credit card in the hands of someone fresh out of college might sound like a bad idea, but it’s actually a great one. These cards are an easy way to improve your credit score and get yourself some great future bonuses, provided you use them responsibly. All you have to do is ensure you make your payments on time each month.
If you’re worried you won’t be able to do this, try limiting yourself to around 30% of your available credit. That way, you’ll never have too much to pay back, and you won’t risk landing yourself in debt.
Pay back student loans quickly
Student loans are probably the one thing that people dread most about going to college. Those few years you spend making friends and earning a degree will come back to haunt you for most of your adult life. However, once you graduate, it’s important not to try and avoid these loans. The sooner you pay them back, the quicker they’ll disappear.
If possible, try making payments within the first six months of graduation. In most cases, this is a grace period where people have the opportunity to start earning money so they can pay back what they owe. The greater you reduce your loan during these six months, the less interest you’ll accrue once you begin making regular payments.
If we didn’t have to worry about money, then life would be a whole lot simpler. However, at least with these tips, going into the real world hopefully won’t be quite as daunting.