Wondering what to do after college? Aside from celebrating and taking a break from your studies, you’ll need to figure out what to do with your life. Adulting isn’t easy but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you. Some planning and intention can give you a smooth transition into your new, adult life.
Perhaps the most puzzling thing is how to handle your money and actually afford your new life — working, paying off loans and enjoying the adulthood you’ve planned for all your young life.
As a post-grad, it is important to plan, as much as possible, for financial success. Consider making these fantastic money moves after graduation to help you get on the right track!
As you go from being an independent college student with a whole lot of freedom to
living under your parents’ roof again, the goals of moving into a new apartment, getting a new car or traveling the world are likely to float around in your mind. As a brand-new college graduate, it’s vital to know your needs vs. your wants and to be practical when it comes to spending.
Instead of buying a brand-new car that will quickly depreciate in value, consider a low-mileage used vehicle that you can pay off quicker. If you are hit with a case of the travel bug, look into these free travel hacks do so on a strict budget. This will definitely help you save more money in the long run while still achieving some of your post-grad dreams.
Figure out your loan payments asap
Student loans are nothing to mess around with, and they should be one of your top
priorities after graduation. Contact your student loan provider to ensure that you are
prepared to begin your monthly payments. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your payment plan options, refinancing your student loans and your payment dates and deadlines. The more you know, the easier it will be to pay them off on time.
Avoid waiting for the “perfect job.” Most likely, your ‘dream job’ won’t come to you right after you walk across the stage at graduation. It takes hard work, time and patience.
Your first job right out of college might not be what your degree prepared you for or what you ultimately want to do, but if it involves a decent salary and great benefits, consider it as a definite possibility. The longer you wait for your big break, the less financially independent you’ll be as a young adult.
Remember, each and every career position you encounter will give you a valuable
experience and quality connections that you can use to receive a high paying position or promotion.
Establish your budgeting method
After getting your first job it is important to know where your money is going. Car
payments, loans, rent or medical bills can be hard to keep organized as they are taken
out of your bank account. With an online budgeting spreadsheet or app, you can stay up-to-date with your deposits to avoid a forgotten or unexpected expense.
With this tool, your finances are labeled and displayed in a systematic way, so they are easy to view and organized to the best of their ability.
Open a retirement account
Along with saving money, opening a retirement account is an additional way to set aside cash for future income. If you land a job with the benefit of a 401K plan, take full advantage of it. It also doesn’t hurt to invest outside of your 401k, too.
At the very least contribute enough to get the company match, if your employer offers one, otherwise, you’re leaving free money on the table. Depending on your salary, you can alter the payment plan so you’re only placing a minimal amount of money in to be able to maintain the account and afford to live life as well.
What are some other steps you can take once you graduate college? Comment below!
Want more ideas to fix your finances? Check out my free eBook, Money Hacks 101 (a $29.99 value.)
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