The day that you cross the stage at college graduation, receive your hard earned degree, and wave out in the general direction of your family in the crowd is the day that your official transition into adulthood will begin. After college graduation, you go out into the real world with the knowledge and expertise you need to go after the job of your dreams, and the experience to get your first apartment.
All of these dreams and goals you may have for your future are great, but can feel so out of reach because of one thing: money. Most college students walk away from college with only a few bucks to their name, and with possible looming bills and incoming student loan debt, graduates feel pressured into boosting themselves financially as soon as possible.
While making money for in the short term will help you pay off monthly bills and eventually your student loans, you may forget that all important future you’ve been striving for. Short term payments are important to stay on top of, but saving up for your future is a pivotal to your chances at achieving the future you want. Here are some brilliant ideas on how you should save your money after college:
One thing you’re going to want to do after graduation to save your money is budget your spending. This is something you may have already done with your scarce amounts of money while you were in college, but if not, budgeting is a great way to limit what comes out of your checking account.
Establish a budget plan, write it down if you have to, and keep it recorded for organized references to your spending habits. Plot out what you’re absolutely going to need to put money toward (bills, student loans, gas, etc.) and calculate how much you should have factoring all of your mandatory payments. This will allow you to see just how much money you have left over to go do things that you want to do or buy things that you want to buy without breaking the bank.
Put Portions Of Your Check Into Your Savings Account
If you have flexibility and breathing room after you earn your next paycheck, put a percentage of your earnings into a savings account.
This will always ensure that you are putting money into your savings is to always put a portion of your income into it. For me, 10% of anything I make gets transferred to my savings account. For you, it could be 5%, or 50%, whichever amount you feel comfortable. Your savings account should be deemed untouchable for you unless you need to make an emergency payment or purchase, so you’ll get to sit back and enjoy that number rising steadily as you continue to bring in money.
Move Back In With Your Parents
If you’re bank account is crying out for help, listen to them and allow your parents to support you until you can rake in some cash.
Living with your parents temporarily after college will give you a rent-free home with all the benefits you could possibly ever want in a home. Home cooked meals will keep you from buying groceries and eating out, and having your own bed will save you from spending dollars on your own mattress and bed frame. Of course, your family right there with you is the ultimate prize and will make it an enjoyable homecoming for you.
Living with your parents after school rent-free also means that hundreds of dollars won’t be taken away to cover rent and other living expenses. You can focus solely on your personal bills and student loans for a few months, a year or so, however long it takes you to become financially stable and ready to take that next step in life.
Move back in with your parents after college. They’ll love to have you and you’ll save your money!
Start Building Up Your Credit
Building up your credit score will be awesome for when your time comes to buy your own house or car down the road.
Credit cards are basically used to loan you money on certain purchases. Using credit cards to make occasional payments like gas fill ups are convenient and help keep your checking account untouched in the mean time. More importantly, they help you build up your credit score once you prove that you’re responsible with and capable of paying back your these loans. Your student loans will also help boost your credit the more you prove that you can make your payments on time and in full.
As long as you’re able to make credit card payments on time and avoid maxing out (using up your entire credit line or even worse, go over), you’ll be smooth sailing pulling up to your dream home in your dream car!
If You Don’t Need It, Don’t Buy It
Say it again with me: if you don’t need it, don’t buy it!
Many young adults struggle with money management, and those that are coming out of four years of drought in college may feel plenty of urges to impulse buy something they like because they’ve reached a point where they have enough money for it. That new, limited edition pair of sneakers, a cool lava lamp or a cute shirt aren’t going to dramatically change or enhance your life.
The same goes for evenings out. I understand you want to go out and enjoy life and be with your friends, but if the budget you’ve planned out from earlier doesn’t support spending money at a restaurant or at the amusement park, do yourself a favor and keep your wallet in your pocket. You’ll thank yourself later on for it.
Saving money after college is a hard thing to do because you’ve spent a few years living on spare change in your dorm room, but if you’re really thinking about your future, you’ll realize that saving up is brilliant and is totally worth it in the end. Budgeting yourself, putting percentages of your earnings into your savings, living with mom and dad again for a little while, establishing your credit and refusing to impulse buy things you really want but don’t need are a few of the easy tips to help you save your money!