After the college years, there can be a huge financial strain. This is because many people start out with an entry level job that doesn’t have a very high pay rate. Recent grads will likely be looking for their own place to live, possibly even a new vehicle, and then you also have to consider student loan repayment. Here you will find some great tips for starting off on the right track financially once you graduate college.
Calculate Where you are Currently and then Set Goals for the Future
Most new graduates have accumulated some amount of debt, so creating a budget to prevent further debt is vital. A budget also helps to start minimizing the debts so that it will increase cash flow once they are paid off. Setting aside spending money is also really important, because without this you might feel restricted. The key is to spend less than you bring in.
Find Ways to Make More Money
After you focus on having a positive cash flow, you will want to look for ways that you can make more money. Maybe there is the opportunity to run a side business after hours. Maybe you can make money through a hobby that you enjoy. Maybe you can sell some things that you don’t really use anymore. Also, consider advancement opportunities in your current career.
Don’t Live Above Your Means
Once you finish college, it is tempting to live above your means. You might want to buy a new car, get a new condo, buy new electronics and more. All of this will ultimately cost you a whole lot of money, and that is probably money that you don’t have. Instead of splurging, you should live within your means until you get your debts paid off.
Wait to Invest
You might be tempted to start investing early instead of focusing on paying off your debts. The key is to remember that you will ultimately have to pay a lot of interest if you don’t pay your debts off in a timely manner. Pay off the debts that have the highest interest first, then focus on investing once you are done paying off your debts.
If you are lucky enough to not have any debt when you finish school, you will want to start investing. You should start with something simple, like an index based portfolio. This will allow you to invest at a low cost. You must be aware that the cash flow will start out smaller, but it will increase as you go. You might also want to consider an ETF, or exchange traded fund.
Have Some Fun
You will definitely want to have some money set aside for recreation. If you want to take a vacation, just make sure that you can afford it. Try to aim for balance, and be simple with your added spending. You don’t want to spend too much on short term fun.