Over the last few years, the labor has improved providing recent graduates the confidence of finding a job and making an income. How to manage your personal finances is one of the most important skills to learn and often forgotten during college. Life after graduation signals a new world of opportunity and responsibility. Graduating students need to be smart with their money and be aware how they spend their disposable income and plan for the future.
There are many things you can do and learn to manage your personal finances. Here are a few ideas:
Create a budget – The first step to managing your personal finances is a budget. A monthly budget that you stick to is essential for long-term financial health. A budget will also help to understand how quickly expenses can add up.
Always keep an eye on retirement – You might think that you are too young to plan for retirement, you have only started working. The earlier you start saving to better your retirement and lifestyle be down the line.
Create an emergency fund – It is advisable to create an emergence fund for any unforeseen circumstances that might or might not happen to cover your essential expenses.
Start building your credit score – Building credit and emanating your credit score over time will help show that you are a responsible borrower and worthy of loans. Keep your oldest credit card open, pay your bills on time and avoid maxing out cards.
Buy the most important things first – Create a list of thing your need and then rank their importance based on your immediate needs. Determine the expenses that matters most to you and see if you can fit that into your budget.
Pay all your bills on time – By paying all your bills on time will avoid any penalties and late fees. Don’t forget the effect it will have on your credit history.
Buy a cook book for idiots – After rent and transportation, the next biggest expense is food. learning to cook and eating in is one of the easiest ways to save money.
Reward yourself and your lifestyle – Put away a little bit at a time and use this for special events. Perhaps a concert or weekend getaway.
Invest your money in stocks and build your long-term equity – Don’t be afraid to invest your money in the stock market because you feel that you lack the understanding of how the stock market works. Start small to get a feel for investing. Growth of your investments will help fund your retirement and others things you will want during your lifetime.
Get rid of your debts – If you are one of those graduate student with a student loan, make sure you are paying at least the minimum balance on all your loans and more if you can. A good rule of thumb is to aggressively pay down any debt with the highest interest rates first.
Be honest and live within your means – Avoid spending your money and paycheck on happy hours, lunches out and expensive exercise classes. Be deliberate about how you spend and save. Don’t assume you can make it up later.