After graduation, students get to step out on their own full time. Financial responsibility should start long before you get out of college, but for some it is an afterthought. As the saying goes, “it is never too late!” and that definitely applies to getting your money together after graduation. There is a danger of falling hard after college and forgetting that the real world has consequences. Stay ahead of the game and on top of your money to keep this from happening to you.
Student loans helps out a lot of people that can’t afford to go to college. Loans are not grants- they have to be paid back after you get out of school. Your student loans are waiting for you the moment that you enroll in school, not after you graduate. When the loan is final, you become responsible for what is now a debt. Students shouldn’t treat a student loan as a regular loan since that implies it doesn’t need to be paid off until services are rendered. That loan remains whether you graduate or not, leaving many students that don’t finish school in crushing debt. Before attending college, you can lower the overall cost of student loans by applying for grants to offset the final cost. For students that have just graduated, call the organization responsible for the loan and see if you can potentially lower the payment plan. Doing so could save you a couple of hundred dollars a month.
Saving while attending school will give you a nice little nest egg after graduation. This type of forward thinking is a big deal that could help you out in the future. Students that haven’t been saving during college can start saving for their future. Creating a rainy day fund will come in handy if you ever need a lot of cash quickly. Emergency funds are under-appreciated, and have kept many people from losing their home or car. Saving a couple of dollars a week will go a long way in preparing you for unforeseen circumstances.
Everyone makes mistakes with their finances. Minimizing these mistakes makes you a smart spender. Set up a calendar with your payday amounts, due bills, last bill pay dates, late fees, savings and any social or professional obligations. A physical or digital calendar will save you from the multiple problems people face by forgetting little things. You’ll also be able to squeeze out the maximum potential of your paycheck by knowing exactly where it is going at all times. Putting things in the calendar like “need oil change by Friday” is a $50-$100 difference and needs to be listed. There are very few things that should surprise you financially when you’re staying ahead of the curve. With your house in order, every paycheck should give you a lot of extra spending money to put away in an emergency fund or spend how you see fit.
It doesn’t matter what your reasons are for attending school. Going to college puts you in a better life position 100% of the time. Once you get set up with a good job, consider going back to school to further your education. There is always something you can learn that will help you personally or professionally. Community college offers a low cost solution to furthering your education after graduating, with the option to transfer points to a new college if necessary. With the many distance-learning programs in rotation, your journey for higher education will never end.