For recent college graduates, May can be a time of both excitement and dread. Enthusiasm over building a new career can be tempered by the reality of paying off student loans and handling the never-ending bills. Creating a financial plan can help new graduates manage the stress associated with managing money.
Whether you’ve recently received your diploma or know someone who has, there are many resources available to help individuals start the new chapter of their lives on the right financial foot.
Create Your Post-College Financial Plan
Ready to get your finances in order? The following tips can help you start your career without descending into debt:
- Get a handle on your student loans. In 2010, the average college student graduated with $25,000 in student loans. If you’re having a hard time finding employment or can’t afford to make big payments on your loans, there are still ways to lessen the burden. Check out a SmartMoney article to learn more about the dos and don’ts of paying back your loans while on a budget.
- Change the way you think about finances. YOUNG MONEY magazine was launched in 1999 to change the way young adults earn, manage, invest and spend money. The website has several tools and calculators you can use to help you budget, while planning for the future. (PS – It’s never too early to start planning for your first million!)
- Prepare for “firsts.” You’ve been waiting for your first job, your first paycheck and your first apartment for a long time, but do you know what to do with them once they’re in your hands? MSN Money released an article that provides timeless tips on how to budget your first paycheck to the essentials for your first apartment. The site also has a section dedicated to post-college students entitled “Money is your 20s,” which give even more tips and tools to mapping out your future.
- Keep your daily expenses in check. A common financial trap new graduates fall in is overspending on dining out and entertainment. Sites like Restaurant.com, Living Social and Groupon can help you save money, while still letting you enjoy a night out with your friends.
- Decorate on a dime. Need to furnish your first apartment, but don’t have the cash for high-end designer home furnishings? Your local Goodwill has more than just great deals on trendy clothes for your new job; it also has affordable household goods that can spruce up your pad without breaking the bank.
Need assistance strengthening your finances or help finding a job that will allow you to pay down your expenses?