Focusing on Finances After Graduation
So, you’ve graduated from college with your new degree and officially landed your first adult job – congrats! Graduating college is no easy feat, so take a minute to pat yourself on the back and celebrate. Taking this next step in your life can be so exciting, but also overwhelming. There are many decisions you can make now to set yourself up for a successful future – let’s start with your financial health.
It’s not uncommon for students to pick up poor spending and saving habits during their college years. Now that you’ve got a steady paycheck, monthly bills to pay and likely some debt to repay – it’s the perfect time to get serious about these habits.
Assess Your Current Financial Situation
To create a strong financial base post-graduation, start by stepping back and evaluating your current financial situation and habits. What is your new salary? How much do you have saved up? What are your monthly expenses? What do your spending habits look like? Any credit card debt? When does your student loan payment start? You get the idea.
Determine Your Financial Goals
Once you have a better understanding of how much money is coming in and going out each month, you can start thinking about your future financial goals. It’s great to dream big, but you may want to start off with some more achievable goals first. Maybe you want to sign up for a credit card that gives you a little extra cash back in your pocket every month or maybe you’d like to contribute more into your new 401(k). The options are truly endless, but achieving smaller goals will build healthy habits that enable you to fulfill larger goals such as renting a bigger apartment, buying a new car or even purchasing a house.
Make Those Goals Your Reality!
A foolproof way to achieve these new goals is to create a budget. It’s important to prioritize your recurring monthly payments as well as saving and paying off debt. Once you’ve handled these high priority expenses, you get to decide what to do with any leftover money. This is the fun part! You can use this extra cash to work toward your goals or even splurge on something nice for yourself.
Some important considerations for this process:
- Everyone starts this phase in a different financial situation and that it totally normal.
- Change is bound to happen, so make sure your goals and budget are flexible.
- It’s never too early to start focusing on your finances, the earlier you start the more prepared you’ll be. Your future self will thank you!
- There are a ton of resources to help you along the way, don’t be afraid to reach out if you have questions or need help.
We know this process can be daunting, just take it one step at a time and adjust as needed. You’re already off to a great start – keep it up!