The 3 most important things to do after graduation that will change your financial future

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Welcome to post grad life…

You are probably already swimming in $30,000 worth of debt. We all know it can be hard to adjust to new financial obligations your first year out of school. You’ll be managing student loans, paying  for an adult apartment, new clothes for work, insane taxes will be deducted for your pay, and health insurance will blow your mind in costs (just to name a few). These new expenses can be financially overwhelming when you are bringing in your entry level income but if you can make it through the first five years of money management by following these three rules, you will be amazed at how successful and financially better off you’ve become.

BUDGET

I used to HATE when my mom or dad said this word to me…like literally cringe.  Alas, Debbie was right all along and the best way to manage your money is to realistically see what is coming in and what is going out.  How much do you spend on gas, groceries, rent, entertainment, clothes etc?  Go back the past three months and examine your online banking statement. Put all your expenses in categories. You may be shocked that you spent $675 in dive bars one month. Once you know where your money is being wasted or used wisely you can cut back and “budget” properly while also adding new expenses such as that Sallie Mae loan that isn’t going away anytime soon.

LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS

We know Victoria’s Secret is having their semi-annual sale… FORGET IT!!! Only use a credit card as a convenience, not as a bridge to cover the gap until your next paycheck comes in.  A good rule of thumb is only buy something if you have the money to back it up. We waste so much money on things we really don’t need, but make us feel temporary better. If you want to make a major purchase, sleep on it for three days. If by the third day you are dying to have it, go for it, but only if you can pay cash for the item after paying all of your bills that month.

SAVE

Did you know that when you have your pay check direct deposited, you can ask to have a certain amount automatically put into your savings?  We recommend having 10% of every check be auto-stashed into a “rainy day account” and just forget it’s there.  Seriously…forget it’s there unless there is a serious emergency that requires funds.

Budgeting, living within your means and saving, can sometimes mean going without; sometimes it means buying something used instead of new (cough use Bigwords.com to price compare for lowest price for all items).  We promise if you start practicing these three steps that you will live a way more comfortable life.

“There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means.” – Calvin Coolidge