Going from the student life to the working world is a major life transition, and finances are an area where grads often struggle to adjust. By following some simple budgeting and money-saving tips, grads can keep themselves in good shape financially.
It All Starts with a Budget
One thing just about all financial advice has in common is that it emphasizes the importance of a budget. Every grad, and every person in general, should know how much they’re making per month, how much their essential bills cost them and how much they’re saving per month.
Not having a budget increases the likelihood of overspending or failing to save money consistently. With the number of helpful and free budgeting apps available, there’s no excuse for being without a budget.
Learning to Cook Makes a Big Difference
For saving money, knowing how to cook is crucial. Food is often a big monthly expense for grads who order delivery and go out for meals all the time. It’s so much cheaper to cook meals at home, but no one wants to do that when they can’t make anything they enjoy.
With a little research, anyone can prepare a tasty meal. If a grad meal preps, they won’t even need to cook every day.
Earlier Is Better for Retirement Savings
Thanks to compound interest, money put into a retirement account today can grow significantly larger over the next 40 years. However, with compound interest, the largest increases occur at the end.
For example, an account will grow much more from year 30 to year 40 than it does from year 20 to year 30. This means starting to save immediately can be a decision worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Debt Can Be Dangerous
Not all debt is inherently bad. Financing a house or a car with a loan can be a good choice. But as a general rule, it’s smart to avoid debt whenever possible, and credit card debt should always be avoided.
Too many grads spend more than they have, and they suffer the consequences of that for months or years as they struggle to pay off large credit card balances. It’s usually better for grads to avoid buying anything they can’t pay for outright.