6 Ways to Save for Post-Graduation Life Now
By Denver Regine Lark
Denver is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University.
The symbolic act of throwing your graduation cap in the air is the most heartfelt way of concluding your hard work and dedication, but what comes next? The reality and stress of finding employment and paying back student loans can be worse than any struggle you had in college. Of course, the easiest way to decrease post-grad financial stress is to lessen the demand, right? This simply means finding ways to decrease your spending as much as possible which is easier said than done.
One of the most complicated things that we’re sure you wouldn’t think of doing is moving back home if possible. Yes, you’ve had freedom for some time now away from home and you want to further that but sometimes financially it’s just not possible. If you are lucky enough and your parents let you come back home, do not take advantage and be ready to contribute everything including groceries, and possibly utilities within the house. Housing will be by far your largest expense and the best thing is to eliminate it if possible so that you can be on your own as soon as possible.
If you’re are blessed with receiving lump sums of money, then please save it! It can be something as simple as a birthday card from your parents or maybe it’s an inheritance. Deposit it straight into your savings account. Since it’s unexpected, you aren’t losing out on anything to begin with. It may seem like something to spend now but what is the harm in saving it since you didn’t have it to begin with? So, look at it as a blessing to save for a rainy day.
Kicking any habit can be extremely hard and going cold turkey doesn’t make it any easier. Whether it’s shopping, or you have a dependency on Starbucks, anything you splurge on is worth getting rid of. Find an alternative like making your own coffee or indulging in moderation. .
Visualize what you are aiming to afford. Take a car for example, and try finding a picture of it so you can see what the outcome of this money is going to be. You can also make a digital dream board and add it to your Pinterest or your phone screen so you’ll be reminded of it constantly.
It may be the oldest trick in the book but maybe that means it’s the most effective. Save a certain amount of money you have coming in each month. When you’re on a budget, one of the most brainless things to do is be excited for payday and spend the entire check. Instead of depositing your check into your savings account where you are very likely to spend it, allocate a percentage for your savings and another for your checking. If you feel as though manually you do not have enough willpower to be responsible, then you can have your bank do it automatically. This way you are still living within your means and saving.
This one takes an extreme level of willpower and responsibility. If taken advantage of, it can lead to a terrible financial road ahead. While having a credit card means spending more than saving more, it prepares your credit for the real world. By having a credit card, you spend what you usually would of your own money but build credit over time. Building credit early prepares you for larger financial purchases like a house or car and leaves you open to better rates when it comes to deposits and insurance. So you don’t abuse it, try buying simple necessities such as groceries and gas on your credit card so you can pay it right off.
While saving money can be hard, it’s definitely possible. Also don’t focus on not having money or being money-conscious. Think of it as saving for something better that will allocate more benefits for you overall than impulsive buys.