Life as a college student can be full of challenges— from pulling an all-nighter to finish a paper, to doing laundry without parental supervision. As a college student, you may think that these are significant dilemmas, but ultimately, these experiences are just preparing you for the biggest challenge of them all–life itself.
Graduating college is a milestone that is rewarding, exciting, and emotional all at once. You'll remember walking across the stage for the rest of your life. But after receiving your diploma, you are officially out in the real world. That can be a challenging time for young adults due to finances, the stress of finding your first 'real' job, and possibly moving back in with your parents after having several years of sweet freedom.
Here are some helpful hacks that can lead you to a financially responsible and independent lifestyle!
Create a Budget
As a college student, your mindset may have been to 'spend, spend, spend.' From those cute Fall boots that you had to buy to show off around campus, to spending money on new university merchandise for the football home opener— it's easy to forget how much you're spending when bills and loans are not in the picture. After graduation is the perfect time to make a budget. Through the use of a spreadsheet or budgeting app, you can categorize all of your monthly payments, so you know exactly when they're due and how much you're spending.
Set Up Your Student Loans
Every college graduate's greatest fear— student loans. This monthly expense is a big one and set up your account promptly (no longer than a couple of months after graduation to be exact) to avoid additional late fees is extremely important. When setting up your payment plan, talk to a provider about the payment options they offer, and if you are interested in refinancing, do so right here! This benefit can save you a lot of money, and remember, you can always switch your payment plan option as you move up in your career.
Find an Internship or Paid Position
The reason behind your degree is to find your passion or dream in the world. Whether or not you want to take a 'gap year' is your choice, but if you're going to become financially secure, job searching after college is a definite must. Before applying to different positions, make sure your resume and cover letter are complete with your most up-to-date experiences.
Internships are another great way to gain experience in your field, and it's a bonus if they pay you for the work you're doing. Frequently, internships can lead to job opportunities, so showcase your knowledge, network, and always work hard!
Save as Much Money as You Can
As a young adult, it can be hard to avoid occasional splurging on luxury items, food, or online subscriptions. These purchases are things that can make you happy, but the question is, 'Are they 100% necessary?' When you're money-conscious, it is highly recommended to spend as little as possible on the 'wants,' but rather save up for an experience or things that you need. Learning how to save your money when you're a twenty-something can help prepare you for the additional expenses you'll be responsible for later in life.
Don't let the stress of adulting bring you down. You might feel like you're getting trapped in a bubble of not being able to do anything enjoyable. But, there are several ways to incorporate fun into your post-grad lifestyle without spending too much.