Personal finance tips for the recent college grad

So, you’ve just graduated from college? Congratulations and welcome to adulthood where money is tight and jobs are hard to find. That’s certainly what it feels like anyway. People don’t tend to have a great financial situation when they’re fresh out of college, and it can take a while for it to improve. However, if you act responsibly and learn how to stay on top of everything, you should be just fine.

Photo: BURST

Start budgeting

There’s a good chance you learned how to budget while at college. Students aren’t exactly known for having much money, so you had to find a way to balance a social life with paying rent, bills, and trips to the grocery store. Unfortunately, it’ll probably be a while before you’re free of the need to budget, so if you didn’t do it before, you’ll definitely need to do it now.

Take a look at your bills and see if there’s anything you’re paying for that you don’t actually need. Once you’ve done that, work out how much money you have to spend throughout the month and divide that into a daily amount. You probably won’t have much to spend per day, but you’ll have a better idea of how to limit your spending.

Save for a rainy day

There’s nothing worse than running into a problem and not being able to get out of it. Maybe your car breaks down unexpectedly, or you have to get something fixed in your flat, forcing you to pay out money that you don’t have. That’s why it’s essential to set up a rainy day fund, so you always have the means to get yourself out of trouble.

All you need to do is take a small amount of your paycheck and put it into a bank account that you only touch in emergencies. If you factor this into your budget, then you’ll find it easier to get by every month without that money at your disposal. Yes, you’ll have to make cutbacks with your day-to-day living, but it will save you should any unexpected disasters happen.

Establish a retirement fund

Retirement is probably not the first thing you start thinking about after you graduate from college. However, it’s this part of your life that you’re essentially spending the next 40-50 years working towards. Once you finally reach the age where you can retire, you want to know that there’s money stored away to make you comfortable during your final years.

Do some research and see if there are any plans you can get involved with now that will start building up a retirement fund. You might not be able to contribute much, and you may have to make some sacrifices with your budget, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. It also doesn’t hurt if you bag yourself a job where your boss also contributes to a retirement fund.

Photo: BURST

It’s easy to stress out about money, especially when you’re a college graduate who doesn’t have any. However, if you’re smart with your finances and don’t panic, you should be able to cope just fine with what you’ve got.