Post-Graduation Financial Advice
Asia Parker, WFU Financial Aid Counselor
If graduation is near and dear to you, congratulations and way to go DEACS! If you are still working hard, don’t worry, there will be useful tips and tricks in here for you too. That being said, life after college is a huge adjustment. You will likely experience changes in accommodations, social life, jobs and especially finances. As a young professional it is important to create a budget for yourself and become aware of what you need to be financially successful as an independent adult.
Please be sure to budget for paying off your student loans as quickly as you can. Every little bit helps, and if you find yourself with extra change in your pocket, apply it to your loan balance!
Rent or a mortgage will likely be your highest expense post-graduation. As you are thinking about where you are going to live, be sure to consider if you can find roommates and friends to live with to keep rent affordable or to get a larger place. Have you researched rental prices in the area to make sure you are aware of your options and ranges for rent? And finally, will your salary be enough to support your living preferences, keeping in mind you will also need to budget for food, essentials and savings.
Statistically, millennials spend exorbitant amounts eating out. You can save money as a young professional by cutting back on the number of times a week you eat out. Even meal prepping a few salads or sandwiches a week can help you cut down eating on the go and help you stay healthy. Having a few staples in your kitchen can prevent you from ordering delivery every time you are hungry. Watch a cooking video, or take a cooking class, and stock that kitchen up!
Most importantly, a budget can always help you figure out where and how you want to spend your money. Stay aware of your bills and their due dates. Cash-course can help you budget, or you can create your own budget on Excel. Set goals for saving, find what works for you and track your spending habits.
If you would like additional help with finances and budgeting please schedule an appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor in the Student Financial Aid Office. You are doing great!