Graduation from college marks the beginning of adulting for most. About 70 percent of graduating students from college graduate owing more than $40,000 in student loans. Considering most other living expenses that these graduates will face sometime soon, it would be wise for graduates to focus more on their financial future as early as the day they graduate from college. In addition, most graduates go find jobs which makes it extremely important to first find a footing and becoming self-sufficient adults.
Have a plan wherein the first few months after graduating from college will be leveraged to proactively and creatively research problem-solving skills that you have learned as a student. You need to know what a budget is, and how it works; this will be a paramount pillar towards financial freedom. As such, here are some smart money moves that you can begin applying now to help you achieve financial freedom.
Live Within your Means
You are not under your parent’s care, not anymore! What you will soon realize is that supporting yourself can be extremely expensive and if you are not prepared to start this phase of life, you will find yourself struggling financially. Take some time to create a budget. Calculate the amount of money you are left with after paying taxes and then figure out the amount that you need for your basic survival. If after all this you find that there is still money left, start putting some aside for a rainy day. A budget is your best friend and one of the best smart money move that will set you on a path to financial freedom very fast. Be sure that you are also paying your recurring expenses such as student loans, monthly rents, groceries, transportation expenses, and so on.
Make Sure You Have Health Insurance
If you are in the United States, being uninsured is a high risk that you cannot afford. A hospital bill for just a three-day stay could run as high as $30,000! Most grads who are still under 26 qualify to be insured by their parent’s health plan, but that doesn’t mean you need to count on it wholly. If you are older than 26, or if your parents do not have a health insurance plan, you should consider getting one for yourself. Depending on where you stay and your health circumstances, you may also consider getting Medicaid.
Make Use Of Credit Cards- But Wisely!
By now I know you know that credit cards can be a little tricky and could mean financial turmoil, especially when used wrongly. On the other hand, when used right, credit cards will help you establish a strong financial path with an excellent credit score.
One of the best practices is charging only what you can afford and making sure that you are paying off the balance in full each month. At first, begin with a secured credit card where you are putting down a deposit that will serve you best. When paying off your debt, remember paying extra can significantly reduce the interest that you are paying, that is something you should be taking advantage of.
Try to Find an Extra Source of Income
You may already be employed but if you find that your current job isn’t paying that much, you try to find a side hustle. Most college students are good with this. You may have learned a new skill, babysitting, dog walking, online tutoring, or reselling clothing, with these new skills, consider expanding your clientele or even branching into new categories that will bring you extra cash at the end of the month.
You do not have to suffer the same fate most college grads do, financial independence is a culmination of what you choose to start doing today. You cannot force employers to start hiring in a recession, but you can take some small steps to help you cope with the uncertainty by taking some time to research your options that you can implement today and set you on a path towards financial freedom.