College Grads...and Their Issue of Cash!
5/23/2013 11:40:00 AM
It’s that time of year…. graduation season! It can be exciting for college grads to leave college life for the “real world”. But in the real world, what got you through college continues to exist.
That “d” word – debt!
Student loans or other acquired debt during college can damper your outlook if you let it. College grads should equip themselves with knowledge on how to get their financial house in order- yes, before you get your own physical house! And what if you don’t have student debt? Good for you – that’s a blessing! However, money management is still critical as you begin to set the foundation for adulthood.
So while looking for your first job to get that crib and start the grown up life, peep these tips to get a jump start on your finances …now!
From Black Enterprise “5 Financial Tips for Graduating Students” by Jennifer Streaks:
1.) Consolidate your student loans. Government consolidation combines all student loans into one monthly payment, which gives you a lower interest rate and may even lower your monthly payments. And if you don’t have a job yet, request a six- month deferment on your loans.
2.) Cut back on small expenses. Going out to eat frequently or making frequent trips to the mall can really add up and be draining financially. Be sure to set up a budget and stick to it.
3.) Build an emergency safety net. Once you start a job, save between 6 to 8 months of living expenses in an emergency fund.
4.) Avoid credit pitfalls. Shy away from relying on credit when you are first out of school. For now, work off of a cash budget to prevent overspending.
5.) Go over your benefits carefully. If you have a job, make sure you fully understand and take advantage of the company’s benefits. Taking out pre- tax money for commuting and health coverage can save money in the end. Also, enroll in a 401(k) savings plan, especially if your employer offers a matching contribution.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Even though you may not be clockin’ big dollars, master the ability to properly manage money today. If you are financially savvy on a little, it will pay off when the paycheck gets bigger.
Congratulations class of 2013!