It took years of effort, hours of diligent studying, the patronizing search for worthy scholarships, and way too much ramen to get through college. Achieving financial wealth should finally be within your grasp. However, the reality might be completely different from the idealistic image you were told to expect.
The truth is, millions of Americans finish college in a worse financial position than when they began and are now being buried by debt. Below you will find ten steps you can start taking today to attain the financial goals you were hoping.
10. Don’t Give Up Ramen Just Yet
While it might be tempting to start buying more expensive items at the grocery store, try to keep your grocery trips within reason. Maybe you don’t have to resort to eating Ramen and cheap pizza again, but you would be surprised how much of your monthly budget can go to groceries.
9. Cable Can Wait
Maybe you had cable in college or back home. The truth is that these days you can get all you want from streaming services. The key here, much as with your groceries, is not to go overboard and subscribe to more services than you can watch.
8. Attack the Credit Cards
Many Americans are stuck with the double whammy of credit card debt and student loans. While you may have no idea where to start, it makes sense to look at the fine print. It is often beneficial to start attacking your debt with the highest interest rates. In many cases, this means credit card debt. Once you pay off that debt, keep it down by using those credit cards only when absolutely necessary.
7. Don’t Keep Up With the Joneses
You might be tempted to go off track with your budget when you see the purse your best friend bought. Or maybe it’s the new car your frenemy just leased. Avert your gaze! Keep focused on the end goal of being debt free because, in the end you will be far better off than they are.
6. Coffee is Coffee
It’s common for many folks to go to coffee shops to meet friends or just read a book. The danger of this is the exorbitant prices for some coffee drinks. Keep it simple at those java joints and avoid the double espresso vanilla mocha caramel frappuccinos.
5. Your Old Clothes Are Still Good
Let’s be honest; you don’t need to go to the mall to buy new clothes all the time. Shopping online isn’t necessary either. What you need is likely in your closet already; you just need to get a little creative.
4. Generic Doesn’t Mean Cheap
Try generic as opposed to expensive brand-name products. Seriously, more often than not generic items taste and have the same benefits as their brand-name counterparts.
3. Refinancing is Your Friend
Here’s a little surprise for you: you likely don’t have to pay as much per month on your student loans as you currently are. You can make your loans easier to pay through refinancing. Give it a shot; you have nothing to lose but a hefty monthly payment.
2. Research Can Save You Big
Want to buy a new computer? Try a little research online first. A couple of hours on the web could save you hundreds!
1. There’s an App for That
Apps can help with almost anything, including savings! There are a number of finance apps out there that can help you budget and save. It will make being fiscally responsible a lot easier.
Achieving the goal of financial freedom after college is entirely possible. It might take some time, but with a little planning and hard work you’ll find yourself right on track.
For more great college tips, check out our other blogs on College Basics.