You’ve spent four or more years attending school, staying consistent with your homework, and hanging out with your friends during your downtime, but now you are out of college and entering real life.
What do you do now?
Get Your First Job
Sure, you have had jobs before, but this will be your first adult job. How do you land the best one for your needs?
Don’t be afraid to negotiate your salary. Many employers count on freshly graduated college students just entering the job market to be so desperate that they’ll take anything they can get.
Don’t let this be the case with you. Decide on a reasonable salary and stick to your guns.
Rein in Those Student Loans
While you were in school, you applied for student loans each and every year. Now that you are out of school, you have to start paying those loans back.
Instead of having to keep track of multiple payments to multiple lenders, fill out a simple application to get a student loan refinance and consolidate all of those payments into one low payment.
Shop around for the best interest rate and you can save yourself quite a bit on monthly fees.
Even if you land your dream job, you are still just starting out. Don’t set your aim on that mansion just yet. Rent something affordable that isn’t eating up the majority of your income.
However, even if your place is smaller than you might want it to be, you can still decorate it however you want and make it seem homier.
The great thing about renting is that your landlord is responsible for repair costs, unlike owning a home where you are responsible for everything.
Speaking of which, hold off on buying a home until you figure out where you want to live for a long period of time. When you are fresh out of college, you are likely to move several times before finally settling down.
You may have heard of the 50-30-20 method of handling your finances. This is a very simple financial framework that espouses 50% of your money going to pay recurring bills, 30% going to discretionary spending, and the final 20% going towards paying down outstanding debt and putting it into your savings.
Of course, to make this work, you need to be quite vigilant. You may also want to cut back on the recurring bills and trim them wherever possible.
The more money you can sock away now, the better off you will be in the future.
Learn How to Cook
When you are entering your new career, you may convince yourself that you are too busy to cook and resort to eating takeout or delivery the majority of the time.
However, nobody is that busy, and cooking for yourself can be really quite easy as long as you plan in advance.
Just pick the least busy day of the week that you have, for most people this is a weekend day, and make larger batches of food. You can then either refrigerate them or freeze them and reheat them at mealtime.