IN YOUR TWENTIES &
BROKE BUT THERE IS
Budgeting after college is the key to financial success. Follow our lead and you will be just fine. Promise.
Life after college is a lot different. Now that your stu-
ing a balance on your credit card. This way, you can
dent loans are about to kick in, on top of the rest of
save money for something you want in the future,
the bills you pay, you have to create a strict budget
such as a vehicle or a vacation. But budgeting is
and stick to it. You do not want to default on a stu-
not always easy to do. If you are in a situation like
dent loan because it can have severe consequences
mine, (while at school I had no bills to pay, so I re-
that can damage your credit report. Damage that
ally didn’t have to budget a lot in college) obviously
will not go away for 7 years! It is also important to
I couldn’t be going out and buying dinner out every
not be late with your payments. If you pay on time
weekend but, if I lived within my reasonable means,
and consistently, your lender may offer you some
then I would be ok. Even though I didn’t have stick
great benefits like a lower interest rate. So it’s impor-
to a strict budget, I still had to be cautious on what
tant to set your priority towards paying off the stu-
I purchased. I made sure not to go out to eat all the
dent loans. This is where you will need to learn how
time because eating out can be quite costly. Instead,
to budget •
I would have cheap dinners like chicken soup and
Budgeting is an important skill that everyone should
snacks around the apartment to keep me from going
have. If you can budget your finances well, you will
out. Another way I kept to a budget at school was by
avoid a lot of stress from having to pay off overdue
finding activities around the school that were free
bills. A solid budget will also help you avoid carry-
to join. My school always had activities to join like bingo, wiffle ball, and video game tournaments •
Easily avoid damage that won’t go away for 7 years.
FOR A LITTLE “CHANGE OF FACE”
REMEMBER IT’S ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED NOT WHAT YOU WANT
Hold yourself accountable by analyzing how much you spent on needs vs. wants each month. “See if there’s anything there that didn’t bring you joy,” Thakor says.
“Then you can cut that out, save money and not lose any joy.” So, even if plane tickets to attend my best friend’s wedding made up most of my mega $635.79 bill, seeing that once-in-a-lifetime look on her face was joy personified. But did I also have to spend $90 at Dunkin’ Donuts? No way. No extra donuts? Brutal indeed, but not out of reach for the savvy student, according to Thakor. Establish a “financial command central” with online banking tools, she says. Virtually all major banks offer some sort of wealth management
What do you spend your cash on?
Food Shoes Rent Alcohol Gas
and spending-tracker tools, along with auto bill pay (so that you’ll never get dinged again for losing that cable bill in the couch cushions). However the best track to financial stability is your career.
AND BY THE WAY DON’T FORGET TO RELAX.
SOME HELPFUL TIPS FOR BUDGETING A really easy tip for budgeting would be to learn how to cook. It’s far less expensive than
ordering out all the time. I work two jobs, so when I am heading home from my second job and I see those big yellow arches (McDonalds) I am tempted to pull right in and order my usual. If I knew how to cook, then I would have saved myself some money and not gained 4 pounds (or 6 pounds if you got the double quarter pounder with cheese).
Additionally, for those couples that are trying to stay on a budget, there are other ways
you can stick to that budget. One idea would be to not buy cards by Hallmark and American Greetings etc. Those little cards written by someone else can cost you up to 7 dollars a piece! Show your significant other how you really feel about them and make your own card. Believe me; they will enjoy it more than any pre made Hallmark card.
Going out places for a date can be really expensive as well. Going to the movies, bowling, the mall, a bar, a sporting event… all things that cost a lot, especially if you go out all the time. A few things you can do to stick to the budget could be to go for a walk in a nearby park. Walking doesn’t cost a thing…. unless of course you’re on someone else’s property and they fine you, but that’s a whole different story. You could play a board game or cards, surf the web together, play a sport, or watch television. All things you can substitute for a night out.
If you set your priorities straight to budget properly by living within your means, you WILL avoid the stress of being in debt. Do you have any ideas on ways that you can stick to a budget? Let me know because I have to stick to one as well.
FOR MORE GREAT TIPS
When it comes down to it college can be the greatest four years of your life. And why wouldn’t it be? You’re away from your parents, you get to eat whatever you want, as much as you want, whenever you want (though be careful about that, it can come back to bite you!), and if you have a meal plan you can do this all without having to clean a single dish. Your friends were usually within a few hundred feet of you at all times, whether you were in class or your dorm. You could stay up as late as you wanted and hang out with whoever you wanted. But the best part for me was I didn’t have to pay a dime for it… yet. But when college ends, that’s when the fun begins (dun… dun… Dunnn!). But at least you will be ready for it. (thank us later)•••