By Jacob Maslow – Branded Content
College can be a wonderful, enlightening experience for many, but it’s also a challenging time. The days you spend at college will often be harsh on your bank account. Even if you had some savings to take with you, there’s a good chance you’re going to be finishing your education with limited cash, and a little debt to think about. The good news is you don’t have to start your adventure into a new world with endless stress about your finances. The following advice will help you to get your finances back on track, so you’re ready to make the most out of the career you’ve chosen.
Figure Out Your Debt Strategy
One of the biggest steps in making sure your finances stay balanced after college, is to build a plan for getting rid of debt. Only a handful of people finish their degree without anything to pay back to a loan provider. This means you’re going to need to figure out how you’re going to handle the expense of paying for your education. The good news is there are multiple options out there. Focus on paying off high-interest loans and credit cards first. Then, whenever you have an opportunity, take the time to look at your loans and see expenses you can minimize. Refinancing existing student loans into new loans after a couple of years can sometimes save you significant cash.
Keep Costs Low to Begin With
Even if you have a great job lined up after college, it’s usually a good idea to keep costs low initially. This will help you to collect additional cash you can use to pay off your debts. It also means you’ll have more money to put aside into your savings and emergency funds. Some students might consider moving back home with their parents, so they can focus all of their earnings into saving up for a deposit on a home or a new car. Trimming the fat on your spending can help college students establish credit by keeping the debt-to-income ratio positive. You can also look at living in a shared apartment or finding other ways to cut down on living expenses. Make sure you have a budget on-hand to guide you. This will stop you from spending more than you can reasonably afford.
Work on Your Earning Potential
Finally, as a college graduate, you’ll already have significantly more earning potential than some other job applicants in your field. However, it’s important to continue working on this as you go. Start by choosing a good graduate job which opens the doors to extra opportunities in the future. A great role will have a clear path to progression laid out ahead of you. It’s also worth looking into opportunities to make extra cash on the side. You might be able to do some freelance work outside of your regular hours to upgrade your income. The more money you earn while you still have some extra time, the more cash you can put into your savings. Remember, don’t be afraid to upgrade your earning opportunities even further as you go, by taking additional courses and lessons to expand your skillsets.
Photo Courtesy // Jacob Maslow //