It’s been a few years now since I’ve graduated but it still seems like it was yesterday. Ah, those days of late night studying and afternoon naps in the library… cafeteria lunches and grande coffee drinks. There are many parts I miss about the college life but for all of those who have graduated know that having a “real” job and your own money (no more handouts from weekend visits from parents) is an empowering feeling. BUT it is hard economic times right now and employers are making cuts trying to save money. Hopefully you are one of the lucky ones to still have a job but even so, everywhere you turn people are trying to save money.
Once you’ve received your diploma, thrown up your hat and had a party, reality sets in. The loan payments start coming, afternoon “siestas” are no longer the norm and even the 5 dollar footlong seems to put a dent in your checking account. What’s a twenty-something graduate to do?!?!
First off- don’t freak out! Although it seems overwhelming at times it is important to remember the big picture. Things will eventually work out as long as you keep moving forward and putting the work in….not all of us wind up as Vogue editors right after college as some reality T.V. shows have established as the norm. Experience is experience and starting at an entry-level position gives you what you need to grow in your carreer. Enjoy the moments and appreciate what you have…you have your whole life to work!
Second off- have a budget! Just because you want something doesn’t mean you should buy it. Sure, buy the 2 for 1 special on cereal but hold off on the iPhone or newest Nikes unless they are absolutely needed and something you don’t have to charge on a credit card. Debt is not something to take lightly and something that most young people get into trouble with. Set aside money for food, entertainment, bills and emergency…. DON’T EXCEED YOUR BUDGET. People know if you work for a non-profit agency, you probably don’t have the money to be carrying around a Gucci bag, so do yourself a favor and live within your means!
I’ll be sharing some tips for saving money and surviving your new life as a college graduate. But even if you’re still in college these tips will save you from the rude awakenings of post-graduation life. And, had I known to start using my money wisely in college maybe that would have prevented some freaking out after.