Once you have graduated, budgeting isn’t going to be the first thing on your mind as you look for a full-time job; but, you’re more responsible for your finances now than ever before. This means it’s a good idea to look into how you can save money, while clearing your debts, straight away. Although this may sound daunting, it doesn’t need to be since we have put together some budget tips to help you new graduates out.
Start a budget
Tip number one — actually start a budget! This is the first step to handling your money correctly and understanding where it is coming from and where it’s going. Establishing this and sticking to a monthly budget is essential for financial stability. Download a free personal finance app to track your spending, account balances and credit at all times. Or do it the old-fashioned way and write it all down.
Set a long-term goal
Budgeting doesn’t have to be dull at all — it can be fun. Setting yourself long-term goals whether that be a holiday, new furniture or a big night out, will motivate you to stick to your budget and help save towards a financial goal.
Pay your bills on time
It is crucial to keep on top of your bills and expenses at all times to avoid hefty fees and negative credit impacting your financial ratings. A way to avoid late payments is to schedule automatic payment alerts and set reminders on your calendar before due dates.
Look for cheaper options
If you are worried about how you are going to afford larger expenses, such as car insurance, make sure you always shop around for cheaper options and do your research. Telematics car insurance, for example, can save you money over time as it monitors your driving and rewards you for safe driving on the roads.
Move back in with your parents
This isn’t something many of us want to do straight out of university but, if money is an issue, it could be your only option. This way, you will be able to save a lot more of your wages until you have built up enough money in your savings account to move out and get your own place.
Live within your means
Lunch and dinners out, expensive gym memberships and endless shopping trips will soon eat away at your money. You are allowed to treat yourself once in a while, but don’t go over the top. Only plan a meal out or a big shopping trip once every few months as a reward — and remember to spend less than you earn!
Sell your old books online
If you are finished with university now, sell your old books online. The chances are they will only sit there collecting dust otherwise — no matter how much you intend on reading them again. There are several great websites that allow you to pass on old used textbooks, or you could put them on a Facebook marketplace. People will always buy them from you, as they will be a lot cheaper than purchasing new ones
Budgeting can feel like a very steep learning curve for you after university, but the sooner you master your finances and financial issues, the better off you are going to be. Be cautious with your money and think of the future when you feel like doing a huge spending spree and spending more than you realistically can afford.