Finance Boot Camp for College Grads

Congrats, grad.  You made in through college.  You learned a lot, I’m sure.  You know all about Pythagoras’ Theorem .  You can recite Bryon and discuss Joyce.  You probably speak Spanish, French or Latin.  But we know as well you do:  personal finance is generally not something that one learns about in college.  And that’s a shame, because whether you like to admit it or not, now you’re entering the real world, and managing your money properly is incredibly important. We also understand it can be a little daunting, which is why we’re here to help.       

What complicates things is that thanks to the current job market, you might not have money to manage.  Worse than that, many of you are leaving school with a significant amount of debt, thanks to student loans and unpaid credit card bills.  So what’s a recent grad to do?  Not panic, for starters.  Following some simple steps can ease your transition into the workforce. 

Get a Part Time Job Until You Score Your Dream One: 

You’ll get your dream job … eventually.  But, until then, don’t shy away from getting a part time gig to pay the bills.  You’ll guarantee yourself some weekly spending cash and you’ll appeal to prospective employers who will admire your eagerness to join the workforce. 

Put Yourself On a Budget: 

Whether you’ve secured employment pre-graduation or you’re working your part time gig, you should figure out how much it is going to actually cost you to live.  You’ll need food and, probably water, but most importantly, you should calculate how much you’ll have to pay back each month on your student loans and credit card bills. Finalize your payment plan before introducing additional monthly expenses. 

Don't Spend Money Before You Actually Have It:

If you do manage to land a job, remember that $45,000 a year looks a lot different after taxes. Also keep in mind that portions of your check will go to paying off your benefit plan so calculating your monthly income based on your yearly salary doesn’t exactly paint an accurate picture.  Wait to get your first paycheck before finalizing your budget.   Or, at the very least, don’t run to the nearest Best Buy the second your offer letter comes in the mail

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