Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be running a series of posts on Poorer Than You – personal finance advice for the many of you that are graduating from college right now. Go ahead and feel special – you’re in the spotlight!
I already have a list of topics I want to cover, but I would really love it if you would weigh in. If you…
- Are graduating and have questions
- Graduated recently and are struggling with something
- Will graduate in the next few years and want to get a head start
- Graduated in the past and remember things you wish you’d known
- Have advice that you’d like to contribute
Then please leave a comment on this post with your ideas or questions! If you’ve got a big, long, well-thought-out idea, I’ll also accept guest posts for this series. Let me know! (You can also use the contact form to send in questions or ideas, if you’d like.)
Posts in this series:
- Start the Job Hunt
- Evaluate Benefits for Job Offers
- Calculate Your Tax Withholding
- Plan Your Attack on Federal Student Loans
- Repay Your Private Student Loans
- 7 Survival Skills Every College Graduate Should Know
- Make a Budget Without Hurting Yourself
- Top Ten Free Money Tips for Grads
- Great (Free!) Financial Resources for College Grads
Photo: Mortarboard by J0nB0n
Perhaps you’d do a little something on the best way to deal with student loans? I’ve got a few years until I graduate, but I wouldn’t mind having a better idea of how to deal with consolidations, repayment schedules, etc. before I get there. (Especially advice from those who dealt with a break in between undergraduate and graduate studies, since that’s probably what will happen to me.)
Just my idea, since you askd! 🙂
im graduating in a few weeks and would love to see a post regarding post-graduation jobs and whats important to look for in a package as far as 401K, benefits, and other long-term financial planning things go. Also I am having trouble deciding what is most cost effective post-grad… renting or taking out a mortgage and buying since its a buyers market right now.
Heres what you need to do:Start carrying a list with you and wrnitig down everytime you purchase something.. even it it’s a .50 or $1 item you need to write it down. Do this for 2-3 weeks.Next sit down with all your bills, paycheck and that list. Figure out how much money you have each month with paying the miniums on everything. Call everyone you owe money to and set up a payment plan. Usually they will accept anything and with doing your budget you will see how much you can afford to pay monthly.Then figure out which debt is accuring the highest interest rate. Pay any extra you can do it while paying the minium on everything else. Once one debt is paid off take that money and apply it to your next highest accuring debt and start paying away at it.Now, keep in mind you should also be saving a emergancy fund. This typically is a 3-6month worth of living expenses. It’s not to go shopping or out to eat with it’s for emergancy such as a lose of job, car repairs etc.. Save 10% each month or take the extra money you where paying to the highest accuring debt and save it and just pay the minium until your emergancy fund is in line.Now you will want to see what bills you can get rid of or cut down on. You will see with carrying that list you probably spend on items you don’t need to or could spend less on. Examples are taking a lunch to work with you, making your morning coffee and take with you, cut down your cell phone or home phone, same with cable and internet.. make 2 or 3 days worth of meals at once as it will save you money and time.. eat alot of soups, vegatables and pastas.. You also should look into getting a 2nd job or a roommate if you have a extra room.Remember you must live frugally to make it through this. Your habits must change and if you really focus on it, it will happen and one day soon you will be debt free.. After all isn’t that the American dream to be debt free and retire one day? Whatever your goal and dreams are keep them in mind during this process and it will help you make it through. You might want to go to the library and get a book by Dave Ramsey called The total money makeover. Good luck and happy holidays
If your graduating make sure that you get control of your finances. If you have any questions related to how to get your credit in gear post-graduation please visit – forum.studentplatinum.com
Get those student loans consolidated. I suppose it depends entirely on who your lender is. I had unsubsidized Direct Loans with variable rates that reset every July. I was able to consolidate and fix the interest rate at a good time. They even gave me a rate drop just for paying by EFT. Understanding your student loan is more important now that you have to start paying them.
There are just a couple things I’d like to mention – check on those consolidation loans to see if you will lose your grace period if you consolidate right after graduation. If you will lose it – I say wait 3-4 months before consolidating – unless you have a job already lined up and paying you.
The other thing is – my emergency fund has basically saved my life a few times since I graduated. (Just graduated in December 07). Make sure you have one of these!!! I didn’t have any income this year until the end of February, but I was still able to pay rent and buy groceries because of it. (After that I used half of it to pay off my car so I could make student loan payments when the grace period ends).
I’d love for you to post about pros/cons of storing an emergency fund in different places – online savings, money market, index, brick and mortar, etc. Also something about making sense of retirement accounts and beginning investments.
#1 thing to do…Start building multiple steams of income – the easiest way to do this is start on online business, no matter how small. It will take the pressure off of you when you are considering good jobs with low starting salaries. And even if you find a great job, a little extra money will help pay off you car, student loans, etc that much faster.