Steps to Take After College that Can Make you a Financial Success

Receiving your college diploma in the mail can feel like an immense weight has been lifted from your shoulders.  However, just because the responsibility of achieving your academic dreams is gone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this responsibility won’t be replaced with other burdens.  As a young graduate, there can be things like student loans, rent and utilities to be paid, and a new job to be started.

As you can see, these new responsibilities have something in common…they can all affect the potential success of your financial situation.  Therefore, there are certain steps to take as a college graduate that can help you stay on the path to financial success.

 

Avoiding Credit Card Debt

While you might already have several credit cards when you graduate college, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use them.  Unless you’re sure that you can pay off the balances in full each month, rather than using credit cards to pay bills or when out on the town, consider sticking to forms of payment such as cash, checks, and at times, debit cards.

With cash, you’ll actually hand over your hard-earned money and watch it be put into the cash register, which might be one of the toughest ways to spend.  When writing checks, you’re still forced to see money amounts as they leave your coffers, if not in cash, at least in paper form, and then have to balance your checkbook when the checks clear, where you again have to see and deal with the amounts that you are spending.  And if you do use debit cards, it’s important to ensure that there is enough money in your accounts to cover the charges in an effort to avoid any overdraft fees; and like writing checks, it’s still pertinent to go back and balance your account, again having you review your spending.

All of this can help you to use more financially responsible forms of payment, and forms of payment that are immediate and that you have the financial ability to pay up front, thereby avoiding the resulting financial burden of carrying balances on your credit cards.

 

Buying and Driving Used Vehicles

For many college graduates, it can be a real temptation to buy a new vehicle after college.  In the process though, tens of thousands of dollars can be spent on a purchase that could have been made for just thousands.  This is money that might otherwise have been better spent elsewhere or even saved.

If you can be happy driving a used vehicle, and in the process avoid the costs and payments that can come along with a new, more expensive vehicle, you could put the savings toward things like student loans, possibly enabling you to pay them off early and save yourself even more on associated loan interest payments.

 

Taking on a Roommate

Taking on a roommate after college could be one of the best financial moves you make.  Being able to split the costs of things like rent, utilities, food, and transportation, can help reduce many of what would have been full individual costs had you lived alone, effectively cutting them in half.  It’s important to ensure that a roommate is trustworthy and financially responsible though before making such a commitment.

 

Working Overtime

Working your tail off when you begin your career could help you succeed down the road and stash extra cash in the process.  Since at this point in your life, you may not yet be unencumbered with the responsibilities of family, working overtime could be not only a fantastic way to earn more money but act as an investment in your future.

As low man or woman on the workplace totem pole, and who may be looking toward his or her career future, being available any time and every time the bosses need you can be a great way to illustrate your interest not only in your current role but in advancing your position within the company or industry as a whole.