Your Financial Future: 4 Money Management Tips for Recent College Graduates

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In recent years, a college degree has become almost a requirement for every job hunter. Without a degree, you face decreased pay amounts, lowered lifetime earnings and less opportunity for benefits and insurance. Unfortunately, many graduates are finding that a degree does not necessarily mean a guaranteed job.

Multitudes of fresh college graduates find themselves moving back home and floundering in directionless unemployment. Jobs that were promised to them in school seem less plentiful and they may find themselves accumulating debt. If you have recently graduated, you may need to take a hard look at your finances and figure out how to survive while waiting on the “right” job. Included here are a few money management tips for recent college grads.

Build a Budget

While making a budget seems like a no-brainer to some people, in reality only about a third of Americans create a comprehensive budget on a monthly basis. This means, only a third of people are genuinely tracking how much money they are earning and where it is all going. This is dangerous for a variety of reasons.

You can easily sink yourself in credit card debt if you are not paying attention to your budget. Additionally, those who fail to monitor their money find themselves with little to nothing left over for savings each month. Building a budget is relatively simple, and can easily be monitored with a variety of phone apps each month.

Move Back Home

As much as you may hate to hear it, moving back in with your parents may be your best short-term option. Living at home rent-free can allow you to save up money for own rental or home purchase and you can live on a smaller salary while you wait for a bigger gig to come along. Ease the burden on your parents by contributing with household chores and expenses.

Create an Emergency Fund

While searching for your dream job, you are likely working in a less than ideal position. Regardless of your situation, you should be able to begin building an emergency fund. Emergency funds are built by squirreling away small amounts of money each month into a liquid savings account.

An emergency fund is critical to your financial success, as you will need liquid assets to meet unexpected bills. For instance, if you have a medical crisis, car payment or job loss, an emergency fund can get you through the expense. People without emergency funds may find themselves launched into debt, which can be the most dangerous place of all.

Avoid Debt

The most critical piece of information for new grads is to avoid debt. Even if you have become accustomed to accruing debt throughout your college career, there is no excuse for continuing that bad habit out of college. Avoid credit cards and stick to your budget. More debt will only limit your employment and mobility options and could leave you in your parent’s basement forever!

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