Frugal Advice for New College Graduates
You’ve just graduated from college, and you’re excited about starting a new chapter in your life. It’s a time of change and new beginnings. You’re leaving behind the familiarity of your old college life and entering into the unknown world of work and independent living. For many, this means a new chapter in their lives that includes more financial responsibility. But what can you do to master the art of looking after your finances and being more frugal when it comes to your living costs?
Be Financially Aware
Financial circumstances vary from person to person so it’s important to know where you stand exactly. Learning how to save money while pursuing life goals can take time and introspection. Do you know how much you earn? What about debt? Do you have student loans to pay? What are your living costs? Get to know your numbers and create a monthly budget where you can track everything. Doing so can help you stay on track with your goals and help you avoid overspending.
Reduce Monthly Expenses
It’s your first taste of independence so don’t ruin it with stress and worry over money. Get into the habit of living frugally and cutting monthly expenses where possible. You could start with refinancing your existing student loans into a new loan. Doing so might give you access to better repayment terms and lower interest rates. Look for the cheapest utility companies. If you’re moving into a new home, be sure to shop around for the cheapest cable, internet, electricity and gas companies. Cut back on unnecessary spending. We all like to impulse buy but now is not the time to be buying stuff you don’t need. Make a list of things you can live without (e.g., cable TV, subscriptions, expensive restaurants, etc.) and make the necessary cuts.
Learn to Cook
This tip deserves a whole paragraph as you can save so much money by learning to cook. Even with the rising cost of living, going to the grocery store to stock up on food is so much cheaper than eating out. But it won’t be just your pocket that will thank you at the end of the month; your gut and waistline will thank you too.
Take Public Transport
You might be thinking of buying a car as that’s the natural choice for graduates. After all, you’re just starting out and you need your independence. The truth is, however, cars come with a lot of responsibility and the initial cost of the car is not the only expense you have to worry about. With this purchase comes the price of tax, insurance, parking and gas. That’s not to mention the cost of bringing it to the mechanic should something go wrong. If you live in a big town or city, why not start out by taking public transportation and see how it goes? Taking the train or bus is often seen as a last resort for those who can’t afford a car or those who don’t have the time to drive. However, public transportation can be a great way for college graduates to get around. In addition to being affordable and efficient, it can also be a great place to meet new people and explore new neighborhoods.
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