What personal finance skills have you obtained during your college years? Did you learn how to earn money, save money and budget? If not, then you’re going to have a real learning curve to overcome once you graduate. It’s very important to take your finances seriously, as it’s the key to a healthy financial future. Now is the time to set the foundation for your money management skills. The following tips should be kept in mind when learning how to manage your money after graduating.
Read Personal Finance Books
There are a number of great titles out there that are geared towards young adults looking to save money. One you can check out is by U.S. News & World Report called “Generation Earn: The Young Professional’s Guide to Spending, Investing and Giving Back.”
Create a Budget
The first thing you should do after graduating from UIC’s health informatics degree is develop a budget plan. Once you start working, you need to ensure you’re setting aside money, rather than spending it all. This will make it harder to move out of your parent’s home and to move into a bigger home once you get your own apartment. Take a look at how much you earn after taxes and how much your expenses are to see how much spending money you have left over. Then set aside a percentage of that each pay period.
Set Realistic Goals
You need to have goals in place if you want to grow your finances. What is your career plan? Map out how you will advance in your career, so that you can reach financial goals you have set forth. Keep this realistic, so you won’t lose motivation.
Consider Living with Family Longer
If your parents aren’t giving you a time limit to move out, don’t rush leaving. This is a grand time to save up money, since you don’t have to worry about rent, utilities and so on. Sure, you may have to pay a portion of the housing expenses, but it’s no where near what you’d spend if you lived out on your own. It’s also a chance to buy a decent car you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. Just don’t go overboard with the price. Don’t let this opportunity slip past you, because once your parents downsize into a smaller place, there will be no turning back!
Watch Out for Debt
If you take the advice to live at home with mom and dad, don’t trap yourself in too much debt. Don’t fall into the credit card pit, where you have too many credit cards and too many balances owed. You need to keep your debt ratio down. Only use one or two credit cards to build up your credit. Make sure you pay them off completely each month to prevent interest from accumulating.
Establish Your Credit
As mentioned, credit cards can be helpful for establishing your credit. But it can also tarnish it if you’re not careful. Your credit history will play a big role in your ability to rent apartments, buy vehicles and one day purchase a home.