In a world where jobs are hard to come by and keep, how do you save money after college? Some of the answers may not be very thrilling for many of us. You’ll have to focus on the things you’d like to achieve and the things you need to get by right away. One of the more pressing needs after college, as you head out into the world, will be finding a place to live. While many college grads fantasize about having their own place, the price of rent can be a great shock when you are paying.
One idea, as a new graduate or even one who has left the world of college behind many years ago, is simply to continue living in your parents home, that is, if they are generous enough to continue to provide you with room and board. This will save you on rent or at the very least a portion of the rent. Not having to pay rent right away will help you save a huge chunk of money that would have gone to a landlord.
Don’t like the idea of living with parents, then try other family members, friends (although this may be risky for your relationship), or roommate(s) to whom you’re not related, and share your own rented domain. This solution allows you to be on your own but takes some of the financial pressure off your shoulders. You’ll be able to share the cost of food, rent, utilities and upkeep according to the agreement you make with the individual(s) with whom you room.
Although sharing the cost of room and board is a great money saving idea for anyone with limited funds or who would like to increase their savings, you should be cautious. Caution is important because many roommate situations turn into horror stories. Before you sign a lease with someone do due diligence to verify if they usually pay their bills, plus it’s a good idea to find out if your personality matches theirs. Getting to know your roommates better before living together may save you lots of money later.
Budgeting is hard but once you have landed a job then you should have some form of budget so you can prioritize your spending habits. With a budget you have a tool that allows you to focus on where you can and cannot afford to put your money. Of course, you’ll need to put money aside for the essentials such as 3 meals a day, rent, personal necessities, round trip travel to your job, and a little entertainment. I wouldn’t tell you to cut out entertainment, because who doesn’t want to enjoy a little sweetness from the fruits of their labor?
Nevertheless, you can’t party every night or weekend if it equals living beyond your means, bills are delinquent, and you have to borrow just to make it to the following payday with nothing put aside for those days when it’s pouring cats and dogs. Living recklessly will definitely put a hole in your savings plan.
Focus on spending less on those things that are non-essential if you want to gain greater saving power. Most of your savings will come from areas where you can eliminate unnecessary spending, although you can start out by having a rule of thumb to put aside ten (10) percent of your monthly earnings. Remember as you try to find areas in which to save that not everyone has the same necessities. For example, if you live in a more urbanized area with a very accessible public transportation system a car would become more a luxury than if you lived in an area where there is no other reliable transportation outside of personal vehicle ownership. To save after graduating college: evaluate, budget, spend on essentials, and treat yourself–but frugally and soon your savings are sure to be growing well.