As millions of college students prepare to toss their graduation caps into the air, this will mark the moment that a number of them obtain financial independence and enter the workforce. However, without the proper guidance, some of these post grads could be slow to getting off the financial starting block.
College will teach you many things. But it can fall short in giving you knowledge on how to handle your finances responsibly. In fact, a recent survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education found that college students have gotten worse at managing money in recent years. To bridge this gap, we have some advice on how to find your financial footing after graduation day.
If you had to take out student loans to get through college, once you get a job, your repayment plan should not exceed more than 6 to 8 percent of your expected income, the website says. So if you had to take out $20,000 in loans and you have an interest rate of 6.8 percent, you will pay roughly $2,771 per year. This means you will need to make at least $35,000 per year to adhere to the advised 6 to 8 percent.
When you are under the age of 21, federal law makes it illegal for credit card companies to market directly to you. However, once you surpass this age, and especially once you graduate from college, you become fair game. This is why it’s important to understand how credit cards work and the fees that are often involved. Credit card debt can quickly add up, leaving you in serious debt. In addition, try to monitor your credit report from errant markings that can drag down your credit score. Remember, you credit score is much like your financial GPA, says the website.
Live Within Your Means
If you land a job right after graduation, don’t go out and immediately partake in frivolous spending. To too many young people, retirement can seem like a far-off abstract thing, but it comes much quicker than expected. This is why it’s important to set up a retirement plan early on in life so you can enjoy your senior years in financial bliss.