Financially Planning for Graduation
Collaborative Post with Fords of Winsford
For a lot of people, their years spent at university are some of the best of their lives. You experience your first real taste of independence, the excitement of a new city, find friends for life, and complete your transition to fully-fledged adult.
That said, coming to the end of your studies can be pretty daunting too. Having spent your entire life in the educational system, you’re about to be thrown into the real world as soon as you take off your graduation robes. No more classes or deadlines; what’s next is up to you.
A big part of preparing for life after university is thinking about money. With student loans gone and a full-time job looming, here’s how you should be preparing financially for your graduation.
Set Some Goals
The first thing to do is to set yourself some targets. What are you looking to achieve financially following your time at university? Do you want to start saving for a home straight away? What salary would you like to achieve? What sort of lifestyle are you looking to attain these next few years?
Once you’ve established what you want, where you want to be, and when you want it done, it’s easier to develop financial structure. Plus, it’s more likely you’ll stick to your plan if you have personal goals to aim for.
Debts & Credit Scores
99% of students will leave university with some level of debt, most with considerable fees to pay back. You’ll most likely have your student loan, but you don’t need to worry too much about this straight away. If, however, you’re carrying other debts, you’ll want to think about how to get rid of them swiftly.
Aim to pay off highest interest debts first and remove as much money owed as quickly as you can. Think about your expected income post-university and what portion you can devote to paying off your debts, including your student loan if possible.
As well as generating interest, outstanding debts will negatively affect your credit score, which you should be looking to protect and build over the next few years. Get an understanding of how credit scores work, what impacts them, and what you can be doing to develop a strong credit rating for life’s big purchases down the line.
Get a Car
For a lot of people, the end of university is a great time to get their first vehicle. Some may buy a car as a graduation treat, but for most it represents a practical purchase necessary for the likes of commuting to a new job.
A car represents a significant financial outlay, especially straight off the bat after university, so it’s important that you do your research and find a deal that works for you.
Unless you’re made of money, you’ll likely have to look into a cheap monthly finance deal on a used vehicle. Used car supermarkets like the UK’s Fords of Winsford offer fully serviced vehicles on sub-£100 per month packages, meaning you should be able to find a manageable deal for your budget.
Once you’re up and running with normal life post-university, as in you’ve found a new job and secured a place to live, it’s time to think about putting some money to one side. It’s never too early to save, and if you’ve set yourself goals like buying a house or early retirement, you’ll need to practice some financial discipline.
Once you have a steady income, look at how much you can afford to put away and stick to it. Automate your accounts so that money coming in is automatically redistributed; this will do all the hard work for you and remove the temptation for you to skimp on your savings.
No matter how big or small the amount is initially, saving is a great habit to get into. Plus, by putting anything at all to one side, you’ll already be doing better than half of your peers.
A good financial plan will go a long way to making the end of university seem a lot less scary. In today’s economic climate, proper planning is more important than ever. The earlier you can structure your finances, the better prepared you’ll be for life’s big financial hurdles in the future.
Morgan: London-based Morgan is a digital marketing and content executive who specialises in lifestyle and money saving tips. With both in-house and agency experience, Morgan writes content for a variety of different niches and sites. In her spare time, she can be found keeping up-to-date with current affairs and frequenting her Instagram feed!