As a college student, it can be hard to imagine life after graduation. With a degree and hopefully a job on the horizon, your life will change when you leave campus and your days in the classroom behind. Part of this transition will involve the new expenses that come about. From buying a new car to moving to a new city or purchasing your first home, there will be many ways to spend your hard-earned money. Because of this, it’s important to start thinking about your future spending now. Here are some tips to get you started on a post-college budget:
1.) Be practical
You may get a job that pays more than you’re used to, but it doesn’t mean that you should mentally spend the paychecks before you get them. It may be tempting to buy something fun, exciting and possibly frivolous right away, but it might not be the best idea. If you’re planning to splurge on something, try setting aside money from each paycheck until you’ve saved enough instead of spending it all at once.
2.) Don’t forget about bills
When developing your post-college budget, be sure to include the bills you have now as well as the ones you will likely have after graduation. You may only have a few bills currently, but that is likely to change with expenses like car payments, rent/mortgage, insurance premiums, student loan payments, utilities, etc. Once you’ve considered all of the possibilities, you will have a better idea of how much will be left to spend in other, more fun categories.
3.) Plan for the future
Although it may be hard enough to plan for the near future, it’s also important to plan for years to come. You may not be able to picture yourself getting married, having kids or retiring now, but there’s a good chance you’ll want to do at least one of these things at some point. Start planning for these life events now by saving as much as you can, when you can, so the funds will be there when you need them. If you plan your savings like a bill that you pay first, you will always have money for the future.