Congratulations on your graduation—now it’s time to start preparing for the next stage of your life. Money is often the trickiest part of the puzzle, so it can’t hurt to know a few essential tips for saving after college. Read on to learn how you can get yourself ready for financial success.
Make a Budget
No one said that saving would be glamorous—this step does involve spreadsheets. Once you’ve settled into post-college-life, we recommend taking a few hours to write out all your income and expenses. Include everything, from your subscription services to your approximate monthly coffee costs.
This expense record helps you get a sense of how much is coming in vs. how much is going out. Once you have the spreadsheet, you can start working on trimming your expenses while maximizing your income. If you spot trends that show a few too many recreational purchases, consider putting a limit on the amount you allow yourself to spend each month on non-essentials.
Start Saving for Retirement
Yes, right now! If you make enough money to set aside anything, put some of it toward your retirement. It doesn’t matter if you’re a salaried employee, an hourly employee, or self-employed; there’s a retirement plan for you! Self-employed retirement plans are the trickiest, but it’s worthwhile to consider a solo 401(k). This option is great if you’re your own boss, so keep it in mind as you explore your retirement savings choices.
Do Your Best
Saving money isn’t easy, especially in this country. It can feel like everything is working against you—people designed student loans to keep you paying for as long as possible, after all. Following these tips can help a lot, but we know it isn’t always possible to set aside money when you’re living paycheck to paycheck. It may seem like a platitude but hang in there—keep working, and you can get out from under your debts.
Now that you know these three essential tips for saving money after college, focus on making smart financial moves and set yourself up for success.