Graduation has quickly come and gone for most of you and now you can get on to real life; to independence. You’re ready to live away from home, set your own curfew, and pay your own bills. Wait….did you just say pay your own bills? All the other stuff sounds great but that last part, not so much.
While some of you may have saved and prepared financially, others of you have never considered your personal finances. In both cases, whether prepared or not, here are some tips to consider before heading out on your own.
- Set up a free/student checking account
If you haven’t already, you should probably go ahead and set up a checking account. Having a checking account will give you a secure place to deposit and track your money. And if you take on a job while in school, most employers encourage direct deposit of your pay- meaning they transfer your pay check directly from their checking account to yours without you having to worry about depositing a paper check. Not only can you keep your money secure but you can also use your checking account to help budget your expenses. Tools like Mint.com link to your checking account and help you track where you are spending your money so that you can set a desired budget and then track your progress.
- Make a budget
The tools mentioned above can help track your budget but first you need to establish one- a budget that is. Take into account not only main expenses like textbooks and tuition but also smaller expenses like eating out and groceries. These are most likely expenses that you have never had to consider before but unless you plan on eating at the school cafeteria every day, you need to work them into your budget. You can use this link to help you consider which costs to budget for.
- Determine your schedule
Time is money and if you’re taking a full course load, it might be difficult to hold down a job simultaneously. When scheduling your courses, try to arrange classes in such a way that you are getting the most out of your days. For instance, try to avoid scheduling one class in the morning and another in the middle of the day, if at all possible. Once you have your classes scheduled, really consider if you have enough time to take on a part time job and have time left to study. If working and attending classes is going to be too much for you, you may want to get a summer job and save as much as you can for the school year. However, there are a lot of students that successfully work part time jobs or take on side gigs here and there to help pay their way through school.
For more helpful tips on how to prepare for your financial independence, visit www.richwoodgps.com.
Author: Abby Gruber
Abby is the Marketing Strategist and Copywriter for Richwood Marketing. She enjoys helping businesses discover and promote what makes them unique as well as helping to capture those ideas in writing. Abby is responsible for maintaining Richwood Bank’s blog and is always open to hearing your ideas and suggestions. If you have a certain topic you would like covered, please email her at email@example.com.