30th July 2015 at 8:03am
If you’ve just graduated and aren’t sure how you’re going to manage your money – don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Transitioning from student to working life can be a real culture shock but we’ve pulled together some handy tips to help you get off on the right foot and make sure you stay on top of your finances.
Rule number 1 – Find the right bank account
Don’t stick with your student bank – there are loads of fantastic deals out there for graduates that are interest-free and designed to help you clear your existing debts. So look for the largest and longest-lasting, interest-free overdraft available.
Rule number 2 – Pay your bills
Once you move out of student accommodation make sure you settle up.
It’s easy to forget bills especially if they haven’t arrived by the time you move out but remember to check because missing a payment could damage your credit rating – you could even have to pay additional charges.
It’s a good idea to use the deposit you get back from your landlord to pay off any final bills.
Rule number 3 – Find a practical place to live
It’s very common for graduates to move back in with their parents while they look for a job and find their feet. This can definitely help save money on bills but you don’t want to live with your parents forever, do you?
Here are a few money tips:
- Check out a few options before signing a lease – you’ll have a better chance of finding a great place for a good price.
- Shop around for the cheapest energy supplier.
- Live with flatmates to keep bills down.
- If you’ve landed a job, save on commuting costs by living nearby.
And remember to contact your bank and local council to let them know you’ve changed address.
Rule number 4 – Budget, budget, budget
Having been a student you’re probably used to budgeting. That’s good because it’s an important life skill.
To put it simply your budget should show all of your income for a month, along with everything you spend your money on. You can check your income for the month on your payslip – this is the net pay figure. Ideally, the amount you spend each month should rarely be higher than your income.
If you start spending more than you earn you could end up in debt and if you go beyond your overdraft limit you could find yourself incurring heavy penalties.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your finances there are lots of free, confidential help services you can contact.
Rule number 5 – Spare a thought for future you
Losing your student discount is definitely a blow but there are many other ways you can make smart savings – you just have to look a bit harder. Check out money saving websites and use voucher codes where you can.
Once you get into the swing of cost-cutting it’s a good idea to start using these savings to prepare for your future. It might feel like a long way off now but the sooner you start saving the more time and opportunity your money has to grow – so start as soon as you can.
The information in this blog or any response to comments should not be regarded as financial advice. A personal pension is an investment. Its value can go up or down and may be worth less than you paid in. Laws and tax rules may change in the future. The information here is based on our understanding in July 2015.