The late, great, Rik Mayall and his fellow Young Ones lived in a very different era from today’s students. While the trials and tribulations of house sharing may ring familiar bells, the financial landscape facing the modern student is very different to that of their 1980s equivalents, fictional or not. With universities opening their doors to new and returning students alike, let’s look at the steps a graduate can take to find their financial feet.
Understand that you are now your own family and in charge of the family finance
While parents and family will always be there for you, as a graduate you’re now an independent adult and in charge of your own future, with all that it implies. Hopefully you will have had the opportunity to learn some healthy financial habits such as budgeting, if not then the quicker you start to learn them, the better it will be for you ultimately.
Try living like a student for a while even when you’re working
Securing your first decent job, after being a graduate, is possibly one of life’s biggest achievements. Those who’ve struggled financially to make it through university could well feel justified in treating themselves a bit more generously now that they finally have a regular income. This is completely understandable, but also try to bear in mind a longer-term perspective. If you can continue to live like a student for a while, you can free up your salary for other purposes, whether this is paying off debt or saving up for a deposit on a house.
Build an emergency savings pot as quickly as you can (even if you have debt)
This may seem like a strange piece of advice, but it’s aimed at preventing you getting into more debt. No matter how great you are at preparing for the future, life can always throw something unexpected your way and that something could just as easily be a great opportunity as a setback. In either case having easy access to funds can save you a lot of bother when life’s slings and arrows hit you.
Make sure that you are on the electoral roll
Credit checks are unavoidable these days and one of the key points of passing them is being on the electoral roll. If you’re still sorting out your accommodation options or working in an environment where it may not be possible to register to vote at your current accommodation (such as in a hotel or holiday park), then it is much more beneficial to be registered at your parents’ address (or the address of another family member) than not to be registered at all. http://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/credit-education/electoral-roll.html
Get some professional financial advice
Setting off on the right financial path in life can go a long way towards helping you to build your personal wealth and achieve your life’s ambitions, whatever they may be. While it is highly likely that you will receive well-meant advice from those around you, investing some time in a visit to a professional adviser who can provide financial guidance, who understands the topic and will take the time to understand your situation.
Keep on learning
If you’re a recent graduate then the chances are you have many years ahead of you and you will undoubtedly see many changes throughout those years. To keep yourself employable until you choose to retire, remember to invest time and money in yourself. Keep your skills up-to-date and work on continuing to build your social and professional networks. As a graduate, your graduation is an enormous step in your education, but it is far from over.