Venturing out into the "real world" after college graduation can be stressful enough without financial strain. To help the recent graduate, or anyone dealing with financial stress, BBB offers 7 Tips on Budgeting After College in this week's edition of #TipTuesday,
Tip #1: Develop a budget. Track regular monthly expenses, like rent & utilities. Set up automatic payments for things like rent or car loans, as well as an automatic contribution to a savings account. The money that’s left should last until the next paycheck.
Tip #2: Share the burden. The first years after college can be tough. If making ends meet is difficult, consider sharing housing costs with a roommate. Splitting rent & utilities in half leaves more money for saving or discretionary spending.
Tip #3: Pay off your debt. Determine how much you owe, when payments are due, and what your finance charges are. Commit to making payments on time, and even pay more than the minimum amount each month if possible.
Tip #4: Avoid major purchases. Hold off on making major purchases until you spend a few months living on your income. Know how much you need for basics like rent, food & utilities before adding discretionary expenses like a new car or furniture.
Tip #5: Save for a rainy day. Contribute monthly to an emergency savings account and make it a part of your budget plan. A fund like this will help avoid the use of a credit card for emergency expenses and helps you save for long-term goals like buying a house or car.
Tip #6: Use your employee benefits. Take full advantage if your company offers a reasonable healthcare plan. If they sponsor a 401(k) retirement savings plan, consider participating, especially if they company matches employee contributions.
Tip #7: Consult professionals if needed. Start by visiting bbb.org to find a BBB Accredited financial professional in your area. It’s never too early to start planning for your financial future.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2013, people turned to BBB more than 132 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving E. Washington, N. Idaho & Montana, founded in 1912, is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America.