Financial advice for college graduates

Nearly 4 million students will graduate this year. One million will get an associate’s degree, 2 million a bachelor’s degree, and another million are expected to get a master’s degree. The average student walks away with a degree and $40,000 in debt. But that number can go up to $250,000 for Ivy League schools, plus post-graduate training. The average college graduate will have a starting salary of around $55,000. So how do you balance paying off loans and living your new post-college life?

Moving from campus to the real world can be a rude awakening.

“Sometimes, you know, being responsible and cutting back on the fun because the finances aren’t there is what you have to do,” says Garrett Fields, Certified Financial Trustee of Nelson Financial Planning.

Not only will you be paying off your student loans, but you will also be responsible for all the other things life throws at you.

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“The first thing you need to do is look at all of your finances. You need to have a good baseline of where you are right now and a good idea of ​​what those monthly payments are going to be before you can move on. ‘before,’ Fields said.

It’s important to know the 50-30-20 rule, which is to spend 50% of your budget on essentials, like rent, food, or paying for a car, 30% on non-essentials for fun and 20% savings. Be a social deal seeker. Expand your new circle of friends with people in the same economic situation – plan fun, inexpensive activities such as picnics, game nights and free outdoor festivals.

“We understand that you’re a student and you don’t necessarily make a ton of money. Its good. You don’t need to act like that. You don’t have to act like you’re, you know, having a blast,” Fields said.

Keep an eye out for “lifestyle creep”. That’s when your expenses grow at the same rate as your salary, which means the amount you save and invest stays the same.

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And finally, splurge on life experiences. You will never be so free again.

It’s also important to develop a concrete plan to pay off your student loan debt, start saving for retirement now, start building your credit score, and seek expert financial advice.

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