Tips To Help You Manage Your Finances After University

When you leave university, you no longer have your student loans coming in and overall, you’re facing a big life change. It can be quite overwhelming. So, we’re here with some simple steps you can take to move towards a positive financial situation in the future! From being realistic about where you are currently to your budget moving forward, we’ve got you covered. 

Be Realistic About Your Finances

The first step to helping you manage your finances after university is to be realistic about where you’re currently at with your finances. Figure out how much money you’ve got currently and how much of an overdraft you have. This will help you understand where you’re up to and then you’ll have a better idea of how to accurately create a budget (which is our next step). You’ll know what you need to contribute towards paying off your overdraft (if anything) and also how much money you have available to put towards your next plans moving forward. While it might be easier to bury your head in the sand, it’s so much better longer term to be realistic and make a plan to take control of your money. Many people end up needing things like DRO’s or IVAs when their finances get out of control after university, so make sure that you take your money seriously now to protect your future. 

Create A Strict Budget

Next, you must create a strict budget. Figure out what your income will be in the short term, whether it’s a part-time job or starting a graduate job, then list all of your outgoings, from rent and bills to car payments, food shopping, going out and miscellaneous spending. You will likely have less disposable income than you did when you were a student when you start paying more expensive rent and bills, so ensuring you’re living within your means is essential. 

It will also help you to realise how much you’re currently spending and where you’ll need to cut back to adjust. There are plenty of great apps out there to help you with budgeting, where you can connect your bank cards and see everything in one place, as well as set up budget pots to help you stay under control with your spending! 

Adjust To Spending Within Your Means

It’s easy to get carried away with your spending when you’re at university, however, when you leave, you must start to adjust to spending within your means. You don’t have the same kind of protection that you do while you’re at university, like an interest-free overdraft for the foreseeable future, and so you need to be more sensible with your spending. 

Learning to say no to plans when you know they’re not feasible and looking for cheaper alternatives to existing habits is also important. This may take some adjusting to initially, however, it’s such an important component of moving into life after university. 

Consider Seasonal Work To Pay Off Overdraft 

Another thing to consider if you have quite a bit of an overdraft to pay off and you also want to do a bit of travelling, is to consider seasonal work to pay off your overdraft. When you go abroad to do seasonal work, whether it’s being a holiday rep, working on boats, working as a tour guide, working in hotels or being a lifeguard, very often your accommodation will be paid for, so all you’ll need is your spending money, and then the rest of your wages can go towards paying off your overdraft. 

It’s especially fun if you didn’t get the chance to study abroad for a year. This is such a win-win, as you’ll likely have one of the best summers of your life after university before you start a full-time job, and you can pay off your overdraft at the same time to be in a better financial situation when you get home. 

Keep Using Your Student Discounts

Another tip is to keep using your student discounts! Often, you can continue to use student discount codes for up to a year after your degree finishes, so make the most of it. From heavily discounted music subscriptions to cheap electronics, discounted food shops, significant discounts off gym memberships, makeup, cheap online courses and so much more, it’s absolutely worth making the most of when you have access to it. While you shouldn’t spend for the sake of it, using student discounts on purchases you were going to make anyway can be really helpful. 

Change From A Student To A Graduate Bank Account

Something else you should do is change from a student to a graduate bank account. Sometimes your bank will do this for you automatically; however, usually, they have preferential terms like extending your interest-free overdraft and generally supporting you while you pay off some of your debts. 

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