Tag Archive for College

5 Ways to Save Money as a New College Graduate

college graduate

college graduateGraduating from college is an exciting time to be sure. You have been in school for most of your life, so finally getting out can be an incredible feeling. You will probably feel like the world is at your fingertips, and you will have nearly endless options in front of you.

Of course, this time of life can also bring you a rude awakening, as it is at this point that many people realize just how expensive life can be. Now that you are out on your own in the ?real world?, the bills just might start to pile up in a hurry.

With that in mind, here are?five helpful ways for you to save money as a new college graduate. Good luck out there!

Get a Roommate

One of the first things you should do when getting out of college is seek to settle your living situation.?You will need a place to live, and you will want to keep costs down as low as possible at first.

Pick out a modest place and do your best to find a roommate (or two) to help you share the costs. Dividing up living expenses like rent and cable is a great way to lessen the burden that you will feel right out of college.

Wait for that New Car

It might be tempting to pick up a sweet new ride once you get your first adult job, but that is usually a mistake.

If possible, stick with the car you have for now ? or at least, buy a used car to get yourself started. There will always be plenty of nice cars for you to purchase later once you are settled in to adult life and have a good idea of your budget for a new car.

Learn to Cook

Do you know how to cook for yourself? If not, now is the time to start. Cooking most of your meals at home instead of ordering out is a great way to save money ? and it will likely be healthier as well. You don?t have to train yourself to be a gourmet chef, either. Even just some basic cooking skills and a few tools will go a long way to help you save money as a new college graduate.

Live Near Your Job

If you don?t yet have a spouse or kids to consider, think about finding a place to live that is as near to your job as possible. You will save on transportation costs this way, and since you have a short commute, you will have extra time available in your day as a side benefit.

Pick Up Extra Work

Speaking of not having a family just yet, this point in your life would be a good time to consider working an extra job, or taking on a side hustle, in order to make additional income that can be saved for later. Taking on a part time job on the weekends or in the evenings might not be a ton of fun, but it can do great things for your finances later on down the line.


Can you think of any other ways that new college graduates can save money? Did you do any of these things to save money as a new college graduate?


Photo courtesy of: robtowne0

3 Things You Should Know Before Taking out Student Loans

student loans

taking out student loansGraduation is not far away, and it?s past time to begin thinking about how you are going to pay for college in the fall. Which, might mean one thing – student loans.

If you waited until now to start thinking about saving for college, or if you haven?t saved as much as you thought you would, you may have to take out student loans to help pay for it. Even though taking out loans generally offers a pretty good return on your investment, because you can can earn?more with a bachelor?s degree than you would with only a high school diploma, you should still try to take out the smallest amount possible in student loans to get your degree.

When I was getting ready to attend college and was contemplating taking out student loans, there were a lot of things I didn?t know about taking out student loans. If that?s the case for you too, here are three things you should know before signing on the dotted line and taking on the debt.

Federal vs Private Student Loans

There are two main types of student loans, federal student loans and private student loans. Federal student loans are made by the government and come with a lot of benefits that may not be available via private student loans. For instance, federal student loans offer a fixed interest rate for the life of your loan, the option to delay repayment until six months after graduation, and the option to restructure your loan repayment plan based on your income or delay payment if you lose your job.

That said, private student loans taken out through a bank or credit union may offer a lower interest rate. Even though that may look attractive, federal student loans are usually the better option.

A Longer Repayment Term Isn?t Necessarily Better

When you first graduate from college and your student loan payments kick in, it can be tempting to stretch the repayment term out as far as possible to help lower your monthly payment. Sometimes this is necessary because your budget is tight, but if you can afford to pay more by giving up something else from your budget, like cable or eating out, you?ll save money in the long run. Paying larger monthly payments will shorten your repayment term and can help you save a significant amount of money on interest.

Reduce Your Need for Student Loans

Rather than depending on student loans to entirely finance your education, you?ll save a lot of money by finding ways to take out less in loans. One idea is to work during the summers between high school. It can be tempting to spend that money on movie nights, eating out and new clothes, but your future self will thank you if you save at least some of it to help pay for college.

Another option is to work during college. Most students can find a way to fit in a few hours of work each week during the semester, and you can once again take on a job with more hours during the summer. This money can help you pay for your living expenses so you don?t have to use student loan money to help pay for those things.

Overall, I?m not of the opinion that student loans are the worst thing out there. In fact, I took out student loans to help pay for some of my college education too. But it?s important to keep in mind that student loans are still debt that has to be repaid at some point.


Have you taken out student loans? Were you aware of all of these things before you took out student loans?


Photo courtesy of: 0TheFool

5 Ways Not to Overspend as a New College Graduate

college graduate

square-academic-cap-999418_640Graduating college is an exciting time to be sure. You have finally finished your education ? which you started when you were just a small child ? and you get to head out into the real world to get a job and make some real money. While you know that there will be challenges ahead, it is exciting to get to start out on your own and feel like a true adult for the first time.

One of the obvious challenges that faces almost every new college graduate is a lack of money in the bank. Between student loans, low entry level wages, and newfound expenses, it can seem like an impossible challenge just to get by. Fortunately, it is possible to survive, but you are going to have to think logically and make sound decisions right from the start.

Modest Living Arrangements

While you are certainly excited to finally bust out of the college dorms, you don?t want to go overboard with your first apartment or condo (or even house). Keep your budget at the top of your list and pick out something that you are sure you can afford. There will be plenty of time to upgrade later, so play it safe to start with. Also, finding a roommate is a great way to share costs initially.

Eat Smart

Now would be a great time to start to learn how to cook for yourself (if you don?t know how already). You might have gotten through college on a combination of cafeteria meals and fast food, but that just isn?t going to work out in the real world. Learn some basic cooking skills and you will quickly save money because eating out is expensive!

Avoid Credit Cards if Possible

Getting your first credit card can make you feel like you are rich, even if you only have a modest credit limit. While it is a pretty good idea to have a card in your name in case of emergencies, try to limit your spending to debit cards and cash so that your spending doesn?t spiral out of control.

Cheap Wheels

Just as with your housing arrangement, you also want to be smart when picking out a car (if you don?t already own one). Buying a used car that is in good condition will probably be your best bet, as you can hopefully get a few years of service from it before you are ready to purchase something new. Consider ?certified pre-owned? programs at dealerships which often back used cars with a modest warranty.

Set a Savings Percentage

One of the first things you should do when you get your first job is to set a percentage of your wages that you would like to save. Many online banks, such as Discover Bank, allow you to automate savings on whatever interval you like. If you can stick to the number that you set for yourself, and you do a good job of just living on what is left, you will see your savings quickly grow and you will have a nice financial cushion as you move later into adult life.


How else can a new college graduate save money? Did you do these things to avoid overspending after college?


Photo courtesy of: MariaGodfrida

How I Escaped College with ONLY $8,000 in Student Debt


student-849828_1280Taking on $8,000 of debt doesn?t sound like a good thing, especially when you don?t have much to show for it other than a piece of paper and a funny looking hat. But when you consider that most students come away from college with much more debt?than that for the same piece and paper and same funny looking hat, I suppose I did ok.

There are several reasons why I was able to escape with such a comparatively low amount of student loan debt and I wanted to share them with you today in case you or someone you know is headed off to college soon.

Utilize Community College

Although I never went to the community college in my hometown as a full-time student, I still took advantage of it being so near to me. I took several classes at the community college during high school for dual credit. Additionally, I took two classes right after my senior year of high school before heading off to an in-state university in the fall. This allowed me to build up 30 hours of transferrable credits before I even went away to college. I was able to start as an incoming sophomore and I graduated with my bachelor?s degree in only three years.

Do Your Research

A lot of students from my community went to the local college before transferring to the same in-state university that I attended. However they weren?t so lucky when it came to transferring their credits. In fact, a lot of them that graduated our community college with an Associate?s degree were only able to transfer about half of their classes to the university.

The morale of this story is to do your research to cut the cost of going to college. If you think there?s a possibility you might go on to a certain university, you better make sure the classes you are taking at your community college are eligible to be transferred in. Otherwise you wasted your time and money taking community college classes that you?ll have to repeat at the university later.

Take a Full-Load

After you get to your university, make sure you are taking a full-load of classes each semester. Some student advisors will recommend that you only take the minimum number of credit hours per semester, but in my experience most diligent students can take more than that and still earn good grades.

I took between 15-20 credit hours each semester and I still graduated with a 3.7 GPA. Taking extra classes each semester allowed me to stay on-track to graduate in 3 years and saved money on tuition as my school charged a flat rate for full-time students no matter if you were taking 12 credit hours or 15 credit hours. That might have changed at some schools now, but you?ll still save on college living expenses if you don?t have to take an extra year of classes due to not having a full-load each semester.

Work Part-Time

Speaking of living expenses, I was able to send back a portion of my student loan money each time it was disbursed because I chose to work part-time during college. My part-time job, along with a side hustle writing for my college paper, was enough to pay most of my living expenses during school and I earned extra by working full-time during the summers and school breaks. This meant that I never had to rely on money from my student loans to pay for my living expenses.

Family Support

This last one is something that I was blessed to have and I know not every student has the luxury of family financial support. My parents were generous enough to help me pay for school tuition during part of my time in college.

This family support combined with the scholarships I received and the money I earned working helped me graduate with just about $8,000 of student loan debt from my three years of attending a university. Getting a college education doesn?t has to be as costly as some students make it out to be if you go in with a clear plan and a goal to keep your costs to a minimum.



Did you take out students loans? How did you keep them to a minimum? Did you work during college? What other options can be used to keep college costs as low as possible?



Photo courtesy of: StartupStockPhotos

4 Ways to Save Money as a New College Student

College student

relax-726992_1280Getting started in college is exciting for a lot of reasons. For many people, it is their first chance to live away from home and really feel ?like an adult.’ It is also fun to meet new people, get started on a career path, and expand your horizons in a number of ways.

What isn?t so exciting, however, is being broke. The stereotype of a college student is one of somebody who can barely afford dinner each night ? and sadly, that isn?t too far from the truth.

If you find yourself in this situation as a new college student?you will want to do everything you can to save money where possible. Here are four tips to help you tighten up your budget.

Collect Roommates

When living off-campus, find as many roommates as you can in order to lower the overall cost of your housing each month. Obviously you need to remain within regulations for how many people are allowed to live in the home/apartment, but make sure you fill every bedroom in order to cut down the expenses.

Also, when you have more people living together, you should be able to leverage food costs down as well.?Consider sharing cooking duties among the roommates to help keep those costs down.

Be Efficient with Books

Buying books is one of the major expenses of college life. While there isn?t much you can do to get around having to buy the books, there are steps you can take to limit the financial damage. First, always buy used books when possible. Most schools have used books available at the start of the semester, and you may be able to find them online as well.

Also, take good care of your books so you can resell them when you are done with the class. Again, you can probably resell them on campus, or you can do it yourself over the Internet.

Steer Clear of Brands

Buying top name brand items might make you feel cool ? but it will make you broke at the same time. It doesn?t do any good to have name brand clothes, for example, if you can?t afford to go out and do anything because you spent your money on brand name clothes and other back to school items. It is never too early to learn how to shop smart, so get started now by purchasing lesser-known brands?or even second hand items.

Every Course Has a Purpose

One of the fastest ways you can waste money in college is by taking courses that you don?t need. Set out a specific plan for yourself in college and then get to work executing that plan. If a class isn?t going to help you reach your education goals at the end of your time in school, save the money and don?t take the class. Work closely with your advisor to make sure you are on track to graduate without amassing extra credits that will only cost you money.



Did you use any of these tips to help you save money in college? What other ways can you think of for new college students to save money? How many roommates did you have when you were in college?



Photo courtesy of: Pixabay