In the spring, millions of high school and college students prepare for graduation and the next phase of their lives.
But are new grads ready for the financial challenges that lay ahead? Soon enough, budgeting money from that part-time job for entertainment expenses is quickly replaced by rent, utilities, food and transportation costs as well as student loan payments.
Get some tips
There are many tools and tips available for new graduates to get started with budgeting and saving. Or you can create your own budget with a spreadsheet. Plus, several organizations offer free tips for saving money and budgeting on a lower income, which is typical for entry-level jobs.
There's an app for everything, including budgeting and tracking expenses. See what's available and get started. You'll start to notice patterns and places you can start saving. Like exchanging that $4 latte for the free coffee in the break room.
Prep for the new expenses
Recent graduates must also prepare for those under-the-radar expenses, such as auto insurance premiums, health insurance contributions and banking costs. Student bank accounts can also change soon after graduation. TD Bank features a checking account selector tool that compares checking account options to fit customer's needs. New grads should also set up direct deposit and connect a savings or money market account to their checking account, automatically transferring a manageable amount from each paycheck to build savings.
But don't forget the fun
Joining the professional workforce is an exciting and challenging time for young adults, and all the new expenses can seem overwhelming at first. Take it one step at a time and don't forget to budget for entertainment – just because you're out of school, it doesn't mean you can't have any fun!