Whether you have a graduate scheme lined up or are taking a bit of time to work things out, there are a few steps you can take to get the ball rolling with your personal finances. Hopefully, some of these tips will help you avoid debt and take the stress out of money management. Find financial peace of mind so you can make the most of enjoying this time of new opportunities.
If the word 'budget' conjures up images of complex spreadsheets and sends a chill down your spine, don't worry — making a budget doesn't have to be scary. It can, however, help you take control of your finances and plan for the future.
Ultimately, a budget is just a way of recording your income and expenses, so you can see how much you have left at the end of the month. All you need to do is know how much you've got coming in from work or other means each month.
Then list all your outgoings — whether that's your rent and bills, food shop, or fuel for your car — and subtract the amount from your income. The resulting number will be the money you have remaining for fun, savings, or paying back loans.
It's worth bearing in mind that everybody's circumstances and expenses will be different, so try not to compare your budget to anyone else's.
Once you've established your income, outgoings, and anything left over, you can start to plan exactly how much you have to spend in each area. It's all well and good having the knowledge, but it'll only really be of any use if you stick to the budget and don't overspend!
Unexpected things happen! Sometimes these surprises are great, and sometimes… not so. Perhaps the boiler breaks down, leaving you with icy showers; your cat needs some new medication; or you get a flat tyre. These pesky problems are frustrating, but they don't need to be the end of the world. Having a little rainy day fund set aside can help you manage financially when things go awry.
You might want to shop around and see which savings accounts have the best interest rates. It's up to you whether you put a lump sum into your emergency fund or set up a direct debit, so you have a little bit feeding into it every month. See which works best for you.
The last thing you want to do is continue racking up debt from your student bills! It's worth taking a bit of time to double-check that all your final bills have been paid off. Don't have that final electricity bill from your student housing hanging over you. It's also a good idea to cancel any student subscriptions you no longer use.
If you're moving out of the house you lived in as a student, make sure you get your deposit back. It can either go towards your new place or make a healthy little starting block for your emergency fund.
Credit ratings can be confusing. However, building a credit score essentially shows future lenders (such as mortgage providers) that you are good at paying off your debt. There are lots of ways you can go about building credit. However, it's always a good idea to get advice from your bank - particularly if you're considering a credit card, which can lead to debt if you don't handle it correctly.
With so many options available, it can be tempting to stick with your current bank provider or go for the one that pops up most on your social media ads.
However, choosing a bank account that suits your lifestyle and situation can help you manage your finances more effectively. Research what different banks can offer and how their accounts differ. It can be beneficial to look at their interest rates, overdraft fees, and any perks or deals they offer.
Following some of this advice will hopefully help you get off on the right financial footing after graduation.
However, if you're in a position where you need to borrow money in a lump sum, you might want to consider low-interest personal loans. Do you need to get a rental deposit together? Maybe you won't receive payment from your graduate scheme until the first month in and are worried about covering bills until then. These are not uncommon situations, and fortunately, there is help available.
Borrowing money can seem daunting — what about those horror stories of people who get in debt from pay-day loans that have an interest rate in the thousands? Well, sadly, some companies do charge excessive rates. But that's where having an awareness of what kind of low-interest loans are out there can help.
If you need a loan, take the time to compare different options and see which best suits your circumstances. What are their repayment schedules like?
With graduates in mind, Abound offers affordable, low-interest loans based on future earnings rather than past transactions.
Providing you have proof of employment or an upcoming graduate scheme, you can borrow money to give you a headstart on your career. So, whether you need to pay a rental deposit before you begin your new job, want to spread the cost of commuting, or could do with new work clothes for that dream job, Abound helps give you control over your finances. You can manage how you repay the loan and can even take payment holidays if needed.
Whatever plans you have beyond university, we hope these personal finance tips will help you and other graduates feel more confident about stepping into the working world. And if you'd like to explore Abound options, why not apply for a loan today?