College years bring forth an abundance of growth and independence for students alike. You’re likely getting into the habit of managing your school work and class schedule completely on your own, and if you’re taking advantage of on-campus housing you’re living on your own for the first time. With all of these new life milestones coming to light, there’s a good chance that though you’re taking your own independent strides, you may still be under a parental wing, financially. As graduation is approaching for many college students this month, it may be time for you to consider the best ways to adapt to the real world, and potentially build your financial independence. Here are a few tips:
Open Your Own Account/Credit Card
The first major step to building your own financial freedom after college is looking into opening your own bank account or credit card if you haven’t already. Visit a bank that you trust, and sit down with a banker that will help set you up with the right type of account, preferably one that builds interest or provides you with small rewards. As for a credit card, building your credit is an essential part of growing up; however, always be careful when using a credit card. To build your credit wisely, make small purchases that you can pay off in full each month. Racking up a high balance that requires you to make minimum payments can ultimately do more harm than good in the long run. Additionally, you’ll want to research which credit card would work best for you. Many companies offer different programs and rewards and incentives; make sure you find what fits your financial situation best.
Take on Small Bills
If your parents were assisting you with some of your bills, such as your cell phone or car payment, consider taking them on, on your own. You can start small, by taking over your cell phone, and build as you go, moving forward with a car payment/insurance, rent, and your student loans. These payments will not only help you practice paying bills on time, but many of them will also help build your credit score.
During college, you may have had a part-time job or an internship. Now that you’ve graduated and have more time available, you can consider adding more hours to your current schedule or looking for full-time work. Either option will generate a consistent income that will help you build steady financial independence. Once you’re building your income, consider making some of it automatically deposit into a savings account or an emergency fund.