College. It’s the best four years of your life. Everyone warns you, “Enjoy it while it lasts because it flies by.” I should have taken them seriously. College allowed me to be on my own for four years, and the last thing I wanted to do was move back in with my mom. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom, but the idea of moving back in with her was out of the question.
Some college students can be oblivious to life after graduation. You spend four (or more) years concentrating on getting through it, and then before you know it, family, friends, and the cashier at the supermarket are all asking the dreadful question, “What’s next?”
Honestly? I had no idea what was next. I had finished both my internships and had been applying for jobs but had not heard anything yet. My mind was more focused on saying good bye to my friends and trying to pack up all my memories from the last four years into boxes to move home. The things I really should have been focusing on and preparing for were the expenses that come once you graduate.
Here are four money struggles you may face after you graduate from college:
You may be aware that these are coming, but trust me when I say that you will not feel the impact until it is officially time to make payments. Do whatever you can to get ahead of these before you graduate by starting to save early!
On top of student loans, you have to worry about your rent, utilities, phone and/or car payments that are due monthly. These can take out a good chunk of your paycheck, especially if you haven’t landed a full-time job yet. This is why many recent college grads end up living at home for a period of time before moving out.
Paying for gas to drive to and from work, buying groceries, buying supplies for your apartment/house, and incidental items such as toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. can add up quickly. If you came from a dorm or mom and dad’s house where toilet paper was always magically there, you’re in for a rude awakening.
If you don’t have a full time job, there’s a good chance you don’t have access to employer–provided health insurance and may have to purchase it on your own. That can get expensive! Also, don’t forget to consider auto or renter’s insurance, if applicable.
To current college students, my best advice is to start saving early! Do not be naive to these expenses and think, “Oh, I’m not going to worry about this, I have a long time until I reach that point in my life.” It comes faster than you think and if you are not prepared it can be stressful and very difficult. Lastly, if you have to move back in with your parents, don’t freak out –it can be a blessing in disguise and allow you to save up some money.
Have you had any unique money struggles you’d like to share with us? Leave it in the comments!
By Abby Meirndorf